Physics Fun with Jamie: Setting Up a Buckling Analysis

Article by Jamie Hill, CSWE updated June 5, 2023

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Welcome back to “Physics Fun with Jamie”. A buckling analysis in SOLIDWORKS FEA is a useful tool for evaluating the stability of a structure when subjected to compressive loads. Buckling occurs when a structure fails due to instability under compressive loads, leading to sudden, catastrophic failure. Here are some steps to follow when setting up a buckling study in SOLIDWORKS FEA.

  1. Define the model: Define the 3D model of the structure you want to analyze. This can be done in SOLIDWORKS or imported from other CAD software.
  2. Assign the material properties: Assign the appropriate material properties to the model. The material properties should be defined accurately to ensure accurate results.
  3. Define the loads and boundary conditions: Define the loads and boundary conditions that the model will experience in its operating environment. In a buckling study, the load should be compressive.
  4. Generate the mesh: Generate the mesh for the model. The mesh size and type should be selected based on the complexity of the model and the accuracy required.
  5. Choose the buckling analysis type: Select the buckling analysis type in the SOLIDWORKS FEA menu. SOLIDWORKS FEA provides different options for buckling study, including linear buckling, nonlinear buckling, and post-buckling.
  6. Run the analysis: Run the buckling analysis and review the results. SOLIDWORKS FEA provides graphical representations of the results, including critical buckling loads and buckling modes.
  7. Evaluate the results: Evaluate the results by comparing the critical buckling loads with the applied loads. If the applied loads exceed the critical buckling loads, then the structure is likely to buckle.
  8. Refine the model: Refine the model by adjusting the loads, boundary conditions, or material properties, and re-run the analysis.
  9. Finalize the design: Finalize the design by adjusting the geometry or material properties to avoid buckling under compressive loads.

In conclusion, setting up a buckling study in SOLIDWORKS FEA is critical in evaluating the stability of a structure under compressive loads. By following these steps, you can ensure that your buckling study is accurate, efficient, and effective in avoiding buckling failures in your design.

 

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Jamie Hill, CSWE

Jamie is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert working in the Javelin Oakville, Ontario, Canada office.