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# ANSYS Nonlinear

Convergence
g
Best
Practices
Peter R. Barrett, P.E.
September 27, 2012

## ANSYS Nonlinear Convergence Best Practices

Nonlinearities Overview:

## Relatively Straight Forward (easy) Problems

Challenging (i.e. really hard) Problems

Step-by-Step
p y
p Convergence
g
Procedure
1.
2.
3.

Large Deflection
Material Nonlinearities
Contact

## Rigid body motion

Force balance not obtained
Material Instabilities and/or Element formulation error

Q&A

## Material Properties Cannot Always Be

Assumed to Be Linear

## Contact is the Most Common Source of

Nonlinearity and is Often the Most Difficult
tto S
l !
Solve!
Status
changes,
friction,
pressure

When,
When where?
What is the pressure?
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## Characterize Convergence Difficulty

Easier Problems

Deformations
D
f
ti
are relatively
l ti l smallll
Nonlinear strains (plasticity, creep, swelling) are small
Contact status does not oscillate
M d l are smallll and
Models
d simplified
i lifi d (2D
(2D, Axisymmetric)
A i
ti )
Symmetric boundary conditions are utilized
L d result
lt iin ttensile
il member
b stresses
t
Nonlinear buckling to the point of instability (Post buckling not needed)
409 Parts
967 Contact Pairs

## Characterize Convergence Difficulty

Harder Problems

Very large
V
l
d
deformation
f
ti
Large strains with large distortion
Contact chatter and/or loose fitting assemblies
C t t sliding
Contact
lidi with
ith hi
high
h ffriction
i ti coefficient
ffi i t
Post buckling response
Large 3D models with complex geometry
N symmetry
No
t b
boundaries
d i

Hard Solution

## Model the entire Pin / socket assembly

Mesh fine enough to capture local
stress concentrations
Use a force based analysis to model
pin insertion and removal
steps

Easier Solution

## Model a single axi-symmetric

Pin/Socket assembly
Create mapped mesh with refinement
on contact surfaces and areas of high
stress
Use a displacement controlled solution
Use auto time stepping and smart
output controls since max stress might
not occur at the final solution step
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Hard Problem

Large model
Frictional Contact
Nonlinear material response

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11

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Force
Deflection of a
Single Truss
Element
Matches
Detailed 3d
Model

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## Clevis Pin Pullout

Springs can be used to imposed loads and/or prevent rigid body motion

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accuracy and
d convergence

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## IVC filters are used in case of contraindication to anticoagulation

I.e. it captures clots!

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Streamlines

Deformation

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1.
2.
3
3.
4.
5.

## Rigid body motion

Force balance not obtained
Material Instabilities
Element formulation error
Combination of items 1-4 above

## identifying the problem

d t
determining
i i th
the cause
providing solutions

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## Whether in WB or Mechanical APDL,

APDL the first step is to read the output file
to determine the origin of the non-convergence

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## DOF limit exceeded.

Negative main diagonal.
Small/Negative Pivot error.
MAX DOF INC = A very large number
*** WARNING ***
CP =
11.703 TIME= 16:15:15
Smallest negative equation solver pivot term encountered at UX DOF of
node 98. Check for an insufficiently constrained model.

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## Causes of Rigid Body Motion

Insufficient supports
Individual parts of an assembly are not supported. This is the most common
form that is found in a contact analysis where rigid body motion occurs
in the parts not associated with any supports.
Insufficiently connected dissimilar element types (i.e. beams to solids, etc.)

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## Plot the unconverged or last converged displacement solution and verify

displacement scaling

The example below is a converged solution where the rigid body motion is only
restrained by weak springs
Note the unrealistic 10e-6 displacement scaling

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## If it is not clear what constraint is required to eliminate rigid body motion

motion, a
modal analysis can be performed.

A modal analysis determines the vibration modes including rigid body motion.
Each rigid body mode is predicted as a zero frequency mode
Animating the zero frequency mode shape illustrates the rigidly moving model.

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## Correct the Rigid Body Motion

Axisymmetry
Rotational
Planar or reflective
Repetitive or translational

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## Make a 2d Sector model

Delete/Suppress parts or fix DOF until you get an answer

## Add supports and/or use displacement controlled solution

Adding a rigid region and pushing it with displacements will usually converge

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## Adjust the parts to all start in contact

Can use adjust to touch ANSYS option, but be careful since the geometry will
be changed

## If interfaces are all in compression, one might be able to leave as bonded

Modify to standard contact one pair at a time

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## Make sure to include large deflections when displacements are significant

You can never get the wrong answer by adding large displacement effects

Li
Linear
solution
l ti
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element types

## Example Shells or beams to solids

Use MPC contact option to eliminate
iterations and penalty stiffness dependency

## Be sure to check reactions to make sure no

error is introduced

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## Correct the Rigid Body Motion

Rigid body motion often can occur in the beginning of a static analysis due
to the fact that the initial contact condition is not well established.

Fn

Ft
Contact
Target

Pd1,d

Pdn

Pdn d n u n
Pd 1 d t u1
Pd 2 d t u 2

## Contact Stabilization introduces a viscous damping traction proportional to

b t opposite
but
it to
t the
th relative
l ti pseudo
d velocities
l iti b
between
t
th
the ttwo surfaces
f
along contact normal and/or tangential directions.
Where: d n = damping coefficient in normal direction
d
u

## = damping coefficient in tangential direction

= pseudo velocity
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## Contact Stabilization Damping

Example: Consider a fixed pin interfacing with a hole in plate with initial
Stabilization captures localized stress distribution more accurately because it
does not change the shape of the pin
Contact Stabilization Damping

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## Correct the Rigid Body Motion

Buckling Response

Nonlinear stabilization
Local instabilities and global
instability.
Used
U d ttogether
th with
ith liline search
h and
d
automatic time stepping

Arc-length method
Circumvent g
global instability
y when
forces are applied.
Simulate the negative slope portion

Running
R
nning a static problem as a
"slow dynamic" analysis in ANSYS
Running a static problem as a
"slow
slow dynamic"
dynamic analysis in
ANSYS/LS-DYNA

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## Automation tools can save a lot of time in tying assemblies together

Constraint equations

Springs

Spot
Welds

Beam connections
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## Examples of Force Equilibrium not Obtained

Definition:

Convergence value is greater than criterion after min. load increment and max.
number of iterations are solved

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Equilibrium Iterations

## A nonlinear structure is analyzed using an iterative series of linear

approximations, with corrections.

## ANSYS uses an iterative process called the Newton-Raphson

Method. Each iteration is known as an equilibrium iteration.

F
2

A full Newton-Raphson
iterative analysis for one
iterations are shown.)

1
u

Displacement
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Convergence Procedure

## The difference between external and internal loads

} is called
the residual. It is a measure of the force imbalance in the structure.

The goal is to iterate until the residual becomes acceptably small; less
than the criterion, where the solution is then considered converged.

## When convergence is achieved, the solution is in equilibrium, within an

acceptable tolerance
tolerance.

Fa

{
{Fa}

{Fnr}

Fnr

u
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## Contact Stiffness is too large

For small load increments, MINREF criterion exceeded
Material instability
Buckling

Definition of non-convergence,
sum of R (unbalanced forces)
never gets
t below
b l
.5%
5% off th
the
sum of F (sum of external loads,
reactions, etc.))

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## Convergence after 3 to 5 iterations each substep

Use more substeps to reduce iterations, use less if only one or two are
needed. (One exception: If contact without friction is the only nonlinearity,
sometimes one substep
p with lots of iterations can be an efficient solution
method)

2
1

4
equilibrium
iterations

Substeps
Time

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## Contact Stiffness is too large

Oscillation of contact status and force balance caused by large contact
stiffness.

## A typical range of ANSYS penalty stiffness is .01 to 10 times the ANSYS

i t
internal
l stiffness
tiff
value
l which
hi h iis a ffunction
ti off material
t i l and
d mesh
hb
butt nott
geometry

F=KU

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## Load is stepped too rapidly

U Mi
Use
Min, M
Max and
d starting
t ti substep
b t control
t l tto iimprove convergence. Y
You

Time
tstart

tmin

Incorrect
Strain Energy

tmax

Rule of Thumb:
The more nonlinearities, the
more substeps required

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## Nonlinear Solution Corrective Action

ANSYS WB Mechanical offers a toolbox of options under the analysis
settings branch for achieving successful convergence.

Step
p and substeps
p
Nonlinear Controls - N-R convergence criteria
Contact Settings
g

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## Use Higher Order Elements

Especially with curved surface contact

## Refine the mesh

The more points in contact the better the convergence

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## Increase the MINREF criterion

If the criterion is very small this will not effect the solution accuracy

## Extend the Stress-Strain curve

If the unbalance force difference is very small this can increase solution speed
significantly
i ifi
tl

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## Default pinball region is different based on analysis type

type. (see below)

Default
PINB*

Contact
Classification

Contact Surface
Behavior

KEYOPT(9)

3 x Depth**

Rigid/Flex

Standard

4 x Depth

Rigid or Flex

Standard

2 x Depth

Flex/Flex

Standard

## Default (Include Everything)

0.50x Depth

Flex/Flex

Bonded or No Separation

## Default (Include Everything)

0.75x Depth
p

Rigid/Flex
g

Bonded or No Separation
p

## Default ((Include Everything)

y
g)

1.00x Depth

Rigid/Flex

Bonded or No Separation

## Include Everything/with Ramped effects

* Values are for NLGEOM,ON and are reduced by 50% for NLGEOM,OFF
**Depth
Depth = Underlying element depth (for solid elements)
**Depth = 4 x element thickness (for shells and beams)
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## More accurate distribution of contact stresses.

stresses
Satisfies moment equilibrium when an offset exists between contact and
target surfaces with friction.
Can help with
ith contact con
convergence.
ergence
Better handling of sliding contact.
KEYOPT,<contact element type>,4 ,3

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## Examples of Material Instabilities

Depending upon the size of the residual these can be caused by large
force unbalance or can be a result of incorrect material properties

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## Too large of plastic or creep strain increment

Material law cannot handle large load and/or time increment. If the force
unbalance is very large, the material model might not be the problem
Element distorted shape results in negative volume calculation
calculation. Check the
mesh, but again with very large force unbalances the material model might not
be the problem

Max. increment can be adjusted as part of cutback controls, but typically force
balance is the controlling criterion and thus this is rarely changed.

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## Element Shape distortion

Excessive strain
Volumetric locking (PLESOL,NL,HPRES)
Hourglass modes

Buckling

## Using Higher order elements or change to

enhanced strain to eliminate reduced
integration issues in lower order elements

V
Very
llarge fforce unbalance
b l

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## Use CHECK command for overall verification including missing elastic

properties, unconstrained model, and element shape checks.
MCHECK command can help you identify defects in the mesh such as holes or
cracks.

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## Make sure to use the correct material input

Make sure to input True Stress vs. Log Strain

l ln 1

## Always extend your material law will beyond

expected
p
strain levels

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Element Selection

Use Higher Order elements for curved surface contact for faster
faster, more
accurate results

20 node bricks
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## Solver Type and Tolerance

Suggest using Direct (Sparse) solver unless PCG is significantly faster per
iteration

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## Correct Element Formulation Errors

p
Rezoning

Adjust the starting mesh shapes this is the most common solution
Change Element type / formulation
Use shell or beam elements

Requires a restart so generally only used for very large strain cases like
forming operations or seals

## Change the HyperElastic material model

Modify creep law or coefficients
Start mesh shape so that deformed
elements become more square

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## Select the appropriate element type to maximize results efficiency and

quality
Simple is almost always better and definitely easier to debug

Complex 3-D
geometries

Shell elements

Slender structures
(twisted pipe
model)
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## Remesh the Model Part Way Through the Analysis

Rezoning

Note that this requires a restart, but will map existing stresses and strains so
that the solution history is preserved

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## Testing nonlinear material models

Make sure the material converges for all stress / strain levels expected with the
one element model before running full model
Especially critical step for hyperelastic and creep analyses

## Testing of macros and user-defined routines

Evaluation of the impact of large aspect ratios, skew angles or warped
elements

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Element Shape

Robust well shaped elements can improve solution convergence and time

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Mesh Controls

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Mesh Refinement

sometimes speed

## Automated mesh refinement in workbench is generally only used in linear

analyses

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Element Formulation

## Solver Output records the element technology being activated based on

the element order chosen (midside nodes) and the material association.
Workbench uses higher order 2d elements by default
Elastic material or
metal plasticity with
higher order
elements
2D Plane Stress
Elastic material or
Metal Plasticity with
lower order elements

2D Plain Strain
Elastic material or
Metal Plasticity with
lower order elements
Fully incompressible
hyperelasticity with
h h or lower
higher
l
order elements

Default URI
Enhanced Strain

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Change the mesh

## Refine areas of steep gradient

C
Coarsen
areas where
h
stresses
t
are llow
Adjust initial element shapes to create better deformed shapes
Reduce substeps where convergence takes 1 or 2 iterations max.

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## Improve Performance in Subsequent Analyses

The Force Convergence graph clearly indicates that starting with more
substeps would eliminate the 27 iterations performed before the first
bisection. Reducing the starting number of substeps might eliminate this
bisection

## Force Residual vs. Iterations

Time vs. Cumulative Iteration

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List and plot results to check to make sure you solved the problem
intended and that the results make sense

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## Comparing average vs.

vs un-average stresses can provide an estimate of
mesh error

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## Displacements are based on original coordinate system

Stresses and strain component data rotate with the elements

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