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Abaqus has an extensive element library to provide a powerful set of tools for solving

many different problems.

Characterizing elements

Family

Degrees of freedom (directly related to the element family)

Number of nodes

Formulation

Integration

Each element in Abaqus has a unique name, such as T2D2, S4R, C3D8I, or C3D8R.

The element name identifies each of the five aspects of an element. For details on

defining elements, see “Element definition,” Section 2.2.1.

Family

Figure 23.1.1–1 shows the element families that are used most commonly in a stress

analysis. One of the major distinctions between different element families is the

geometry type that each family assumes.

The first letter or letters of an element's name indicate to which family the element

belongs. For example, S4R is a shell element, CINPE4 is an infinite element, and

C3D8I is a continuum element.

Degrees of freedom

The degrees of freedom are the fundamental variables calculated during the

analysis. For a stress/displacement simulation the degrees of freedom are the

translations and, for shell and beam elements, the rotations at each node. For a heat

transfer simulation the degrees of freedom are the temperatures at each node; for a

coupled thermal-stress analysis temperature degrees of freedom exist in addition to

displacement degrees of freedom at each node. Heat transfer analyses and coupled

thermal-stress analyses therefore require the use of different elements than does a

stress analysis since the degrees of freedom are not the same.

See “Conventions,” Section 1.2.2, for a summary of the degrees of freedom available

in Abaqus for various element and analysis types.

element. At any other point in the element, the displacements are obtained by

interpolating from the nodal displacements. Usually the interpolation order is

determined by the number of nodes used in the element.

Elements that have nodes only at their corners, such as the 8-node brick

shown in Figure 23.1.1–2(a), use linear interpolation in each direction and are

often called linear elements or first-order elements.

In Abaqus/Standard elements with midside nodes, such as the 20-node brick

shown in Figure 23.1.1–2(b), use quadratic interpolation and are often called

quadratic elements or second-order elements.

Modified triangular or tetrahedral elements with midside nodes, such as the

10-node tetrahedron shown in Figure 23.1.1–2(c), use a modified second-

order interpolation and are often called modified or modified second-order

elements.

Figure 23.1.1–2 Linear brick, quadratic brick, and modified tetrahedral elements.

Typically, the number of nodes in an element is clearly identified in its name. The 8-

node brick element is called C3D8, and the 4-node shell element is called S4R.

The beam element family uses a slightly different convention: the order of

interpolation is identified in the name. Thus, a first-order, three-dimensional beam

element is called B31, whereas a second-order, three-dimensional beam element is

called B32. A similar convention is used for axisymmetric shell and membrane

elements.

Formulation

element's behavior. In the Lagrangian, or material, description of behavior the

element deforms with the material. In the alternative Eulerian, or spatial, description

elements are fixed in space as the material flows through them. Eulerian methods are

used commonly in fluid mechanics simulations. Abaqus/Standard uses Eulerian

elements to model convective heat transfer. Abaqus/Explicit also offers multimaterial

Eulerian elements for use in stress/displacement analyses. Adaptive meshing in

Abaqus/Explicit combines the features of pure Lagrangian and Eulerian analyses and

allows the motion of the element to be independent of the material (see “ALE

adaptive meshing: overview,” Section 12.2.1). All other stress/displacement elements

in Abaqus are based on the Lagrangian formulation. In Abaqus/Explicit the Eulerian

elements can interact with Lagrangian elements through general contact

(see “Eulerian analysis,” Section 13.1.1).

include elements with several different formulations. For example, the conventional

shell element family has three classes: one suitable for general-purpose shell

analysis, another for thin shells, and yet another for thick shells. In addition, Abaqus

also offers continuum shell elements, which have nodal connectivities like continuum

elements but are formulated to model shell behavior with as few as one element

through the shell thickness.

some alternative formulations. Elements with alternative formulations are identified by

an additional character at the end of the element name. For example, the continuum,

beam, and truss element families include members with a hybrid formulation (to deal

with incompressible or inextensible behavior); these elements are identified by the

letter H at the end of the name (C3D8H or B31H).

Abaqus/Explicit uses the lumped mass formulation for all elements. As a

consequence, the second mass moments of inertia can deviate from the theoretical

values, especially for coarse meshes.

Integration

Abaqus uses numerical techniques to integrate various quantities over the volume of

each element, thus allowing complete generality in material behavior. Using

Gaussian quadrature for most elements, Abaqus evaluates the material response at

each integration point in each element. Some continuum elements in Abaqus can

use full or reduced integration, a choice that can have a significant effect on the

accuracy of the element for a given problem.

Abaqus uses the letter R at the end of the element name to label reduced-integration

elements. For example, CAX4R is the 4-node, reduced-integration, axisymmetric,

solid element.

Shell and beam element properties can be defined as general section behaviors; or

each cross-section of the element can be integrated numerically, so that nonlinear

response associated with nonlinear material behavior can be tracked accurately

when needed. In addition, a composite layered section can be specified for shells

and, in Abaqus/Standard, three-dimensional bricks, with different materials for each

layer through the section.

Combining elements

The element library is intended to provide a complete modeling capability for all

geometries. Thus, any combination of elements can be used to make up the model;

multi-point constraints (“General multi-point constraints,” Section 30.2.2) are

sometimes helpful in applying the necessary kinematic relations to form the model

(for example, to model part of a shell surface with solid elements and part with shell

elements or to use a beam element as a shell stiffener).

corresponding heat transfer and stress elements are provided in Abaqus/Standard.

See “Sequentially coupled thermal-stress analysis,” Section 6.5.3, for additional

details.

libraries. Each library is presented as a separate section in this manual. In each of

these sections, information regarding the following topics is provided where

applicable:

conventions;

element types;

degrees of freedom;

nodal coordinates required;

element property definition;

element faces;

element output;

loading (general loading, distributed loads, foundations, distributed heat

fluxes, film conditions, radiation types, distributed flows, distributed

impedances, electrical fluxes, distributed electric current densities, and

distributed concentration fluxes);

nodes associated with the element;

node ordering and face ordering on elements; and

numbering of integration points for output.

For element libraries that are available in both Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit,

individual element or load types that are available only in Abaqus/Standard are

designated with an (S); similarly, individual element or load types that are available

only in Abaqus/Explicit are designated with an (E). Element or load types that are

available in Abaqus/Aqua are designated with an (A).

Most of the element output variables available for an element are discussed.

Additional variables may be available depending on the material model or the

analysis procedure that is used. Some elements have solution variables that do not

pertain to other elements of the same type; these variables are specified explicitly.

Abaqus has an extensive element library to provide a powerful set of tools for solving

many different problems.

Characterizing elements

Family

Degrees of freedom (directly related to the element family)

Number of nodes

Formulation

Integration

Each element in Abaqus has a unique name, such as T2D2, S4R, C3D8I, or C3D8R.

The element name identifies each of the five aspects of an element. For details on

defining elements, see “Element definition,” Section 2.2.1.

Family

Figure 23.1.1–1 shows the element families that are used most commonly in a stress

analysis. One of the major distinctions between different element families is the

geometry type that each family assumes.

Figure 23.1.1–1 Commonly used element families.

The first letter or letters of an element's name indicate to which family the element

belongs. For example, S4R is a shell element, CINPE4 is an infinite element, and

C3D8I is a continuum element.

Degrees of freedom

The degrees of freedom are the fundamental variables calculated during the

analysis. For a stress/displacement simulation the degrees of freedom are the

translations and, for shell and beam elements, the rotations at each node. For a heat

transfer simulation the degrees of freedom are the temperatures at each node; for a

coupled thermal-stress analysis temperature degrees of freedom exist in addition to

displacement degrees of freedom at each node. Heat transfer analyses and coupled

thermal-stress analyses therefore require the use of different elements than does a

stress analysis since the degrees of freedom are not the same.

See “Conventions,” Section 1.2.2, for a summary of the degrees of freedom available

in Abaqus for various element and analysis types.

element. At any other point in the element, the displacements are obtained by

interpolating from the nodal displacements. Usually the interpolation order is

determined by the number of nodes used in the element.

Elements that have nodes only at their corners, such as the 8-node brick

shown in Figure 23.1.1–2(a), use linear interpolation in each direction and are

often called linear elements or first-order elements.

In Abaqus/Standard elements with midside nodes, such as the 20-node brick

shown in Figure 23.1.1–2(b), use quadratic interpolation and are often called

quadratic elements or second-order elements.

Modified triangular or tetrahedral elements with midside nodes, such as the

10-node tetrahedron shown in Figure 23.1.1–2(c), use a modified second-

order interpolation and are often called modified or modified second-order

elements.

Figure 23.1.1–2 Linear brick, quadratic brick, and modified tetrahedral elements.

Typically, the number of nodes in an element is clearly identified in its name. The 8-

node brick element is called C3D8, and the 4-node shell element is called S4R.

The beam element family uses a slightly different convention: the order of

interpolation is identified in the name. Thus, a first-order, three-dimensional beam

element is called B31, whereas a second-order, three-dimensional beam element is

called B32. A similar convention is used for axisymmetric shell and membrane

elements.

Formulation

element's behavior. In the Lagrangian, or material, description of behavior the

element deforms with the material. In the alternative Eulerian, or spatial, description

elements are fixed in space as the material flows through them. Eulerian methods are

used commonly in fluid mechanics simulations. Abaqus/Standard uses Eulerian

elements to model convective heat transfer. Abaqus/Explicit also offers multimaterial

Eulerian elements for use in stress/displacement analyses. Adaptive meshing in

Abaqus/Explicit combines the features of pure Lagrangian and Eulerian analyses and

allows the motion of the element to be independent of the material (see “ALE

adaptive meshing: overview,” Section 12.2.1). All other stress/displacement elements

in Abaqus are based on the Lagrangian formulation. In Abaqus/Explicit the Eulerian

elements can interact with Lagrangian elements through general contact

(see “Eulerian analysis,” Section 13.1.1).

include elements with several different formulations. For example, the conventional

shell element family has three classes: one suitable for general-purpose shell

analysis, another for thin shells, and yet another for thick shells. In addition, Abaqus

also offers continuum shell elements, which have nodal connectivities like continuum

elements but are formulated to model shell behavior with as few as one element

through the shell thickness.

some alternative formulations. Elements with alternative formulations are identified by

an additional character at the end of the element name. For example, the continuum,

beam, and truss element families include members with a hybrid formulation (to deal

with incompressible or inextensible behavior); these elements are identified by the

letter H at the end of the name (C3D8H or B31H).

Abaqus/Standard uses the lumped mass formulation for low-order elements;

Abaqus/Explicit uses the lumped mass formulation for all elements. As a

consequence, the second mass moments of inertia can deviate from the theoretical

values, especially for coarse meshes.

Integration

Abaqus uses numerical techniques to integrate various quantities over the volume of

each element, thus allowing complete generality in material behavior. Using

Gaussian quadrature for most elements, Abaqus evaluates the material response at

each integration point in each element. Some continuum elements in Abaqus can

use full or reduced integration, a choice that can have a significant effect on the

accuracy of the element for a given problem.

Abaqus uses the letter R at the end of the element name to label reduced-integration

elements. For example, CAX4R is the 4-node, reduced-integration, axisymmetric,

solid element.

Shell and beam element properties can be defined as general section behaviors; or

each cross-section of the element can be integrated numerically, so that nonlinear

response associated with nonlinear material behavior can be tracked accurately

when needed. In addition, a composite layered section can be specified for shells

and, in Abaqus/Standard, three-dimensional bricks, with different materials for each

layer through the section.

Combining elements

The element library is intended to provide a complete modeling capability for all

geometries. Thus, any combination of elements can be used to make up the model;

multi-point constraints (“General multi-point constraints,” Section 30.2.2) are

sometimes helpful in applying the necessary kinematic relations to form the model

(for example, to model part of a shell surface with solid elements and part with shell

elements or to use a beam element as a shell stiffener).

corresponding heat transfer and stress elements are provided in Abaqus/Standard.

See “Sequentially coupled thermal-stress analysis,” Section 6.5.3, for additional

details.

libraries. Each library is presented as a separate section in this manual. In each of

these sections, information regarding the following topics is provided where

applicable:

conventions;

element types;

degrees of freedom;

nodal coordinates required;

element property definition;

element faces;

element output;

loading (general loading, distributed loads, foundations, distributed heat

fluxes, film conditions, radiation types, distributed flows, distributed

impedances, electrical fluxes, distributed electric current densities, and

distributed concentration fluxes);

nodes associated with the element;

node ordering and face ordering on elements; and

numbering of integration points for output.

For element libraries that are available in both Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit,

individual element or load types that are available only in Abaqus/Standard are

designated with an (S); similarly, individual element or load types that are available

only in Abaqus/Explicit are designated with an (E). Element or load types that are

available in Abaqus/Aqua are designated with an (A).

Most of the element output variables available for an element are discussed.

Additional variables may be available depending on the material model or the

analysis procedure that is used. Some elements have solution variables that do not

pertain to other elements of the same type; these variables are specified explicitly.

Overview

element,” Section 25.6.2);

defining the initial geometry of the surface (“Defining the initial geometry of

conventional shell elements,” Section 25.6.3);

determining whether or not numerical integration is needed to define the shell

section behavior (“Shell section behavior,” Section 25.6.4); and

defining the shell section behavior (“Using a shell section integrated during the

analysis to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.5, or “Using a general

shell section to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.6).

Shell elements are used to model structures in which one dimension, the thickness,

is significantly smaller than the other dimensions. Conventional shell elements use

this condition to discretize a body by defining the geometry at a reference surface. In

this case the thickness is defined through the section property definition.

Conventional shell elements have displacement and rotational degrees of freedom.

The thickness is determined from the element nodal geometry. Continuum shell

elements have only displacement degrees of freedom. From a modeling point of view

continuum shell elements look like three-dimensional continuum solids, but their

kinematic and constitutive behavior is similar to conventional shell elements.

continuum shell element.

Conventions

The conventions that are used for shell elements are defined below.

The default local directions used on the surface of a shell for definition of anisotropic

material properties and for reporting stress and strain components are defined

in “Conventions,” Section 1.2.2. You can define other directions by defining a local

orientation (see “Orientations,” Section 2.2.5), except for SAX1, SAX2, and SAX2T

elements (“Axisymmetric shell element library,” Section 25.6.9), which do not support

orientations. A spatially varying local coordinate system defined with a distribution

(“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1) can be assigned to shell elements. For SAXA

elements (“Axisymmetric shell elements with nonlinear, asymmetric

deformation,” Section 25.6.10) any anisotropic material definition must be symmetric

with respect to the r–z plane at and .

with the average rotation of the surface at that point. They are output as directions in

the current configuration except in the thin shell elements in Abaqus/Standard that

provide only large rotation but small strain (element types STRI3, STRI65, S4R5,

S8R5, S9R5—see “Choosing a shell element,” Section 25.6.2), where they are

output as directions in the reference configuration. Therefore, in geometrically

nonlinear analysis, when displaying these directions or when displaying principal

values of stress, strain, or section forces or moments in Abaqus/CAE, the current

(deformed) configuration should be used except for the thin small-strain elements in

Abaqus/Standard, for which the reference configuration should be used.

The “top” surface of a conventional shell element is the surface in the positive normal

direction and is referred to as the positive (SPOS) face for contact definition. The

“bottom” surface is in the negative direction along the normal and is referred to as the

negative (SNEG) face for contact definition. Positive and negative are also used to

designate top and bottom surfaces when specifying offsets of the reference surface

from the shell's midsurface.

The positive normal direction defines the convention for pressure load application

and output of quantities that vary through the thickness of the shell. A positive

pressure load applied to a shell element produces a load that acts in the direction of

the positive normal.

For shells in space the positive normal is given by the right-hand rule going around

the nodes of the element in the order that they are specified in the element definition.

See Figure 25.6.1–2.

Axisymmetric conventional shells

For axisymmetric conventional shells (including the SAXA1n and SAXA2n elements

that allow for nonsymmetric deformation) the positive normal direction is defined by a

90° counterclockwise rotation from the direction going from node 1 to node 2.

See Figure 25.6.1–3.

Figure 25.6.1–4 Default normals and thickness direction for continuum shell

elements.

It is important that the continuum shells are oriented properly, since the behavior in the

thickness direction is different from that in the in-plane directions. By default, the element top

and bottom faces and, hence, the element normal, stacking direction, and thickness direction

are defined by the nodal connectivity. For the triangular in-plane continuum shell element

(SC6R) the face with corner nodes 1, 2, and 3 is the bottom face; and the face with corner

nodes 4, 5, and 6 is the top face. For the quadrilateral continuum shell element (SC8R) the

face with corner nodes 1, 2, 3, and 4 is the bottom face; and the face with corner nodes 5, 6,

7, and 8 is the top face. The stacking direction and thickness direction are both defined to be

the direction from the bottom face to the top face. Additional options for defining the element

thickness direction, including one option that is independent of nodal connectivity, are

presented below.

Surfaces on continuum shells can be defined by specifying the face identifiers S1–S6

identifying the individual faces as defined in “Continuum shell element

library,” Section 25.6.8. Free surface generation can also be used.

Pressure loads applied to faces P1–P6 are defined similar to continuum elements,

with a positive pressure directed into the element.

By default, the continuum shell stacking direction and thickness direction are defined

by the nodal connectivity as illustrated in Figure 25.6.1–4. Alternatively, you can

define the element stacking direction and thickness direction by either selecting one

of the element's isoparametric directions or by using an orientation definition.

isoparametric direction

You can define the element stacking direction to be along one of the element's

isoparametric directions (see Figure 25.6.1–5 for element stack directions). The 8-

node hexahedron continuum shell has three possible stacking directions; the 6-node

in-plane triangular continuum shell has only one stack direction, which is in the

element 3-isoparametric direction. The default stacking direction is 3, providing the

same thickness and stacking direction as outlined in the previous section.

depends on the element connectivity. For a mesh-independent specification, use an

orientation-based method as described below.

Input File Usage: Use one of the following options to define the element stacking

direction based on the element's isoparametric directions:

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION, STACK DIRECTION=n

where n = 1, 2, or 3.

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option to define the stacking direction based on the

element's isoparametric directions if the continuum shell is defined

using a composite layup:

select Continuum Shell as the Element Type: Stacking

Direction: Element direction 1, Element direction 2,

or Element direction 3

on the element's isoparametric directions if the continuum shell

is defined using a composite shell section:

Orientation or Other Method: Stacking Direction: Element

isoparametric direction 1, Element isoparametric direction

2, or Element isoparametric direction 3

definition

Alternatively, you can define the element stacking direction based on a local

orientation definition. For shell elements the orientation definition defines an axis

about which the local 1 and 2 material directions may be rotated. This axis also

defines an approximate normal direction. The element stacking and thickness

directions are defined to be the element isoparametric direction that is closest to this

approximate normal (see Figure 25.6.1–6).

Figure 25.6.1–6 Example illustrating the use of a cylindrical system to define the

stacking direction.

“The pinched cylinder problem,” Section 2.3.2 of the Abaqus Benchmarks Manual,

and “LE3: Hemispherical shell with point loads,” Section 4.2.3 of the Abaqus

Benchmarks Manual, illustrate the use of a cylindrical and spherical orientation

system, respectively, to define the stack and thickness direction independent of nodal

connectivity.

Input File Usage: Use one of the following options to define the element stacking

direction based on a user-defined orientation:

ORIENTATION=name

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION, STACK

DIRECTION=ORIENTATION,

ORIENTATION=name

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option to define the stacking direction based on a

user-defined orientation if the continuum shell is defined using a

composite layup:

select Continuum Shell as the Element Type: Stacking

Direction: Layup orientation

on a user-defined orientation if the continuum shell is defined

using a composite shell section:

Orientation or Other Method: Stacking Direction: Normal

direction of material orientation

You can verify the element stack and thickness direction visually in Abaqus/CAE by

either contouring the element section thickness or plotting the material axis.

Generally, the in-plane dimensions are significantly larger than the element

thickness. By contouring the shell section thickness, output variable STH, you can

easily verify that all elements are oriented appropriately and have the correct

thickness. If the element is oriented improperly, one of the in-plane dimensions will

become the element section thickness, resulting in a discontinuous contour plot.

Alternatively, you can plot the material axis to verify that the 3-axis points in the

desired normal direction. If the element is oriented improperly, one of the in-plane

axes (either the 1- or 2-axis) would point in the normal direction.

The section points through the thickness of the shell are numbered consecutively,

starting with point 1. For shell sections integrated during the analysis, section point 1

is exactly on the bottom surface of the shell if Simpson's rule is used, and it is the

point that is closest to the bottom surface if Gauss quadrature is used. For general

shell sections, section point 1 is always on the bottom surface of the shell.

For a homogeneous section the total number of section points is defined by the

number of integration points through the thickness. For shell sections integrated

during the analysis, you can define the number of integration points through the

thickness. The default is five for Simpson's rule and three for Gauss quadrature. For

general shell sections, output can be obtained at three section points.

For a composite section the total number of section points is defined by adding the

number of integration points per layer for all of the layers. For shell sections

integrated during the analysis, you can define the number of integration points per

layer. The default is three for Simpson's rule and two for Gauss quadrature. For

general shell sections, the number of section points for output per layer is three.

In Abaqus/Standard the default output points through the thickness of a shell section

are the points that are on the bottom and top surfaces of the shell section (for

integration with Simpson's rule) or the points that are closest to the bottom and top

surfaces (for Gauss quadrature). For example, if five integration points are used

through a single layer shell, output will be provided for section points 1 (bottom) and

5 (top).

In Abaqus/Explicit all section points through the thickness of a shell section are

written to the results file for element output requests.

Abaqus offers a wide variety of shell modeling options.

definition

Alternatively, you can define the element stacking direction based on a local

orientation definition. For shell elements the orientation definition defines an axis

about which the local 1 and 2 material directions may be rotated. This axis also

defines an approximate normal direction. The element stacking and thickness

directions are defined to be the element isoparametric direction that is closest to this

approximate normal (see Figure 25.6.1–6).

Figure 25.6.1–6 Example illustrating the use of a cylindrical system to define the

stacking direction.

“The pinched cylinder problem,” Section 2.3.2 of the Abaqus Benchmarks Manual,

and “LE3: Hemispherical shell with point loads,” Section 4.2.3 of the Abaqus

Benchmarks Manual, illustrate the use of a cylindrical and spherical orientation

system, respectively, to define the stack and thickness direction independent of nodal

connectivity.

Input File Usage: Use one of the following options to define the element stacking

direction based on a user-defined orientation:

ORIENTATION=name

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION, STACK

DIRECTION=ORIENTATION,

ORIENTATION=name

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option to define the stacking direction based on a

user-defined orientation if the continuum shell is defined using a

composite layup:

Property module: Create Composite Layup:

select Continuum Shell as the Element Type: Stacking

Direction: Layup orientation

on a user-defined orientation if the continuum shell is defined

using a composite shell section:

Orientation or Other Method: Stacking Direction: Normal

direction of material orientation

You can verify the element stack and thickness direction visually in Abaqus/CAE by

either contouring the element section thickness or plotting the material axis.

Generally, the in-plane dimensions are significantly larger than the element

thickness. By contouring the shell section thickness, output variable STH, you can

easily verify that all elements are oriented appropriately and have the correct

thickness. If the element is oriented improperly, onection points is defined by adding

the number of integration points per layer for all of the layers. For shell sections

integrated during the analysis, you can define the number of integration points per

layer. The default is three for Simpson's rule and two for Gauss quadrature. For

general shell sections, the number of section points for output per layer is three.

In Abaqus/Standard the default output points through the thickness of a shell section

are the points that are on the bottom and top surfaces of the shell section (for

integration with Simpson's rule) or the points that are closest to the bottom and top

surfaces (for Gauss quadrature). For example, if five integration points are used

through a single layer shell, output will be provided for section points 1 (bottom) and

5 (top).

In Abaqus/Explicit all section points through the thickness of a shell section are

written to the results file for element output requests.

25.6.2 Choosing a shell element

References

“Three-dimensional conventional shell element library,” Section 25.6.7

“Continuum shell element library,” Section 25.6.8

“Axisymmetric shell element library,” Section 25.6.9

“Axisymmetric shell elements with nonlinear, asymmetric

deformation,” Section 25.6.10

“Creating homogeneous shell sections,” Section 12.12.5 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

“Creating composite shell sections,” Section 12.12.6 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

Overview

elements for axisymmetric geometries with axisymmetric deformation;

elements for axisymmetric geometries with general deformation that is

symmetric about one plane;

elements for stress/displacement, heat transfer, and fully coupled

temperature-displacement analysis;

general-purpose elements, as well as elements specifically suitable for the

analysis of “thick” or “thin” shells;

general-purpose, three-dimensional, first-order elements that use reduced or

full integration;

elements that account for finite membrane strain;

elements that use five degrees of freedom per node where possible, as well as

elements that always use six degrees of freedom per node; and

continuum shell elements.

that account for finite membrane strains;

small-strain elements;

fully coupled temperature-displacement analysis elements;

an element for axisymmetric geometries with axisymmetric deformation; and

continuum shell elements.

Naming convention

The naming convention for shell elements depends on the element dimensionality.

For example, S4R is a 4-node, quadrilateral, stress/displacement shell element with reduced

integration and a large-strain formulation; and SC8R is an 8-node, quadrilateral, first-order

interpolation, stress/displacement continuum shell element with reduced integration.

For example, DSAX1 is an axisymmetric, heat transfer shell element with first-order

interpolation.

dimensional or axisymmetric analysis. In Abaqus/Standard they use linear or

quadratic interpolation and allow mechanical and/or thermal (uncoupled) loading; in

Abaqus/Explicit they use linear interpolation and allow mechanical loading. These

elements can be used in static or dynamic procedures. Some elements include the

effect of transverse shear deformation and thickness change, while others do not.

Some elements allow large rotations and finite membrane deformation, while others

allow large rotations but small strains.

elements

The value of temperatures at the integration locations in the surface of the shell used

to compute the thermal stresses depends on whether first-order or second-order

elements are used. An average temperature is used at the integration location in

linear elements so that the thermal strain is constant throughout the shell surface. A

linearly varying temperature distribution is used in higher-order shell elements. Field

variables in stress/displacement shell elements are interpolated the same way as

temperatures.

dimensional analysis. Continuum shells discretize an entire three-dimensional body,

unlike conventional shells which discretize a reference surface (see “Shell elements:

overview,” Section 25.6.1). These elements have displacement degrees of freedom

only, use linear interpolation, and allow mechanical and/or thermal (uncoupled)

loading for static and dynamic procedures. The continuum shell elements are

general-purpose shells that allow finite membrane deformation and large rotations

and, thus, are suitable for nonlinear geometric analysis. These elements include the

effects of transverse shear deformation and thickness change.

estimate through-thickness section forces from the initial elastic moduli. Unlike

conventional shells, continuum shell elements can be stacked to provide more

refined through-thickness response. Stacking continuum shell elements allows for a

richer transverse shear stress and force prediction.

be taken to verify whether the overall deformation sustained by these elements is

consistent with their layer-wise plane stress assumption; that is, the response is

bending dominated and no significant thickness change is observed (i.e.,

approximately less than 10% thickness change). Otherwise, regular three-

dimensional solid elements (“Three-dimensional solid element library,”Section

24.1.4) should be used. Furthermore, the thickness strain mode may yield a small

stable time increment for thin continuum shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit (see “Shell

section behavior,” Section 25.6.4).

The coupled temperature-displacement continuum shell elements in Abaqus have

continuum shell geometry and use linear interpolation for the geometry and

displacements. The temperature is interpolated linearly as well. The thermal

formulation is similar to that used for three-dimensional coupled temperature-

displacement solid elements with reduced integration, for which the temperature

variation is trilinear (see “Solid (continuum) elements,” Section 24.1.1). The

temperatures at the section points through the thickness are interpolated linearly from

the temperatures at the nodes.

These elements, available only in Abaqus/Standard and only with conventional shell

element geometry, are intended to model heat transfer in shell-type structures. They

provide the values of temperature at a number of points through the thickness at

each shell node. This output can be input directly to the equivalent stress analysis

shell element for sequentially coupled thermal-stress analysis (“Sequentially coupled

thermal-stress analysis,” Section 6.5.3).

thickness, while the interpolation on the reference surface of the shell is the same as

that of the corresponding stress elements. For shell sections integrated during the

analysis (“Using a shell section integrated during the analysis to define the section

behavior,” Section 25.6.5) you can specify the number of section points used for

cross-section integration and thickness-direction temperature interpolation at each

node. Only Simpson's rule can be used for integration through the shell thickness.

The temperature on the bottom surface of the shell (the surface in the negative

direction along the shell normal—see “Defining the initial geometry of conventional

shell elements,” Section 25.6.3) is degree of freedom 11. The temperature on the top

surface is degree of freedom . A maximum of 20 temperature degrees of

freedom can exist at a node. For a single-layer shell is the total number of

integration points used through the shell section. If a single section point is used for

the cross-section integration, there is no temperature variation through the thickness

of the shell and the temperature of the entire shell cross-section is degree of freedom

11. For a multi-layered shell the temperature at the top of each layer is the same as

the temperature at the bottom of the next layer. Therefore,

where ( > 1) is the number of integration points used in layer l. If =1, is equal to

the number of composite layers. In this case, there is no temperature variation through the

thickness of the shell, and the temperature of the entire composite is degree of freedom 11.

The internal energy storage and heat conduction terms for shells are integrated in the same

way as in the corresponding continuum elements (see “Solid (continuum) elements,” Section

24.1.1).

Using shells in a thermal-stress analysis

To use the temperatures that are saved in the Abaqus/Standard results file directly as

input to a thermal-stress analysis, the mesh and the specification of the number of

temperature points in the shell sections must be the same in the heat transfer and the

stress analysis models. In addition, multi-layered heat transfer shell elements must

have the same number of integration points in each layer.

conventional shell element geometry and use linear or quadratic interpolation for the

geometry and displacements. The temperature is interpolated linearly from the corner

or end nodes; the lower-order temperature interpolation in quadratic shells is chosen

to give the same interpolation order for thermal strain, which is proportional to

temperature, as for total strain. All terms in the governing equations are integrated in

the reference surface of the shell using a conventional Gauss scheme; Simpson's

rule is used to integrate through the shell thickness.

quadratic and is interpolated from temperatures at a series of points through the

thickness of the shell at each node. The number of temperature values to be used at

each node is determined by the number of integration points that you specify in the

shell section definition (see “Defining the shell section integration” in “Using a shell

section integrated during the analysis to define the section behavior,” Section

25.6.5). Up to a maximum of 20 temperature values are stored as degrees of

freedom 11, 12, 13, etc. (up to degree of freedom 30) in a manner that is identical to

that used for heat transfer shell elements (see “Heat transfer shell elements” above).

conventional shell elements that are valid for thick and thin shell problems. See

below for a discussion of what constitutes a “thick” or “thin” shell problem. This

concept is relevant only for elements with displacement degrees of freedom.

solutions to most applications and will be used for most applications. However, in

certain cases, for specific applications in Abaqus/Standard, enhanced performance

may be obtained with the thin or thick conventional shell elements; for example, if

only small strains occur and five degrees of freedom per node are desired.

The continuum shell elements can be used for any thickness; however, thin

continuum shell elements may result in a small stable time increment in

Abaqus/Explicit.

General-purpose conventional shell elements

These elements allow transverse shear deformation. They use thick shell theory as

the shell thickness increases and become discrete Kirchhoff thin shell elements as

the thickness decreases; the transverse shear deformation becomes very small as

the shell thickness decreases.

Element types S3/S3R, S3RS, S4, S4R, S4RS, S4RSW, SAX1, SAX2, SAX2T,

SC6R, and SC8R are general-purpose shells.

flexibility is important and second-order interpolation is desired. When a shell is made

of the same material throughout its thickness, this occurs when the thickness is more

than about 1/15 of a characteristic length on the surface of the shell, such as the

distance between supports for a static case or the wavelength of a significant natural

mode in dynamic analysis.

Abaqus/Standard provides element types S8R and S8RT for use only in thick shell

problems.

In Abaqus/Standard thin shells are needed in cases where transverse shear flexibility

is negligible and the Kirchhoff constraint must be satisfied accurately (i.e., the shell

normal remains orthogonal to the shell reference surface). For homogeneous shells

this occurs when the thickness is less than about 1/15 of a characteristic length on

the surface of the shell, such as the distance between supports or the wave length of

a significant eigenmode. However, the thickness may be larger than 1/15 of the

element length.

Abaqus/Standard has two types of thin shell elements: those that solve thin shell

theory (the Kirchhoff constraint is satisfied analytically) and those that converge to

thin shell theory as the thickness decreases (the Kirchhoff constraint is satisfied

numerically).

The element that solves thin shell theory is STRI3. STRI3 has six degrees of

freedom at the nodes and is a flat, faceted element (initial curvature is

ignored). If STRI3 is used to model a thick shell problem, the element will

always predict a thin shell solution.

The elements that impose the Kirchhoff constraint numerically are S4R5,

STRI65, S8R5, S9R5, SAXA1n, and SAXA2n. These elements should not be

used for applications in which transverse shear deformation is important. If

these elements are used to model a thick shell problem, the elements may

predict inaccurate results.

Abaqus has both finite-strain and small-strain shell elements. This concept is relevant

only for elements with displacement degrees of freedom.

Element types S3/S3R, S4, S4R, SAX1, SAX2, SAX2T, SAXA1n, and

SAXA2n account for finite membrane strains and arbitrarily large rotations; therefore,

they are suitable for large-strain analysis. The underlying formulation is described

in “Axisymmetric shell elements,” Section 3.6.2 of the Abaqus Theory

Manual; “Finite-strain shell element formulation,” Section 3.6.5 of the Abaqus Theory

Manual; and “Axisymmetric shell element allowing asymmetric loading,”Section 3.6.7

of the Abaqus Theory Manual.

Continuum shell elements SC6R and SC8R account for finite membrane strains,

arbitrary large rotation, and allow for changes in thickness, making them suitable for

large-strain analysis. Computation of the change in thickness is based on the

element nodal displacements, which in turn are computed from an effective elastic

modulus defined at the beginning of an analysis.

S4R5, STRI65, S8R, S8RT, S8R5, and S9R5 provide for arbitrarily large rotations but

only small strains. The change in thickness with deformation is ignored in these

elements.

In Abaqus/Explicit element types S3RS, S4RS, and S4RSW are provided for shell

problems with small membrane strains and arbitrarily large rotations. Many impact

dynamics analyses fall within this class of problems, including those of shell

structures undergoing large-scale buckling behavior but relatively small amounts of

membrane stretching and compression. Although solution accuracy may degrade as

membrane strains become large, the small-strain shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit

provide a computationally efficient alternative to the finite-membrane-strain elements

for appropriate applications. The underlying formulation is described in “Small-strain

shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit,” Section 3.6.6 of the Abaqus Theory Manual.

Poisson's ratio as part of the shell section definition to allow for the shell thickness in

finite-strain elements to change as a function of the membrane strain. If the section

Poisson's ratio is defined as zero, the shell thickness will remain constant and the

elements are, therefore, suited for small-strain, large-rotation analysis. For typical

large-strain applications with metals (such as sheet metal forming analysis) or rubber,

the section Poisson's ratio should be set to 0.5 (the default value) to reproduce the

incompressible response of the material at large plastic or hyperelastic deformation.

The change in thickness is ignored for the small-strain shell elements in

Abaqus/Standard.

For finite-strain or small-strain conventional shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit defined

by integrating the section during the analysis, the change in thickness is calculated

by enforcing the plane stress condition and using either the material definition, where

the thickness-direction strain is integrated through the shell thickness, or the

membrane section strains along with a specified effective section Poisson's ratio. For

finite-strain or small-strain conventional shell elements defined by general shell

sections, the change in thickness is determined from the membrane section strains

by enforcing the plane stress condition and using a specified effective section

Poisson's ratio.

thickness is calculated from the nodal displacements, an effective thickness modulus,

and an effective section Poisson's ratio. Abaqus computes an effective thickness

strain based on the total thickness change and a strain obtained by enforcing the

plane stress condition for a section Poisson's ratio. By default, the thickness modulus

and section Poisson's ratio are based on the initial material properties, as defined by

the initial temperatures and predefined field variables evaluated at the midpoint of

each material layer. Alternatively, you can define an effective thickness modulus and

effective section Poisson's ratio for the shell section. The thickness direction stiffness

remains constant and is not recalculated during the analysis.

See “Defining a change in shell thickness due to straining” in “Using a shell section

integrated during the analysis to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.5,

and “Defining a change in shell thickness due to straining” in “Using a general shell

section to define the section behavior,”Section 25.6.6, for details.

Abaqus/Standard: ones that use five degrees of freedom (three displacement

components and two in-surface rotation components) where possible and ones that

use six degrees of freedom (three displacement components and three rotation

components) at all nodes.

The elements that use five degrees of freedom (S4R5, STRI65, S8R5, S9R5) can be

more economical. However, they are available only as “thin” shells (they cannot be

used as “thick” shells) and cannot be used for finite-strain applications (although they

model large rotations with small strains accurately). In addition, output for the five

degree of freedom shell elements is restricted as follows:

At nodes that use the two in-surface rotation components, the values of these

in-surface rotations are not available for output.

When output variable NFORC is requested, moments corresponding to the in-

surface rotations are not available for output.

When five degree of freedom shell elements are used, Abaqus/Standard will automatically

switch to using three global rotation components at any node that:

is used in a multi-point constraint (“General multi-point constraints,” Section

30.2.2) that involves rotational degrees of freedom,

is shared with a beam element or a shell element that uses the three global

rotation components at all nodes,

is on a fold line in the shell (that is, on a line where shells with different surface

normals come together), or

is loaded with moments.

In all elements that use three global rotation components at all nodes (whether activated as

described above or always present), a singularity exists at any node where the surface is

assumed to be continuously curved: three rotation components are used, but only two are

actively associated with stiffness. A small stiffness is associated with the rotation about the

normal to avoid this difficulty. The default stiffness values used are sufficiently small such

that the artificial energy content is negligible. In some rare cases this stiffness may need to

be altered. You can define a scaling factor for this stiffness, as described in “Using a shell

section integrated during the analysis to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.5,

and “Using a general shell section to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.6.

Reduced integration

Many shell element types in Abaqus use reduced (lower-order) integration to form the

element stiffness. The mass matrix and distributed loadings are still integrated

exactly. Reduced integration usually provides more accurate results (provided the

elements are not distorted or loaded in in-plane bending) and significantly reduces

running time, especially in three dimensions.

When reduced integration is used with first-order (linear) elements, hourglass control

is required. Therefore, when using first-order reduced-integration elements, you must

check if hourglassing is occurring; if it is, a finer mesh may be required or

concentrated loads must be distributed over multiple nodes. The second-order

reduced-integration elements available in Abaqus/Standard generally do not have the

same difficulty and are recommended in cases when the solution is expected to be

smooth. First-order elements are recommended when large strains or very high strain

gradients are expected.

shell elements. In Abaqus/Explicit you can specify second-order accuracy in the

element formulation, nondefault hourglass control parameters for S4R, S4RS, and

S4RSW elements, or deactivate the drill constraint for S3RS and S4RS elements.

See “Section controls,” Section 23.1.4, for more information.

*HOURGLASS STIFFNESS

Use one of the following options in Abaqus/Explicit:

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION, CONTROLS=name

Modeling issues

Both S3 and S3R refer to the same 3-node triangular shell element. This element is a

degenerated version of S4R that is fully compatible with S4R and, in

Abaqus/Standard, S4.

fully compatible with S4RS.

S3/S3R and S3RS provide accurate results in most loading situations. However,

because of their constant bending and membrane strain approximations, high mesh

refinement may be required to capture pure bending deformations or solutions to

problems involving high strain gradients.

Degenerating elements

Element types S4, S4R, S4R5, S4RS, S8R5, and S9R5 can be degenerated to

triangles. However, for elements S4 (element S4 degenerated to a triangle may

exhibit overly stiff response in membrane deformation), S4R, and S4RS it is

recommended that S3R and S3RS be used instead.

The quarter-point technique (moving the midside nodes to the quarter points to give

a singularity for elastic fracture mechanics applications) can be used with the

quadratic element types S8R5 and S9R5 (see “Element definition,” Section 2.2.1).

The accuracy of the element is very significantly reduced when it is degenerated to a

triangle; therefore, this is notrecommended except for special applications, such as

fracture.

Element types S8R and S8RT cannot be degenerated to triangles. Element types

DS4 and DS8 can be degenerated to triangles, but it is recommended that DS3 and

DS6 elements be used instead.

Continuum shell elements are similar to continuum solids from a modeling point of

view. The element geometries for the SC6R and SC8R elements are a triangular

prism and hexahedron, respectively, with displacement degrees of freedom only.

Continuum shell elements must be oriented correctly, since these elements have a

thickness direction associated with them. See “Shell elements: overview,” Section

25.6.1, for further details on element connectivity and orientation.

When classical shell structures (structures in which only the midsurface geometry

and kinematic constraints are provided) are analyzed, care must be taken that

appropriate moments and rotations are specified. For example, a moment may be

applied as a force-couple system at the corresponding nodes on the top and bottom

faces. A rotation boundary condition may be specified through a kinematic constraint

to yield the appropriate displacement boundary conditions on the edge of the

continuum shell.

without any kinematic transition. An appropriate kinematic transition needs to be

provided when conventional shell elements are connected to continuum shell

elements to correctly transfer the moment/rotation at the reference surface of a

conventional shell. Such a transition can be defined with a shell-to-solid coupling

constraint or any other kinematic constraint, such as a surface-based coupling

constraint, a multi-point constraint, or a linear constraint equation.

The SC6R element is a degenerated version of the SC8R element. The SC6R

element provides accurate results in most loading situations. However, because of its

constant bending and membrane strain approximations, high mesh refinement may

be required to capture pure bending deformations or solutions to problems involving

high strain gradients.

Continuum shell elements, SC6R and SC8R, allow two-sided contact with changes in

the thickness and are thus suitable for modeling contact.

continuum shell element thickness, particularly for thin shell applications. This may

increase significantly the number of increments taken to complete the analysis when

compared to the same problem modeled with conventional shell elements. The small

stable time increment size may be mitigated by specifying a lower stiffness in the

thickness direction when appropriate.

Limitations with continuum shell elements

Continuum shell elements cannot be used with the hyperfoam material definitions,

nor can they be used with general shell sections where the section stiffness is

provided directly.

For a “sandwich” shell, in which parts of the cross-section are made of a softer

material (especially when the layers are nonisotropic so that some layers are weak in

particular directions), the transverse shear flexibility can be important even when the

shell is rather thin. Use of general-purpose shell elements or stacking continuum

shell elements is recommended in such cases. See “Shell section behavior,” Section

25.6.4, for a discussion of transverse shear stiffness in shell elements.

modeling bending of a thin curved shell.

Element type STRI3 is a flat facet element. If this element is used to model bending

of a curved shell, a dense mesh may be required to obtain accurate results.

Element type S8R5 may give inaccurate results for buckling problems of doubly

curved shells due to the fact that the internally defined center node may not be

positioned on the actual shell surface. Element type S9R5 should be used instead.

surface in a contact pair is attached to the element.

Using S4 elements

element. The element's membrane response is treated with an assumed strain

formulation that gives accurate solutions to in-plane bending problems, is not

sensitive to element distortion, and avoids parasitic locking.

Element type S4 does not have hourglass modes in either the membrane or bending

response of the element; hence, the element does not require hourglass control. The

element has four integration locations per element compared with one integration

location for S4R, which makes the element computationally more expensive. S4 is

compatible with both S4R and S3R. S4 can be used for problems prone to

membrane- or bending-mode hourglassing, in areas where greater solution accuracy

is required, or for problems where in-plane bending is expected. In all of these

situations S4 will outperform element type S4R. S4 cannot be used with the

hyperelastic or hyperfoam material definitions in Abaqus/Standard.

References

“Using a shell section integrated during the analysis to define the section

behavior,”Section 25.6.5

“Using a general shell section to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.6

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION

*SHELL SECTION

“Creating homogeneous shell sections,” Section 12.12.5 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

“Creating composite shell sections,” Section 12.12.6 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

Overview

can be linear or nonlinear; and

can be homogeneous or composed of layers of different material.

defined by using a general shell section (see “Using a general shell section to

define the section behavior,”Section 25.6.6). In this case all calculations are

done in terms of section forces and moments.

In Abaqus/Standard when section properties are given directly (i.e., the

section is not associated with one or more material definitions), strains and

stresses are not available for output. However, when section properties are

specified by one or more elastic material layers, strains and stresses are

available when requested for output. In Abaqus/Explicit stresses and strains

are not available for output at the section points whenever a general shell

section is used; only section forces, section moments, and section strains are

available for output.

terms of forces and moments, can be defined by using a general shell section

in conjunction with user subroutine UGENS.

Alternatively, a shell section integrated during the analysis (see “Using a shell

section integrated during the analysis to define the section behavior,” Section

25.6.5) allows the cross-sectional behavior to be calculated by numerical

integration through the shell thickness, thus providing complete generality in

material modeling. With this type of section any number of material points can

be defined through the thickness and the material response can vary from

point to point.

Both general shell sections and shell sections integrated during the analysis allow layers of

different materials, in different orientations, to be used through the cross-section. In these

cases the section definition provides the shell thickness, material, and orientation per layer.

For conventional shell elements you can specify an offset of the reference surface

from the shell's midsurface when the section properties are specified by one or more

material layers. When the section properties are given directly, you cannot directly

specify an offset; however, an offset can be included implicitly in the section

properties. A nonzero offset cannot be specified for continuum shell elements. If a

nonzero offset is specified for a continuum shell element, an error message is issued

during input file preprocessing.

general shell section

When a shell section integrated during the analysis (see “Using a shell section

integrated during the analysis to define the section behavior,” Section 25.6.5) is

used, Abaqus uses numerical integration through the thickness of the shell to

calculate the section properties. This type of shell section is generally used with

nonlinear material behavior in the section. It must be used with shells that provide for

heat transfer, since general shell sections do not allow the definition of heat transfer

properties.

Use a general shell section (see “Using a general shell section to define the section

behavior,”Section 25.6.6) if the response of the shell is linear elastic and its behavior

is not dependent on changes in temperature or predefined field variables or, in

Abaqus/Standard, if nonlinear behavior in terms of forces and moments is to be

defined in user subroutine UGENS.

Transverse shear stiffness

For all shell elements in Abaqus/Standard that use transverse shear stiffness and for

the finite-strain shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit, the transverse shear stiffness is

computed by matching the shear response for the shell to that of a three-dimensional

solid for the case of bending about one axis. For the small-strain shell elements in

Abaqus/Explicit the transverse shear stiffness is based on the effective shear

modulus.

strain shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit

In all shell elements in Abaqus/Standard that are valid for thick shell problems or that

enforce the Kirchhoff constraint numerically (i.e., all shell elements except STRI3)

and in the finite-strain shell elements in Abaqus/Explicit (S3R, S4, S4R, SAX1,

SC6R, and SC8R), Abaqus computes the transverse shear stiffness by matching the

shear response for the case of the shell bending about one axis, using a parabolic

variation of transverse shear stress in each layer. The approach is described

in “Transverse shear stiffness in composite shells and offsets from the

midsurface,” Section 3.6.8 of the Abaqus Theory Manual, and generally provides a

reasonable estimate of the shear flexibility of the shell. It also provides estimates of

interlaminar shear stresses in composite shells. In calculating the transverse shear

stiffness, Abaqus assumes that the shell section directions are the principal bending

directions (bending about one principal direction does not require a restraining

moment about the other direction). For composite shells with orthotropic layers that

are not symmetric about the shell midsurface, the shell section directions may not be

the principal bending directions. In such cases the transverse shear stiffness is a less

accurate approximation and will change if different shell section directions are used.

Abaqus computes the transverse shear stiffness only once at the begining of the

analysis based on initial elastic properties given in the model data. Any changes to

the transverse shear stiffness that occur due to changes in the material stiffness

during the analysis are ignored.

S3/S3R, S4, S4R, S8R, and S8RT; and continuum shell elements SC6R and SC8R

are based on a first-order shear deformation theory. Other shell elements—such as

S4R5, S8R5, S9R5, STRI65, and SAXAmn—use the transverse shear stiffness to

enforce the Kirchhoff constraints numerically in the thin shell limit. The transverse

shear stiffness is not relevant for shells without displacement degrees of freedom nor

is it relevant for element type STRI3. Although element type S4 has four integration

points, the transverse shear calculation is assumed constant over the element.

Higher resolution of the transverse shear may be obtained by stacking continuum

shell elements.

For most shell sections, including layered composite or sandwich shell sections,

Abaqus will calculate the transverse shear stiffness values required in the element

formulation. You can override these default values. The default shear stiffness values

are not calculated in some cases if estimates of shear moduli are unavailable during

the preprocessing stage of input; for example, when the material behavior is defined

by user subroutine UMAT, UHYPEL, UHYPER, orVUMAT or, in Abaqus/Standard, when the

section behavior is defined in UGENS. You must define the transverse shear

stiffnesses in such cases.

The transverse shear stiffness of the section of a shear flexible shell element is

defined in Abaqus as

where

are the components of the section shear stiffness ( refer to the default

surface directions on the shell, as defined in “Conventions,” Section 1.2.2, or to the

local directions associated with the shell section definition);

is a dimensionless factor that is used to prevent the shear stiffness from becoming

too large in thin shells; and

You can specify all three shear stiffness terms ( , , and ); otherwise,

they will take the default values defined below. The dimensionless factor is always

included in the calculation of transverse shear stiffness, regardless of the way is

obtained. For shell elements of type S4R5, S8R5, S9R5, STRI65, or SAXAn the average

of and is used and is ignored. The have units of force per length.

where A is the area of the element and t is the thickness of the shell. When a general shell

section definition not associated with one or more material definitions is used to define the

shell section stiffness, the thickness of the shell, t, is estimated as

If you do not specify the , they are calculated as follows. For laminated plates

and sandwich constructions the are estimated by matching the elastic strain

energy associated with shear deformation of the shell section with that based on

piecewise quadratic variation of the transverse shear stress across the section, under

conditions of bending about one axis. For unsymmetric lay-ups the coupling

term can be nonzero.

When a general shell section is used and the section stiffness is given directly,

the are defined as

where is the section stiffness matrix and Y is the initial scaling modulus.

When a user subroutine (for example, UMAT, UHYPEL, UHYPER, or VUMAT) is used to

define a shell element's material response, you must define the transverse shear

stiffness. The definition of an appropriate stiffness depends on the shell's material

composition and its lay-up; that is, how material is distributed through the thickness of

the cross-section.

The transverse shear stiffness should be specified as the initial, linear elastic

stiffness of the shell in response to pure transverse shear strains. For a

homogeneous shell made of a linear, orthotropic elastic material, where the strong

material direction aligns with the element's local 1-direction, the transverse shear

stiffness should be

and are the material's shear moduli in the out-of-plane direction. The number 5/6

is the shear correction coefficient that results from matching the transverse shear energy to

that for a three-dimensional structure in pure bending. For composite shells the shear

correction coefficient will be different from the value for homogeneous ones; see “Transverse

shear stiffness in composite shells and offsets from the midsurface,” Section 3.6.8 of the

Abaqus Theory Manual, for a discussion of how the effective shear stiffness for elastic

materials is obtained in Abaqus.

2 (no sum on ) and l is a characteristic length on the surface of the shell, can be

used as a guideline to decide if the assumption that plane sections must remain

plane is satisfied and, hence, shell theory is adequate. Generally, if

shell theory will be adequate; for smaller values the membrane strains will not vary linearly

through the section, and shell theory will probably not give sufficiently accurate results. The

characteristic length, l, is independent of the element length and should not be confused with

the element's characteristic length, .

To obtain the and , you must run a data check analysis using a

composite general shell section definition. The will be printed under the title

“TRANSVERSE SHEAR STIFFNESS FOR THE SECTION” in the data (.dat) file if

you request model definition data (see “Controlling the amount of analysis input file

processor information written to the data file” in “Output,” Section 4.1.1). The

will be printed out under the title “SECTION STIFFNESS MATRIX.”

When a shell section integrated during the analysis is used, the transverse shear

stresses for the small-strain shells in Abaqus/Explicit are assumed to have a

piecewise constant distribution in each layer. The transverse shear force will

converge to the correct solution for single or multilayer isotropic sections and single-

layer orthotropic sections. The transverse shear stiffness is approximate for

multilayer orthotropic sections where convergence to the proper transverse shear

behavior may not be obtained as shells become thick and principal material

directions deviate from the principal section directions. The finite-strain S4R element

should be used with a shell section integrated during the analysis if accurate through-

thickness transverse shear stress distributions are required for the analysis of

composite shells.

The same transverse shear stiffness described for the finite-strain shells is used to

calculate the transverse shear force for the small-strain shells in

Abaqus/Explicit when a general shell section is used. Thus, for this case the

transverse shear force for multilayer composite shells will converge to the correct

value for both thin and thick sections.

All three-dimensional shell elements in Abaqus use bending strain measures that are

approximations to those of Koiter-Sanders shell theory (see “Shell element

overview,” Section 3.6.1 of the Abaqus Theory Manual). As per the Koiter-Sanders

theory the displacement field normal to the shell surface does not produce any

bending moments. For example, a purely radial expansion of a cylinder will result in

only membrane stress and strains—there are no variations through the thickness

and, hence, no bending. This applies to both the incremental strain measures for

linear elastic materials and the deformation gradient for hyperelastic materials.

For composite shell sections Abaqus computes the nodal masses based on an

average density through the section, weighted with respect to the layer thicknesses.

This average density is used to compute an average rotary inertia as if the section

were homogeneous. As a consequence, Abaqus does not account for an

unsymmetric distribution of mass: the center of mass is assumed to be at the

reference surface of the shell. For continuum shells the mass is equally distributed to

the top and bottom surface nodes.

25.6.5 Using a shell section integrated during the analysis to define the section

behavior

References

“Shell section behavior,” Section 25.6.4

*DISTRIBUTION

*HOURGLASS STIFFNESS

*SHELL SECTION

*TRANSVERSE SHEAR STIFFNESS

“Creating homogeneous shell sections,” Section 12.12.5 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

“Creating composite shell sections,” Section 12.12.6 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

Chapter 22, “Composite layups,” of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual

Overview

required; and

can be associated with linear or nonlinear material behavior.

To define a shell made of a single material, use a material definition (“Material data

definition,”Section 17.1.2) to define the material properties of the section and

associate these properties with the section definition. Optionally, you can refer to an

orientation (“Orientations,” Section 2.2.5) to be associated with this material

definition. A spatially varying local coordinate system defined with a distribution

(“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1) can be assigned to the shell section

definition. Linear or nonlinear material behavior can be associated with the section

definition. However, if the material response is linear, the more economic approach is

to use a general shell section (see “Using a general shell section to define the

section behavior,” Section 25.6.6).

You specify the shell thickness and the number of integration points to be used

through the shell section (see below). For continuum shell elements the specified

shell thickness is used to estimate certain section properties, such as hourglass

stiffness, which are later computed using the actual thickness computed from the

element geometry.

You must associate the section properties with a region of your model.

distributions, spatially varying local coordinate systems are applied to all shell

elements associated with the shell section. A default local coordinate system (as

defined by the distributions) is applied to any shell element that is not specifically

included in the associated distribution.

ORIENTATION=name

Create Section: select Shell as the

section Category andHomogeneous as the

section Type: Section integration: During

analysis; Basic: Material: name

Assign Material Orientation: select regions

Assign Section: select regions

You can define a laminated (layered) shell made of one or more materials. You

specify the thickness, the number of integration points (see below), the material, and

the orientation (either as a reference to an orientation definition or as an angle

measured relative to the overall orientation definition) for each layer of the shell. The

order of the laminated shell layers with respect to the positive direction of the shell

normal is defined by the order in which the layers are specified.

Optionally, you can specify an overall orientation definition for the layers of a

composite shell. A spatially varying local coordinate system defined with a distribution

(“Distribution definition,”Section 2.7.1) can be used to specify the overall orientation

definition for the layers of a composite shell.

For continuum shell elements the thickness is determined from the element geometry

and may vary through the model for a given section definition. Hence, the specified

thicknesses are only relative thicknesses for each layer. The actual thickness of a

layer is the element thickness times the fraction of the total thickness that is

accounted for by each layer. The thickness ratios for the layers need not be given in

physical units, nor do the sum of the layer relative thicknesses need to add to one.

The specified shell thickness is used to estimate certain section properties, such as

hourglass stiffness, which are later computed using the actual thickness computed

from the element geometry.

conventional shell elements using distributions (“Distribution definition,” Section

2.7.1). A distribution that is used to define layer thickness must have a default value.

The default layer thickness is used by any shell element assigned to the shell section

that is not specifically assigned a value in the distribution.

An example of a section with three layers and three section points per layer is shown

in Figure 25.6.5–1.

The material name specified for each layer refers to a material definition (“Material

data definition,” Section 17.1.2). The material behavior can be linear or nonlinear.

The orientation for each layer is specified by either the name of the orientation

(“Orientations,”Section 2.2.5) associated with the layer or the orientation angle in

degrees for the layer. In Abaqus/Standard spatially varying orientation angles can be

specified on a layer using distributions (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1).

Orientation angles, , are measured positive counterclockwise around the normal

and relative to the overall section orientation. If either of the two local directions from

the overall section orientation is not in the surface of the shell, is applied after the

section orientation has been projected onto the shell surface. If you do not specify an

overall section orientation, is measured relative to the default local shell directions

(see “Conventions,” Section 1.2.2).

You must associate the section properties with a region of your model.

distributions, spatially varying local coordinate systems are applied to all shell

elements associated with the shell section. A default local coordinate system (as

defined by the distributions) is applied to any shell element that is not specifically

included in the associated distribution.

Unless your model is relatively simple, you will find it increasingly difficult to define

your model using composite shell sections as you increase the number of layers and

as you assign different sections to different regions. It can also be cumbersome to

redefine the sections after you add new layers or remove or reposition existing

layers. To manage a large number of layers in a typical composite model, you may

want to use the composite layup functionality in Abaqus/CAE. For more information,

see Chapter 22, “Composite layups,” of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual.

ORIENTATION=name

define the layers of a composite shell.

select Conventional Shell or Continuum Shell as

the Element Type: Section integration: During analysis:

specify orientations, regions, and materials

Property module:

Create Section: select Shell as the

section Category and Compositeas the section Type: Section

integration: During analysis

Assign Material Orientation: select regions

Assign Section: select regions

Simpson's rule and Gauss quadrature are provided to calculate the cross-sectional

behavior of a shell. You can specify the number of section points through the

thickness of each layer and the integration method as described below. The default

integration method is Simpson's rule with five points for a homogeneous section and

Simpson's rule with three points in each layer for a composite section.

The three-point Simpson's rule and the two-point Gauss quadrature are exact for

linear problems. The default number of section points should be sufficient for routine

thermal-stress calculations and nonlinear applications (such as predicting the

response of an elastic-plastic shell up to limit load). For more severe thermal shock

cases or for more complex nonlinear calculations involving strain reversals, more

section points may be required; normally no more than nine section points (using

Simpson's rule) are required. Gaussian integration normally requires no more than

five section points.

Gauss quadrature provides greater accuracy than Simpson's rule when the same

number of section points are used. Therefore, to obtain comparable levels of

accuracy, Gauss quadrature requires fewer section points than Simpson's rule does

and, thus, requires less computational time and storage space.

By default, Simpson's rule will be used for the shell section integration. The default

number of section points is five for a homogeneous section and three in each layer

for a composite section.

Simpson's integration rule should be used if results output on the shell surfaces or

transverse shear stress at the interface between two layers of a composite shell is

required and must be used for heat transfer and coupled temperature-displacement

shell elements.

During analysis, Thickness integration rule: Simpson

section:

During analysis; Basic: Thickness integration rule:

Simpson

If you use Gauss quadrature for the shell section integration, the default number of

section points is three for a homogeneous section and two in each layer for a

composite section.

In Gauss quadrature there are no section points on the shell surfaces; therefore,

Gauss quadrature should be used only in cases where results on the shell surfaces

are not required.

Gauss quadrature cannot be used for heat transfer and coupled temperature-

displacement shell elements.

During analysis, Thickness integration rule: Gauss

section:

During analysis; Basic: Thickness integration rule: Gauss

You can define the distance (measured as a fraction of the shell's thickness) from the

shell's midsurface to the reference surface containing the element's nodes

(see “Defining the initial geometry of conventional shell elements,” Section 25.6.3).

Positive values of the offset are in the positive normal direction (see “Shell elements:

overview,” Section 25.6.1). When the offset is set equal to 0.5, the top surface of the

shell is the reference surface. When the offset is set equal to –0.5, the bottom

surface is the reference surface. The default offset is 0, which indicates that the

middle surface of the shell is the reference surface.

You can specify an offset value that is greater in magnitude than 0.5. However, this

technique should be used with caution in regions of high curvature. All kinematic

quantities, including the element's area, are calculated relative to the reference

surface, which may lead to a surface area integration error, affecting the stiffness and

mass of the shell.

conventional shells using a distribution (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1). The

distribution used to define the shell offset must have a default value. The default

offset is used by any shell element assigned to the shell section that is not

specifically assigned a value in the distribution.

An offset to the shell's top surface is illustrated in Figure 25.6.5–2. The shell offset

value is ignored for continuum shell elements.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to specify a value for the shell offset:

SNEG), or in an Abaqus/Standard analysis the name of a

distribution that is used to define a spatially varying offset.

Specifying SPOS is equivalent to specifying a value of 0.5;

specifying SNEG is equivalent to specifying a value of –0.5.

During analysis; Offset: choose a reference surface, specify

an offset, or select a scalar discrete field

select a homogeneous or composite shell section: Definition:

select a reference surface, specify an offset, or select a scalar

discrete field

You can define a spatially varying thickness for conventional shells using a

distribution (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1). The thickness of continuum shell

elements is defined by the element geometry.

For composite shells the total thickness is defined by the distribution, and the layer

thicknesses you specify are scaled proportionally such that the sum of the layer

thicknesses is equal to the total thickness (including spatially varying layer

thicknesses defined with a distribution).

The distribution used to define shell thickness must have a default value. The default

thickness is used by any shell element assigned to the shell section that is not

specifically assigned a value in the distribution.

If the shell thickness is defined for a shell section with a distribution, nodal

thicknesses cannot be used for that section definition.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to define a spatially varying thickness:

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option for a conventional shell composite layup:

During analysis; Shell Parameters: Shell thickness:

Element distribution: select an analytical field or an element-

based discrete field

During analysis; Basic: Shell thickness: Element

distribution: select an analytical field or an element-based

discrete field

During analysis; Advanced: Shell thickness: Element

distribution: select an analytical field or an element-based

discrete field

You can define a conventional shell with continuously varying thickness by specifying

the thickness of the shell at the nodes. The thickness of continuum shell elements is

defined by the element geometry.

If you indicate that the nodal thicknesses will be specified, for homogeneous shells

any constant shell thickness you specify will be ignored, and the shell thickness will

be interpolated from the nodes. The thickness must be defined at all nodes

connected to the element.

For composite shells the total thickness is interpolated from the nodes, and the layer

thicknesses you specify are scaled proportionally such that the sum of the layer

thicknesses is equal to the total thickness (including spatially varying layer

thicknesses defined with a distribution).

If the shell thickness is defined for a shell section with a distribution, nodal

thicknesses cannot be used for that section definition. However, if nodal thicknesses

are used, you can still use distributions to define spatially varying thicknesses on the

layers of conventional shell elements.

*NODAL THICKNESS

*SHELL SECTION, NODAL THICKNESS

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option for a conventional shell composite layup:

During analysis; Shell Parameters: Nodal distribution:

select an analytical field or a node-based discrete field

During analysis; Basic: Nodal distribution: select an

analytical field or a node-based discrete field

During analysis; Advanced: Nodal distribution: select an

analytical field or a node-based discrete field

elements in Abaqus/Explicit (see “Choosing a shell element,” Section 25.6.2) Abaqus

allows for a possible uniform change in the shell thickness based either on the

element material definition or on a specified effective section Poisson's ratio.

Thickness change is considered only in geometrically nonlinear analysis

(see “General and linear perturbation procedures,” Section 6.1.2).

For conventional shell elements you can specify a value for the effective Poisson's

ratio for the section to cause a thickness direction strain under plane stress

conditions to be a linear function of the membrane strains. This value must be

between –1.0 and 0.5. A value of 0.5 will enforce incompressible behavior of the

element in response to membrane strains; a value of 0.0 will enforce constant shell

thickness; and a negative value will result in an increase in the shell thickness in

response to tensile membrane strains.

Alternatively, you can cause the shell thickness to change based on the element

initial elastic material definition, or in Abaqus/Explicit you can cause the thickness

direction strain under plane stress conditions to be a function of the membrane

strains and the (nonlinear) material properties.

the default is to base the thickness change on the material definition. See “Finite-

strain shell element formulation,” Section 3.6.5 of the Abaqus Theory Manual, for

details regarding the underlying formulation.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to specify a value for the effective Poisson's

ratio:

based on the element initial elastic material definition:

cause the thickness direction strain under plane stress

conditions to be a function of the membrane strains and the in-

plane material properties:

During analysis; Shell Parameters: Section Poisson's ratio:

Use analysis default or Specify value:

section:

During analysis; Advanced: Section Poisson's ratio: Use

analysis defaultor Specify value:

on the initial elastic material definition in Abaqus/CAE.

For continuum shell elements the thickness strain is computed from the element

nodal displacements. The stress in the thickness direction is computed from the

effective thickness modulus and the effective thickness strain. The effective thickness

strain is defined as the difference between the thickness strain and the Poisson strain

contribution from the membrane effects under the plane stress assumption.

You can specify a fixed section Poisson's ratio either explicitly given or computed

from the material initial elastic behavior. Specifying a fixed section Poisson's ratio

causes the Poisson strain contribution from the membrane effects to be a linear

function of the membrane strains. Abaqus/Explicit also allows for a variable section

Poisson's ratio that is based on the current material state. In Abaqus/Standard the

default section Poisson's ratio is a fixed value of 0.5; in Abaqus/Explicit the default

section Poisson's ratio is based on the current material state.

By default, the effective thickness modulus for a single layer shell element with an

elastic or elastic-plastic material is twice the in-plane elastic shear modulus. In the

case of a composite shell with each layer either an elastic or elastic-plastic material,

the thickness modulus is computed as the thickness-weighted harmonic mean of the

contributions from the individual layers:

where is the effective thickness modulus, is the layer index, is the number of

layers, is the relative thickness of layer ( ), and is twice the initial in-

plane elastic shear modulus based on the material definition for layer . Alternatively, you can

specify a value for the effective thickness modulus directly. If the material properties are

unavailable during the preprocessing stage of input; for example, when the material behavior

is defined by the fabric material model or user subroutine UMAT or VUMAT, you must directly

specify the effective thickness modulus.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to define an effective thickness modulus

directly:

effective section Poisson's ratio:

based on the element initial elastic material definition:

cause the shell thickness to change based on the element

(nonlinear) material state:

During analysis; Shell Parameters: Section Poisson's ratio:

Use analysis default or Specify value: and Thickness

modulus to specify the thickness properties directly

section:

During analysis; Advanced: Section Poisson's ratio: Use

analysis defaultor Specify value: and Thickness

modulus to specify the thickness properties directly

on the initial elastic material definition in Abaqus/CAE.

You must specify the transverse shear stiffness in Abaqus/Standard if the section is

used with shear flexible shells and the material definitions used in the shell section do

not include linear elasticity (“Linear elastic behavior,” Section 18.2.1). See “Shell

section behavior,” Section 25.6.4, for more information about transverse shear

stiffness.

If you do not specify the transverse shear stiffness values, Abaqus will integrate

through the section to determine them. The transverse shear stiffness is

precalculated based on the initial elastic material properties, as defined by the initial

temperature and predefined field variables evaluated at the midpoint of each material

layer. This stiffness is not recalculated during the analysis.

For most shell sections, including layered composite or sandwich shell sections,

Abaqus will calculate the transverse shear stiffness values required in the element

formulation. You can override these default values. The default shear stiffness values

are not calculated in some cases if estimates of shear moduli are unavailable during

the preprocessing stage of input; for example, when the material behavior is defined

by the fabric material model or by user subroutine UMAT, UHYPEL, UHYPER, or VUMAT.

You must define the transverse shear stiffnesses in such cases except for STRI3

elements.

*SHELL SECTION

*TRANSVERSE SHEAR STIFFNESS

During analysis; Shell Parameters: toggle on Specify

transverse shear

section:

During analysis; Advanced: toggle on Specify transverse

shear

formulation

formulation. See“Section controls,” Section 23.1.4, for more information.

shell elements

You can specify a nondefault hourglass control formulation or scale factors for

elements that use reduced integration. See “Section controls,” Section 23.1.4, for

more information.

available only for S4R and SC8R elements. When the enhanced hourglass control

formulation is used with composite shells, the average value of the bulk material

properties and the minimum value of the shear material properties over all the layers

are used for computing the hourglass forces and moments.

In Abaqus/Standard you can modify the default values for hourglass control stiffness

based on the default total stiffness approach for elements that use reduced

integration and define a scaling factor for the stiffness associated with the drill degree

of freedom (rotation about the surface normal) for elements that use six degrees of

freedom at a node.

The stiffness associated with the drill degree of freedom is the average of the direct

components of the transverse shear stiffness multiplied by a scaling factor. In most

cases the default scaling factor is appropriate for constraining the drill rotation to

follow the in-plane rotation of the element. If an additional scaling factor is defined,

the additional scaling factor should not increase or decrease the drill stiffness by

more than a factor of 100.0 for most typical applications. Usually, a scaling factor

between 0.1 and 10.0 is appropriate. Continuum shell elements do not use a drill

stiffness; hence, the scale factor is ignored.

There are no hourglass stiffness factors or scale factors for hourglass stiffness for the

nondefault enhanced hourglass control formulation. You can define the scale factor

for the drill stiffness for the nondefault enhanced hourglass control formulation.

Input File Usage: Use both of the following options to specify a nondefault hourglass

control formulation or scale factors for reduced-integration elements:

*SHELL SECTION, CONTROLS=name

the default values for hourglass control stiffness based on the

default total stiffness approach for reduced-integration

elements and to define a scaling factor for the stiffness

associated with the drill degree of freedom (rotation about the

surface normal) for six degree of freedom elements:

*SHELL SECTION

*HOURGLASS STIFFNESS

You can specify temperatures and field variables for conventional shell elements by

defining the value at the reference surface of the shell and the gradient through the

shell thickness or by defining the values at equally spaced points through each layer

of the shell's thickness. You can specify a temperature gradient only for elements

without temperature degrees of freedom. The temperatures and field variables for

continuum shell elements are defined at the nodes and then interpolated to the

section points.

The actual values of the temperatures and field variables are specified as either

predefined fields or initial conditions (see “Predefined fields,” Section 29.6.1,

or “Initial conditions,” Section 29.2.1).

If temperature is to be read as a predefined field from the results file or the output

database file of a previous analysis, the temperature must be defined at equally

spaced points through each layer of the thickness. In addition, the results file must be

modified so that the field variable data are stored in record 201. See “Predefined

fields,” Section 29.6.1, for additional details.

Defining the value at the reference surface and the gradient through the

thickness

You can define the temperature or predefined field by its magnitude on the reference

surface of the shell and the gradient through the thickness. If only one value is given,

the magnitude will be constant through the thickness.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to specify that the temperatures or

predefined fields are defined by a gradient:

*SHELL SECTION

the temperatures or predefined fields:

*TEMPERATURE

*FIELD

*INITIAL CONDITIONS, TYPE=TEMPERATURE

*INITIAL CONDITIONS, TYPE=FIELD

During analysis; Shell Parameters; Temperature variation:

Linear through thickness

section:

During analysis: Advanced; Temperature variation: Linear

through thickness

supported in Abaqus/CAE.

Field: Step: initial_step oranalysis_step: choose Other for

the Category and Temperature for the Types for Selected

Step

Defining the values at equally spaced points through the thickness

Alternatively, you can define the temperature and field variable values at equally

spaced points through the thickness of a shell or of each layer of a composite shell.

number (n) of equally spaced points through the thickness of a layer is an odd

number when temperature values are obtained from the results file or the output

database file generated by a previous Abaqus/Standard heat transfer analysis (since

only Simpson's rule can be used for integration through the section in heat transfer

analysis). n may be even or odd if the values are supplied from some other source. In

either case Abaqus/Standard interpolates linearly between the two closest defined

temperature points to find the temperature values at the section points.

The number of predefined field points through each layer, n, must be the same as the

number of integration points used through the same layer in the analysis from which

the temperatures are obtained. This requirement implies that in the previous analysis

each of the layers must have the same number of integration points.

number of layers in the shell section and ( > 1) is the value of n. For =1,

you specify one temperature or field variable value for a given node or node set.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to specify that the temperatures or

predefined fields are defined at equally spaced points:

the temperatures or predefined fields:

*TEMPERATURE

*FIELD

*INITIAL CONDITIONS, TYPE=TEMPERATURE

*INITIAL CONDITIONS, TYPE=FIELD

During analysis; Shell Parameters; Temperature variation:

Piecewise linear over n values

section:

During analysis: Advanced; Temperature variation:

Piecewise linear overn values

supported in Abaqus/CAE.

Field: Step: initial_step oranalysis_step: choose Other for

the Category and Temperature for the Types for Selected

Step

Example

Simpson's rule.

Figure 25.6.5–4 Defining temperature values at n equally spaced points using Gauss

integration.

The following Abaqus/Standard heat transfer shell section definition corresponds to this

example:

, 3, MAT1, ORI1

, 3, MAT2, ORI2

, 3, MAT3, ORI3

This creates degrees of freedom 11–17 in the heat transfer analysis. Temperatures

corresponding to these degrees of freedom are then read into the stress analysis at the

temperature points shown and interpolated to the section points shown.

shell abuts the bottom surface of a shell element with temperature degrees of

freedom, the temperature field is made continuous when the elements share nodes.

If another element with temperature degrees of freedom abuts the top surface,

separate nodes must be used and a linear constraint equation (“Linear constraint

equations,” Section 30.2.1) must be used to constrain the temperatures to be the

same (that is, to give the same value to the top surface degree of freedom on the

shell and degree of freedom 11 on the other element).

For the same reason you must be careful if a different number of temperature points

is used in adjacent shell elements. For compatibility MPCs (“General multi-point

constraints,” Section 30.2.2) or equation constraints are also needed in this case.

In Abaqus/Explicit since no thermal MPCs and no thermal equation constraints are

available for degrees of freedom greater than 11, care must be taken when using a

different number of temperature points in adjacent shell elements. This should

usually have a localized effect on the temperature distribution, but it may affect the

overall solution for the cases in which the temperature gradient through the thickness

is significant.

shell's normals are reversed. In this case the temperature at the bottom of the shell

becomes the temperature at the top of the adjacent shell. This may have a small

impact on the overall solution for the cases in which the thermal gradient through the

thickness is negligible and the temperature variation is mainly in plane. However, if

the temperature gradient through the thickness is significant, it may lead to incorrect

results.

Output

be obtained using the element variable TEMP.

If the temperature values were specified at equally spaced points through the

thickness, output at the temperature points can be obtained in an

Abaqus/Standard stress analysis, as in a heat transfer analysis, by using the nodal

variable NTxx. This nodal output variable is also available in Abaqus/Explicit for

coupled temperature-displacement analyses. The nodal variable NTxx should not be

used for output at the temperature points with the default gradient method. In this

case output variable NT should be requested; NT11 (the reference temperature

value) and NT12 (the temperature gradient) will be output automatically.

Other output variables that are relevant for shells are listed in each of the library

sections describing the specific shell elements. For example, stresses, strains,

section forces and moments, average section stresses, section strains, etc. can be

output. The section moments are calculated relative to the reference surface.

References

“Shell section behavior,” Section 25.6.4

“UGENS,” Section 1.1.30 of the Abaqus User Subroutines Reference Manual

*DISTRIBUTION

*HOURGLASS STIFFNESS

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION

*TRANSVERSE SHEAR STIFFNESS

“Creating homogeneous shell sections,” Section 12.12.5 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

“Creating composite shell sections,” Section 12.12.6 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

“Creating general shell stiffness sections,” Section 12.12.9 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual

Chapter 22, “Composite layups,” of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual

Overview

is used when numerical integration through the thickness of the shell is not

required;

can be associated with linear elastic material behavior or, in Abaqus/Standard,

can invoke user subroutine UGENS to define nonlinear section properties in

terms of forces and moments;

can be used to model an equivalent shell section for some more complex

geometry (for example, replacing a corrugated shell with an equivalent smooth

plate for global analysis); and

cannot be used with heat transfer and coupled temperature-displacement

shells.

material definition or, in the case of a composite shell, with several different

material definitions.

The section properties can be specified directly.

In Abaqus/Standard the section response can be programmed in user

subroutine UGENS.

material, and orientation)

You can define the shell section's mechanical response by specifying the thickness;

the material reference; and the orientation of the section or, for a composite shell, the

orientation of each of its layers. Abaqus will determine the equivalent section

properties. You must associate the section behavior with a region of your model.

The linear elastic material behavior is defined with a material definition (“Material

data definition,”Section 17.1.2), which may contain linear elastic behavior (“Linear

elastic behavior,” Section 18.2.1) and thermal expansion behavior (“Thermal

expansion,” Section 22.1.2). The density (“Density,” Section 17.2.1) and damping

(“Material damping,” Section 22.1.1) behavior can also be specified as described

below; in Abaqus/Explicit the density of the material must be defined. However, no

nonlinear material properties, such as plastic behavior, can be included since Abaqus

will precompute the section response and will not update that response during the

analysis. Dependence of the linear elastic material behavior on temperature or

predefined field variables is not allowed.

moments caused by thermal strains, , vary linearly with temperature and are defined

by

where are the generalized stresses caused by a fully constrained unit temperature rise

that result from the user-defined thermal expansion, is the temperature, and is the initial

(stress-free) temperature at this point in the shell (defined by the initial nodal temperatures

given as initial conditions; see “Defining initial temperatures” in “Initial conditions,” Section

29.2.1).

To define a shell made of a single linear elastic material, you refer to the name of a

material definition (“Material data definition,” Section 17.1.2) as described above.

Optionally, you can define an orientation definition to be used with the section

(“Orientations,” Section 2.2.5). A spatially varying local coordinate system defined

with a distribution (“Distribution definition,”Section 2.7.1) can be assigned to the shell

section definition. In addition, you specify the shell thickness as part of the section

definition. For continuum shell elements the specified thickness is used to estimate

certain section properties, such as hourglass stiffness, that are later computed from

the element geometry.

You must associate this section behavior with a region of your model.

You can redefine the thickness, offset, section stiffness, and material orientation

specified in the section definition on an element-by-element basis. See “Distribution

definition,” Section 2.7.1.

If the orientation definition assigned to a shell section definition is defined with

distributions, spatially varying local coordinate systems are applied to all shell

elements associated with the shell section. A default local coordinate system (as

defined by the distributions) is applied to any shell element that is not specifically

included in the associated distribution.

MATERIAL=name,

ORIENTATION=name

Create Section: select Shell as the

section Category andHomogeneous as the

section Type: Section integration: Before

analysis; Basic: Material: name

Assign Material Orientation: select regions

Assign Section: select regions

Defining a shell made of layers with different linear elastic material behaviors

You can define a shell made of layers with different linear elastic material behaviors.

Optionally, you can define an orientation definition to be used with the section

(“Orientations,” Section 2.2.5). A spatially varying local coordinate system defined

with a distribution (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1) can be assigned to the

shell section definition.

You specify the layer thickness; the name of the material forming this layer (as

described above); and the orientation angle, , (in degrees) measured positive

counterclockwise relative to the specified section orientation definition. In

Abaqus/Standard spatially varying orientation angles can be specified on a layer

using distributions (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1). If either of the two local

directions from the specified section orientation is not in the surface of the shell, is

applied after the section orientation has been projected onto the shell surface. If you

do not specify a section orientation, is measured relative to the default shell local

directions (see “Conventions,” Section 1.2.2). The order of the laminated shell layers

with respect to the positive direction of the shell normal is defined by the order in

which the layers are specified.

For continuum shell elements the thickness is determined from the element geometry

and may vary through the model for a given section definition. Hence, the specified

thicknesses are only relative thicknesses for each layer. The actual thickness of a

layer is the element thickness times the fraction of the total thickness that is

accounted for by each layer. The thickness ratios for the layers need not be given in

physical units, nor do the sum of the layer relative thicknesses need to add to one.

The specified shell thickness is used to estimate certain section properties, such as

hourglass stiffness, that are later computed from the element geometry.

In Abaqus/Standard spatially varying thicknesses can be specified on the layers of

conventional shell elements (not continuum shell elements) using distributions

(“Distribution definition,”Section 2.7.1). A distribution that is used to define layer

thickness must have a default value. The default layer thickness is used by any shell

element assigned to the shell section that is not specifically assigned a value in the

distribution.

You must associate this section behavior with a region of your model.

distributions, spatially varying local coordinate systems are applied to all shell

elements associated with the shell section. A default local coordinate system (as

defined by the distributions) is applied to any shell element that is not specifically

included in the associated distribution.

Unless your model is relatively simple, you will find it increasingly difficult to define

your model using composite shell sections as you increase the number of layers and

as you assign different sections to different regions. It can also be cumbersome to

redefine the sections after you add new layers or remove or reposition existing

layers. To manage a large number of layers in a typical composite model, you may

want to use the composite layup functionality in Abaqus/CAE. For more information,

see Chapter 22, “Composite layups,” of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual.

ORIENTATION=name

define a shell made of layers with different linear elastic material

behaviors.

select Conventional Shell or Continuum Shell as

the Element Type: Section integration: Before analysis:

specify orientations, regions, and materials

Property module:

Create Section: select Shell as the

section Category and Compositeas the section Type: Section

integration: Before analysis

Assign Material Orientation: select regions

Assign Section: select regions

Specifying the equivalent section properties directly for conventional shells

You can define the section's mechanical response by specifying the general section

stiffness and thermal expansion response— , , and , as

defined below—directly. Since this method then provides the complete specification

of the section's mechanical response, no material reference is needed. Optionally,

you can define , the reference temperature for thermal expansion.

You must associate this section behavior with a region of your model.

where

are the forces and moments on the shell section (membrane forces per unit length,

bending moments per unit length);

are the generalized section strains in the shell (reference surface strains and

curvatures);

variable dependence of the cross-section stiffness; and

are the section forces and moments (per unit length) caused by thermal strains.

These thermal forces and moments in the shell are generated according to the formula

where

is the initial (stress-free) temperature at this point in the shell, defined by the initial

nodal temperatures given as initial conditions (“Defining initial temperatures” in “Initial

conditions,” Section 29.2.1); and

are the user-specified generalized section forces and moments (per unit length)

caused by a fully constrained unit temperature rise.

of is not needed. Note the distinction between , the reference value used in

defining , and the stress-free initial temperature, .

that is, the direct membrane terms come first, then the shear membrane term, then the direct

and shear bending terms, with six terms in all. Engineering measures of shear membrane

strain ( ) and twist ( ) are used in Abaqus.

This method of defining the shell section properties cannot be used with variable

thickness shells or continuum shell elements.

hole,” Section 1.2.2 of the Abaqus Example Problems Manual, for more information.

The stiffness matrix, , can be defined as a constant stiffness for the section or in

an Abaqus/Standard analysis as a spatially varying stiffness by referring to a

distribution (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1). If a spatially varying stiffness is

used, the distribution must have a default stiffness defined. The default stiffness is

used by any shell element assigned to the shell section that is not specifically

assigned a value in the distribution.

Create Section: select Shell as the

section Category and General shell stiffness as the

section Type

Assign Section: select regions

In Abaqus/Standard you can define the section response in user subroutine UGENS for

the more general case where the section response may be nonlinear. User

subroutine UGENS is particularly useful if the nonlinear behavior of the section involves

geometric as well as material nonlinearity, such as may occur due to section

collapse. If only nonlinear material behavior is present, it is simpler to use a shell

section integrated during the analysis with the appropriate nonlinear material model.

You must specify a constant section thickness as part of the section definition or a

continuously varying thickness by defining the thickness at the nodes as described

below. Even though the section's mechanical behavior is defined in user

subroutine UGENS, the thickness of the shell section is required for calculation of the

hourglass control stiffness. You must associate this section behavior with a region of

your model.

Abaqus/Standard calls user subroutine UGENS for each integration point at each

iteration of every increment. The subroutine provides the section state at the start of

the increment (section forces and moments, ; generalized section strains, ;

solution-dependent state variables; temperature; and any predefined field variables);

the increments in temperature and predefined field variables; the generalized section

strain increments, ; and the time increment.

The subroutine must perform two functions: it must update the forces, the moments,

and the solution-dependent state variables to their values at the end of the

increment; and it must provide the section stiffness matrix, . The complete

section response, including the thermal expansion effects, must be programmed in

the user subroutine.

You should ensure that the strain increment is not used or changed in user

subroutine UGENSfor linear perturbation analyses. For this case the quantity is

undefined.

This method of defining the shell section properties cannot be used with continuum

shell elements.

Abaqus/CAE Usage: User subroutine UGENS is not supported in Abaqus/CAE.

If the section stiffness matrices are not symmetric, you can specify that

Abaqus/Standard should use its unsymmetric equation solution capability

(see “Procedures: overview,” Section 6.1.1).

UNSYMM

behavior. You can specify the number of integer property values required, m, and the

number of real (floating point) property values required, n; the total number of values

required is the sum of these two numbers. The default number of integer property

values required is 0, and the default number of real property values required is 0.

Integer property values can be used inside user subroutine UGENS as flags, indices,

counters, etc. Examples of real (floating point) property values are material

properties, geometric data, and any other information required to calculate the

section response in UGENS.

The property values are passed into user subroutine UGENS each time the subroutine

is called.

PROPERTIES=m,

PROPERTIES=n

To define the property values, enter all floating point values on the

data lines first, followed immediately by the integer values. Eight

values can be entered per line.

the section

You can define the number of solution-dependent state variables that must be stored

at each integration point within the section. There is no restriction on the number of

variables associated with a user-defined section. The default number of variables is

1. Examples of such variables are plastic strains, damage variables, failure indices,

user-defined output quantities, etc.

subroutineUGENS.

VARIABLES=n

Idealizations allow you to modify the stiffness coefficients in a shell section based on

assumptions about the shell's makeup or expected behavior. The following

idealizations are available for general shell sections:

Retain only the membrane stiffness for shells whose predominant response

will be in-plane stretching.

Retain only the bending stiffness for shells whose predominant response will

be pure bending.

Ignore the effects of the material layer stacking sequence for composite shells.

The membrane stiffness and bending stiffness idealizations can be applied to homogeneous

shell sections, composite shell sections, or shell sections with the stiffness coefficients

specified directly. The idealization to ignore stacking effects can be applied only to composite

shell sections.

Idealizations modify the shell general stiffness coefficients after they have been

computed normally, including the effects of offset.

If you use any idealization, all membrane-bending coupling terms are set to

zero.

If you retain only the membrane stiffness, off-diagonal terms of the bending

submatrix are set to zero, and diagonal bending terms are set to 1 × 10 –

6 times the largest diagonal membrane coefficient.

If you retain only the bending stiffness, off-diagonal terms of the membrane

submatrix are set to zero, and diagonal membrane terms are set to 1 × 10 –

6 times the largest diagonal bending coefficient.

If you ignore the material layer stacking sequence in a composite shell, each

term of the bending submatrix is set equal to T 2/12 times the corresponding

membrane submatrix term, where T is the total thickness of the shell.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to retain only the membrane stiffness:

stacking sequence:

LAYERS

shell section.

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use any of the following options to apply an idealization to a shell

section:

integration: Before analysis; Basic: Idealization: Membrane

onlyor Bending only

integration:Before analysis; Basic: Idealization: Membrane

only, Bending only, or Smear all layers

layup editor: Section integration: Before

analysis; Basic: Idealization:Membrane only, Bending only,

or Smear all layers

section in Abaqus/CAE, and you cannot apply idealizations to a

general shell stiffness section.

You can define the distance (measured as a fraction of the shell's thickness) from the

shell's midsurface to the reference surface containing the element's nodes

(see “Defining the initial geometry of conventional shell elements,” Section 25.6.3).

Positive values of the offset are in the positive normal direction (see “Shell elements:

overview,” Section 25.6.1). When the offset is set equal to 0.5, the top surface of the

shell is the reference surface. When the offset is set equal to –0.5, the bottom

surface is the reference surface. The default offset is 0, which indicates that the

middle surface of the shell is the reference surface.

You can specify an offset value that is greater in magnitude than 0.5. However, this

technique should be used with caution in regions of high curvature. All kinematic

quantities, including the element's area, are calculated relative to the reference

surface, which may lead to a surface area integration error, affecting the stiffness and

mass of the shell.

conventional shells using a distribution (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1). The

distribution used to define the shell offset must have a default value. The default

offset is used by any shell element assigned to the shell section that is not

specifically assigned a value in the distribution.

composite shell section is defined. The shell offset value is ignored when the section

definition is applied to continuum shell elements.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to specify a value for the shell offset:

SNEG), or in an Abaqus/Standard analysis the name of a

distribution that is used to define a spatially varying offset.

Specifying SPOS is equivalent to specifying a value of 0.5;

specifying SNEG is equivalent to specifying a value of –0.5.

Before analysis; Offset: choose a reference surface, specify

an offset, or select a scalar discrete field

Use the following option for a shell section assignment:

select a homogeneous or composite shell section: Definition:

select a reference surface, specify an offset, or select a scalar

discrete field

You can define a spatially varying thickness for conventional shells using a

distribution (“Distribution definition,” Section 2.7.1). The thickness of continuum shell

elements is defined by the element geometry.

For composite shells the total thickness is defined by the distribution, and the layer

thicknesses you specify are scaled proportionally such that the sum of the layer

thicknesses is equal to the total thickness (including spatially varying layer

thicknesses defined with a distribution).

The distribution used to define shell thickness must have a default value. The default

thickness is used by any shell element assigned to the shell section that is not

specifically assigned a value in the distribution.

If the shell thickness is defined for a shell section with a distribution, nodal

thicknesses cannot be used for that section definition.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to define a spatially varying thickness:

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option for a conventional shell composite layup:

Before analysis; Shell Parameters: Shell thickness:

Element distribution: select an analytical field or an element-

based discrete field

Before analysis; Basic: Shell thickness: Element

distribution: select an analytical field or an element-based

discrete field

Before analysis; Advanced: Shell thickness: Element

distribution: select an analytical field or an element-based

discrete field

You can define a conventional shell with continuously varying thickness by specifying

the thickness of the shell at the nodes. This method can be used only if the section is

defined in terms of material properties; it cannot be used if the section behavior is

defined by specifying the equivalent section properties directly. For continuum shell

elements a continuously varying thickness can be defined through the element nodal

geometry; hence, the nodal thickness is not meaningful.

If you indicate that the nodal thicknesses will be specified, for homogeneous shells

any constant shell thickness you specify will be ignored, and the shell thickness will

be interpolated from the nodes. The thickness must be defined at all nodes

connected to the element.

For composite shells the total thickness is interpolated from the nodes, and the layer

thicknesses you specify are scaled proportionally such that the sum of the layer

thicknesses is equal to the total thickness (including spatially varying layer

thicknesses defined with a distribution).

If the shell thickness is defined for a shell section with a distribution, nodal

thicknesses cannot be used for that section definition. However, if nodal thicknesses

are used, you can still use distributions to define spatially varying thicknesses on the

layers of conventional shell elements.

*NODAL THICKNESS

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION, NODAL THICKNESS

Abaqus/CAE Usage: Use the following option for a conventional shell composite layup:

Before analysis; Shell Parameters: Nodal distribution:

select an analytical field or a node-based discrete field

Before analysis; Basic: Nodal distribution: select an

analytical field or a node-based discrete field

Before analysis; Advanced: Nodal distribution: select an

analytical field or a node-based discrete field

elements in Abaqus/Explicit (see “Choosing a shell element,” Section 25.6.2) Abaqus

allows for a possible uniform change in the shell thickness based either on the

element material definition or on a specified effective section Poisson's ratio.

Thickness change is considered only in geometrically nonlinear analysis

(see “General and linear perturbation procedures,” Section 6.1.2).

For conventional shell elements you can specify a value for the effective Poisson's

ratio for the section to cause a thickness direction strain under plane stress

conditions to be a linear function of the membrane strains. This value must be

between –1.0 and 0.5. A value of 0.5 will enforce incompressible behavior of the

element in response to membrane strain; a value of 0.0 will enforce constant shell

thickness; and a negative value will result in an increase in the shell thickness in

response to tensile membrane strains. The default value is 0.5.

When the equivalent section properties are specified directly, the section stiffnesses

are scaled during deformation to account for changes in the shell thickness. Specify

an effective Poisson's ratio of 0.0 if no scaling of the section stiffnesses is desired.

Alternatively, you can cause the shell thickness to change based on the initial elastic

properties of the material definition if these properties are available during the

preprocessing stage of input. For example, when the material behavior is defined by

user subroutine UMAT or VUMAT or when the section is defined by user

subroutine UGENS in Abaqus/Standard, Abaqus cannot compute an effective Poisson's

ratio.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to specify a value for the effective Poisson's

ratio:

based on the initial elastic properties of the material:

Before analysis; Shell Parameters: Section Poisson's ratio:

Use analysis default or Specify value:

section:

Before analysis; Advanced: Section Poisson's ratio: Use

analysis defaultor Specify value:

on the initial elastic material definition in Abaqus/CAE.

For continuum shell elements the thickness strain is computed from the element

nodal displacements. The stress in the thickness direction is computed from the

effective thickness modulus and the effective thickness strain. The effective thickness

strain is defined as the difference between the thickness strain and the Poisson strain

contribution from the membrane effects under the plane stress assumption.

You can specify a fixed section Poisson's ratio either explicitly given or computed

from the material initial elastic behavior. Specifying a fixed section Poisson's ratio

causes the Poisson strain contribution from the membrane effects to be a linear

function of the membrane strains. The default section Poisson's ratio is a fixed value

of 0.5.

By default, the effective thickness modulus for a single layer shell element with an

elastic or elastic-plastic material is twice the in-plane elastic shear modulus. In the

case of a composite shell with each layer either an elastic or elastic-plastic material,

the thickness modulus is computed as the thickness-weighted harmonic mean of the

contributions from the individual layers:

where is the effective thickness modulus, is the layer index, is the number of

layers, is the relative thickness of layer ( ), and is twice the initial in-

plane elastic shear modulus based on the material definition for layer . Alternatively, you can

specify a value for the effective thickness modulus directly. If the material properties are

unavailable during the preprocessing stage of input; for example, when the material behavior

is defined by the fabric material model or user subroutine UMAT or VUMAT, you must directly

specify the effective thickness modulus.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to define an effective thickness modulus

directly:

Use the following option to specify a value for the effective

section Poisson's ratio:

based on the element elastic material definition:

Before analysis; Shell Parameters: Section Poisson's ratio:

Use analysis default or Specify value: and Thickness

modulus to specify the thickness properties directly

section:

Before analysis; Advanced: Section Poisson's ratio: Use

analysis defaultor Specify value: and Thickness

modulus to specify the thickness properties directly

on the initial elastic material definition in Abaqus/CAE.

You can provide nondefault values of the transverse shear stiffness. You must

specify the transverse shear stiffness for shear flexible shells in Abaqus/Standard if

the section properties are specified in user subroutine UGENS. If you do not specify the

transverse shear stiffness, it will be calculated as described in “Shell section

behavior,” Section 25.6.4.

*TRANSVERSE SHEAR STIFFNESS

Before analysis; Shell Parameters: toggle on Specify

transverse shear

section:

Before analysis; Advanced: toggle on Specify transverse

shear

You can define initial stresses (see “Defining initial stresses” in “Initial

conditions,” Section 29.2.1) for general shell sections that will be applied as initial

section forces and moments. Initial conditions can be specified only for the

membrane forces, the bending moments, and the twisting moment. Initial conditions

cannot be prescribed for the transverse shear forces.

formulation

formulation. See“Section controls,” Section 23.1.4, for more information.

shell elements

You can specify a nondefault hourglass control formulation or scale factors for

elements that use reduced integration. See “Section controls,” Section 23.1.4, for

more information.

available only for S4R and SC8R elements.

In Abaqus/Standard you can modify the default values for hourglass control stiffness

based on the default total stiffness approach for elements that use hourglass control

and define a scaling factor for the stiffness associated with the drill degree of freedom

(rotation about the surface normal) for elements that use six degrees of freedom at a

node.

No default values are available for hourglass control stiffness if the section properties

are specified in user subroutine UGENS. Therefore, you must specify the hourglass

control stiffness when UGENS is used to specify the section properties for reduced-

integration elements.

The stiffness associated with the drill degree of freedom is the average of the direct

components of the transverse shear stiffness multiplied by a scaling factor. In most

cases the default scaling factor is appropriate for constraining the drill rotation to

follow the in-plane rotation of the element. If an additional scaling factor is defined,

the additional scaling factor should not increase or decrease the drill stiffness by

more than a factor of 100.0 for most typical applications. Usually, a scaling factor

between 0.1 and 10.0 is appropriate.

There are no hourglass stiffness factors or scale factors for hourglass stiffness for the

nondefault enhanced hourglass control formulation. You can define the scale factor

for the drill stiffness for the nondefault enhanced hourglass control formulation.

Input File Usage: Use both of the following options to specify a nondefault hourglass

control formulation or scale factors for reduced-integration elements:

*SHELL GENERAL SECTION, CONTROLS=name

the default values for hourglass control stiffness based on the

default total stiffness approach for reduced-integration

elements and to define a scaling factor for the stiffness

associated with the drill degree of freedom (rotation about the

surface normal) for six degree of freedom elements:

*HOURGLASS STIFFNESS

You can define the mass per unit area for conventional shell elements whose section

properties are specified directly in terms of the section stiffness (either directly in the

section definition or, in Abaqus/Standard, in user subroutine UGENS). The density is

required, for example, in a dynamic analysis or for gravity loading.

See “Density,” Section 17.2.1, for details.

The density is defined as part of the material definition for shells whose section

properties include a material definition.

Input File Usage: Use the following option to define the density directly:

density in user subroutine UGENS:

DENSITY=

Before analysis; Shell Parameters: toggle on Density, and

enter

section:

Before analysis; Advanced: toggle on Density, and enter

subroutine UGENSin Abaqus/CAE.

Defining damping

You can include mass and stiffness proportional damping in a shell section definition.

See“Material damping,” Section 22.1.1, for more information about material damping

in Abaqus.

Temperatures and field variables can be specified by defining the value at the

reference surface of the shell or by defining the values at the nodes of a continuum

shell element. The actual values of the temperatures and field variables are specified

as either predefined fields or initial conditions (see “Predefined fields,” Section

29.6.1, or “Initial conditions,” Section 29.2.1).

Output

The following output variables are available from Abaqus/Explicit as element output:

section forces and moments, section strains, element energies, element stable time

increment, and element mass scaling factor.

The output that is available from Abaqus/Standard depends on how the section

behavior is defined.

composite), section forces and moments and section strains are available as element

output. The section moments are calculated relative to the reference surface. In

addition, stress (in-plane and, for certain elements, transverse shear), strain, and

orthotropic failure measures can be output. Since the behavior of the material is

linear, three section points per layer (the bottom, middle, and top, respectively) are

available for output. Stress invariants and principal stresses are not available as

output but can be visualized in Abaqus/CAE.

If the matrix is used to specify the equivalent section properties directly or if user

subroutine UGENS is used, section point stresses and strains and section strains are

not available for output or visualization in Abaqus/CAE; only section forces and

moments can be requested for output or visualized in Abaqus/CAE.

1.4.2 Contour integrals for a conical crack in a linear elastic infinite half space

Objectives

This example demonstrates the following Abaqus features and techniques for linear

elastic fracture mechanics:

evaluating contour integrals for axisymmetric and three-dimensional fracture

mechanics based on linear static stress analysis;

partitioning steps required to generate a mesh suitable for evaluating contour

integrals in two- and three-dimensional analyses;

evaluating three-dimensional contour integrals when the crack extension

direction varies along the crack front;

node-based submodeling in fracture problems (comparing results for a single

refined analysis with the submodeling approach);

surface-based submodeling based on global model stresses, with guidelines

for obtaining adequate accuracy; and

applying continuum infinite elements simulating an infinite domain.

Application description

This example examines the fracture behavior of a conical crack, which may result

from a small hard object impacting a large brittle body. It shows how to evaluate the

propensity of the crack to propagate under static loading but does not cover the

event that formed the crack.

The J-integral is a widely applied fracture mechanics parameter that relates to energy

release associated with crack growth and is a measure of the deformation intensity at

a crack tip. In practice, the calculated J-integral can be compared with a critical value

for the material under consideration to predict fracture. The T-stress represents

stress parallel to the crack face. Together, the T-stress and the J-integral provide a

two-parameter fracture model describing Mode I elastic-plastic crack-tip stresses and

deformation in plane strain or three dimensions over a wide range of crack

configurations and loadings. The stress intensity factors, , relate to the energy

release rate and measure the propensity for crack propagation.

Abaqus fracture mechanics capability, where the crack extension direction varies

along a curved crack front. Submodeling and the use of infinite elements to simulate

far-field boundaries are also demonstrated.

Geometry

The problem domain contains a conical crack in an infinite solid half-space, as shown

in Figure 1.4.2–1. The crack extension direction changes as the crack is swept

around a circle. The units for this example are nonphysical; therefore, dimensions,

loads, and material properties are described in terms of length and force units. The

crack circumscribes a circle with a radius of 10 length units on the free surface. The

crack intersects the free surface at 45° and extends 15 length units into the solid

domain.

Materials

The semi-infinite domain is constrained from rigid body motion. The applied load is a

static pressure with a magnitude of 10 force/length2applied on the circular free

surface of the block circumscribed by the crack. The loading is illustrated in Figure

1.4.2–1.

This example includes six cases demonstrating different modeling approaches using

Abaqus/Standard. The crack is modeled as a seam since the crack surfaces in the

unloaded state lie next to one another with no gap.

The geometry is axisymmetric and can be modeled as such. However, the three-

dimensional cases demonstrate the Abaqus fracture mechanics capability, where the

crack extension direction varies along a curved crack front. The infinite half-space is

treated using multiple techniques. In Case 1 through Case 4, the domain is extended

well beyond the region of interest. Far-field boundary conditions applied a significant

distance from the region of interest have negligible influence on the response near

the crack. Cases 5 and Case 6 demonstrate the use of continuum infinite elements.

Axisymmetric and three-dimensional cases are provided with and without

submodeling. “Fracture mechanics,” Section 7.10 of the Abaqus Analysis User’s

Manual, provides detailed information on fracture mechanics procedures.

Case 5 Axisymmetric approach with submodeling and infinite elements using input files.

Case 6 Three-dimensional approach with submodeling and infinite elements using input files.

The following sections discuss analysis considerations that are applicable to several

or all the cases. More detailed descriptions are provided later including discussions of

results and listings of files provided. The models for Case 1 through Case 4 were

generated using Abaqus/CAE. In addition to the Python scripts that generate the

model databases, Abaqus/Standard input files are also provided for those cases.

Mesh design

The mesh includes a seam along the crack with duplicate nodes, which allow the

crack to open when loaded. The geometry is partitioned to map rings of elements

around the crack tip for the contour integral calculations. The models use either

quadrilateral or brick elements with a collapsed side to create triangular elements for

two-dimensional cases or wedge-shaped elements for three-dimensional cases,

which introduce a singularity at the crack tip. To be used for the evaluation of contour

integrals, the mesh around the crack tip must be modeled as described in “Using

contour integrals to model fracture mechanics,” Section 29.2 of the Abaqus/CAE

User's Manual. In the axisymmetric cases a circular partition is created to mesh

around the crack tip. In the three-dimensional cases the corresponding partition is a

curved tubular volume enclosing the crack tip.

A refined mesh at the crack tip is required to obtain contour-independent results; i.e.,

there is no significant variation in the contour integral values calculated for

successive rings of elements around the crack tip. In the circular partitioned region

surrounding the crack tip where the contour integrals are calculated, the mesh should

be biased moderately toward the crack tip. The accuracy of the contour integrals is

not very sensitive to the biasing. Engineering judgment is required to establish

adequate mesh refinement to produce contour-independent results while avoiding

the possibility of creating elements at the crack tip that are so small in relation to

other elements that they introduce numerical conditioning issues and associated

round-off errors.

When the deformation and the material are linear as in this example, the diameter of

the circular partition used to map the crack-tip mesh for contour integral calculations

is not critical. (If the material is elastic-plastic, the size of the circular partition should

generally contain the plastic zone and allow a number of the contours for the contour

integrals to enclose the plastic zone while still remaining in the elastic region.) The

remaining partitions are created so that the element shapes satisfy the element

quality criteria in the regions away from the crack tip.

in two or three dimensions, see “Constructing a fracture mechanics mesh for small-

strain analysis” in “Contour integral evaluation,” Section 11.4.2 of the Abaqus

Analysis User's Manual. In this application we want to have a square root singularity

in strain at the crack since the material is linear elastic and we will perform a small-

strain analysis.

The stress intensity factors and the T-stresses are calculated using the interaction

integral method, in which auxiliary plane strain crack-tip fields are employed. The

crack front radius of curvature is significant for this problem. Therefore, to calculate

the contour integrals accurately for the three-dimensional cases, a very refined mesh

is used to approach the plane strain condition locally around the crack front. This

refined mesh makes the contour integral domain sufficiently small to minimize the

influence of curvature on the results.

Additional details of the meshing procedures for the axisymmetric and three-

dimensional cases are discussed below within the descriptions of the individual

cases.

Material model

The linear static structural analysis requires specification of Young’s modulus, which

is 30,000,000 units of force/length2, and Poisson’s ratio, which is 0.3. One solid,

homogenous section is used to assign material properties to the elements.

Loads

A uniform pressure load of 10 units of force/length2 is applied along the free top

surface of the crack. In the axisymmetric models the load region, where the pressure

is applied is represented by a line segment. For the three-dimensional cases the load

region where the pressure is applied an area.

Analysis steps

Output requests

Output requests are used to specify calculation of contour integrals, stress intensity

factors, and T-stress. See “Requesting contour integral output,” Section 29.2.11 of

the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual, for more information regarding fracture mechanics

output. The global models used in the submodeling cases include output requests

necessary to write displacement and stress results to the output database (. odb) file;

in the case where node-based submodeling is used, displacement results are used to

establish boundary conditions on the corresponding submodels. In the case where

surface-based submodeling is used, stress results are used to establish boundary

tractions on the corresponding submodel.

Submodeling

accurate results when analyzing the stress field around a crack tip, a refined mesh

must be used to capture the strong gradients near the tip. The required mesh

refinement can make fracture mechanics models large since a crack is normally a

very small feature compared with the model dimensions. An alternative technique

that reduces computational resources is to use submodeling to obtain accurate

results by running two smaller models sequentially instead of performing a single

global analysis with a refined mesh around the crack. The first step is to solve a less

refined global model to obtain a solution that is accurate away from the crack tip but

is not sufficiently refined to capture strong gradients near the region of interest. A

refined submodel of the crack-tip region is then used to obtain a more accurate

solution and, hence, more accurate contour integrals. The boundaries of the

submodel must be far enough from the region of interest that the less refined global

model is able to provide accurate results at the submodel boundaries, particularly

important when surface-based submodeling is used. This condition is verified during

postprocessing by confirming that the stress contours at the boundaries of the

submodel are similar to the stress contours at the same location in the global model.

Although the submodeling approach is not required for this example because the

refined models for the entire domain analyzed in Case 1 and Case 2 are small

enough to run on commonly available computing platforms, this application provides

an opportunity to demonstrate submodeling techniques for both axisymmetric and

three-dimensional fracture mechanics cases, as well as showing the differences

between node-based submodeling based on displacements and surface-based

submodeling based on stresses. Submodeling procedures are described in detail

in “Node-based submodeling,” Section 10.2.2 of the Abaqus Analysis User's

Manual, “Surface-based submodeling,”Section 10.2.3 of the Abaqus Analysis User's

Manual, and Chapter 35, “Submodeling,” of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual.

Case 1 through Case 4 simulate the infinite extent of the domain with a continuum

mesh that is large compared to the crack dimensions with appropriate far-field

boundary conditions. In those cases the domain extends 20 times the crack length.

Case 5 and Case 6 demonstrate the use of continuum infinite elements and

represent the region of interest with reduced-integration continuum elements to a

distance approximately 10 times the crack dimensions surrounded by a layer of

continuum infinite elements. Far-field boundary conditions are not required in these

cases.

The axisymmetric domain is a solid with a radius equal to the height of 300 length

units (see Figure 1.4.2–2). The top edge of the model represents the free surface

containing the crack. The semi-infinite domain is simulated by extending the

continuum model to a distance 20 times the length of the crack and applying

appropriate far-field boundary conditions. This model uses continuum axisymmetric

quadratic reduced-integration (CAX8R) elements.

Mesh design

elements must be used around the crack tip where the contour integral calculations

will be performed with triangular elements adjacent to the crack tip. These triangular

elements are actually collapsed quadrilaterals, which introduce a singularity. The

axisymmetric model must be partitioned as shown in Figure 1.4.2–2 to define the

crack, introduce a singularity by collapsing elements at the crack tip, and create rings

of quadrilateral elements for contour integral calculations. A straight line partition is

created where the seam crack is defined along with a circular partition, which enables

mapping rings of elements around the crack tip. When structured meshing is used for

this partition, triangular elements are created adjacent to the crack tip with

quadrilaterals surrounding them (see “Using contour integrals to model fracture

mechanics,” Section 29.2 of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual). Abaqus/CAE

automatically converts triangular elements at the crack tip to quadrilaterals with one

side collapsed to introduce a singularity.

“Creating a seam,” Section 29.1.2 of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual, describes how

to pick partition segments to define the seam (crack). Procedures to create a square

root singularity in strain at the crack tip are described in “Controlling the singularity at

the crack tip,” Section 29.2.8 of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual. After defining the

seam, pick the crack tip to specify the region defining the first contour integral and

define the q vector to specify the crack extension direction as described in “Creating

a contour integral crack,” Section 29.2.9 of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual.

Boundary conditions

The right edge of the model shown in Figure 1.4.2–3 is unconstrained to represent

the far-field boundary. The bottom edge of the model is constrained to zero

displacement (U2) to eliminate rigid body motion while simulating the far-field

boundary. These edges are far enough away from the area of interest around the

crack to represent an infinite domain with negligible influence on the area of interest.

Run procedure

The Case 1 model is generated using Abaqus/CAE to create and to mesh native

geometry. Python scripts are provided to automate building the model and running

the solution. The scripts can be run interactively or from the command line.

To create the model interactively, start Abaqus/CAE and select Run Script from

the Start Session dialog box that appears. Select the first file for the

case, AxisymmConeCrack_model.py. When the script completes, you can use

Abaqus/CAE commands to display and to query the model. When you are ready to

analyze the model, select Run Script from the File menu and choose the next

script,AxisymmConeCrack_job.py. The Python scripts provided allow you to modify the

model interactively with Abaqus/CAE to explore additional variations on the cases

provided here.

Alternatively, the Python scripts can be run from the command line with the

Abaqus/CAE noGUI option in the order listed:

where abaqus is the system command to run the program and filename is the name

of the script to be run.

file AxisymmConeCrack.inp is also provided to run this case. You can submit the

analysis using the input file with the following command:

abaqus input=AxisymmConeCrack.inp

The three-dimensional domain is a cube with an edge length of 300 units, as shown

in Figure 1.4.2–4. The mesh represents a quarter-symmetric segment of the problem

domain. The top of the model represents the free surface containing the crack. The

semi-infinite domain is represented by extending the continuum mesh to a distance

20 times the length of the crack with appropriate symmetry and far-field boundary

conditions.

Mesh design

be used around the crack tip where the contour integral calculations will be

performed with wedge elements adjacent to the crack tip (these wedges are actually

collapsed bricks). Concentric tubular partitions are created to map the mesh around

the crack tip. The three-dimensional domain and partitioning of the geometry are

illustrated in Figure 1.4.2–5 and Figure 1.4.2–6. The seam crack is shown in Figure

1.4.2–7. When structured meshing is used for the inner tubular partition, wedge

elements are created adjacent to the crack tip with rings of bricks surrounding them

(see “Using contour integrals to model fracture mechanics,” Section 29.2 of the

Abaqus/CAE User's Manual, for details). A swept mesh used in the inner ring creates

wedge elements at the crack tip. The outer ring is meshed with hexahedral elements

using the structured meshing technique.

For details on how to define the crack propagation direction where the direction of the

vectors varies along the crack front (referred to as theq vector), see “Defining the

crack extension direction,” Section 29.2.4 of the Abaqus/CAE User's Manual. Figure

1.4.2–8 illustrates the qvectors.

Boundary conditions

planes. The far-field faces on the sides of the model, which are not symmetry planes,

are unconstrained. The bottom face of the model is constrained from displacement in

the direction of the pressure load (U2=0) to prevent rigid body motion while

simulating a far-field boundary condition.

Run procedure

The Python scripts provided to generate the Abaqus/CAE model and to analyze the

model are run following the same procedures as those described for Case 1.

file SymmConeCrackOrphan.inp is also provided to run this case. You can submit the

analysis using the input file with the following command:

case, SymmConeCrackOrphan_node.inp and SymmConeCrackOrphan_elem.inp, must be

available when the input file is submitted.

Figure 1.4.2–9 shows a deformed shape plot for the three-dimensional model of the

crack from the full three-dimensional analysis of Case 2. The displacement is

exaggerated using a scaling factor to visualize the crack opening.

Case 3 uses the submodeling approach and, hence, requires two sequential

analyses, which are referred to as the global model and the submodel. First, a less

refined global model is solved to obtain the displacement solution with sufficient

accuracy away from the crack tip. A refined submodel of the area of interest driven by

the displacement solution from the global model is then used to obtain an accurate

solution in the crack-tip region. Each of these models is much smaller than the fully

refined axisymmetric global model used in Case 1.

Mesh design

The axisymmetric global model has a relatively less refined mesh in the crack region.

The global model used for Case 3 has two rings of elements where the mesh focuses

on the crack tip, compared to 13 rings of elements around the crack tip in the full

model used in Case 1.

The axisymmetric global model and the submodel meshes for Case 3 are shown

in Figure 1.4.2–10. The axisymmetric submodel has a refined mesh around the crack

tip with 12 rings of elements surrounding the crack tip. It is assumed that the global

model’s coarse mesh is sufficiently accurate to drive the submodel: the submodel can

obtain accurate contour integral results if the global model's displacement field is

accurate at the boundaries of the submodel, which lie far from the crack tip. You can

verify this at the postprocessing stage by comparing stress contours at the

boundaries of the submodel to the corresponding contours of the global model.

Boundary conditions

The boundary conditions applied to the axisymmetric global model are the same as

those used in Case 1. The displacement solution from the global model is applied to

the submodel boundaries when the submodeling technique is used.

Run procedure

The models used for Case 3 are generated using Abaqus/CAE to create and to mesh

native geometry. The same procedures used to run the Python scripts for Cases 1

and 2 are used to create and to analyze the global model. The script that builds the

submodel refers to the global model output database (.odb) file, which must be

available when the submodel is analyzed. After analyzing the global model, run the

scripts to build and to analyze the submodel using the same procedure used for the

global model.

Abaqus/Standard input files are also provided to run this case. First, run the job to

create and to analyze the global model; then run the submodel job. The results from

the global model must be available to run the submodel. A typical execution

procedure is as follows:

abaqus job=submodelJobname, input=subModelInputfile.inp,

globalmodel=globalModelJobNameOutputDatabase

Case 4 Three-dimensional approach with submodeling using Abaqus/CAE

analyses, a global model and a submodel. First, a global model is solved with

sufficient refinement to provide an accurate displacement and stress solution away

from the crack tip.

Two versions of refined submodels of the area of interest are then used to obtain an

accurate solution in the crack-tip region. In one submodel analysis the area of

interest is driven by the displacement solution from the global model. In the other

submodel analysis the area of interest is driven by the stress solution from the global

model.

Each of the models used in this case is much smaller than the fully refined three-

dimensional global model used in Case 2.

Mesh design

The three-dimensional global model, with a less refined mesh in the crack region, is

first analyzed and then used to drive the submodel. For the three-dimensional global

model only 18 elements are used along the crack line, whereas 38 elements are

used along the crack line in the submodel. Figure 1.4.2–11 shows the meshes for the

three-dimensional global model and the submodel.

Boundary conditions

The boundary conditions applied to the global model in Case 4 are the same as

those used in the full three-dimensional Case 2. The submodeling approach uses

either the displacement or stress solution from the global model to drive the

submodel boundaries.

Run procedure

The models used for Case 4 are generated using Abaqus/CAE to create and to mesh

native geometry. The same procedures used to run Case 3 can be used with Case 4.

The script that builds the submodel refers to the global model output database (. odb)

file, which must be available when the submodel is analyzed.

As an alternative to the Python scripts, Abaqus/Standard input files are also provided

to run this case. These are submitted using the same procedure described for the

input files under Case 3.

Abaqus/Standard input files

continuum infinite elements to simulate the far-field boundary condition. The

submodeling technique requires two sequential analyses, a less refined global model

and a refined submodel at the crack tip.

hemispherical domain with continuum elements to a radius of 170 length units. Eight-

node biquadratic axisymmetric quadrilateral, reduced-integration elements (CAX8R)

are used to model the solid domain in the region adjacent to the crack. The domain is

further extended using a layer of continuum infinite elements to a radius of 340 length

units. Five-node quadratic axisymmetric one-way infinite elements (CINAX5R) are

used to simulate the far-field region of the solid. The submodel used in Case 5 does

not encompass the complete crack face but extends to a distance far enough from

the crack tip that strong variations in the stress field are captured within the

submodel. This result can be verified by comparing stress contours of the submodel

with the corresponding stress contours in the global model.

Mesh design

The axisymmetric global model, with a relatively less refined mesh in the crack

region, is first analyzed and then used to drive the submodel. The axisymmetric

global model and the submodel meshes for Case 5 are shown in Figure 1.4.2–12.

Boundary conditions

The continuum infinite elements eliminate the need for far-field constraints, which

were required in Case 1 through Case 4.

Run procedure

The models used for Case 5 are generated using Abaqus/Standard input files. First,

run the job to create and to analyze the global model; then run the submodel job. The

results from the global model must be available to run the submodel. A typical

execution procedure is as follows:

abaqus job=submodelJobname, input=subModelInputfile.inp,

globalmodel=globalModalJobNameOutputDatabase

with Abaqus/Standard input files

continuum infinite elements to simulate the far-field boundary condition. The domain

modeled for Case 6 encompasses an eighth of a sphere, representing one-quarter of

the semi-infinite problem domain. Continuum elements are used to a radius of 170

length units. The domain is extended using a layer of infinite continuum elements to a

radius of 340 length units.

The submodeling technique requires two separate analyses, a less refined global

model and a refined submodel at the crack tip. Case 6 uses Abaqus/Standard input

files to generate the models rather than Abaqus/CAE Python scripts. Twenty-node

quadratic, reduced-integration solid elements (C3D20R) are used to model the solid

domain in the region adjacent to the crack. The domain is further extended using a

layer of 12-node quadratic one-way infinite brick elements (CIN3D12R) to a radius of

340 length units.

The submodel used in Case 6 does not encompass the complete crack face but

extends to a distance far enough from the crack tip that strong variations in the stress

field are captured within the submodel.

Mesh design

The three-dimensional global model, with a relatively less refined mesh in the crack

region, is first analyzed and then used to drive the submodel. The three-dimensional

global model and the submodel meshes for Case 6 are shown in Figure 1.4.2–13.

Boundary conditions

The continuum infinite elements eliminate the need for far-field constraints, which

were required in Case 1 through Case 4.

Run procedure

The models of Case 6 are generated using Abaqus/Standard input files. The same

procedure used in Case 5 is also used in Case 6. The files containing the node and

element definitions for the three-dimensional global model must be available when

the input file is run to create the global model . The output database (. odb) file from

the global model must be available to run the submodel.

Contour integral results obtained from the data (.dat) file for each case are

summarized in Table 1.4.2–1 through Table 1.4.2–4. These results are also available

from the output database (.odb) file by displaying history output in the Visualization

module of Abaqus/CAE. While there is no analytical solution available for

comparison, an additional axisymmetric analysis with extreme mesh refinement is

used as the basis for a reference solution. Each table includes the reference solution

value in the table title.

Abaqus calculates the J-integral using two methods. Values of the J-integral are

based on the stress intensity factors, JK, and by evaluating the contour integral

directly, JA. The stress intensity factors and , and the T-stresses are given

in Table 1.4.2–2, Table 1.4.2–3, andTable 1.4.2–4, respectively. When the stress

intensity factors are requested, Abaqus automatically outputs the J-integrals based

on the stress intensity factors, JK. Values of are not tabulated because these

values should equal zero based on the loading and are negligibly small relative to

and .

The tables list values for contour 1 through contour 5. Each contour corresponds to a

successive ring of elements progressing outward radially from the crack tip. For the

axisymmetric cases one set of results is available for each contour. For the three-

dimensional cases Abaqus/Standard provides contour integral values at each crack-

tip node. The values listed in Table 1.4.2–1 through Table 1.4.2–4 for the three-

dimensional cases correspond to the location halfway along the circumference of the

crack, which lies midway between the symmetry faces of the three-dimensional

models. A detailed examination of the results for the three-dimensional cases

confirms that the contour integral values are essentially constant at each node along

the circumference of the crack tip. The exception is the value calculated for ;

which fluctuates but remains small relative to and over almost the full length

of the crack; however increases at the open end faces of the crack

corresponding to the symmetry planes. A loss of accuracy occurring at the node

corresponding to the open end of a three-dimensional crack is a known limitation that

can be expected when applying this method.

Results from the first contour are generally not used when evaluating fracture

problems because the first contour is influenced by the singularity associated with the

crack tip. The average quantities reported in the tabular results exclude the first

contour. Comparisons refer only to contour 2 through contour 5. The axisymmetric

and the three-dimensional modeling approaches are in close agreement, with and

without submodeling. For each case, values of the tabulated quantities

for J calculated by evaluating the contour integrals directly, (JA), , , and T-

stresses deviate by less than 2% of the average of the corresponding values for

contour 2 through contour 5. The J-integral for each case, calculated from the stress

intensity factors (JK) deviate by less than 3.5% of the average of corresponding

values. The larger deviation for JK versus JA is expected because the method of

calculating contour integrals from the stress intensity factors (JK) is more sensitive to

numerical precision than calculating the contour integrals directly (JA). is

analytically equal to zero due to the geometry and loading symmetry in this example;

the numerical results for are negligibly small relative to and .

Submodeling results

The global models used to calculate the deformation and stress fields that drive the

submodels use crack-tip meshes that are too coarse to give accurate results for the

contour integrals; therefore, the results for the global models are not tabulated.

Results are tabulated for the submodels that refer to this global analysis. Generally

these results verify that the submodeling approach provides adequate accuracy in

fracture problems where it may not be practical to use a sufficiently refined mesh in

the crack-tip region of a global model. The node-based submodeling approach

provides greater accuracy than the surface-based approach.

The J-integral values for the node-based submodel analyses match those for the full

model analyses (analyses with adequate mesh refinement around the crack tip) to

within less than 1%.

Surface-based submodeling results

where the submodel is driven by the global model stress field. Two different pairs of

global models and surface-based submodels are considered: one that matches the

mesh design used in the node-based analysis, and one where adjustments are made

to improve accuracy. The J-integral values for the first analysis pair, with the same

meshes as in node-based submodeling, match those for the full model only to within

6%. These inaccurate results arise from a modeling arrangement that violates

guidelines established in “Surface-based submodeling,” Section 10.2.3 of the

Abaqus Analysis User's Manual, namely that

the submodel surface should intersect the global model in regions of relatively

low stress gradients, and

the submodel surface should intersect the global model in regions of uniform

element size.

Adjusted global and submodel analyses that adhere to these guidelines are run. In

this case the submodel driven surface is farther from the crack region and the high

stress gradient, and the global model mesh is refined so that elements are more

uniform in the region of the submodel surface. Figure 1.4.2–14 shows a comparison

of the submodel/global model pairs. The modeling arrangement on the left places the

lower submodel boundary too near to the crack and high stress gradients and cuts

through high aspect ratio elements. The arrangement on the right provides lower

aspect ratio elements in the global model and positions the lower submodel boundary

further from the crack. The adjusted analysis with the further boundary now matches

the J-integral values for the full model to within 2%. This accuracy difference

illustrates the importance of adhering to the guidelines for surface-based submodel

design. In practice, in the absence of a reference global solution, you should use the

following guidelines to ensure your surface-based solution is adequate:

As with any submodel analysis, compare solution results between the global

model and submodel on the submodel boundary. In this case a stress

comparison is appropriate. Figure 1.4.2–15 compares the 2-component of

stress for the two surface-based submodel analyses and their corresponding

global model. Results are plotted on a path lying in the lower submodel

boundary and extending from the center radially outward. The near-boundary

submodel has a significantly greater stress discrepancy with the global model.

In cases where inertia relief is employed to address rigid body modes in

surface-based submodeling, if the inertia relief force output variable (IRF) is

small compared to the prevailing force level in the model, the surface-based

stress distribution is equilibrated. In this model the prevailing force is the 10

units of pressure acting on the surface circumscribed on the crack (a radius of

6), or 786 units of force for the three-dimensional quarter symmetry model.

In this analysis the inertia relief force in the 2-direction is similar in both cases

(33 for the near-boundary model and 32 for the far-boundary model) and

relatively small; hence, in this case, the inertia relief force would not suggest

poorer results with the near-boundary submodel, and its small value is not a

sufficient measure of the adequacy of the submodel design.

Files

You can use the Python scripts for Abaqus/CAE and input files for Abaqus/Standard

to create and to run the cases.

AxisymmConeCrack_model.py

Script to create the model, including instructions for creating the mesh used for the

reference solution.

AxisymmConeCrack_job.py

AxisymmConeCrack.inp

SymmConeCrack_model.py

SymmConeCrack_job.py

SymmConeCrackOrphan.inp

SymmConeCrackOrphan_node.inp

SymmConeCrackOrphan_elem.inp

AxisymmConeCrackGl_model.py

Script to create the model.

AxisymmConeCrackGl_job.py

Script to analyze the model and to create the output database file that drives the

submodel.

AxisymmConeCrackSub_model.py

AxisymmConeCrackSub_job.py

Script to analyze the submodel using the results from the global model output

database file to drive it.

AxisymmConeCrackGl.inp

AxisymmConeCrackSub.inp

SymmConeCrackGl_model.py

SymmConeCrackGl_job.py

Script to analyze the global model and to create the output database file that drives

the submodel. Refer to parameter definitions in the script to create the adjusted

global model referred to in “Submodeling results.”

SymmConeCrackSub_model.py

SymmConeCrackSub_job.py

Script to analyze the node-based submodel using the results from the global model

output database file to drive it.

SymmConeCrackSubSb_near_model.py

SymmConeCrackSubSb_near_job.py

Script to analyze the surface-based submodel using the stress results from the global

model output database file to drive it.

SymmConeCrackSubSb_far_model.py

SymmConeCrackSubSb_far_job.py

Script to analyze the surface-based submodel with the far-boundary submodel using

the stress results from the global model output database file to drive it.

SymmConeCrackGlOrphan.inp

SymmConeCrackGlOrphan_node.inp

SymmConeCrackGlOrphan_elem.inp

SymmConeCrackGlOrphanAdj.inp

Input file to create and to analyze the global model that is adjusted for improved

surface-based submodel accuracy.

SymmConeCrackGlOrphanAdj_node.inp

SymmConeCrackGlOrphanAdj_elem.inp

SymmConeCrackSubOr.inp

SymmConeCrackSubOr_node.inp

SymmConeCrackSubOr_elem.inp

Elements for SymmConeCrackSubOr.inp.

SymmConeCrackSubOrSb_near.inp

Input file to create and to analyze the submodel using the surface-based submodel

technique to drive the submodel stresses.

SymmConeCrackSubOrSb_near_node.inp

SymmConeCrackSubOrSb_near_elem.inp

SymmConeCrackSubOrSb_far.inp

Input file to create and to analyze the submodel with the far-boundary submodel

using the surface-based submodel technique to drive the submodel stresses.

SymmConeCrackSubOrSb_far_node.inp

SymmConeCrackSubOrSb_far_elem.inp

conicalcrack_axiglobal.inp

Input file to analyze the axisymmetric global model and to create the output database

file that drives the submodel.

conicalcrack_axisubmodel_rms.inp

Input file to analyze the axisymmetric submodel using the results from the global

model output database file to drive it.

conicalcrack_3dglobal.inp

Input file to analyze the three-dimensional global model and to create the output

database file that drives the submodel.

conicalcrack_3dsubmodel_rms.inp

Input file to analyze the three-dimensional submodel using the results from the global

model output database file to drive it.

Reference

Other

Three-Dimensional Crack Front in a Thermally Stressed Body,” International

Journal of Fracture, vol. 30, pp.79–102, 1986.

Tables

Table 1.4.2–1 J-integral estimates (×10–7) for conical crack using Abaqus. JK

denotes the J values estimated from stress intensity factors; JA denotes the J values

estimated directly by Abaqus. The reference solution J-integral value is 1.33.

Contours 2–5

J 1 2 3 4 5

estimate

method

Case 2: Full three-

dimensional

JA 1.308 1.334 1.336 1.337 1.337 1.336

Case 3: Submodel

axisymmetric

JA 1.330 1.329 1.330 1.330 1.330 1.330

Case 4: Node-based

submodel three-dimensional

JA 1.318 1.326 1.328 1.328 1.328 1.328

Case 4: Surface-based

submodel three-dimensional

JA 1.400 1.408 1.409 1.408 1.407 1.408

Solution Contour Average Value,

Contours 2–5

J 1 2 3 4 5

estimate

method

JA 1.349 1.357 1.359 1.358 1.358 1.358

three-dimensional

axisymmetric with infinite

elements JA 1.407 1.360 1.365 1.365 1.365 1.364

dimensional with infinite

elements JA 1.336 1.361 1.366 1.366 1.366 1.365

Table 1.4.2–2 Stress intensity factor estimates for conical crack using Abaqus.

Contour 1 is omitted from the average value calculations. The reference solution

value is 0.491.

Contours 2–5

1 2 3 4 5

0.491 0.496 0.498 0.497 0.494 0.497

dimensional

0.426 0.431 0.433 0.431 0.427 0.430

three-dimensional

0.436 0.441 0.443 0.442 0.439 0.441

far boundary, three-dimensional

0.537 0.527 0.528 0.528 0.529 0.528

infinite elements

Case 6: Submodel three dimensional 0.522 0.528 0.529 0.530 0.530 0.528

Solution Contour Average Value,

Contours 2–5

1 2 3 4 5

Table 1.4.2–3 Stress intensity factor estimates for conical crack using Abaqus.

Contour 1 is omitted from the average value calculations. The reference solution

value is –2.03.

Contours 2–5

1 2 3 4 5

– – – – –

Case 1: Full axisymmetric –1.986

2.032 2.016 2.000 1.978 1.949

– – – – –

Case 2: Full three-dimensional –2.010

2.013 2.029 2.018 2.004 1.987

– – – – –

Case 3: Submodel axisymmetric –2.014

2.033 2.026 2.019 2.010 1.999

three-dimensional 2.023 2.023 2.012 1.997 1.980

–2.084

three-dimensional 2.102 2.103 2.092 2.078 2.061

–2.041

with far boundary, three-dimensional 2.060 2.060 2.050 2.036 2.019

–2.051

infinite elements 2.090 2.050 2.053 2.052 2.051

2.027 2.053 2.057 2.057 2.057 2.056

with infinite elements

Table 1.4.2–4 T-stress estimates for conical crack using Abaqus. Contour 1 is

omitted from the average value calculations. The reference solution T-stress value is

0.979.

1 2 3 4 5 Contours 2–5

– – – – –

Case 1:Full axisymmetric –0.973

0.982 0.979 0.976 0.972 0.967

– – – – –

Case 2: Full three-dimensional –0.963

0.942 0.972 0.966 0.960 0.954

– – – – –

Case 3:Submodel Axisymmetric –0.976

0.980 0.978 0.977 0.975 0.973

three-dimensional 0.947 0.966 0.959 0.953 0.947

–0.986

three-dimensional 0.981 0.996 0.989 0.983 0.976

–0.963

with far boundary, three-dimensional 0.958 0.973 0.966 0.960 0.954

–0.984

infinite elements 1.182 0.983 0.985 0.984 0.984

–0.982

with infinite elements 0.599 0.982 0.984 0.983 0.982

Figures

Figure 1.4.2–2 Case 1: Partitioning axisymmetric geometry.

Figure 1.4.2–4 Case 2: Full three-dimensional mesh.

Figure 1.4.2–6 Case 2: Partitions around the crack line. The smaller inner ring is

swept meshed using wedge elements. The outer ring is meshed using hexahedral

elements and the structured meshing technique. The cone partitions are also visible.

Figure 1.4.2–8 Case 2: q vectors defined along the entire crack line on an orphan

mesh.

Figure 1.4.2–10 Case 3: Axisymmetric global and submodel meshes around the

crack line.

Figure 1.4.2–11 Case 4: Full three-dimensional global model and submodel meshes

around the crack line.

Figure 1.4.2–12 Case 5: Axisymmetric global model using infinite elements and

submodel meshes.

Figure 1.4.2–13 Case 6: Three-dimensional global model with infinite elements and

submodel meshes.

Figure 1.4.2–14 Case 4: Comparison of inadequate (left) and adequate (right) global

and submodel designs for a surface-based submodel stress solution.

Figure 1.4.2–15 Case 4: Confirmation of stress agreement between the global model

and submodel.

5. Using Shell Elements

Use shell elements to model structures in which one dimension (the thickness) is

significantly smaller than the other dimensions and in which the stresses in the

thickness direction are negligible. A structure, such as a pressure vessel, whose

thickness is less than 1/10 of a typical global structural dimension generally can be

modeled with shell elements. The following are examples of typical global

dimensions:

the distance between stiffeners or large changes in section thickness,

the radius of curvature, and

the wavelength of the highest vibration mode of interest.

Abaqus shell elements assume that plane sections perpendicular to the plane of the

shell remain plane. Do not be confused into thinking that the thickness must be less

than 1/10 of the element dimensions. A highly refined mesh may contain shell

elements whose thickness is greater than their in-plane dimensions, although this is

not generally recommended—continuum elements may be more suitable in such a

case.

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