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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

In this tutorial you will learn how to:

1. Launch AIM.

2. Set up a structural analysis in AIM using a template.

3. Import a geometry that has parameterized characteristics.

4. Create and modify a mesh.

5. Assign materials from existing libraries.

6. Create and assign new materials.

7. Apply boundary conditions.

8. Solve the analysis.

9. Postprocess and examine the results.

10. Assess design changes using design points in the Workbench Parameter Manager.

1. Prerequisites
Ensure that you have Winzip.

2. Problem Description
This tutorial demonstrates the ability of AIM to import a CAD model, perform a static structural analysis,
and evaluate design changes using the Design Points Dashboard.

You will import a CAD model of an electronic board, mesh it, define materials, and solve a structural
analysis. You will then use the Design Points Dashboard to evaluate how changing the applied loading
and geometry will affect the calculated stresses and displacements.

You will learn how to set up materials in details in this tutorial. You will assign materials from the default
material library and learn how to create and assign new materials.

3. Setup and Solution


The following sections describe the setup and solution steps for this tutorial:
3.1. Preparing a Working Directory
3.2. Starting AIM
3.3. Loading the Geometry
3.4. Configuring and Solving the Physics
3.5. Viewing the Results

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

3.1. Preparing a Working Directory


1. Set up a working folder on the computer you will be using.

2. Download the input files.

3. Unzip the file you downloaded to your working folder.

The file AIM_ElectronicBoard.scdoc can be found in the directory created after unzipping the
file.

3.2. Starting AIM


Start AIM and set up a simulation process.

1. From the Windows Start menu, select Start > All Programs > ANSYS > ANSYS AIM to start a new ANSYS
AIM session.

The ANSYS AIM application window will appear. The various Simulation Process Templates are
displayed.

2. Go to the Structural template and click Start.

3. Change the units to Metric (kg,mm,s,°C,mA,NmV).

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Setup and Solution

Home( ) > Units > Metric (kg,mm,s,°C,mA,NmV)

Note

If the unit system is not in the list, click Unit Systems....

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

In the Unit Systems dialog box, ensure that the unit system you are interested in is de-
selected in column D (the column that controls the unit systems that are shown in the
Home > Units list).

3.3. Loading the Geometry


1. In the Structural: Model panel, retain the selection of Import geometry file from the list under Model.

2. From the list under Model Options retain the selection of Allow geometry modeling.

3. Retain the selection of Detect contact automatically.

4. Click Next and in the window that opens browse to your working folder, select the geometry file
AIM_ElectronicBoard.scdoc and click Open.

As you can see, the geometry is of an electronic circuit board that contains different components.

5. In the Structural: Physics panel retain selection of Static under Calculation Type.

6. Click Finish.

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Setup and Solution

7. Before proceeding you need to check the geometry. You can either click the Geometry link in the Simu-
lation Process panel, you can click the Geometry task in the Workflow tab, or you can click Electronic
Board in the navigation toolbar.

a. In the Geometry panel under Settings > Dimensions you can see that the PCB_thickess is paramet-
erized. So now you have a parameter that is the thickness of the board.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

b. In the Geometry panel under Output click on Selection Set. You can see that there are 5 sets that
are imported with the Design model.

If you hover the mouse over a Selection Set, the components included in that set will be highlighted
in the graphics window. As you can see you have the following selection sets:

• PCB (Printed Circuit Board)

• Electronic components

• Circuits

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Setup and Solution

• Heatsinks

• Connectors

You can also see that the Geometry task shows Up-to-date status.

8. Save the project Electronic_Board.

3.4. Configuring and Solving the Physics


Navigate to Physics. You can do this by clicking on the Physics cell, in the Workflow tab.

In the Physics panel you will be defining material properties.

1. Click Material Assignments under Physics Definition. You can see that the whole geometry is selected.

So click to delete this.

Note

You will learn how to assign materials from the existing database and how to create,
define, and assign new materials. For the heat sinks and the circuits, you will assign
materials from the existing database. For the electronic components, board, and con-
nectors, you will create new materials.

Following table shows the material setting at a quick glance.

Table 1: Material Properties

Component Material from the database Material Properties


NS_heatsinks Aluminum Alloy Default
NS_circuits Copper Alloy Default
NS_elec_components NA Density: 2.3e-06 kg mm^-3

Young’s modulus: 2.3e+05 MPa

Poisson’s ratio: 0.2


NS_PCB NA Density: 1.85e-06 kg mm^-3

Young’s modulus: 2.4e+04 MPa

Poisson’s ratio: 0.13


NS_connectors NA Density: 9.2e-07 kg mm^-3

Young’s modulus: 900 MPa

Poisson’s ratio: 0.34

2. Next to Material Assignments click Add. Select Material Assignment and search for aluminum. Select
Aluminum Alloy (Material Samples) from the list.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

a. In the panel for Location select NS_heatsinks.

b. You can rename the material from Aluminum Alloy Assignment to something more descriptive,
such as, Heat Sinks.

3. Return to Physics panel. Next to Material Assignments click Add > Material Assignment and search
for copper. Select Copper Alloy (Material Samples) from the list.

a. Select NS_circuits for Location in the panel.

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Setup and Solution

b. Change the material name from Copper Alloy Assignment to Circuits.

4. Now you will assign a material for the electronic components on the circuit board. Return to Physics task.

a. Next to Material Assignment click Add and search for Electronic Components. Click on Create
Electronic Components.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

b. In the Electronic Components panel that opens, click on Add next to Solid Properties and select
Density from the drop-down list.

• For Density enter 2.3e-06 kg mm^-3.

c. Click Add next to Solid Properties and select Isotropic Elasticity from the drop-down list.

i. For Young’s modulus enter 2e+05 MPa.

ii. For Poisson’s ratio enter 0.2.

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Setup and Solution

d. Go back to Physics panel and click Material Assignments.

i. In the list of Material Assignments click Electronic Components Assignment.

ii. In the Electronic Components Assignment panel select NS_elec_components for Location.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

Note

You can assign other materials by referring to Table 1: Material Properties (p. 7).

5. Now assign a material for the circuit board. Go to Physics task. Next to Material Assignment click Add
and search for Electronic Board. Click Create Electronic Board.

a. In the Electronic Board panel that opens, click on Add next to Solid Properties and select Density
from the drop-down list.

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Setup and Solution

• For Density enter 1.85e-06 kg mm^-3.

b. Click Add next to Solid Properties and select Isotropic Elasticity from the drop-down list.

i. For Young’s modulus enter 2.4e+04 MPa.

ii. For Poisson’s ratio enter 0.13.

c. Return to Physics panel and click on Material Assignments.

i. In the list of Material Assignments click on Electronic Board Assignment.

ii. In the Electronic Board Assignment panel, for Location select NS_PCB.

6. To add the next material, return to Physics panel. Next to Material Assignment click Add and search for
Connectors. Click Create Connectors.

a. In the Connectors panel that opens, click on Add next to Solid Properties and select Density from
the drop-down list.

• For Density enter 9.2e-07 kg mm^-3.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

b. Click Add and select Isotropic Elasticity from the drop-down list.

i. For Young’s modulus enter 900 MPa.

ii. For Poisson’s ratio enter 0.34.

c. Return to Physics panel and click on Material Assignments.

i. In the list of Material Assignments click on Connectors Assignment.

ii. In the Connectors Assignment panel, for Location select NS_connectors.

All of the materials are now defined.

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Setup and Solution

Now you will add boundary conditions. The edge shown in Figure 1: Selection of Edges for Sup-
port (p. 15) is connected to the electronic device. It must be restrained.

7. Return to Physics panel. To add a support boundary condition click on Add next to Structural Conditions
and select Support from the list.

a. Select the 2 faces on the edge as shown and then in the Support panel click the button , next
to Location.

Figure 1: Selection of Edges for Support

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

b. Change the name to Fixed Support.

8. Add another boundary condition. Return to the Physics panel. Click on Add next to Structural Conditions
and select Inertia Load from the list.

a. The whole model is selected for Location. Retain this selection.

b. For Z enter 9810 to apply a load of 1 G acceleration in the Z direction.

c. Parameterize the load by clicking on the Parameterize button next to Z.

d. Change the name to 1 G Loading.

9. Return to the Physics panel. Click Interface Conditions, and you can see that there are 79 contacts and
1 Interface Generator defined.

10. Now that you have added all the boundary conditions you can check the mesh, by using the physics
aware meshing. Right-click on the Physics cell in the Workflow tab, or right-click in the graphics window,
and select Generate Mesh from the context menu.

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Setup and Solution

Figure 2: Mesh

Note

As you can see in Figure 2: Mesh (p. 17), the default mesh settings produce a coarse
mesh. Since the geometry has many thin components that you are going to change the
size function to "curvature and proximity" to provide better mesh resolution for the thin
rectilinear parts.

a. In the Workflow tab right-click on the Physics cell and select Define Mesh Manually.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

A dialog box pops up asking if you want to insert a mesh and transfer settings. Click Yes.

The Mesh panel opens. The Mesh panel indicates an Out-of-date status. You can see that
Structural, thermal or electric cond. is selected for Engineering intent which will set the
meshing preferences accordingly. By default, the slider bar for Mesh resolution is set to below
medium.

b. Expand Global Sizing, and select Curvature and proximity from the list under Size function
method.

c. Generate the mesh by clicking on the Generate Mesh button (with a lightning bolt) at the top panel.
Alternatively, right-click in the Workflow tab and select Generate Mesh from the context menu.

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Setup and Solution

The generated mesh will solve fine, but to include some additional mesh refinement you could
move the Mesh resolution slider over to high.

d. Move the Mesh resolution slider to the last but one step, and generate the mesh.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

Figure 3: Improved Mesh

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Setup and Solution

Figure 4: Close up view of Mesh

The assembly is subjected to out-of-plane inertial loading, which produces in-plane bending
stresses in the board.

You can see in Figure 3: Improved Mesh (p. 20) and Figure 4: Close up view of Mesh (p. 21),
that the mesh quality is improved, particularly the board mesh with four elements through
the thickness.

11. Return to the Physics panel. Retain the default options under Physics Options and also under Solver
Options.

Now you are ready to solve.

12. The Physics task is now ready to be updated. You can update it by either clicking the blue lightning bolt
next to the Out-of-date message near the top of the Physics panel, the blue lightning bolt Solve Physics
button next to Output near the bottom of the Physics panel, right-clicking in the Workflow tab and se-
lecting Solve Physics from the context menu, or by right-clicking in the graphics window and selecting
Solve Physics from the context menu.

You can see the status in the progress bar. In the Workflow tab you can also review the progress
using the Transcript tab.

13. When solving is finished the Physics panel shows the Up-to-date status.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

3.5. Viewing the Results


Click Results cell in the Workflow tab. You can see that there are two results automatically defined —
Displacement Magnitude and Equivalent Stress. You can review those results and/or request addi-
tional results.

1. Click Displacement Magnitude and click Evaluate at the bottom of the panel, click the lightning bolt
sign next to Out-of-date at the top of the panel, or right-click in the graphics window and select Evaluate
Results. See Figure 5: Displacement Magnitude Contours (p. 22).

Figure 5: Displacement Magnitude Contours

2. Click the Play animation button at the top of the graphics screen to check the animation.

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Setup and Solution

You can now animate the displacement of the electronic board. As expected it is bending down
on the outer edge (edge opposite the supported edge) of the board.

3. Now check the Equivalent Stress. In the Equivalent Stress panel under Appearance select Banded
from Coloring drop-down list.

Figure 6: Equivalent Stress Magnitude

You can see that the maximum equivalent stress occurs in the board near the restrained end (Fig-
ure 6: Equivalent Stress Magnitude (p. 23)). If you zoom in on the high stress area, you can see the
expected bending stress distribution (Figure 7: Zoomed View of Equivalent Stress Magnitude (p. 24)).

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

Figure 7: Zoomed View of Equivalent Stress Magnitude

4. Now you will parameterize both the results. Click the Parameterize button next to Calculated maximum,
in the Equivalent Stress panel as well as the Displacement Magnitude panel.

5. Click Design Points Dashboard button to open the Design Points Dashboard window.

a. In the Parameters tab, you can now see that two Inputs (board thickness and applied inertia load),
and two Outputs (maximum equivalent stress and displacement), are defined.

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Setup and Solution

In Outline of Parameters you can rename the parameters.

• Change Modeling Import Source 1 PCB_thickness parameter name to PCB_thickness.

• Change Equivalent Stress 1 Calculated maximum parameter name to Max Equivalent


Stress.

• Change Displacement Magnitude Calculated maximum parameter name to Max Dis-


placement.

b. In the Design Points tab you can see all these in a row. Select DP 0 and select Duplicate selected

c. Set P2 – Inertia Load 1 Z to 98100.

Note

By doing this you will increase the inertia load from 1G to 10 G. The analysis is linear,
so the results should also change by a factor of 10.

d. Select DP 1 and click Update Selected .

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

Note

As expected, both the stress and displacement have increased by a factor of 10.

e. Now you can evaluate how the change in the thickness of he board affects the stress and displacement.

Select DP 1 and click Duplicate selected twice.

Retain the load as 10 G.

f. Now change the thickness of the board to1.5 for DP 2 and 2.5 for DP 3.

g. Select DP 2 and DP 3 and click Update Selected .

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Summary

Note

As expected, changing the board thickness has a non-linear effect on stress and
displacement.

4. Summary
With ANSYS AIM interface you can perform a static structural analysis. You learned how to:

1. Set-up a structural analysis in AIM using a template.

2. Import CAD geometry that has a parameterized characteristic.

3. Create and modify a mesh.

4. Assign a material from the AIM library.

5. Create and assign new materials.

6. Apply boundary conditions.

7. Solve the analysis.

8. Post-process the results.

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Structural Loading Applied to a Circuit Board

9. Assess design changes using design points dashboard.

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