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Virtual Performance Solution


Tutorial 16
Virtual Performance Solution 2013 Education Package
© 2013 ESI Group Tutorial 16

Tutorial 16
Connecting Parts
with Point Link

Problem description
Outline: Creation of a point connection such as a spot-weld connection between two
metal plates
Analysis type(s): Explicit, 3D analysis

Element type(s): Shell

Materials law(s): Elastic-Plastic

Model options: Boundary conditions, Nodal loads, Hourglass control

Key results: Displacements, Shear Force, Normal Force

Prepared by: Wang Kunpeng, Pierre Culiere

Date: February 2008
Version: V2 (updated December 2013 for Visual-Crash PAM V9.0)

Background information
Thousands of spot welds are used to connect the parts of steel car bodies. To reduce model
preparation time, these spot welds are defined independently of the connected part meshes.

This simple exercise introduces the mesh-independent spot weld model. Similar modelling technique
can be used for other punctual linkages, such as rivets or bolts. The more difficult topic of rupture of
these connectors in a crash simulation is not addressed here.

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Virtual Performance Solution 2013 Education Package
© 2013 ESI Group Tutorial 16

Part 1: Using VCP to Define a Spot Weld

Preparing the mesh (Visual Mesh)

This exercise uses the same mesh and boundary conditions as in Tutorial 15.

• Refer to Tutorial 15 if you need to create plate models.

• If you already created the models in Tutorial 15, you may simply copy the file
“Tied_Elastic_plastic.pc” to “Plink_Elastic_plastic.pc”.

Defining the Pink and model data (Visual-Crash PAM)

This involves:

Starting Visual Crash PAM for creating a PLINK model.

Using VCP for defining:

• Fixed end on part 1 (as in Tutorial 15)
• Velocity at end of part 2 (velocity at end)
• Part and material data
• Control data

Starting the Visual-Crash PAM and opening the existing model file
1. Start the Visual-Crash PAM and read in the new file (Plink_Elastic_Plastic.pc) using FILE > Open.
2. If the model is copied from the Tutorial 15: in the explorer, go to Links > Tied and delete the existing
tied interface.

Introduction to Plink Spotwelds Interfaces

PLINK elements define a point connection between several

layers of shell elements. The different elements to be
connected can be automatically searched by the code
based on the PLINK location and a search radius. The
search radius, as well as the number of layers and the parts
to be connected can be specified on the PLINK part data.

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Virtual Performance Solution 2013 Education Package
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Generating the Plink Interface

• Choose menu Weld Tools> Create PLINKs to get the PLINK creation
• Choose the tab Weld Point Utilities>Create by Point
• Select parts 1 and 2 respectively for PID1 and PID2 (click the arrow and
then select the part)
• Choose the spotwelds location by clicking the arrow next to “By
window pick” and selecting locations of the spotweld.

• Click Create. The spot weld

locations will be confirmed
and their status will change
to “ready to create”.
• The Weld Utilities tab is
opened and the parameters
such as the radius can be
modified. Then click Create
to finalize the spot weld
creation process. The spot
welds are then projected
and their status changed to

Boundary conditions (fixing the built in end to the wall and other constraints)
Refer to the Tutorial 15 for details.
Assigning Plink material and part data
Select in the Explorer, the automatically created MAT_..._Plink material and Edit it using the right
mouse button. Set parameters as in picture.

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Virtual Performance Solution 2013 Education Package
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Set the PAM-CRASH Control Data

This controls the analysis and allows specific data like the problem analysis time (in ms in this case),
specific output information and output intervals for the results to be defined.

 For example in the explorer panel, click on

the Explorer> Controls>Title and then open
the title panel in edit mode by clicking the
right mouse button. A suitable title can now
be added. This title will appear on all results
plotted later using Visual Viewer and is
important to help identify the analysis
undertaken (e.g. Plink_Elastic_Plastic). Save
this information with Apply and Close.

 Similar steps are done for the

Controls/Standard Controls/RUNEND
control (open, edit and enter 10.0 for the
solution time).

 For the Standard Controls/OCTRL control

Set the THPOUTPUT to INTERVAL, 0.1 ms

Set the DSYOUTPUT to INTERVAL 0.5 ms

Additional Output options

Additional node and element time history
information can be stored on the .THP and
.DSY files:
In explorer open Controls > Standard
Controls> OCTRL and click on the tab
Click on SHLTHP > ALL > OK and click on
SHLPLOT> ALL > OK to output all available
shell variables to the .DSY and .THP files.
Click the Apply Button.

Saving the dataset (as a .pc file)

Export the model in the required directory with a suitable name; e.g. overwrite the new updated
Plink_Elastic_Plastic.pc file.
Click on File > Export and save the dataset. Make sure the directory location for the export is

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Virtual Performance Solution 2013 Education Package
© 2013 ESI Group Tutorial 16

Part 2: Running the

Start the simulation
Open the ESI Group folder on the Desktop and select /VP Education Version/2013/
Virtual-Performance Solver 2013.0 Education executable.

The dataset file name and its location will be requested.

If the dataset is valid, it will proceed through the dataset initialization phase into the solution phase.

If there are data errors the run will stop with an abnormal termination message. Inspect the output file
for errors (search for ‘ERROR’ and investigate). Correct the dataset; preferably in VISUAL CRASH (or
in the editor) and rerun the analysis.

The solver progression can be monitored by the information displayed in the listing windows:
6190 0.9512E+01 0.1483E-02 SHELL 119 0.1000E+01 0.2104E+00 0.7129E+03 0.8667E-01 0

Once the message NORMAL TERMINATION appears in the listing windows, you can proceed to next
part, results evaluation.

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Part 3: Results Analysis in

Starting Visual Viewer

Click on Applications > Viewer.

Three files are available for results visualization which depend of the
OUTPUT_FILE_FORMAT specify in the OCTRL section:

• filename.THP stores time history information at selected points,

elements, etc.
• filename.DSY contains deformation and contour plots of the full

• filename_RESULT.erfh5 stores time history information at selected

points, elements, etc and deformation and contour plots of the full
structure(it’s the combination of filename.THP + filename.DSY).

First, you will see that the layout of the program and most options to visualize and manipulate the part
are the same as those used in Visual-Mesh and Visual-Crash PAM.

Mesh plot results (.DSY file)

 Open the results files using File >Open. First open the DSY file (i.e. Plink_Elastic_Plastic.DSY)
which contains deformed state and contour plot information for the complete structure.
Alternatively, File > Open Project allows the files filename.DSY, filename.THP,
filename_RESULT.erfh5 and filename.pc to be opened simultaneously

Visualize deformations
1. Click Results > Animation Control and you will be able to visualize the model and use the
adjacent panel to examine deformations, either at a certain time, or as a continuous animation.

2. Use the Speed Control option to change the viewing speed in the animation option. Additional
tabs are available for overlaying the Initial Mesh or Simultaneous Display for viewing selected
states simultaneously. Click Close to exit this option.

3. Click Results > Contour and under Entity

types activate Node and select
Displacement_X to show the contour
distribution of nodal displacement (component
X) and information on the max/min values.
You will see various display options are
available and the possibility to change the
contour limits if required.

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4. In the Contour panel the entity type SHELL

can be selected and, for example, the variable
Membrane Stress First Princ. selected to
plot the maximum principle stress distribution
for the structure.

5. Time history results (.THP file)

In the Import panel that appears activate
NODE in under Entity Type and click
Displacement_X and PLOT. The red curve
plotted is the displacement time history versus
time for connected nodes.

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