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How to simulate simple compression of a flexible part

Question asked by Paul Millhouse on Jul 13, 2018
Latest reply on Jul 20, 2018 by Paul Millhouse

I'm trying to make some simulations of a rather simple part under static compression. The part is shown below. To make this simulation as simple as possible I have isolated the part (no assembly) and even removed features that would make things more complicated. I just want to see purely how much this part will deform under a given loading condition.


The problem is when I apply a load and run the static study, the part does not deform nearly as much as I would expect it to. Below is a screenshot of my simulation and loading conditions. Basically I have the bottom fixed and a purely compressive external force applied to the top surface. The load increases in a linear manner from the front to the back of the part.


The results above are for PEEK material with an Elastic modulus of 3.9 GPa. If I change the material to something really flexible, say Natural rubber with Elastic modulus of 10,000, the results are exactly the same (max displacement 3.4e-003). I realize that 100 N is a small load, but even when I increase the force to 1000 N the displacement is not nearly as much as I'd expect, and the results are the same with soft rubber as they are with stiff plastic.

I also have "Large displacement" selected in the test setup, which has negligible effect.


Now I understand that SolidWorks Simulation perhaps sucks for simulating compression of flexible parts, but any ideas for how to make this simulation better? Am I doing something wrong with my setup or loading conditions? Is there some setting somewhere that will improve this simulation? Is there some other material property I need to determine?
Finally, does anyone have any experience using ANSYS, and would that yield better results?