I was given the task to calculate the maximum stress that a 1" round 316 stainless bar suspended between 2 saddle blocks 7" apart can elastically support when loaded at the midddle of the suspended length. I used simple beam calculations to arrive at a reasonable estimate. When I run a simulation with the force applied to a small area on the surface of the round bar SW Sim predicts a large concentrated stress that appears to puncture the surface of the bar. As the area that the load is applied is enlarged, the solution becomes more reasonable. Of course, I can adjust the applied area to bring the stress into agreement with the beam calculations. Is there a method to adjust the applied area of a load to most reasonably predict the effect bof a point load?

you just need to get the bending moment the same and ensure the local P/A is less than the bending stress or better still - model what the test is and how the applied load is actually applied.