3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2013 3:30 PM by Jared Conway

    Beam Elements in Simulation

    Colin Wyatt

      Working on an FEA of a large steel welded structure, designed elsewhere, using SW Simulation, I found that some u-channels had been designated as beam elements, such that when displaying structural deflections the beam did not display realistically. Structural deflections were shown OK.

      In order to present a more realistic display, I converted the beams to solid elements, whereby the structural deflections quadrupled!!!!

      Local Solidworks Support team seem unphased by this and consider the two studies to be different and not related.

      My naive understanding was that a beam element is used as an approximation to speed up the FEA and I expected the structural  characteristics to be very similar.

      SW Support team advise that the difference arises because the u-channel contacts several other members along its length. These are not taken into account when computed as a beam.

      Surely if this were true the overall deflection would be greater, not less.

      Where am I going wrong?

        • Re: Beam Elements in Simulation
          Jared Conway

          have you tried convincing yourself by building a beam and solid analysis (and maybe even a shell too) to see if it matches? really simple cantilever beam? you could even add checking with hand calcs to make sure the 2 match. (note, there have been some discussions about this recently that you might want to do a search for)


          based on your tech support's response, my guess is there is more than meets the eye regarding your application. it could very well be that your models don't match. you didn't include them in your post or screenshots of them so it is hard to say. but what they should have also said is that you should be able to re-add the contact to make them equivalent.