Hello guys, I've been using simulation for a while, but in a very limited way. I design a part, assign it a material, apply the load, check the results against the material properties to make sure it hasn't failed, and move on. My client wants to know how much force his part can take before it fails. Is there any way to do that OTHER than just increasing the force over and over until the resultant stress is greater than the material's property allows? In other words, is there a way that Solidworks will automatically determine the force required to make the part fail?

Thanks.

You could make a Factor of Saftey plot (the Factor of Safety is the Induced Stress divided by the Allowable Stress), and then multiply your applied load by the lowest Factor of Safety in your model. For example, if you have a part made out of A-36 (yield of 250 MPa) with an applied load of 100 N and your peak stress is 125 MPa, then you lowest Factor of Safety is 2 and your maximum load before failure (assuming failure is defined by plastic deformation) is 200 N (100 N * 2).

Now, given that you've asked this question I need to give you a warning. Before you go and do this, you (and your client) need to understand that you need to be

extremelywith how you use this "failure load" value. Do not take the results from a simulation as the definitive failure load. Errors in how you set up the simulation (loads, constraints, etc.), numerical errors in the finite element method, and errors associated with assumptions made in the model (linear, homogenous material, etc.) means that the failure load could be higher or lower by some unknown amount (careful).assuming you have converged results; if you don't, then all bets are off