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for Static Problems:
we can use Direct Sparse solver, and the FFE solver.
1. we can Use the FFE solver for large and very large problems (problems with over 300,000 DOF).
2.Use the Direct Sparse solver for small and medium problems (problems with 100,000 to 300,000 DOF).
3. Use the Direct Sparse solver for assembly problems with contact, especially
when you turn on the friction effects.
4. Use the Direct Sparse solver when solving assemblies of parts with widely
different material properties.
Any documenatation that you would recommend which details information about specific solvers. I was having the same question until I came accross your post. It would be helpful to know specific advantages of different solvers.
One thing I would recommend is to run a study with each solver and see which one is faster. Of course, as Jeya mentioned, it will depend on some factors, but for our studies (100,000-200,000 DOFs typically), the direct sparse is much faster because it takes advantage of the Core2Duo processor. I'm not sure in the latest versions if the other solvers support multi-core processing, but it's nice to have the Direct sparse solver.
I would also recommend doing a search for COSMOS companion and watching Vince's presentation about the subject. It has helped me understand a lot better.