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Modelling Honeycomb in solidworks, shell elements and open surfaces found.

Question asked by Nigel Groom on Mar 12, 2015


I am designing an Impact Attenuator for a formula student car. I want to use aluminium honeycomb which needs to be modeled in solidworks itself and then assembled.


When modelling the honeycomb, it is very difficult (impossible on these computers) to mesh due to the tiny foil thickness of 50 microns.


Because of this I have been looking into shell elements which seem ideal however there are a couple of issues in the way.


The main issue is that when I check the geometry, every node is highlighted as an open surface. I don't see how this has happened as when the hexagon cells were patterned, there were 0 mm between them. I was very thorough and made sure the pattern was fully defined. This is the same with the solid model if I offset each face, they do not meet.


The gaps are noticeably bigger when offsetting the faces of the solid extrusion model than they are when sketching the honeycomb as a surface extrusion, but they are there nonetheless.


Is this something that can be ignored? I've never encountered this before but I highly doubt it. Selecting each face and extending it is not really an option due to the number of open surfaces here, in the thousands.


If anyone has any different ideas about how to mesh 7 layers of this stuff, all the same size as the one in the picture, without purchasing a super computer for thousands of pounds then I'm all ears.


I will try and attach some pictures to better explain my predicament.


Many thanks for any help and feedback!


Nigel Groom