A step forward in analysis

Software simulation and analysis takes another step closer to real-life testing with a mechanical engineering software product called Accupak/VE from Algor.

The company recently announced it had managed to combine kinematics, ridgid/flexible body dynamics as well as non-linear stress analysis all in one package.

Up until now, the engineer has had to jump between the software products of several different companies to do the same thing. He would need to use separate kinematic, `rigid body’ analysis software to predict or determine the loads in a model.

These loads would then be transferred to a finite element model for stress analysis. If the loads affected the shape of the mechanism, the engineer would have to go back and forth between two programs and two models of the same mechanism in order to produce an optimum design.

Rigid body software works by describing a mechanism as a series of bars or links which are assumed to be rigid bodies for the purposes of computing loads. Accupak/VE on the other hand has flexible links, making it possible to conduct stress analysis at the same time.

This obviously is more realistic where almost every situation is dynamic, involving for example, buckling, swinging, rotating and oscillating.

Besides combining two engineering simulations in a single process, Accupak/VE also speeds up analysis for both static and dynamic non-linear stress calculations. These calculations can predict how the material deforms beyond the yield point.

Whereas before, the engineer would flick to a handbook to check whether a model had exceeded the yield point on the computer, with Accupak, the yield stress data is built into the material models used by the software so the effects can be seen on the monitor.

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