Today’s post is a video : ) In it, I will discuss various approaches to snap through problems with nonlinear FEA analysis. Understanding this was a stepping stone in my career. I really hope it will be just as useful for you!

**Takeaway:**

Let’s sum up what I talked about:

**What is steering?**When you load your model with an active force, the solver will increment this force in nonlinear analysis. This would be the “force steering” – the force is being incremented. If you load the same model with displacement then the solver will increment that displacement. That would be “displacement steering”. You can also use an “arc”. This is neither force nor displacement steering, it’s more like “both at the same time” approach. A really useful thing in snap-through problems : )

**Steering with force in buckling problems isn’t the best idea.**There will always be a local maximum where the model capacity is reached. It is very probable that you will get a non-convergence message in that place. Sure, if it happens much after the load you need to apply to your model, that this is a good indicator of capacity… But do you really want to use solver error messages as guides in your design? I know I did for some time, but it’s not the most pleasant way of doing engineering. Especially since you are losing some useful data (like where the model failed and how the failure looks like).

**Steering with displacement can help.**It won’t always help, but often it will. It only depends on the post-critical behavior of your model. If the stability path goes smoothly forward after failure – you are good to go. However, in some problems (like shell buckling) stability path may want to decrease both load and displacement at the same time. In those cases, arc length methods are your only option.

**Switching between force and displacement steering.**Sadly, this is not as simple as it sounds. I mean, all you need to do is to implement load as an enforced deformation or as an active load. This alone makes it. But how to switch from one to another? For a single concentrated force this is easy… for anything else: read this post about it : )

**Arc length methods.**When you deal with complex buckling problems those will come in handy! There are many algorithms you can use. The most popular one would be Riks (or modified Riks). In Femap, I also have Crisfield algorithm implemented. In all honesty, they produce very similar results. To the point where is some software, it is simply called “arc length” without even showing which algorithm will be used 🙂

**Kids, try this at home!**

As I mentioned in the video, by all means, try to do this in your favorite FEA soft. If you manage to complete that, please let me know (and send me a gif with the failure mode!). This would be great.

On another hand, if you get stuck at something, you can always ask for help here: enterfea@enterfea.com!

Just so it’s more convenient – Model data:

**Hall of fame!**

I must admit that I haven’t expected that! Big shout out to Boris Jakimov, who sent me his model in hours after I posted the challenge!

Awesome job man!

The model Boris made:

**Want to learn more about nonlinear FEA?**

Great! I have a **free nonlinear FEA course** for you! Get it by subscribing to my blog below:

ParitoshJuly 28, 2018 at 8:44 pmI have used this method for analyzing buckling of shell-pipes under negative internal pressure 🙂 In Abaqus its called Riks (or modified Riks) algorithm. It gave really good results!

Thanks for this lesson, and thank you for making it so much fun! Wish I had access to all the courses. But I am still a student and cannot afford it yet. 🙁

Nevertheless, I love the blog! Keep up the good work!

Łukasz SkotnyJuly 29, 2018 at 7:25 amHey Paritosh!

I’m really glad that you like this – there is plenty of free available information here – just look around the blog 😉

All the best

Ł

Mike BeaumontMarch 29, 2019 at 6:19 amHi Łukasz, here is my attempt at modelling the snap-through problem with Strand7

https://giant.gfycat.com/FastFarflungDogwoodtwigborer.webm

The displacement history of the centre-node is shown below:

https://i.imgur.com/T7PUf5H.png

Łukasz SkotnyMarch 29, 2019 at 7:12 amNice work Mike… it’s astonishing that you managed to converge that 😉

It looks to me like you are using a “typical” nonlinear analysis with enforced deformations but the vector shows “force” not enforced deformation so I can’t be sure.

Clearly, there are some issues in the “unstable part” (as they should, after all, this is why that is an unstable part!), but overall a really solid step!

Nicely done mister!

Ł

Jakub DrozdowskiApril 15, 2020 at 9:56 amHi. I have to boast a bit 🙂 After few days of trials- here are my results. 🙂

Cheers

GIF:

https://ibb.co/Pcdb04s

CHART:

https://ibb.co/nckHYbK

Łukasz SkotnyApril 15, 2020 at 1:20 pmJakub!

Congratulations 😀

All the best!

Ł

TAMOGHNOJune 2, 2020 at 9:49 pmSir i am new with Non linear FEA and I want to generate the force vs displacement graph for a curved beam for the negative stiffness region. I am performing it in static structural in ANSYS but am unable to get the graph. Can you help me?

Łukasz SkotnyJune 3, 2020 at 6:54 amHey!

I’m not an Ansys user, but this shouldn’t be difficult. I mean, there must be some sort of “charting” tool in Ansys. But even without it, you should be able to do it! Since you are performing a nonlinear FEA I assume you have several “outcomes” for different load levels (depending on how many load increments you have set). If that is the case, then simply open each of those steps and read the displacement in the place that you wanted to have on your graph. So you have a pair of data-points (load equal to the load applied in the given step, and “matching” deformations). This is a point on the graph! Do that for each load step and put into excel, and you have the graph!

I’m sure there is an “automated” tool that does this for you, but even this way it’s “doable” (but a bit irritating if you have set like 500 load increments or something). If you have a lot of those… you can always use every second, or every tenth or whatever to speed the manual work 🙂

Hope this helps 🙂

Ł

Pete KhaimookJuly 29, 2020 at 9:22 amThank you for such a useful content!

Now it seems like the video link is expired. Can you please update the link?

Łukasz SkotnyJuly 29, 2020 at 10:58 amHey Pete!

This is weird, the link works on my end (IT classic!). The video is hosted on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA9MyT7ax_k

All the best

Ł