In any simulation project, setting up the correct boundary condition and interpreting the results are the most challenging phases, regardless of the simulation software being used. Certain tools and display settings available within SOLIDWORKS Simulation result plots can help you during the simulation result interpretation process. The stress hot spot diagnostic tool, available for linear static studies using solid and shell elements, can be used to detect regions of the model where stress singularities exist, for example, sharp edges or corners or the location of fixtures.Understanding the Stress Hot Spot Diagnostic Tool
The stress hot pot diagnostic tool can be accessed by right-clicking on the result folder and selecting “stress hot spot diagnostics.” Sensitivity factor filters the elements that participate in the stress hot spot diagnosis based on a magnitude of their equivalent strain relative to the maximum equivalent strain for each body. A higher sensitivity factor will include more elements with high strains. This might detect numerous stress hot spot areas on multiple bodies and will also take a longer time to compute.
How to Investigate Regions of Stress Concentration or Deformation Values
To investigate regions of stress concentration or specific deformation values, increasing the number of colors in the color bar of a stress or displacement contour plot doesn’t always work well. Settings within chart options allow you to isolate areas within a certain stress/strain or displacement range. To access “Chart Options”, you can either double-click the color bar or right-click on a contour plot to edit the plot definition. In the Chart Options tab, disable the two checkbox items, “Automatically defined maximum value” and “Automatically defined minimum value” and select "Specify color for values above maximum/below minimum value" options. Next, select the color of your choice and type in values for the color bar range to isolate regions of the analyzed model that falls within the specified values.
Of course, you could also use the IsoClipping plot by right-clicking on any displayed plot and selecting “Iso Clipping” option to isolate areas of high stress or strain or any other result parameter.
The mesh sectioning option allows you to section mesh not only to view the mesh quality before running analysis but also when post-processing the results. It helps to see if any stress peak is associated with an internal element. This could be an element that is distorted or has a high aspect ratio. To access this plot, you can right-click on the mesh quality plot or on any results plots. Within the property manager of the mesh section, the checkbox item "Show mesh edge" allows you to display the mesh without having to navigate to the Settings option.
Editing a contour plot or right-mouse clicking on a displayed plot in the Simulation study tree will give you access to “Settings” options. In the Settings tab, enabling the checkbox option “Superimpose model on the deformed shape” will display the undeformed model. This helps in capturing the deformed shape relative to the original model shape. Besides this, it is recommended to animate the displacement plot to understand the deformation behavior.
These options discussed above will help you in improved visualization of the result plots and assist in the interpretation of the Simulation results.
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