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Meshing thick and thin bodies in Ansys mechanical

    • Khushaldas Badhan

      Below is the an example of the bodies that I want to mesh for a thermo-structural analysis in Ansys. In the model majority of parts are 3D bodies with considerable dimensions in all the three axes (red and blue in the example). However, there are some bodies located in critical places that can be termed as thin bodies having dimension in one of the axis significantly lower than the other two (yellow body in the example below, here the thickness of the yellow body is exaggerated by 5 times to make it visible clearly). In the example, the bodies are drawn as discs, however, in the actual model the shape in much more complex that can not be modeled as 2D shell elements.

      I'm looking for advice on how to proceed with meshing this geometry.

      r/MechanicalEngineering - Meshing thick and thin bodies in Ansys mechanical

    • Ashish Kumar
      Forum Moderator


      Is this geometry an area of interest for you? Can you simplify the thin geometry and then model it as a shell?


      Ashish Khemka

    • mjmiddle
      Ansys Employee


      As Ashish mentioned, one method is to model the thin body as a surface body with a thickness assigned. There will be gaps between the solid bodies. For the contacts you can set “shell thickness effect” to yes, or specify a gap offset.

      If you want to model as a thin solid, you would not want to use a tetra mesh on this body since it will produce a lot of elements. You would want to make the body sweepable if it is not already, and use a swept or multizone method.

      You wrote “in the actual model the shape in much more complex that can not be modeled as 2D shell elements.” I do not understand this statement. Can you explain more? Are their some tiny features within the thin thickness that are not the same on both sides of the thin body (source and target sides)? These thin bodies usually don’t have reasonable room inside for any features smaller than the thickness, so source and target sides would be the same. If there are source and target sides, then the body is sweepable or could also be simplified to a shell body as Ashish recommended.


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