MSC Software has just released the 2014 edition of its Marc nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) solver. Marc is one of those rare applications like, say, LS-DYNA and NI LabVIEW that define the engineering toolkit. Considered by people who track these sort of things to be the first commercial nonlinear FEA software, Marc has evolved, expanded and adapted to changing technologies and analysis theories continuously since 1971, making it simultaneously wise with years and always new. So, whenever a new version of Marc is released, it is an event worth noting as an Editor’s Pick of the Week.
The skinny on Marc for the uninitiated is that you use it to simulate the complex nonlinear behavior of engineering materials like alloys, composites, concrete, glass, metals, plastics and rubbers. Your models can combine temperature effects, rate effects, and damage, enabling you to predict behaviors throughout a product’s operating range. You want the people working in aerospace, energy, and other safety-is-paramount industries to leverage Marc so that they develop maintenance schedules that ultimately mean their products will not disrupt your daily activities.
Ok, now, Marc 2014 seems like a very impressive release. Key among its many new, upgraded and expanded features are new 3D crack propagation capabilities, enhanced nonlinear contact abilities, better pressure cavity functionalities, improved modeling for electromagnetics as well as enhanced CAD defeaturing and mesh generation features. Let’s start with crack propagation.
Marc 2014 enhances your ability to perform accurate crack propagation studies with a new high-cycle fatigue capability. What it does is takes a representative sample, models it and then uses Paris’ law to calculate the number of cycles before damage occurs. Similarly, Marc 2014 has an improved method for scaling crack growth along a crack front and between separate cracks.
Enhanced nonlinear contact that improves convergence in Marc 2014 is the result of upgraded defaults that MSC designed to achieve convergence with fewer iterations and with less user intervention when using segment-to-segment contact. MSC also says it upgraded how you implement a friction model, which also improves convergence and the accuracy of the contact solutions.
The Marc pressure cavity capability has been expanded. It now supports a nearly incompressible fluid. That means you can now solve a new class of problems such as water-filled bottles, hydromounts and seals.
For electromagnetics, Marc 2014 debuts a new circuit approach that lets you apply either current or voltages to your system under study. Combined with Marc’s advanced thermal and structural capabilities, this should help you solve problems ranging from solenoids to induction heating of rolling processes.
Marc’s Mentat dedicated interface for nonlinear analysis received a lot of attention in this release, all of which seem intended to boost your efficiency, smooth mesh generation and simply make everything easier to use. Among the enhancements here are a new method for importing geometry from most CAD systems. You can now perform geometric operations on native Parasolid geometry, and through defeaturing you can remove small features – holes, fillets, chamfers, small surfaces and so on. A new automatic meshing capability supports three types of Parasolid bodies, and user-controlled meshing is available to mesh solids with lower- or higher-order shell or tetrahedral elements.
All this really just touches the surface of what’s new in the 2014 release of Marc. Your best bet is to hit the link to the on-demand webinar on the highlights of Marc 2014 you’ll find at the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up. It’s 50 minutes, so watch it during lunch or from home. You’ll also find some quick downloads – datasheets and the like – if time is tight today. The Marc landing page linked at the end of the main write-up is bursting with additional data such as white papers, case studies, more videos and webinars, so make sure to rummage around there.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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