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Optimize Sheet Metal Structures Efficiently

By Anthony J. Lockwood

The SIMULIA unit of Dassault Systemes (Providence, RI) has released version 8.0 of its SIMULIA Tosca Structure solution for non-parametric structural optimization. A key enhancement to version 8.0, says the company, is a new sizing module that opens up new topometry applications for automotive industry-related engineering tasks as well as applications in such industries as wind energy and aerospace.

SIMULIA
The image depicts the range of the SIMULIA Tosca optimization modules. Images courtesy of Dassault Systemes SIMULIA, Audi AG, and Ford Werke.

A modular system, Tosca Structure enables topology, shape, bead and sizing optimization in combination with SIMULIA’s Abaqus unified FEA (finite element analysis) suite of applications as well as such standard finite element solvers as ANSYS and MSC NASTRAN. This flexibility, explains the company, allows for a seamless integration in existing CAE environments and assures results that are easily interpretable and reliable.

Tosca Structure is said to support the complete optimization workflow, including results transfer to CAD systems and automatic model verification. Among its capabilities are the ability to use existing models directly, consider multiple FE analyses for response combination, and optimize in combination with non-linear analysis (non-linear material, contact and large deformation).

Dassault Systemes SIMULIA
This sequence of before and after images shows how the new Tosca Structure.sizing module available with Tosca Structure 8.0 can help optimize designs. Images courtesy of Dassault Systemes SIMULIA.

Components within the SIMULIA Tosca Structure system include the Tosca ANSA user environment, which supports the complete optimization workflow, and Tosca Structure.topology, which helps determine an optimum design proposal starting with a given maximum design domain. Additional modules provide capabilities ranging from shape and bead optimization to post-processing results and exporting models to CAD systems. Advanced modules for high-level optimization applications, including durability and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness), are also available.

Dassault Systemes SIMULIA
As part of the upcoming release of both SIMULIA Tosca Structure 8.0.1 and the Abaqus unified finite element analysis applications suite (6.13 – AP2), Dassault Systemes SIMULIA will introduce the Tosca optimization module within Abaqus/CAE. Depicted here is a control arm undergoing pre-processing in Abaqus/CAE. Image courtesy of Dassault Systemes SIMULIA.

The new SIMULIA Tosca Structure.sizing module allows for optimizing sheet metal components by modifying the individual sheet thicknesses of single layered shells. Users are said to have their choice of objective function terms and constraints of such design responses as volume, mass, compliance, displacements, rotations, reaction forces, reaction moments, internal forces, natural frequencies, center of gravity, moments of inertia and frequency response analysis results (amplitudes, phases, velocities and accelerations). It offers various symmetry constraints (plane, rotational, cyclic) and link conditions. It also supports clustering of shell element thicknesses for element areas with constant thickness.

Dassault Systemes SIMULIA
As part of the upcoming release of both SIMULIA Tosca Structure 8.0.1 and the Abaqus unified finite element analysis applications suite (6.13 – AP2), Dassault Systemes SIMULIA will introduce the Tosca optimization module within Abaqus/CAE. Depicted here is the same control arm during post-processing in Abaqus/CAE. Image courtesy of Dassault Systemes SIMULIA.

With version 8.0, decisions on the basis of alternative design variants are made easier, according to the company. The SIMULIA Tosca Structure.morph module allows for the fast change of geometry and the creation of numerous design variants. Geometry changes are directly applied to the existing finite element mesh, avoiding the step back to CAD.

For more information on SIMULIA Tosca Structure, visit the SIMULIA unit of Dassault Systemes.

Download the SIMULIA Tosca Structure version 8 data sheet.

Download the technical paper “The Use of Optimization Software TOSCA in a Standard Flexplate Design Process.”

See why DE’s editors selected SIMULIA Tosca Structure Version 8.01 as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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