By DE Editors
Siemens PLM Software (Plano, TX) announced a computational breakthrough in implicit finite element analysis (FEA) technology. Using commercially available hardware, the current production version of the company’s NX NASTRAN software was able to solve a structural analysis problem with a half-billion equations "virtually overnight."
The analysis was conducted to simulate the behavior of an entire airplane wing structure undergoing a bending test. The resulting problem size of 500 million equations was successfully completed in less than 18 hours of elapsed time and shattered Siemens PLM Software’s previous record (February 2006), which was also set by NX NASTRAN for a similar problem. To provide perspective, a structural analysis of an entire automobile body modeled with shell elements, could be solved with about 100 million equations.
The FEA model solved by NX NASTRAN consisted of one hundred million grids along with approximately 98 million shell and 49 million solid elements. The resulting finite element problem consisted of 500 million equations and had more than 600 million global degrees of freedom when a linear static analysis with a single load condition was executed.
The analysis required 17.8 hours of elapsed time on an IBM Power 570 server. The computer contained eight POWER 6 cores at 4.7GHz, 64GB of memory, and 24 striped disks of 148GB capacity each. The analysis used 42.4GB of memory, and executed 30.3 terabytes (TB) of I/O operations with a 2.26TB disk footprint.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.