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Structural mechanics
Structural mechanics

Buckling and Snap-Through: Stability of Thin-Walled Structures

Branching points, penetration points and ultimate loads


Training Expert

Learn how to use simulation to perform linear and nonlinear stability analyses safely and effectively. This training is offered as a 2-day course.

2 days

Basic knowledge of Ansys Mechanical

Software used
Ansys Mechanical

  • Safely perform linear stability analyses (LBA)
  • Safely calculate nonlinear ultimate load analyses (GMNIA)
  • Identify branch points on the load path
  • Capture post-buckling behavior under force or displacement control


In the case of thin-walled components and slender structures, verification of stability in terms of load bearing and deformation behavior plays a central role. As part of FE simulation with Ansys, a variety of procedures are available with which mechanical stability can be examined. With linear stability analyses (eigenvalue buckling), the critical buckling load and buckling eigenmodes are determined, although with Ansys, non-linear pre-stress states are also considered and can therefore enable identification of buckling points to “accompany” non-linear analyses as well. With non-linear buckling analyses, considering geometric and material non-linearities as well as geometric imperfections (i.e., GMNIA analyses according to EN 1993-1-6), it is possible to precisely determine the load deformation behavior and thus also the load capacity.

This training course is aimed at all engineers entrusted with the design of thin-walled structures, for example load-bearing structures in steel and plant construction, household appliances or snapping panels in switches and other force feedback elements. We focus on metal structures at risk of buckling, although the seminar contents can also apply to other stability phenomena (buckling, torsional buckling, lateral torsional buckling) and materials.

Detailed agenda for this 2-day training

Day 1

01 Stability analyses in Ansys Mechanical

  • Bifurcation problems
  • Snap-Through phenomena
  • Force control vs. path control vs. arch length method
  • The principles of non-linear structural mechanics
  • Exercise: Introductory example

02 Analysis settings for non-linear analyses

  • Time step control
  • Solver selection
  • Use of restart options
  • Convergence criteria and stabilization
  • Visualization of Newton Raphson residuals

03 Eigenvalue buckling for linear structures

  • Prerequisites for eigenvalue buckling for linear structures
  • Results evaluation and interpretation
  • Exercise: Eigenvalue analyses of a square plate with mesh study
  • Exercise: Eigenvalue analysis of an assembled conical shell

04 Eigenvalue buckling for non-linear structures

  • Prerequisites for eigenvalue buckling for non-linear structures
  • Linearization of non-linear models (geometry, contact, and material)
  • Results evaluation and interpretation
  • Identifying bifurcation points by means of accompanying eigenvalue analyses
  • Exercise: Eigenvalue analysis of an assembled conical shell – geometric non-linearity
  • Exercise: Eigenvalue analysis of a support detail – contact non-linearity

Day 2

05 Creating and analyzing imperfect models

  • Information on the impact of imperfections
  • Selecting appropriate imperfections
  • Creating eigenmode or load form-related predeformations
  • Creating “arbitrary” imperfections
  • Exercise: Geometric substitute imperfections via the user interface and with scripting

06 Non-linear buckling analyses – part I

  • An introduction to metal plasticity
  • Geometric material non-linear analyses of imperfect structures (GMNIA)
  • Exercise: Non-linear buckling analysis of a plate under longitudinal force – the impact of imperfections and boundary conditions

07 Non-linear buckling analyses – part II

  • Applying the arch length method in Workbench
  • Evaluating non-linear buckling analyses
  • Exercise: Non-linear buckling analysis of a thin-walled box column – plate buckling/column buckling

08 Overview of additional stability analysis topics

  • Eigenvalue buckling with thermal loads:
  • Analogies between eigenvalue buckling and modal analysis
  • Identifying bifurcation points with Zero Pivots
  • Stability analyses and symmetry
  • Eigenvalue buckling of non-converged systems

Your Trainers

Dr.-Ing. Martin Seitz
CAE Engineer, CADFEM Germany GmbH, Stuttgart
Andre Stühmeyer
CAE Engineer, CADFEM Germany GmbH, Hanover
Sebastian Hoffmann
CAE Engineer, CADFEM Germany GmbH, Berlin
Luigi Cordani
Training and Support Manager, CADFEM UK Ltd

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