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Using ANSYS HPC and submodeling to analyze a rail fastening system

The analysis of weld seams at voestalpine VAE GmbH

Branch : Machinery and plant engineeringSpecialist field: Structural mechanics, Scalability of simulations

In terms of both market share and technology, voestalpine VAE has been the global leader in railroad, metro, and streetcar turnout systems for over 160 years. When it comes to research and development, voelstapine turns to modern simulation solutions.

Summary

Task

While conducting the analysis of a rail fastening system, voestalpine’s engineers were looking for a way to use the R1MS method to evaluate the local stress ratios of weld seams when using submodels with solid elements.

Solution

They accessed ANSYS’s integrated submodeling feature. Submodeling involves the division of complex geometry into two models, one a coarsly meshed full model and the other a finely meshed submodel that is used to provide accurate results. This was combined with ANSYS HPC (High Performance Computing) to produce response times of only a few minutes.

Customer benefits

The engineers at voestalpine VAE cite time savings, the rapid availability of results, and a broadened understanding when it comes to design as the main benefits of employing sub-modeling technology and HPC.

Project Details

Task

In terms of both market share and technology, voestalpine VAE has been the global leader in railroad, metro, and streetcar turnout systems for over 160 years. When it comes to research and development, voelstapine turns to modern simulation solutions. The engineers need to be able to calculate as many variants as they can, at the fastest possible rate – which, in turn, enables them to develop a deeper understanding when it comes to design. However, there is no room for allowing the quality of the results to suffer. While conducting the analysis of a rail fastening system, voelstapine’s engineers were looking for a way to use the R1MS method to evaluate the local stress ratios of weld seams when using submodels with solid elements.


Solution

Volstapine’s analysis involved a well-known conflict between different objectives: although the model was large, a weld seam located along a bend needed to be evaluated as accurately and quickly as possible – to enable the cyclical stress to be diagnosed with the greatest possible accuracy. A coarse mesh would have led to inaccurate evaluation of the stresses, while a fine mesh would have required too much computing time – so they accessed ANSYS’s submodelling feature. Submodeling involves the division of complex geometry into two models: a coarsely meshed full model plus a second, finely meshed submodel used to provide precise stress results in the critical area of the weld seam (Fig. 1). This made it possible for the area with the highest load (Fig. 2) to be examined in a targeted manner using the R1MS method and also facilitated determination of the load under cyclical stress. Combining the submodeling technique with HPC (High Performance Computing) meant the response time in relation to this model that had 1.6 million elements was only eight minutes.


Customer Benefit

The engineers at voestalpine VAE cite time savings, the rapid availability of results, and a broadened understanding when it comes to design as the main benefits of using submodeling technology and HPC. They also emphasized just how practical the workflow is. Using processors in parallel meant it was possible for simultaneous calculation of different design variants to be performed within a short space of time. Employing ANSYS simulation software increased understanding of the interdependent relationships involved in the ways in which the welded joints behave in different load situations. User-friendly submodeling technology that can be accessed immediately – without any need for scripting – puts an efficient workflow at your disposal.


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