With announcements about the release of Abaqus Version 6.7, a new multiphysics platform, and a strategic initiative to deliver solutions for simulation life-cycle management (SLM), last year was a busy time for Dassault Systèmes’ Simulia brand.
Abaqus, acquired by Dassault in October 2005, is the flagship product of Simulia. In the latest version, released in May 2007, a new architecture for high-performance linear dynamics is introduced, as well as advanced capabilities for composites simulation and nonlinear materials modeling, an intuitive and customizable user interface for accelerated model building and results visualization, and two new interfaces for CAD associativity.
Typically used with nonlinear sophisticated products, there has been a shift within recent years to also focus on linear dynamics.
“Linear dynamics became very interesting to us a couple of years ago, and we’ve been working on building a new framework upon which the rest of our linear dynamics strategy can hang,” said Greg Brown, Product Management, Simulia. “In Version 6.6, we had some procedures and features available, and we’ve been expanding that in 6.7 to include a lot more procedures and some quite sophisticated things like coupling structural and acoustic analyses together using this new framework to achieve essentially much higher performance than was previously available.”
The new linear dynamics architecture is fully integrated with existing nonlinear capabilities to allow engineers to share model data and results across workgroups. In an effort to make the program more accessible to users of various skill levels, Simulia engineers are striving to create more robust contact models for nonlinear situations.
“What we want to do is have default behaviors work rather than make experts go in and twiddle all the knobs, because we can always get that to work,” Brown said. “But the defaults are the much more sensitive things to help a wider community of people start using Abaqus successfully.”
An extended functionality release of Abaqus 6.7 was slated for late last year that would include new Eulerian-Lagrangian technology for fluid-structure interaction (FSI). Referred to as “completely new” within the Abaqus software suite, this technology does not rely on coupling with other software, so FSI studies can be conducted directly within a single solution.
Applications for this type of technology include studying the tread design of a tire.
“You have a tire that’s a solid structure moving through a pool of water and you want to investigate the effectiveness of your tread design for avoiding hydroplaning-type phenomenon,” said Mark Schrank, Director of Crashworthiness and Occupant Safety, Simulia. “It’s this type of technology that’s needed to be able to simulate this kind of phenomenon.”
To add greater functionality to Abaqus, Simulia recently made available a direct coupling interface that allows third-party physics codes developed by partners or customers to communicate directly with Abaqus for high-performance multiphysics simulation. The direct coupling interface complements existing Abaqus multiphysics capabilities as well as third-party protocols, including the mesh-based parallel code coupling interface from the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing.
An ongoing project for Simulia is its SLM initiative, developing a new product portfolio to help companies better manage the vast amount of data produced through simulation tools and the associated methods and processes.
“Someone can develop a very good methodology and keep it to himself or herself and it doesn’t get shared as it should throughout the organization, throughout the enterprise,” Schrank said. “SLM is intended to do that as well as to connect users.”
The new SLM products will utilize a standard Web interface as well as Dassault’s new 3D Live technology to allow users to query, manage, and collaborate on simulation information regardless of the location, source, or format.
“The intent is to develop an open platform to manage and deploy various applications, recognizing that not all of the applications are going to be Simulia-authored to begin with,” Schrank said. “There will be third-party applications, and we will provide connector architecture to enable third-party applications to be connected through SLM.”The SLM initiative is scheduled to be phased in over a three-year period, with data management currently under way, process management slated for this year, and decision support for 2009.