Apply Thickness to Midsurface

Use the Map Thickness tool to apply thickness values to shell elements on midsurfaced geometry.

The thickness will be assigned on the midmesh either on node card, element card, nodal thickness on element card or also as properties on elements depending on the solver interface you are using.

Restriction: Only available in the OptiStruct, Radioss, Abaqus, LS-DYNA, PAM-CRASH 2G, or Nastran solver interfaces.
  1. From the Elements ribbon, click the Map Thickness tool.

    Figure 1.
  2. Optional: On the guide bar, click to define map thickness options.
  3. Activate the Source selector on the guide bar, choose an entity type, then select source entities.
  4. Activate the Target selector on the guide bar, choose an entity type, then select target entities.
  5. On the guide bar, click Apply Thickness.

Figure 2.

Options for Map Thickness

Access the following options by clicking on the Elements ribbon: Map Thickness tool guide bar.

Define Thickness Options

Minimum thickness/Maximum thickness
Define a thickness to assign calculated thicknesses.
To enter a minimum thickness to assign calculated thicknesses below a specified value, select the Minimum thickness checkbox.
To enter a maximum thickness to assign calculated thicknesses above a specified value, select the Maximum thickness checkbox.
Assign offset to elements/sections
To assign an offset value to elements if they are not in the middle of the selected geometry, select the Assign offset to elements/sections checkbox.

Figure 3. Element Offset Off

Figure 4. Element Offset On
Group elements by thickness interval
Automatic Method
Groups elements with similar thicknesses together, and assigns an average thickness to the groups based on the “Factor of thickness” interval range input.
Consider a model which has a thickness variation as shown in the following image. If you assign thickness on elements, by default Automatic elements with similar thicknesses are grouped together and assigned an average thickness based on Factor of thickness value.
For example, suppose you enter a Factor of thickness value of 0.2. Starting from the element with the smallest thickness, elements with similar thickness are grouped together, such that the difference between maximum and minimum thickness in one group does not exceed 0.2 times the maximum thickness in the group. The thickness values of elements in a group is averaged and assigned to all of the elements in the group (or to the property.)

Figure 5.
If more thickness interval range control is required switch “Thickness interval” to User defined and specify the thickness interval range required.

Figure 6.
Method Fixed Interval
Control thickness properties at constant intervals.
Select Minimum thickness if least thickness in the model is the starting thickness required.
Select User defined and enter a desired starting thickness value in the Value field. All elements will be grouped into properties/components with fixed increments to the thickness specified by the interval value, beginning with the start thickness value.
Assign thickness to groups has four methods: Average, Mid-interval, Min-interval and Max interval.
All thickness in the group are calculated and averaged
Middle of the thickness interval range.
Minimum of the thickness interval range.
Maximum of the thickness interval range.
For a user defined thickness interval range 0.05 and starting thickness 0.2 for a calculated thickness of 0.42 will has assigned thickness value 0.4 for mid-interval, 0.4 for min-interval and 0.45 for max-interval.

Figure 7.
Merge isolated elements with adjacent groups
Merges isolated elements into adjacent groups. The tolerance factor is used to determine if the element is going to be regrouped by “Thickness Variation Factor”. Range (0, 1.0). For example, if the value is 0.2, elements can only be regrouped if the percentage change in thickness is going to be less than 20%.
Thickness precision
Round the thickness values up or down to have the same number of decimal digits as the input value in the Maximum thickness range interval field. There are three modes available. Automatic determines an optimal truncation.
Scaling at corners [0,10]
Enter a scaling factor to use when interpolating thickness values near t-junctions or corners. A value less than 1 will result in linear decrease in the thickness values nearer to the junction/corners. A value of zero will result in an approximate mass-conserved thickness estimation. When equal to 1, the thickness is extrapolated / interpolated without any scaling. When greater than 1, the thickness will increase as you go closer to the junction.

Figure 8. Scaling = 0, Thickness Contour Applied, Traditional Element Visualization

Figure 9. Scaling = 0, Thickness Contour Applied, 2D Detailed Element Representation

Figure 10. Scaling = 1, Thickness Contour Applied, Traditional Element Visualization

Figure 11. Scaling = 1, Thickness Contour Applied, 2D Detailed Element Representation