Solid-Shell Elements (/PROP/TSHELL)

The elements HA8, HEPH and BRICK20 can be transformed to solid-shell elements by setting constant the normal stress through the thickness.

This assumption allows obtaining solid elements suitable for thick-shell modeling, where only one element through a thickness can be used. In additional to these elements, SHELL16, PA6 and other solid-shell elements are available.

Figure 1. Solid versus Solid-Shell
Table 1. Solid-Shell Elements
Mesh Element Name Number of Integration Points Hourglass Formulation
HSEPH Inplane: 1

In thickness: up to 9

Physical stabilization
HA8 From 2x2x2 to 9x9x9 ---
PA6 Inplane: 1

In thickness: up to 9

SHELL16 Inplane: 3x3 or 2x2

In thickness: up to 9

Solid-shell elements, especially SHELL16 can be useful to model thick shell structures with massive junctions (Figure 2). The time step proportion to the shortest distance between two nodes can be small depending on the thickness and material characteristics.

Figure 2. Application of Solid-Shell Elements