Caterpillar: Democratizing the Creation of Detailed Bolted Joint FEMs using NX Open Apps

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detroit event collateral.jpgThe information below was gathered from the 2018 Simcenter Conference - Americas that took place October 15-17 in Detroit, Michigan.




Authors: James Dunn, Sr. Engineering Specialist, VPD Division

John Tiernan, MAYA Simulation Technologies


There are several types of simulations that require the use of detailed 3D meshes of bolted joints such as joint integrity and bolt fatigue. The creation of these meshes has generally been assigned to simulation experts due to the complexity of building the mesh as well as the opportunity for introducing mesh errors that will only show up once the input deck is solved. As such, there are plenty of opportunities for developing automation apps that can improve the process. But building automation apps introduces new challenges as each type of simulation will generally require slightly different meshing requirements due to differences in the physics, solver environments, and the type of components that make up the full system (e.g. engine, machine). In order to allow the flexibility needed to handle slight changes in meshing requirements as well as a path for quickly updating the apps when new requirements are introduced, extensive use was made of Expressions, Interpart Expressions, and mesh templates allowing for the automated creation of fully configured Idealized Part, FEM, and AFM files.