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Contact methodology

Please see the following:\
The most common contact-related output file, RCFORC, is produced by
including a *DATABASE_RCFORC command in the input deck. RCFORC is an
ASCII file containing resultant contact forces for the slave and master
sides of each contact interface. The forces are written in the global
coordinate system.
**Note that RCFORC data is not written for "single surface" contacts as
all the contact forces from such a contact come from the slave side
(there is no master side) and thus the net contact forces are zero.
-------------------------------------------Might I suggest looking at the following:
This contact allows the total contact forces applied by all contacts
to be picked up. This contact does not apply any force to the model
and will have no effect on the solution. Only the slave set and
slave set type need be defined for this contact type. Generally,
only the first three cards are defined. The force transducer option,
_PENALTY, works with penalty type contact algorithms only, i.e., it
does not work with the CONSTRAINT or TIED options. For these latter
options, use the _CONSTRAINT option. If the interactions between two
surfaces are needed, a master surface should be defined. In this case,
only the contact forces applied between the slave and master surfaces
are kept. The master surface option is only implemented for the
_PENALTY option and works only with the AUTOMATIC contact types.
-------------------------------------------There are numerous output files pertaining to contact which can be
written by LS-DYNA. LS-PrePost can read these output files and plot
the results. The most common contact-related output file, RCFORC,
is produced by including a *DATABASE_RCFORC command in the input
deck. RCFORC is an ASCII file containing resultant contact forces
for the slave and master sides of each contact interface. The
forces are written in the global coordinate system. Note that
RCFORC data is not written for single surface contacts as all the
contact forces from such a contact come from the slave side (there
is no master side) and thus the net contact forces are zero. To
obtain RCFORC data when single surface contacts are used, one or
more force transducers should be added via the *CONTACT_FORCE_
TRANSDUCER_PENALTY command. A force transducer does not produce
any contact forces and thus does not affect the results of the
simulation. A force transducer simply measures contact forces

produced by other contact interfaces defined in the model. One would

typically assign a subset of the parts defined in a single surface
contact to the slave side of a force transducer. No master side is
option is provided in the LS-DYNA Version 971 User's Manual.
Contact parameters
There are several contact-related parameters in LS-DYNA that can be used to
modify or, in many cases, improve contact behavior.
The default settings for these parameters should be used as a starting
point, but often non-default values are appropriate depending on the
behavior of the contact. The following sections describe the most common
contact parameters and make general recommendations regarding their use.
Contact parameters may be set using the commands *CONTROL_CONTACT, *CONTACT,
and *PART_CONTACT. Certain parameters may be set using more than one command
and so a command hierarchy must exist. Parameters set with *CONTROL_CONTACT
redefine default settings for all contacts in the model. Contact parameters
set in *CONTACT_ will override default settings for individual contacts.
Contact parameters set in *PART_CONTACT supersede settings in *CONTACT for
contact involving a specific part.
Contact Thickness SST and MST (card 3, *CONTACT_option)
SST and MST on card 3 of *CONTACT allow users to directly specify the
desired contact thickness. When the default value of SST=MST=0, is used,
the contact thickness is equal to the element thickness specified in the
Contact Thickness Recommendations
Nonzero values of SST and MST are sometimes used to decrease the contact
thickness and thus eliminate initial penetrations. This is a poor substitute
for accurate mesh generation. When using nonzero values of SST and MST,
it is highly recommended to use reasonable values. Specifying a very small
thickness value, such as 0.1 mm, will result in contact breakdown owing to
the fact that contact thickness goes into determining the maximum
penetration allowed before the contact releases a penetrating node. Often,
by increasing the contact thickness, breakdown of contact involving very
thin materials can be averted. Based on experience, SST and MST should not
be less than 0.6-0.7 millimeters. Since nonzero values of SST and MST are
applied to all the parts defined in the contact, it may be more prudent to
use the OPTT or SFT parameter in *PART_CONTACT to control the contact
thickness for individual parts in cases where many parts of widely ranging
thickness are included in a single contact.
Contact Thickness Scaling , SFST and SFMT, (card 3, *CONTACT_option)
As an alternative to directly specifying the contact thickness as described
above, SFST and/or SFMT may be defined to serve as contact thickness scale
factors. These factors are applied to the shell thickness specified in

*SECTION_SHELL in order to obtain a contact thickness. The default values

of SFST and SFMT are 1.0.
Contact Thickness Scaling Recommendations
The same concepts discussed in Contact Thickness Recommendations apply here.
Care must be taken though not to assign contact thickness scale factors so
small as to result in a contact thickness that is less than 0.6-0.7 mm.

Cohesive in lsdyna
Some notes that may be of help:
For zero thickness cohesive elements in solid element modeling, you
would model the cohesive elements as if there were a thickness with the
nodes being shared (eight different nodes) with each part being joined.
You may need a contact definition between the two parts being joined to
address post-failure interaction.
If you are using shell element modeling, you want at least the shell
thickness gap representation for the cohesive element thickness.
8. Element type 20 is identical to element 19 but with offsets for use
with shells. The element is assumed to be centered between two layers
of shells on the cohesive element's lower (1-2-3-4) and upper (5-6-7-8)
surfaces. The offset distances for both shells are one half the initial
thicknesses of the nodal pairs (1-5, 2-6, 3-7, and 4-8) separating the
two shells. These offsets are used with the nodal forces to calculate
moments that are applied to the shells.
----------------------------------Davila, C.G., Camanho, P.P., and Turon, A., "Cohesive Elements for
Shells", NASA/TP-2007-214869, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, April, 2007.
Davila, C.G., Camanho, P.P., and Turon, A., "Effective Simulation
of Delamination in Aeronautical Structures Using Shells and Cohesive
Elements", Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 663-672, MarchApril, 2008.

Some comments from a previously posted, similar question:
-----------------------------------------------The simplest approach might be to renumber (rename) the d3plot files for
each process. For example, process #1, d3plot101 to d3plot121, process #2,
d3plot201 to d3plot221, process #3, d3plot301 to d3plot321, etc. Then put
all in one directory file for reading. LS-PrePost is not bothered with
missing numbers for d3plot121 to d3plot201, d3plot221 to d3plot301, etc.
-----------------------------------------------You might look at this tool:
-----------------------------------------------You might look at the "Model Chaining" option discussed in these LS-PrePost
--------------------------------------------"LS-PrePost Overview", 12th International LS-DYNA Users Conference,
Dearborn, Michigan, June, 2012.
--------------------------------------------Ho, P., "New Features in LS-PrePost and its Future Development", 11th
German LS-DYNA Forum, Ulm, Germany, October, 2012.\
--------------------------------------------Some additional notes on "Model Chaining":
Ho, P., "Current Features and Developments of LS-PrePost", 6th European
LS-DYNA Users Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, May, 2007.

Perhaps the following may be of some interest:
Seram, S.B., "Use of SPH and Lagrangian Meshing Technique to Assess Damage
Area in Bumper Shields Impacted by Hypervelocity Space Debris", Master's
Thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wichita State University,
Wichita, Kansas, May, 2007.

When I move a part of the model to another Part ID,the nodes are
automatically merged. There is no option available to move without merging.
As such, are there any ways to "unmerge" the nodes?
Another amateurish question. Say for example I know the exact coordinates of
the nodes hidden inside the model, how do I get the corresponding nodal
To answer your question,
If you are just "moving" elements to a new part via EleTol->MovCpy, the nodes will not get merged automatically,
unless they were already merged before the operation movcpy. By doing "movcpy", just the "PID" column in
*ELEMENT_option will get the new intended PID assigned to it.
If you want to detach elements, then you could use EleTol->DetEle and select the elements that you want to get
detached from its neighboring elements and then hit "Apply". That should "unmerge" the nodes at the selection
I don't know of a way to find the node-id's using the coordinates as a search criteria, I am not sure if any other preprocessor can do that, even to search manually (graphically or via a text editor)

downloaded Tutor.chm and Documentation .chm files for LS- PREPOST 4.0 and installed them. I can access them
through the help menu and all the topics are listed. However, there is no content under the topics and it display the
message " Navigation to the webpage was cancelled".
Are there any suggestions to overcome this?
Ans- please click the document with right mouse->click"property"->unlock.

area of displayed elements

Go to EleTol->Measure->Toggle to Area + Select Elements->Pick by Part->Select Part->Click on Report->enter
filename->done. This should create a ascii file with element id in first column and area of that element in second

merge coincident or close nodes by LS-PrePost

Go to EleTol->DupNodes->Specify Tolerance->Show Dup. Nodes->Apply.

Cartesian to cyclindrical
i have simulated metal spinning process in ls-dyna....but in the d3plot the
stress are coming in cartesian form i.e in x,y and z directions...i want those stresses in cylindrical co-ordinates i.e
tangential,circumferential and radial directions, is there any method to convert cartesian coordinates into cylidrical
First define a cylindrical system under Post->Settings->Local Coord Sys->Cyl->Create. Now when you plot the x, y &
z-stresses in FCOMP, they correspond to r, phi and z-stresses.

----------how to highlight (find) nodes or elements within a specified range (e.g. from ND1 to ND2)?
I have tried to input "1:10" into the text field labeled "Nd/El/Part ID:" under "EleTol -> Find"

Please download the latest version of lsprepost, with new implementation of selection based on range. For your case,
you should try "ident node 1:10".
Some of the new features that work with "ID range",
1. color pid p1:p2 red green blue <- Set color for the parts with r g b values, r,g,b should be between 0.0 to 1.0
e.g. color pid 500000:550000 0.45 0.2 0.8
e.g. color pid 500000:550000 <- in the case when rgb values are omitted, it will use whatever set in the color box
in the color interface
2. m 500000:550000 display all the parts in this range
3. transp pid p1:p2 tfp <- set transparency for the range of parts with tfp value, tfp should be between 0.1 to 0.99
e.g. transp pid 500000:550000 0.75
4. grparts pid p1:p2 groupname <- create a group with parts in the range, groupname is the group name
e.g. grpart pid 500000:550000 mygroup1


apply pre-load to the bolt and then to perform transient dynamic analysis of the structure

A detailed vehicle rubber mount coupled with failure criteria and initial
bolt preloading (3D model) was investigated for impact loading:
Park, S.U., Koka, M.R., Thomson, K.R., and Robbins, J.L., "A FE Modeling
and Validation of Vehicle Rubber Mount Preloading and Impact Response", 8th
International LS-DYNA Users Conference, Dearborn, Michigan, May, 2004.
Two modeling techniques were developed: (1) a discrete-spring based clamping model with several rigid parts, and (2) a stress based clamping model
with deformable elements to account for bolt preload in studying the joint
slippage behavior:
Reid, J.D., and Hiser, N.R., "Detailed Modeling of Bolted Joints with Slippage", Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, Vol. 41, Issue 6, pp. 547-562,
March, 2005.
Five different methods of applying preload in the nonlinear finite element
analysis were evaluated. Those methods were "force on bolt and nut", "force
on bolt shank", "interference fit", "thermal gradient" and "initial stress

OToole, B., (Nakalswamy) Karpanan, K., and Feghhi, M., "Experimental and
Finite Element Analysis of Preloaded Bolted Joints Under Impact Loading",
AIAA 2006-1757, 47th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics,
and Materials Conference, Newport, Rhode Island, Vol. 3, pp. 2024-2032, May,
Three-point bending tests were conducted to evaluate different bolt
materials. Bolt preload or stress initialization was simulated using the
implicit solver for two separate analyses:
Lou, K.-A., and Perciballi, W., "Finite Element Modeling of Preloaded Bolt
Under Static Three-Point Bending Load", 10th International LS-DYNA Users
Conference, Dearborn, Michigan, June, 2008.
The transient behavior of structures with bolted joints subjected to
impact or shock loads using experimental methods and numerical analysis
was analyzed. Various factors that affect the response of the bolted joint
structures for shock loading were studied, such as damping, preload,
intensity of impact load and type of FE modeling:
Nakalswamy, K.K., "Experimental and Numerical Analysis of Structures with
Bolted Joints Subjected to Impact Load", Ph.D. Thesis, Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, May, 2010.\
"Preloads in LS-DYNA", LS-DYNA Aerospace Working Group, Livermore Software
Technology Corporation, Livermore, California.

nodal thickness values in ascii file format-write out the element data via (Output>ELEMENT/ELEMENT_THICKNESS->Write) 1. Firnge->Misc->shell thickness.
2. Go to "Output"->toggle "Nodal Results"->curr->Write.

How to check how many elements were eroded=

on the top menu, next to File, pull down Misc. and then Model Information scroll
down to the Element Deletion section the number of elements deleted for each plot state
can be viewed by incrementing the plot state.
A more useful assessment of erosion is the Energy Ratio w/o Eroded Energy found in the
GLSTAT file.

Is it possible to see my element's cross-section/thickness in LS-pre/post? I

need it to check my contact, and s/t axials, etc...
the shell thickness can be viewed by selecting APPEAR > Check Thick > AllVis.

"Metal Forming in LS-PrePost 4.0", Livermore Software Technology

Corporation, Livermore, California, July, 2012.\
(accompanying workshops)\
Ho, P., "New Features in LS-PrePost and its Future Development", 11th
German LSDYNA Forum, Ulm, Germany, October, 2012.\
Yan, Q., and Ho., P., "Introduction to LS-PrePost", Livermore Software
Technology Corporation, Livermore, California, April, 2013.\


Petersen, M.J., "Dynamics of Ship Collisions", Ocean Engineering, Vol. 9,

Issue 2. pp. 295-329, 1982.
Pedersen, P.T., "Collision and Grounding Mechanics", Proceedings of WEMT'95,
pp. 125-157, 1995.
Tabri, K., "Dynamics of Ship Collisions", Ph.D. Thesis, Department of
Applied Mechanics, Aalto University School of Science and Technology,
Espoo, Finland, February, 2010.
Conference papers:

you can output nodal displacements via several different ways (refer to *database_history_node_local).
Have you looked into this option?
You can also use LSPrePost to create a local system via Post->Setting->Local-Coord-System->Create>Apply and then plot the displacements from History->Nodal->Displacements in that local coordinate
system. And once you have the plot, you can write the xy-data to a ASCII file.

The kinetic energy quantities in the MATSUM and GLSTAT files may differ
slightly in values for several reasons. First, the energy associated with
added mass (from mass-scaling) is included in the GLSTAT calculation, but
is not included in MATSUM. Secondly, the energies are computed element by
element in MATSUM for the deformable materials and, consequently, nodes
which are merged with rigid bodies will also have their kinetic energy
included in the rigid body total. Furthermore, kinetic energy is computed
from nodal velocities in GLSTAT and from element midpoint velocities in
MATSUM. As for the global rigid body velocities (x,y,z-rbv) provided in 'glstat',
these values are made from the momentum equation (nodal values) of all
parts having a mass, no matter whether they have a velocity or not:
global x-rbv = sum(nodal mass * nodal x-vel)/sum(nodal mass)
Likewise for global y and z rigid body velocities.
The rigid body velocities in 'matsum' is similarly calculated as that
given in 'glstat' for the complete system of parts:
x-rbv = sum(nodal mass * nodal x-vel)/sum(nodal mass)
Likewise for y-rbv and z-rbv.

Settings > General Settings > Sph/Particle > Style: Smooth.

set sphere style for the EFG part. You do that under "Model and Part" - "Appearance" - "Sphere" and
select the part.

Modeling guidelines for full vehicle contact:\

Element Generation feature which is under Mesh menu. Shells can be created on the outer surface of the solid
component or on every face of the solid element.
Mesh->ElGen->Shell->From Solid Surface (or) From Solid face->Pick elements->Apply->Accept->Done.

An NASA Technical Report that appears to be interesting:

Fasanella, E. and Jackson, K.E., "Best Practices for Crash
Modeling and Simulation", 20020085101; Report Number:
ARL-TR-2849, L-18223, NAS 1.15:211944, NASATM-2002-211944.\