Rezoning and Dynamic Substructuring Techniques in FEM Simulations of Welding Processes

[+] Author and Article Information
S. B. Brown

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Room 8-106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

H. Song

Anadrill Schlumberger, 200 Macco Boulevard, Sugarland, TX 77478

J. Eng. Ind 115(4), 415-423 (Nov 01, 1993) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2901784 History: Received December 01, 1991; Revised August 01, 1992; Online April 08, 2008


Distortion and residual stresses cause significant problems in the welding of large structures. Prediction of these phenomena would provide substantial assistance to the design and fabrication of welding. Unfortunately, the complexity of structural interactions during welding and the severe nonlinearities associated with the welding process limit the application of weld simulations. This presentation develops rezoning and dynamic substructuring techniques that make the finite element welding simulation of large structures more tractable. Both techniques exploit the fact that only a local zone around the welding electrode is nonlinear during welding. We therefore model the local nonlinear zone around the electrode or heat source with a dense finite element mesh. The rest of the larger structure is modeled using both a coarser mesh and substructures. The model is then redefined incrementally to represent the motion of the electrode through the larger structure. The redefinition is performed on the deformed geometry of the previous increment, achieving a step-wise coupled thermo-mechanical analysis. The techniques are applied to a two-dimensional plate welding example, achieving significant reductions in model size. Computer memory requirements and analysis times achieve close to order-of-magnitude reductions. Three-dimensional welding simulations should experience greater reductions in analysis time. Although developed for welding applications, the rezoning and dynamic substructuring techniques can also be used for other analyses involving a small nonlinear zone translating within a larger elastic body.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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