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What's New in Abaqus 2017?

The Abaqus Unified FEA product suite offers powerful and complete solutions for both routine and sophisticated engineering problems covering a vast spectrum of industrial applications. For example, in the automotive industry engineering work groups can consider full vehicle loads, dynamic vibration, multibody systems, impact/crash, nonlinear static, thermal coupling, and acoustic-structural coupling using a common model data structure and integrated solver technology. 

Enhancement Summary:

Enhanced Contact and Constraints:

  • Fast linear contact
  • Improved convergence behaviour
  • New edge-to-surface general contact in Abaqus/Standard
    • Provides improved robustness/accuracy for assemblies in contact
    • New edge-to-surface contact with thick beams as “master”
    • Beams and truss edges can act as “master” in the edge-to-surface formulation
  • Cohesive behaviour can now be used with general contact in Abaqus/Standard
    • Full GUI support for Abaqus/CAE: Cohesive behaviour was previously supported in context of contact pairs in /Standard and general contact in /Explicit
    • Much faster to model cohesive behavior no longer needs to be defined in pairs: Benefit from general contact robustness with performance and convergence

XFEM Contact Improvements for Abaqus/Standard:

  • Improved accuracy for XFEM for crack initiation and growth
  • XFEM surface can participate in surface-to-surface and edge-to-surface formulations of general contact
  • Internal surface energy topology data used in general contact tracking and constraint formulation continuously updates as crack surface evolves
  • Improved contour integral for XFEM cracks (Covered above – merge sections)
  • Conforming mesh improvements
  • Elements surrounding the crack line are cubes instead of long cuboids
  • Default enrichment radius can be used

Advances in LCP (Linear Complimentary Problem) Equation Solver for Abaqus/Standard:

  • Common for surfaces to be in contact – no sliding
  • Using linear contact and linear geometry, small displacements: Faster contact, can get order of magnitude improvement
  • Other sources of nonlinearity (material and geometric) are “frozen” in the “base state” of the perturbation step

CZone Enhancements for Abaqus/Explicit:

  • Implemented within general contact algorithm
  • Used for modelling brittle failure of shell composites upon impact
  • Previously available only through contact pairs
  • Increased performance, ease of modelling
  • Allows contact front to pass through surface to capture crushing behavior rather than deleting the element
    • Avoid multiple impacts to more accurately model continuous crushing
  • The general contact CZone capability is documented within Abaqus 2017 documentation

Enhanced Materials and Elements:

  • New brick shell element (CSS8) for Abaqus/Standard
    • Beneficial for thin walled structures modelled in 3D CAD
    • Well-suited for composite solids and 3D material models
    • Solid element with superior bending behaviour about the local 1-2 plane
  • Element progressive activation (EPA)
    • EPA activates elements in each increment of analysis
    • Supported with heat transfer and static properties (Solid elements in Abaqus/Standard only)
    • Can activate elements through space and time
      • Efficiently simulate manufacturing processes
      • Order of magnitude more computationally efficient
      • Traditionally the BCs are applied to the model - now the BCs are added with the material as part of the solution

Development for Welding and Additive Manufacturing (AM):

  • New free surface film (FFS) and radiation (RFS) capabilities
    • Automatically applies film and radiation surface loadings to free surfaces
  • Nonuniform heat fluxes in 3D heat transfer
  • New functionality to easily access model data from user subroutines
    • Property tables, parameter tables, table collections, event series
  • Free surface film and radiation
  • Free surface convection (FFS)
    • Automatically applies film loadings to free surfaces
  • Free surface radiation (RFS)
    • Automatically applies radiation loadings to free surfaces
  • Supports both model change and element progressive activation

Event Series:

  • New interface allows user to define floating point data as a function of position and time
  • Rather than amplitude curve (something vs time)… event series uses something vs SPACE AND TIME


  • Independent datum features
  • Import parts from input file
  • Surface normal query tools
  • Show working directory in toolbar
  • Expanded object copy between models
  • Discrete/analytical fields
  • Model instances

Other Key Enhancements:

  • Improved direct sparse scalability
  • Explicit dynamic scalability to 1000 cores
  • GPU acceleration of AMS eigensolver
  • New material models
    • Mean field homogenization
  • Abaqus-SIMPACK integration
  • Table input for user subroutines
  • Progress element activation