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Stress Values in Specific Places - Sensors

Thursday July 31, 2014 at 4:10pm
An easy way to monitor stress values in critical areas of your model. 

I was asked this just yesterday - "How can we get stress values for specific locations of our model?"
- Or words to that effect!

You may know that if you have run a stress analysis in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, there is a "probe" that you can use to interrogate the model by clicking it on screen.
Personally, I've always thought this is a bit vague, and if you run more than one analysis it can be hard to "probe" exactly the same spot twice.

One easy answer (that I will be using myself from now on!) is to set up "Sensors" on your model in key areas.
At the top of the Design Tree there is a Sensors folder - if you right-click on that you get the option to "Add Sensor" - there are various things that they can monitor, in this case I set the Sensor Type to Simulation Data.
In the next box down (Data Quantity) there are various things - normally I would tend to use Factor of Safety - as I find that the easiest to understand (if your Factor of Safety comes out below 1, then your part has been permanently deformed, so make it stronger!).

In this case I used "Stress" and then "1st Principal Stress."

SOLIDWORKS Stress Values in Location 1
 

As you can see, in the Properties panel I selected the option "Max over Selected Entities" and picked the lower fillet on screen.

But what if you want to find the stress at a specific point?
Well, if you have a vertex on your model you could use that - although sharp corners are not great for stress analysis - or in real life either!

So how to do it?

Well, you can create a Reference Geometry point - which is what I did here: -

 
SOLIDWORKS Stress Values in Location 2 

There are various options as to where you can create Reference Points - I put mine in the centre of the cylindrical shaft where the top fillet meets it.

I then added a sensor to monitor the stress there.

One important thing to do is re-name your sensors! You'll find them by expanding that Sensors folder on your design tree.

With these two sensors set up, I ran the simulation study and - bingo!

They display the stress values right there at the top of the design tree! 
I think I'll be using these quite a bit myself...

SOLIDWORKS Stress Values Sensor Results

I hope that helps you to avoid stressful situations...

Rory Niles
SOLIDWORKS Instructor.

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