A comparison between commercial and open-source software for Finite Element analysis of elasto-plastic bending

Ahmed Abdelaty, Christian Reisinger, Wolfgang Kunze, Christian Zehetner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review


Nowadays, simulation is becoming more and more important in industries. Here we consider a typical industrial application in the field of sheet metal bending. A high number of simulations is necessary during the development process to perform parameter studies and optimizations. On the other hand, simulation tools should be also available for the customers of these machines, e.g., to plan the production of very specific profiles. In such cases, the optimal process parameters only can be found by simulation. Very important in this context are the license costs for commercial simulation software. Frequently, the simulations are not limited by computational power but by the number of available licenses, such that the duration for parameter studies is elongated. Also, with license costs it very expensive to provide a simulation platform to the customers. The presented case study has been carried out with the goal of comparing possible open source alternatives to expensive commercial Finite Element software. Exemplarily, we consider the elasto-plastic bending of a cantilever, using the Johnson- Cook constitutive law. For this test case, a three dimensional Finite Element analysis is performed, comparing the results of open-source software (Salome-Meca) and a commercial counterpart (Abaqus). Different element types and mesh sizes are compared, the usability of both tools, and the computational time. Considering the obvious price difference, both platforms show comparable results. Comparing the functionality of both programs, both are capable for modelling highly detailed and complex models for elasto-plastic material processing. However, for understanding the structure of the user interface of Salome-Meca is far more time consuming. Additionally, the performance of Salome-Meca on different operating systems is compared: Salome-Meca on Linux, Salome-Meca on Linux, installed in a virtual machine on Windows, and finally Salome-Meca on Windows. All in all, it turned out that depending on the specific application Salome-Meca can be a powerful alternative to Abaqus for the considered industrial application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of XVI International Conference on Computational Plasticity. Fundamentals and Applications, COMPLAS 2021, Sept 7-9, Barcelona, Spain
EditorsE. O$nate, D. Peric, M. Chiumenti, Eduardo de Souza Neto
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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