Meshing – What is Average Element Size

In the next couple of weeks I will be uploading a series of  posts on the topic of meshing a key attribute in obtaining accurate stress analysis results.
In this first article I am going to start of with how Inventor Stress Analysis creates meshes using the average element size value within the Mesh settings dialogue box.

I am going to use the following example to illustrate the effects of different average element size

Average Element Size is not the size of the mesh element. It is best explained as following

This is illustrated below

Below are examples of using different average element sizes

An average element size of 0.05 will create an element size of 5mm, in our example, hence will create 2 element across the thickness of the plate. It is normally good practice  to create at least 2 more elements across the thickness to get a better distribution of stress.

Note: A smaller average element will take a longer time to analyze………..

Hope you found this post useful I will be discussing more on Meshing in the next couple of weeks.

This information is extracted from my book Up and Running with Autodesk Inventor professional 2012 Part 1 – Stress Analysis, which offers a wealth of information including tips and guidance.

  1. #1 by Cindy on November 7, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    I’ve already finished reading 5 articles you posted and I could say that all your post is very informative. You have a great skills in writing and you explain your topics well. A very detailed info from your article and that makes it interesting to read.

  2. #2 by Parag on May 6, 2012 - 3:41 am

    Hello Wasim,

    Is it possible to simulate chain and sprockets, with hanging objects to chain links?
    We manufacture bucket elevators, and buckets are hanging on every 8th link, due to the weight of bucket it travels horizontal, and when comes in contact with shaped guides it turns around 180 degrees to drop the product filled in them.

    Bucket elevators are normaly in Z shape, bottom end of Z is used for filling, and top end is used to drop the product for further process or transportation.

    Normal tipping of this bucket elevator is working fine, I am working on creating guides to tilt the buckets in various positions, for washing down cycle, I am using drive constratint and transistional constrains for working out solution. as I can not apply any gravity on the bucket itself, it keeps spinning around its axis where it is connected to links.

    Can simulation help to make this work? is it possible to apply gravity on to bucket, while travelling in a path, so when not in contact it travels horizontal, and then turns around when comes in contact with shaped guides? Regards Parag

  3. #4 by Parag on June 17, 2012 - 9:43 pm

    Thank you,

    I have been trying this, It works if I have one bucket only.
    Slower with two buckets. And with three buckets it takes very long time.
    As the buckets come in contact with curved guides, it slows down the process and keeps thinking.

    Your book did help to learn all this thank you for your efforts in writting this book to help users like me.


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