SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation FEA Load Transfer: Setup, Results, & Static Study

Article by Jackie Yip on Nov 22, 2022

In this article, we demonstrate how to set up a static FEA (Finite Element Analysis) by reusing boundary conditions in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. This method, known as a load transfer, allows flow parameters to act as an external load to solve for the ideal stresses of a model. An ideal scenario for this setup includes a wind velocity acting upon an object that can then be transferred as a loading condition to evaluate the stresses it causes our model to undergo. 

We’ll create a flow simulation first to introduce our fluid parameters, then switch to a new static study to transfer it over. Let's get started.

Setup

In the following example, we're studying a reflector where a fluid is pushing at a constant x-direction upon the surface. Since one of our goals is to find the amount of force the fluid generates on the surface, we can set up a goal to measure this value.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation FEA Load Transfer Setup

Once the study is solved, we can review the results and generate several plots, such as a cut plot, to review the fluid movement as well as the goal plot to grab our force value. The force can then be considered when setting up a new static study for stressing the model.

FEA Load Transfer Setup in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

FEA Load Transfer Study in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Exporting Results

While we can set up a new static study with the force value in mind, SOLIDWORKS makes it easier to import the values from our flow simulation into a new static study without the need to recreate the loads ourselves. 

The first step is to ensure the flow results file is saved. By going to Tools > Flow Simulation > Tools > Export Results to Simulation, SOLIDWORKS will update the .fld result file with parameters that can be used in a new static study.

Export Results to Simulation Option in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Creating a new Static Study

After exporting the results file, create a new static study and, at the top of the study, right-click > Properties...

In the Flow/Thermal Effects tab, go to the Fluid Pressure option and check the option Include fluid pressure effects from SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

We can then browse to the folder where our .fld file is stored. Once selected, hit OK on the window.

New Study Option in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation General Simulation Static Option

New Static Study Properties Option in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Include Fluid Pressure Effects Option in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Back on the static study, the external loads will now contain several new items including the fluid pressure and fluid shear stress results. These loading conditions will now act as the fluid effects we ran previously from our flow simulation. Once we run the study, we can check the stresses induced on our model.

External Loads in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

GoEngineer YouTube Video SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation - FEA Load Transfer Want to learn more? Check out this YouTube video for a demonstration of these tips, tricks, and best practices.  

I hope you found this SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tutorial helpful. Check out more tips and tricks listed below.

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About Jackie Yip

Jackie Yip is a Technical Support Engineer at GoEngineer. When Jackie isn’t assisting customers or teaching a SOLIDWORKS Essentials class, he enjoys road biking and keeping up on the latest tech trends.

View all posts by Jackie Yip