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Simulate Lite Contact FEA


Simulate Lite Contact FEA

Trying to use simulate lite to analyze a pretty basic system:

12" x 15" x .093" Acrylic sheet, supported by two steel stands .125" thick x 2" tall that run the length of the sheet (in the shorter, 12" dir).

The stands are constrained by the bottom surface, and a downward force is applied to a surface on the sheet that approximates a human foot.

Simulate lite seems to be having some issues dealing with the contact, getting ridiculously high VM stresses.

Is there any way to use simulate lite to analyze this system? (or any system with contact) I don't have access to the full version or any other simulation tools. I have the results of some hand calcs, but my supervisor wants to see the FEA.


Hello, Nick,

I am like you, I was always surprised at the results in the case of plates support.

I am attaching a link that may be able to help you.



Thanks for the link Denis, very helpful!

The pdf Denis linked to illustrates the physics that you need to capture. I've never used simulate lite, but I'd be surprised if it allowed for large-displacement analysis. Typically, if you structure deflects a distance equal to your thickness, then you need large-displacement formulation.

Regarding your stresses that are very high, I would need to see more detailed views of the structure, but based off of the stress fringe plot that you've provided, I would suspect that the peak stress is due to a singularity. If it is, your only option is to do some mesh refinement around the singularity and isolate the singular and neighboring elements.


Simulate lite is very limited.

No non-linear at all.

If contact/large displacements are required to get the correct behaviour and realistic deflections/stresses, Simulate lite won't do it.

The high stress appears to be at the position of load application (i.e. the foot) - how is the load applied?

It looks like the problem is less with the supports, and more with the sheet being incapable of withstanding a foot on it...