FE output files
Finite element output files
Post-processing the finite element results from the steps of an analysis is possible by using standard post-processing software for the finite element program that is being used. This requires that the appropriate files are saved during the analysis.
In a crack growth analysis the user has the option of specifying the frequency at which these potentially large finite element files are saved, e.g. every 5th finite element analysis, retain last file only etc. The file types that can be saved in this way include .odb and .fil for Abaqus, .db and .rst for Ansys. Each file is saved with the f.e. step number appended to the filename e.g. turbinemodel005.odb for mesh 5 of the analysis etc.
For greater control of the saved output or to capture output under certain conditions, a user subroutine option can be used. This permits, for example, saving of the f.e. files when the cycle count is within a certain range or the crack size meets particular criteria.
In this way the mesh can be assessed at each saved step. The usual array of post-processing plots can be generated and views can be saved for creating animations of crack growth.