Structural Mechanics Module

Structural Mechanics Module

Software for Performing Structural Mechanics Analyses

Image made using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and is provided courtesy of COMSOL.

Eigenfrequency analysis of a conrod showing the torsion angle along the conrod at the lowest eigenfrequency.

Structural Mechanics Module

Static, Transient, and Frequency-Domain Structural Analysis

The Structural Mechanics Module is dedicated to the analysis of mechanical structures that are subject to static or dynamic loads. You can use this software for a wide range of analysis types, including stationary, transient, eigenmode/modal, parametric, quasi-static, frequency-response, buckling, and prestressed analyses.

Add-on Products Augment and Supplement Your Structural Analyses

The Structural Mechanics Module provides user interfaces for analyses in 2D, 2D axisymmetry, and 3D coordinate systems for solids, shells (3D), plates (2D), trusses (2D, 3D), membranes (2D axisymmetry, 3D), and beams (2D, 3D). These allow for large deformation analysis with geometrical nonlinearity, mechanical contact, thermal strain, piezoelectric materials, and fluid-structure interaction (FSI). If you are looking to perform nonlinear materials analysis, there are two add-on products available to you – the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module and the Geomechanics Module. For fatigue life evaluation, you can leverage the add-on Fatigue Module, while if you are looking to model flexible and rigid body dynamics, the add-on Multibody Dynamics Module is for you. The Structural Mechanics Module also works in tandem with COMSOL Multiphysics and the other application-specific modules to couple structural analysis with a wide range of multiphysics phenomena, including the interaction of mechanical structures with electromagnetic fields, fluid flow, and chemical reactions.

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Product Features

  • Acoustic-structure interaction 1
  • Beams
  • Biomechanics
  • Buckling and postbuckling
  • Contact analysis
  • Fatigue evaluation 2
  • Fluid-structure interaction (FSI)
  • Geometric nonlinearity
  • Large deformation

  • Lubrication and elastohydrodynamics 3
  • Membranes
  • Modal analysis
  • Multibody dynamics 4
  • Nonlinear materials 5
  • Piezoelectric devices
  • Poroelasticity 6
  • Prestressed structures
  • Rotordynamics

  • Shells
  • Solids
  • Stress-optical effects
  • Structural contact and friction
  • Structural optimization 7
  • Structural vibrations
  • Thermal stress
  • Trusses
  • Viscoelasticity

1Together with the Acoustics Module
2Together with the Fatigue Module
3Together with the CFD Module
4Together with the Multibody Dynamics Module
5Together with the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module and the Geomechanics Module
6Together with the Subsurface Flow Module
7Together with the Optimization Module


These models are used for an introduction to structural mechanics modeling using the structural mechanics module.

The following features are introduced:

  • The Fundamentals: A Static Linear Analysis
  • Parametric study
  • Including Initial Strain
  • Modeling Thermal Expansion
  • Adding Rigid Connector
  • Adding Spring Conditions
  • Modeling with the Shell Physics Interface
  • Transient Analysis
  • Eigenfrequency Analysis
  • Prestressed Eigenfrequency Analysis
  • Frequency Response Analysis
  • Prestressed Frequency Response Analysis
  • A geometric non-linear problem: linear buckling modeling
  • Modeling contact problems

» See model.

Small heating circuits find use in many applications. For example, in manufacturing processes they heat up reactive fluids. The device used consists of an electrically resistive layer deposited on a glass plate. The layer causes Joule heating when a voltage is applied to the circuit. The layer’s properties determine the amount of heat produced.

This multiphysics example simulates the electrical heat generation, the heat transfer, and the mechanical stresses and deformations of a heating circuit device. The model uses the Heat Transfer interface of the Heat Transfer module in combination with the Shell, Conductive Media DC interface from the AC/DC Module and the Solid, Stress-Strain and Shell interfaces from the Structural Mechanics Module.

» See model.

The thermal stress in a layered plate is studied in this example. A plate consisting of two layers, a coating and a substrate layer is stress and strain free at 800 degrees C. The temperature of the plate is reduced to 150 degrees C and thermal stresses are induced. A third layer, the carrier layer, is added and the thermal stresses in the coating and a substrate layer are added as an initial stress and the temperature is finally reduced to 20 degrees C.

» See model.

This model refers to a portion of the vascular system of a young child – the upper part of the aorta artery. The blood vessels are embedded in a biological tissue (the cardiac muscle) and, during the flow of blood, pressure is applied to the internal surfaces producing deformation of the vessel walls.

The complete analysis consists of two distinct but coupled procedures: a fluid-dynamics analysis with the calculation of the velocity field and pressure distribution in the blood (variable in time and in space) and the mechanical analysis with the deformation of the tissue and artery. The material is assumed to be nonlinear and a hyperelastic model is used.

» See model.

In massive forming processes like rolling or extrusion, metal alloys are deformed in a hot solid state with material flowing under ideally plastic conditions. Such processes can be simulated effectively using computational fluid dynamics, where the material is considered as a fluid with a very high viscosity that depends on velocity and temperature. Internal friction of the moving material acts as a heat source, so that the heat transfer equations are fully coupled with those ruling the fluid dynamics part. This approach is especially advantageous when large deformations are involved.

This model is adapted from a benchmark study. The original benchmark solves a thermal-structural coupling. The alternative scheme modeled here couples non-Newtonian flow with the heat transfer equations. In addition, because it is useful to know the stress in the die due to fluid pressure and thermal loads, the model adds a structural mechanics analysis to the other two.

A comparison between the available experimental data and the numerical results of the simulation shows good agreement. On the basis of the results from the simulation, the engineer can improve the preliminary die design by adjusting relevant physical parameters and operating conditions.

» See model.

The model performs a static analysis on a piezoelectric actuator based on the movement of a cantilever beam, using the Piezoelectric Devices predefined multiphysics interface. Inspired by work done by V. Piefort and A. Benjeddou, it models a sandwich beam using the shear mode of the piezoelectric material to deflect the tip.

» See model.

Consider an infinitely long steel cylinder resting on a flat aluminum foundation, where both structures are elastic. The cylinder is subjected to a point load along its top. The objective of this study is to find the contact pressure distribution and the length of contact between the foundation and the cylinder. An analytical solution exists, and this model includes a comparison against the COMSOL Multiphysics solution. This model is based on a NAFEMS benchmark.

» See model.

The Beam Section Calculator app allows you to evaluate cross section data for a wide range of American and European standard beams. Given a set of forces and moments acting on the section, you can also compute a detailed stress distribution.

Calculated cross section data can also easily be extracted for use as input data for beam analyses in COMSOL Multiphysics.

The app is built upon the Beam Cross Section interface in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

» See model.

In a peristaltic pump, rotating rollers squeeze a flexible tube. As the rollers move along the tube, the fluid in the tube follows the motion. The main advantage of the peristaltic pump is that no seals, valves or other internal parts ever touch the fluid. Due to their cleanliness, peristaltic pumps have found many applications in the pharmaceutical, chemical, biomedical and food industries.

This COMSOL Multiphysics model of a peristaltic pump is a combination of structural mechanics (to model the squeezing of the tube) and fluid dynamics (to compute the fluid’s motion); that is, this is an example of fluid-structure interaction (FSI).

This model also shows some analysis features. Integration coupling variables are defined for the flow computations and for evaluating the inside volume of the tube. An ordinary differential equation is also used for calculating the accumulated flow.

» See model.

This model demonstrates the ability to simulate Multibody Dynamics in COMSOL. It comprises a multilink mechanism that is used in an antique automobile as a gearshift lever. It was created out of curiosity to find out how large forces are on the individual components. The model uses flexible parts, i.e. the Structural Mechanics Module was used along with the Multibody Dynamics Module.

» See model.