NEi Software Nastran Finite Element Analysis

Nastran Finite Element Analysis and Simulation Software

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NEi Nastran 64-bit Solver

NEi Nastran x64 Solver

64-bit NEi Nastran Yields Major Performance Improvements on Large FEA Models

NEi Nastran 64-bit is a true 64-bit application capable of accessing memory above the 4GB limit of the Windows 32-bit platform. In a 32-bit operating system such as Windows XP, Vista, or Win 7, or Win 8 there is a limitation of 232 = 4GB of memory that can be addressed. Windows reserves 2GB for the operating system leaving only 2GB for external programs (such as NEi Nastran). With the analyst’s ever increasing demand for more detail and finer mesh sizes, some have reached the limit of the 32-bit platform. With the release of Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7 and Win 8 64-bit, engineers now have a direct upgrade path to a 64-bit platform without having to switch to a Unix/Linux based operating system.

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Customer Feedback

"I would like to inform you that we are really pleased with the performance of the 64 bit NEi Nastran solver. We were able to run a linear structural analysis with 7,400,000 DOF on an Intel Xeon with 8GB of RAM in less than 3 hours! Next step we will take full advantage of the NEi Nastran solver by analyzing our full model instead of using symmetry conditions. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product to anyone. Please pass along my sincere thanks to your entire crew."

Rasvan Popescu
President
Progénie Experts-Conseil

Progénie
[more]

Features

PSS Solver

NEi Nastran V10.2 64-bit is a true 64-bit application capable of accessing memory above 4GB. With its ability to access larger amounts of memory, the improvements are twofold:

  • Huge models (such as a 25 million DOF linear static analysis) can be analyzed; that would normally be impossible on a 32-bit platform
  • Large models that would normally use virtual memory in NEi Nastran 32-bit can now directly access large amounts of physical memory (if the system is configured with sufficient RAM)

These improvements result in faster solution times since physical memory is tens to hundreds of times faster than virtual memory. In addition to these advantages, NEi Nastran 64-bit contains a new direct parallel solver called the Parallel Sparse Solver (PSS). Some of the features of this high-performance solver are:

  • Extremely fast parallel direct solver
  • Parallel scalability is nearly independent of the shared-memory multiprocessing architecture (performance increases of seven times using eight processors have been observed)
  • Handles non-positive definite matrices
  • Accuracy measure output
  • Supported in all NEi Nastran solutions

Case Studies

NEi Nastran FEA twisted Cable NEi Nastran FEA twisted Cable 1 million DOF nonlinear static analysis of a twisted cable, 2x speed improvement on 64-bit

NEi Nastran FEA Crankshaft Model 12.3 million DOF linear static crankshaft model solved in 66 minutes

Twisted Cable – Nonlinear Contact Analysis

A twisted cable consisting of 25 individual strands was modeled to determine the load and stress distribution within the cable. Because of the twisted geometry of the cable, there are no planes of symmetry to take advantage of (other than lengthwise symmetry). The cables contact themselves at more than 50 points within any given cross-section. Ordinarily, setting up the contact segments for a model such as this would be extremely difficult and time consuming. However, taking advantage of NEi Nastran’s automatic contact capability (ASCG), no manual contact setup was needed.

The model was setup as a nonlinear static analysis with an enforced displacement to stretch the cable by 0.4%. The model consisted of 280,000 HEX elements for a total of 1 million degrees of freedom (DOF). The analysis was first run in NEi Nastran 32-bit and the total solution time was 11.4 hours. Then, using the same computer, the analysis was performed using NEi Nastran 64-bit. The total solution time dropped dramatically to 1.9 hours.

  • NEi Nastran 32-bit Solution Time: 11.4 hours
  • NEi Nastran 64-bit Solution Time: 1.9 hours

Linear Static Analysis of an Automotive Crankshaft

A crankshaft consisting of 12.3 million degrees of freedom (2.6 million TET10 elements and 4.1 million nodes) was analyzed in NEi Nastran 64-bit. A model of this size would be impossible to run using NEi Nastran 32-bit.

The total solution time was 21 minutes on an Intel Xeon 2.66GHz CPU with 32GB of RAM

Direct Frequency Response of a Satellite

The following case study was performed to show that NEi Nastran 64-bit will also speed up medium and small sized direct frequency response models by taking advantage of the PSS solver. The PSS solver is able to take advantage of multiple CPUs or cores whereas the VSS solver can only take advantage of a single CPU/core.

NEi Nastran FEA Satellite 358,000 DOF direct frequency response of a satellite, 8 times faster on 64-bit

The satellite structure has 4,284 elements and consists mostly of plate and beam elements. The model consists of 26,382 DOF and was setup to solve for 100 frequency steps.

  • NEi Nastran 32-bit Solution Time:
    12.1 minutes (VSS solver)
  • NEi Nastran 64-bit Solution Time:
    6.2 minutes (PSS solver)

By increasing the mesh density of the model (for a total of 358,000 DOF) and running the same 100 frequency steps, the power of NEi Nastran 64-bit is revealed.

  • NEi Nastran 32-bit Solution Time:
    17.6 hours (VSS solver)
  • NEi Nastran 64-bit Solution Time:
    2.1 hours (PSS solver). Performance improvement of over 800%
NEi Nastran FEA Piston Piston assembly with 2.6 million DOF, 2x speed improvement on 64-bit

Normal Modes Analysis of a Piston Assembly

A normal modes analysis of a piston assembly consisting of 2.6 million degrees of freedom was analyzed. The first 75 modes were extracted, and the Lanczos eigensolver was used in both NEi Nastran 32-bit and NEi Nastran 64-bit. NEi Nastran 64-bit was able to perform a direct Lanczos solution, whereas the 32-bit solver had to revert to the iterative Lanczos solver (which requires less memory). The solution time was over five times faster using NEi Nastran 64-bit.

  • NEi Nastran 32-bit Solution Time: 4.7 hours
  • NEi Nastran 64-bit Solution Time: 50 minutes

Computer Recommendations

To get the most out of NEi Nastran 64-bit, NEi Software, Inc. recommends the following system specifications:

Operating System: Windows 7 or Windows 8 64-bit
CPU: Dual Intel Xeon Quad Core
RAM: 16GB 32GB
Video Card: 2+GB NVIDIA Quadro K4000
Hard Drive(s): 2TB 7200 SATA for file storage and 512GB SSD for temp files.

All the case studies mentioned above were run with the following system:

CPU: Intel Xeon 5160 3.0 GHz (dual-core)
Memory: 16 GB
Hard Disk: 3 SATA 250 GB (7,200 RPM) in RAID0
Operating System: Windows Vista 64 or XP x64 (64-bit)
Contact
Phone (U.S.): (877) - Nastran
Phone (International): +1 (714) 899-1220
Email: info@neisoftware.com
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