ABAQUS or ANSYS, which one is better?

When you want to simulate a mechanical model, usually hear ABAQUS or ANSYS, and the most common question is which one is better? Engineer designers, especially beginners, usually ask this question and similar ones. In this article, you will understand the answer to these sorts of questions.

1-ANSYS & ABAQUS introduction

ANSYS stands for the analysis system. ABAQUS means finite element computer code. These two finite element software simulate mechanical analysis for engineering and design purposes such as stress evaluation, optimizing a design, buckling process, static and dynamic analysis, structures behavior under different loading conditions, etc.

Figure 1: ABAQUS software interface

Figure 2: ANSYS software interface

2 -ABAQUS and ANSYS interface comparison

The first question that comes into a software user’s mind is which one has a convenient interface and is easier to use, ABAQUS or ANSYS? (Which one is a friendlier user?). Figures 1 and 2 represent the ABAQUS and ANSYS interface, respectively. At first look, you can see that ABAQUS has a simpler interface and is less confusing than ANSYS. Also, at first sight, it can be seen which kind of process you want to implement in ABAQUS software: mechanical, CFD, or electromagnetic. Furthermore, every type of modeling in ABAQUS will proceed same path and modules to obtain the required simulation. While in ANSYS software, you may get confused by the first look.

3-ABAQUS and ANSYS modeling comparison

There are not many differences between these two software regarding modeling. However, ABAQUS has a huge advantage over ANSYS: its connection to Solidworks and Catia modeling software. These three (ABAQUS, Solidworks, and Catia) are like three vertexes of a triangle. This triangle will come to your aid when you want to model a complex structure and analyze it.

Figure 3 finite element modeling using ABAQUS

4- Is ABAQUS better in function or ANSYS?

It depends on what kind of analysis you want to apply. It’s like someone asks you which one is better, a truck or a high-speed car? Both are for transport. But the truck is for transporting shipment and stuff, while the high-speed vehicle is suitable for car racing. In the matter at hand, both ABAQUS and ANSYS are powerful software in finite element analysis. However, they both have advantages and disadvantages. This section will briefly and efficiently explain some of these advantages and disadvantages. At the end of this section, you will get a perspective for this question: ABAQUS or ANSYS?

4-1-      Mechanic fracture and smart materials

ABAQUS is better in the mechanic fracture and cracks analysis by the XFEM method, and ANSYS cannot help much. On the other hand, ANSYS is the better option in smart materials.

Figure 4 a crack analysis in finite element software

4-2-       CFD analysis

When it comes to Fluid Mechanics and CFD analysis, both software doesn’t have much to say compared to powerful software in this regard like Fluent. So, there are no substantial differences between the two software in this matter. But if you need to use one of them, choose the one you are more convenient and familiar with.

Figure 5: A CFD analysis in finite element software

4-3- Material library

ABAQUS has a powerful engineering material behavior library such as metals, plastics, polymer materials, and composites. Also, it contains civil materials like reinforced concrete, stone, and soil. This library is making this software more efficient and attractive to researchers.

4-4- Coding

In coding, it depends on the user’s ability, and it may be a personal matter. However, ABAQUS may have the simplest coding platform compared to ANSYS, and many users agree. The ABAQUS has a huge advantage in this matter, the subroutines. These make the ABAQUS more flexible in solving complex and user-defined models. For example, one of the most important and applicable subroutines is UMAT. This subroutine will help you to create user-defined material. Other subroutines such as USDFLD, DLOAD, DFLUX, etc., are also used for other problems.

4-5- Nonlinear analysis

Generally, ABAQUS is more popular in nonlinear analysis. For instance, elements destruction, wave impacts on platform columns and other similar problems, and time-related problems. On the other hand, static, quasi-static, and dynamic problems can be simulated better in ANSYS.

5- Conclusion:

Like I said from the beginning, we help you understand and answer this question: ABAQUS or ANSYS, which one is better?

It has been said that this comparison is like the comparison between a truck and a high-speed car. However, we recommend the ABAQUS if you are looking for finite element software with a simple and user-friendly graphical interface. It has a routine procedure in its modules to solve any kind of problem. If you are an amateur and want to start learning finite element software without getting confused by many icons and modules in the software, the ABAQUS is a more proper choice. Or, if you are a professional and have some complex problems that need to be done by a user-defined model, our recommendation is ABAQUS.

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