Simcenter Nastran

The core structural analysis FEA solver used by leading product development firms for over 40 years.

Simcenter Nastran is part of the Simcenter portfolio of simulation tools, and is used to solve structural, dynamics and acoustics simulation problems. Simcenter Nastran – Basic is the core subset of Simcenter Nastran software and includes a robust suite of linear statics, normal modes, buckling analyses, heat transfer and basic nonlin-ear capabilities. Simcenter Nastran – Basic can play a key role in your virtual product develop-ment process by providing the most widely used CAE solutions for digital proto- typing and simulation of product functional performance. 

Simcenter Nastran – Basic will allow you to initiate digital simulation into your product development process by providing access to a broad library of finite element types and material models, robust manipulation of load cases, along with several efficient solution sequences for linear statics (including buckling) and normal modes analyses on models of unlimited size. You can also perform sensitivity studies based on these analysis types.  Simcenter Nastran’s powerful analysis capabilities will provide you with the tools you need for:

  • Linear statics, including inertia relief
  • Normal modes
  • Buckling
  • Design sensitivity (statics, modes, buckling)
  • Model checkout
  • Heat transfer
  • Basic nonlinear
  • Coupled structure/acoustic modes

Simcenter Nastran – Basic includes a complete element library including 1D, 2D and 3D low- and higher-order elements; scalar and special elements including spot weld as well as p-elements (that can be combined with other elements).

Simcenter Nastran – Basic provides a full range of material models: isotropic, orthotropic, anisotropic and temperature-dependent. It also allows for easy combination (or addition) of load cases, such as point, line and surface loads on elements; loads applied directly to geometry; thermal loads; enforced deformation; and weighted combinations of each type.

Simcenter Nastran – Basic provides several non -elemental approaches for connecting meshes and transferring loads. This can greatly simplify modeling procedures.

Additional Properties for various type of Solutions

Linear static solutions:

  • Edge-to-surface contact to glue the edges of shell elements to the faces of solid or shell elements
  • Surface-to-surface contact for shell and solid elements
  • Edge-to-edge glue between the edges of shell, axisymmetric, plane stress and plane strain elements
  • Inertia relief for unrestrained models
  • Shared memory parallel (SMP) processing enabled element-based iterative solver for very fast solutions of tetrahedron meshed models
  • Bolt preload effects
  • Thermal expansion for rigid elements

Normal mode solutions:

  • Lanczos
  • Residual vectors for residual flexibility
  • Differential stiffness effects
  • Unconstrained model solutions
  • Solution about a contact condition
  • Export modes to ADAMS or RecurDyn

Design sensitivity analysis for assessing design changes

  • Shape and sizing design variables
  • Preset objective and constraints
  • Weight, volume
  • Element stress, strain, force
  • Displacement, rotation, reaction force
  • Normal modes Eigenvalue
  • Buckling load factor
  • Composites: lamina strain, force and failure index
  • User-defined objective and constraints
  • Efficient handling of hundreds of design variables, constraints and load cases buckling in a single run

Steady-state and transient thermal analysis

Simcenter Nastran – Basic provides heat transfer solutions to steady-state and transient thermal analysis design problems. This capability may also be used in combination with Simcenter Nastran structural analyses to perform thermal stress analysis. If changes in temperature and the flow of heat within your product could affect its performance, heat transfer should play a key role in your digital simulation process. Heat transfer can span the full range from system-level analysis of global energy balances to the detailed analysis associated with temperature and thermal stress limit levels. It allows you to investigate linear or nonlinear problems, steady-state or transient effects, as well as all three types of heat transfer (conduction, convection and radiation), displaying the characteristics associated with each.

Heat conduction 

  • Temperature-dependent conductivity
  • Temperature-dependent specific heat
  • Anisotropic thermal conductivity
  • Latent heat of phase change
  • Temperature-dependent internal heat generation
  • Weighted temperature gradient-dependent internal heat generation
  • Time-dependent internal heat generation

Free convection boundaries

  • Temperature-dependent heat transfer coefficient
  • Weighted temperature gradient-dependent heat transfer coefficient
  • Time-dependent heat transfer coefficient
  • Nonlinear functional forms

Basic nonlinear analysis

Simcenter Nastran – Basic enables you to analyze models with geometric nonlinearities; that is, large deformations or with material nonlinearities. Point-to-point contact nonlinearity can also be simulated. This basic nonlinear capability allows users to evaluate whether the small displacement and linear material assumptions used in linear analysis are accurate.

Geometric nonlinear behavior

  • Large deformations
  • Large strain for hyperelastic material
  • Snap-through analysis (post-buckling)

Material nonlinear behavior

  • Plasticity

  • Hyperelasticity

  • Thermoelasticity

  • Viscoelasticity (creep)

Automated solution methods – statics

  • Load control method
  • Displacement control method
  • Adaptive load increment

Other features

  • Static and transient solutions
  • Identical element types in linear and nonlinear analysis
  • Point-to-point contact with gap elements


Simofis Engineering and Siemens provides supports for training and consultancy.