Managing material libraries

The Material Library Manager allows you create, edit, and rename material libraries, library categories, and library materials.

Related Topics
Material libraries
Adding materials from a library to your model


The default Specification Tags indicate the source of the material data, a description, the units of measure, and a vendor material name. You can create, edit, rename, and delete specification tags for each material in a library. Material properties and categories are presented in alphabetical order, identical to the default view of the library in the main window of Abaqus/CAE; material categories appear first, followed by materials that are not in a category. You can use the manager to copy materials from a model to a library or from a library to a model. The Material Library Manager is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The Material Library Manager.

When you work with material libraries, it is recommended that you carefully consider the material and category names. You can create multiple categories and/or materials with exactly the same name. For example, you could have identical entries for a standard grade of steel, each containing properties in different sets of units. Using suitable category names, you can easily identify each material. However, if you display the library in the list format, the identical entries will all appear in the list. Modifying the material names to include the units information may make it easier to identify the desired material. For example, you can name one material Steel 1020 US and another Steel 1020 SI. Alternatively, you can click Tags in the material library manager to indicate the units in the Specification Tags that appear below the materials list in the main window. Renaming a material in the material library will change the name only in the library and does not change the underlying material name copied from or to the Abaqus/CAE model. A material added from the library to a model will still retain the old name.

You cannot view or edit material properties within the material library manager. To view or edit the properties of a material, you must add the material to a model and use the Edit Material dialog box (for more information, see Creating or editing a material).

  1. From the Material Library tab in the Model Tree area, click the Material Library Manager icon located to the right of the Name field.

    Abaqus/CAE displays the Material Library Manager.

  2. From the top of the manager, click Create to create a new material library, or select a library name to edit an existing library.

  3. If you selected Create in the previous step, the Create Material Library dialog box appears.

    1. Enter a name for the new library.
    2. Select Home or Current to choose the location of the abaqus_plugins directory in which the library will be saved.
    3. Click OK.

      Abaqus/CAE creates an empty material library file and opens it for editing in the manager. If necessary, Abaqus/CAE also creates the specified abaqus_plugins directory. For more information, see Material libraries.

  4. To edit the current material library, select an item from the Library Materials list on the left side of the manager and choose from the following:

    • If you want to create categories to organize materials in the library, click Add Category. The Create Category dialog box appears.

      1. Enter a name for the category.

      2. Click OK in the Create Category dialog box.

        Abaqus/CAE creates the new category.

      The category appears at the same level of the library as the item you selected. For example, if you selected the library name, the new category appears with any other categories directly below the library name; if you selected an existing category, the new category appears within that category.

    • If you want to rename the selected item, click Rename. Enter a new name in the dialog box that appears, and click OK.


      Renaming a library changes the name displayed within Abaqus/CAE; it does not change the name of the library (.lib) file.

    • If you want to edit the information that appears for a material when you expand the Specification Tags field at the bottom of the material library, click Tags. The tags contain the source, description, units, and vendor name of the material. By default, the vendor name tag contains the material name, and the other tags each contain Imported from CAE. You can use tags to clarify the intended use of materials that have identical names or similar properties.

    • If you want to remove a material or an empty category from the library, select it and click Delete. You can use a combination of CtrlClick and ShiftClick to select multiple items.


      You cannot delete a material library from within Abaqus/CAE; you must delete the library file from the saved location on your system.

  5. Use the arrows located between the Library Materials list and the Model Materials list to copy material data from a library to a model, or vice versa.

    When you copy a material, Abaqus/CAE places the new material at the end of the selected category, if any, or at the end of the library.

    1. From the Models list in the Material Library Manager, select the model to which (or from which) you want to copy a material.
    2. Select the desired material from the Library Materials list or the Model Materials list. You can use a combination of CtrlClick and ShiftClick to select multiple items.
    3. If you are copying a material into the library, select the category in the Library Materials list into which you want Abaqus/CAE to place the material.
    4. Click on the appropriate arrow to copy the material.

    Abaqus/CAE adds the new material to the end of the selected category for a library or to the end of the materials list for a model.

Changes that you make in the Material Library Manager are visible immediately in the manager dialog box. However, they are not committed to the library file until you click Save Changes. Abaqus/CAE does not update the library view in the main window until you dismiss the material library manager.