ProductsAbaqus/StandardAbaqus/ExplicitAbaqus/CAE Surfacebased coupling definitionsThe surfacebased coupling constraint in Abaqus provides coupling between a reference node and a group of nodes referred to as the “coupling nodes.” This option provides the same functionality as the kinematic coupling constraint and the distributing coupling elements (DCOUP2D, DCOUP3D) in Abaqus/Standard with a surfacebased user interface. The coupling nodes are selected automatically by specifying a surface and an optional influence region. The procedure used to define the coupling nodes is discussed below. For a distributing coupling constraint, the distributing weight factors are calculated automatically if the surface is an elementbased surface. In such a case the weight factors are based on the tributary area at each coupling node, except for a surface along a shell edge, where the weight factors are based on the tributary edge length. Furthermore, the distributing weight factors can be modified using one of several weighting methods, which allow the forces transferred to the coupling nodes to vary inversely with the radial distance from the reference node. Typical applicationsThe coupling constraint is useful when a group of coupling nodes is constrained to the rigid body motion of a single node. The coupling constraint can be employed effectively in the following applications:
Defining the coupling constraintDefining a coupling constraint requires the specification of the reference node (also called the constraint control point), the coupling nodes, and the constraint type. The coupling constraint associates the reference node with the coupling nodes. A name must be assigned to the constraint and may be used in postprocessing with Abaqus/CAE. A node number or node set name may be specified for the reference node. When the reference node set contains multiple nodes, you should specify a radius of influence to avoid overconstraint issues. The reference node for a kinematic coupling constraint has both translational and rotational degrees of freedom. The surface on which the coupling nodes are located can be nodebased; elementbased; or, in Abaqus/Explicit, a combination of both surface types. You can specify an optional radius of influence to limit the coupling nodes to a specific region on the surface. Details on how coupling nodes are defined by specifying an influence region are discussed below. The constraint type can be either kinematic or distributing, as discussed below. Input File Usage Use the following options: COUPLING, CONSTRAINT NAME=name, REF NODE=n, SURFACE=surface KINEMATIC or DISTRIBUTING Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Kinematic, Continuum distributing, or Structural distributing Specifying a region of influenceBy default, coupling nodes belonging to the entire surface are selected for the coupling definition. You can limit the coupling nodes to lie within a spherical region centered about the reference node by defining a radius of influence. The procedure by which coupling nodes are selected for the constraint definition depends on the surface type:
Input File Usage COUPLING, CONSTRAINT NAME=name, REF NODE=n, SURFACE=surface, INFLUENCE RADIUS=r Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Influence radius: Specify Kinematic coupling constraintsKinematic coupling constrains the motion of the coupling nodes to the rigid body motion of the reference node. The constraint can be applied to userspecified degrees of freedom at the coupling nodes with respect to the global or a local coordinate system. Kinematic constraints are imposed by eliminating degrees of freedom at the coupling nodes. In Abaqus/Standard once any combination of displacement degrees of freedom at a coupling node is constrained, additional displacement constraints—such as MPCs, boundary conditions, or other kinematic coupling definitions—cannot be applied to any coupling node involved in a kinematic coupling constraint. The same limitation applies for rotational degrees of freedom. This restriction does not apply in Abaqus/Explicit. See About Kinematic Constraints for more information. Input File Usage Use both of the following options to define a kinematic coupling constraint: COUPLING KINEMATIC first dof, last dof For example, the following coupling constraint is used to constrain degrees of freedom 1, 2, and 6 on surface surfA to reference node 1000: COUPLING, CONSTRAINT NAME=C1, REF NODE=1000, SURFACE=surfA KINEMATIC 1, 2 6, Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Kinematic: toggle on the degrees of freedom Translational degrees of freedomTranslational degrees of freedom are constrained by eliminating the specified degrees of freedom at the coupling nodes. When all translational degrees of freedom are specified, the coupling nodes follow the rigid body motion of the reference node. Rotational degrees of freedomRotational degrees of freedom are constrained by eliminating the specified degrees of freedom at the coupling nodes. All combinations of selected rotational degrees of freedom result in rotational behavior identical to existing MPC types:
In Abaqus/Standard internal nodes are created by the kinematic coupling to enforce the constraints that are equivalent to MPC types REVOLUTE and UNIVERSAL. These nodes have the same degrees of freedom as the additional nodes used in these MPC types and are included in the residual check for nonlinear analysis. Specifying a local coordinate systemThe kinematic coupling constraint can be specified with respect to a local coordinate system instead of the global coordinate system (see Orientations). Figure 1 illustrates the use of a local coordinate system to constrain all but the radial translation degrees of freedom of the coupling nodes to the reference node. In this example a local cylindrical coordinate system is defined that has its axis coincident with the structure's axis. The coupling node constraints are then specified in this local coordinate system. Input File Usage COUPLING, ORIENTATION=local For example, the following input is used to specify the kinematic coupling constraint shown in Figure 1: ORIENTATION, SYSTEM=CYLINDRICAL, NAME=COUPLEAXIS 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 0.0 COUPLING, REF NODE=500, SURFACE=Endcap, ORIENTATION=COUPLEAXIS KINEMATIC 2, 3 Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Edit: select local coordinate system Constraint direction and finite rotationIn geometrically nonlinear analysis steps the coordinate system in which the constrained degrees of freedom are specified will rotate with the reference node regardless of whether the constrained degrees of freedom are specified in the global coordinate system or in a local coordinate system. Distributing coupling constraintsDistributing coupling constrains the motion of the coupling nodes to the translation and rotation of the reference node. This constraint is enforced in an average sense in a way that enables control of the transmission of loads through weight factors at the coupling nodes. Forces and moments at the reference node are distributed either as a coupling nodeforce distribution only (default) or as a coupling nodeforce and moment distribution. The constraint distributes loads such that the resultants of the forces (and moments) at the coupling nodes are equivalent to the forces and moments at the reference node. For cases of more than a few coupling nodes, the distribution of forces/moments is not determined by equilibrium alone, and distributing weight factors are used to define the force distribution. The moment constraint between the rotation degrees of freedom at the reference node and the average rotation of the cloud nodes can be released in one direction in a twodimensional analysis and one, two, or three directions in a threedimensional analysis. In a threedimensional analysis you can specify the moment constraint directions in the global coordinate system or in a local coordinate system. All available translational degrees of freedom at the reference node are always coupled to the average translation of the coupling nodes. In a threedimensional Abaqus/Standard analysis if all three moment constraints are released by specifying only degrees of freedom 1 through 3, only translation degrees of freedom will be activated on the reference node. If only one or two rotation degrees of freedom have been released, all three rotation degrees of freedom are activated at the reference node. In this case you must ensure that proper constraints have been placed on the unconstrained rotation degrees of freedom to avoid numerical singularities. Most often this is accomplished by using boundary conditions or by attaching the reference node to an element such as a beam or shell that will provide rotational stiffness to the unconstrained rotation degrees of freedom. In Abaqus/Explicit releasing one or more of the moment constraints may lead to significant computational performance degradation. This is also the case when other constraints intersect the cloud of coupling nodes. In these cases, the degradation in performance is particularly noticeable when a large number of such distributed couplings are present in the model or when the size of the constrained “cloud” is large. For that matter, when the modeling conditions mentioned above are encountered, the size of the coupling nodes cloud is limited to 1000. To alleviate the released moment constraint issue, the following modeling technique can be used (also available in Abaqus/Standard): constrain all moments in the distributed coupling and use an appropriate connector element at the reference node (such as REVOLUTE, HINGE, CARDAN or BUSHING) to model released moments at the coupling's reference node. This technique has also the advantage of being able to specify finite compliance such as elasticity, plasticity or damage in the “released” rotational component. Input File Usage DISTRIBUTING first dof, last dof If no degrees of freedom are specified, all available degrees of freedom are coupled. If you specify one or more rotation degrees of freedom but not all available translation degrees of freedom, Abaqus issues a warning message and adds all available translation degrees of freedom to the constraint. For example, the following coupling constraint is used to constrain degrees of freedom 1–5 on the reference node 1000 to the average translation and rotation of surface surfA: COUPLING, CONSTRAINT NAME=C1, REF NODE=1000, SURFACE=surfA DISTRIBUTING 1, 5 In this example the moment constraint between the reference node and the coupling nodes will be released in the 6direction but will be enforced in the 4 and 5directions. This provides a “revolutelike” rotation connection between the reference node and the coupling nodes (see General multipoint constraints). Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Continuum distributing or Structural distributing: toggle on the rotational degrees of freedom (Abaqus/CAE automatically constrains the translational degrees of freedom) Nodebased surfaceUserdefined weight factors are used for nodebased surfaces. The crosssectional areas specified in the surface definition are used as the weight factors (see Nodebased surface definition). Elementbased surfaceFor elementbased surfaces the weight factors are calculated by Abaqus. The default weight distribution is based on the tributary surface area at each coupling node, except for a surface along a shell edge where the weight distribution is based on the tributary edge length. The procedure used to calculate the default weight factors is designed to ensure that if a radius of influence is prescribed, the default weight distribution varies smoothly with the influence radius. Calculating the default distributing weight factorsThe procedure to calculate the distributing weight factors depends on whether or not an influence radius is specified.
Calculating the facet participation factorThe participation factor defines the proportion of the facet's area that contributes to the distributing weight factors when an influence radius is specified. The participation factor varies between zero and one. To define the participation factor, the distance of the facet node closest to the reference node, ${r}_{min}$, and the distance of the facet node farthest from the reference node, ${r}_{max}$, are calculated.
If all coupling nodes fall outside the influence radius (i.e., ${r}_{min}>{r}_{infl}$ for all facets), Abaqus selects all nodes belonging to the closest facets (as outlined under “Specifying a region of influence”) and uses a participation factor equal to one. Weighting methodsYou can modify the default weight distribution defined above. Various weighting methods are provided that monotonically decrease with radial distance from the reference node. For each case the default weight distribution that is based on the tributary surface area (or tributary edge length along a shell edge) is scaled by the weight factor ${w}_{i}$. If the weighting method is not specified, a uniform weighting method is used in which all weight factors are equal to 1.0. Linearly decreasing weight distributionA linearly decreasing weighting scheme $${w}_{i}=1\frac{{r}_{i}}{{r}_{0}},$$ where ${w}_{i}$ is the weight factor at coupling node i, ${r}_{i}$ is the coupling node radial distance from the reference node, and ${r}_{0}$ is the distance to the furthest coupling node. Input File Usage DISTRIBUTING, WEIGHTING METHOD=LINEAR Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Continuum distributing or Structural distributing: Weighting method: Linear Quadratic polynomial weight distributionA quadratic polynomial weight distribution defined by $${w}_{i}=1{\left(\frac{{r}_{i}}{{r}_{0}}\right)}^{2}.$$ Input File Usage DISTRIBUTING, WEIGHTING METHOD=QUADRATIC Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Continuum distributing or Structural distributing: Weighting method: Quadratic Monotonically decreasing weight distributionA monotonically decreasing weight distribution according to the cubic polynomial $${w}_{i}=13{\left(\frac{{r}_{i}}{{r}_{0}}\right)}^{2}+2{\left(\frac{{r}_{i}}{{r}_{0}}\right)}^{3}.$$ Input File Usage DISTRIBUTING, WEIGHTING METHOD=CUBIC Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Continuum distributing or Structural distributing: Weighting method: Cubic Specifying a local coordinate systemThe distributing coupling constraint can be specified with respect to a local coordinate system instead of the global coordinate system (see Orientations). Figure 2 illustrates the use of a local coordinate system to release the moment constraints between the reference node and the coupling nodes in the local 4 and 6directions, providing a “universallike” rotation connection. In this example a local rectangular coordinate system is defined that has its local yaxis coincident with the global zaxis. The moment constraint is specified in this local coordinate system. Input File Usage COUPLING, ORIENTATION=local For example, the following input is used to specify the distributing coupling constraint shown in Figure 2: ORIENTATION, SYSTEM=RECTANGULAR, NAME=COUPLEAXIS 0.0, 1.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0 COUPLING, REF NODE=500, SURFACE=Endcap, ORIENTATION=COUPLEAXIS DISTRIBUTING 1, 3 5, 5 Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Edit: select local coordinate system Defining the surface coupling methodThere are two methods available to couple the motion of the reference node to the average motion of the coupling nodes: the continuum coupling method and the structural coupling method. The continuum coupling method is used by default. Continuum coupling methodThe default continuum coupling method couples the translation and rotation of the reference node to the average translation of the coupling nodes. The constraint distributes the forces and moments at the reference node as a coupling nodes force distribution only. No moments are distributed at the coupling nodes. The force distribution is equivalent to the classic bolt pattern force distribution when the weight factors are interpreted as bolt crosssection areas. The constraint enforces a rigid beam connection between the attachment point and a point located at the weighted center of position of the coupling nodes. For further details, see Distributing coupling constraints. Input File Usage DISTRIBUTING, COUPLING=CONTINUUM Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Continuum distributing Structural coupling methodThe structural coupling method couples the translation and rotation of the reference node to the translation and the rotation motion of the coupling nodes. The method is particularly suited for bendinglike applications of shells when the coupling constraint spans small patches of nodes and the reference node is chosen to be on or very close to the constrained surface. The constraint distributes forces and moments at the reference node as a coupling nodeforce and moment distribution. For this coupling method to be active, all rotation degrees of freedom at all coupling nodes must be active (as would be the case when the constraint is applied to a shell surface) and the constraints must be specified in all degrees of freedom (default). In addition, for the constraint to be meaningful, the local (or global) zaxis used in the constraint should be such that it is parallel to the average normal direction of the constrained surface. With respect to translations, the constraint enforces a rigid beam connection between the reference node and a moving point that remains at all times in the vicinity of the constrained surface. The location of this moving point is determined by the approximate current curvature of the surface, the current location of the weighted center of position of the coupling nodes (see Distributing coupling constraints), and the zaxis used in the constraint. This choice avoids unrealistic contact interactions if multiple distributed coupling constraints are used to fasten pairs of shell surfaces (see Breakable bonds for more details). With respect to rotations, the constraint is different along different local directions. Along the zaxis (twist direction), the constraint is identical to the one enforced via the continuum coupling method (see Distributing coupling constraints). By contrast, the rotational constraint in the plane perpendicular to the zaxis relates the inplane reference node rotations to the inplane rotations of the coupling nodes in the immediate vicinity of the reference node. This choice provides a more realistic (compliant) response when the constrained surface is small and deforms primarily in a bending mode. Input File Usage DISTRIBUTING, COUPLING=STRUCTURAL Abaqus/CAE Usage Interaction module: Create Constraint: Coupling: Coupling type: Structural distributing Moment release and finite rotationIn geometrically nonlinear analysis steps the coordinate system of the degrees of freedom that define the moment release rotates with the reference node regardless of whether the global coordinate system or a local coordinate system is used. Colinear coupling node arrangementsThe distributing coupling constraint transmits moments at the reference node as a force distribution among the coupling nodes, even if these nodes have rotational degrees of freedom. Thus, when the coupling node arrangement is colinear, the constraint is not capable of transmitting all components of a moment at the reference node. Specifically, the moment component that is parallel to the colinear coupling node arrangement will not be transmitted. When this case arises, a warning message is issued that identifies the axis about which the element will not transmit a moment. Limitations
