FE Modeling of Solid Polymers – Part 1

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Date11 AM - 2 PM (EDT)3 PM - 4 PM (EDT)
Thu, May 4, 2017Web-based CourseOffline Workshop Support
Fri, May 5, 2017Web-based CourseOffline Workshop Support

This course is presented in two lecture sessions, running from 11 AM to 2 PM.
Offline workshop support is available both days after the lecture segment, from 3 PM to 4 PM.

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This two-day web-based course covers a review of polymer mechanics theory, techniques and tools for experimentally characterizing polymers, and hands-on training on how to perform accurate finite element simulations of polymer components. The training class is targeted to people with an interest in designing and analyzing the mechanical performance of parts made from plastics, rubbers, thermosets, or other types of polymers.

By the end of the class you will be able to:

  • Design a relevant experimental test program for a new polymer material.
  • Know the strengths and weaknesses of various material models, and be able to select an appropriate material model for finite element simulations.
  • Use experimental data to calibrate the selected material model.



The training class is indented for people with some experience running a finite element program. The examples presented in class will use the finite element programs Abaqus and ANSYS. The material models presented in the class are available for almost all commercial FE codes, including Abaqus, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, MSC.Marc, and COMSOL.

Course Outline

  • Review of polymer mechanics
  • Modern mechanical testing of polymers
  • Review of elasticity and hyperelasticity
  • Review of viscoelasticity theory: when to use linear viscoelasticity
  • Review of metal plasticity theory: strengths and limitations of metal plasticity models
  • User-material models in FE models, including advanced viscoplastic constitutive models incorporating rate and temperature dependence
  • Advanced finite element simulations of different classes of polymers
  • Material parameter extraction techniques using MCalibration and the PolyUMod library of user material models

About the Instroctor

Dr. Bergstrom is a Principal Engineer at Veryst Engineering, LLC, and consults primarily in the modeling, testing, and failure analysis of mechanical behavior of polymer materials.  He is the author of Mechanics of Solid Polymers: Theory and Computational Modeling, a comprehensive book that explains how solid polymers behave, how they can be experimentally characterized, and how to predict their behavior in different load environments.

Dr. Bergstrom received his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in the area of computational polymer mechanics, and has lectured in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at M.I.T. Dr. Bergstrom is the creator of the website: PolymerFEM.com.

Course Materials

Everyone who registers for the class will receive a free 1-month license to the MCalibration software, and a 1-month license to the PolyUMod Library of user-material models. A license to a FE program, like Abaqus or ANSYS, is not provided. Extensive training class notes will be provided in pdf-format. Notes are for personal use and may be printed, but cannot be modified, shared, or redistributed.

Previous Attendees Had This to Say…

Very valuable to design engineers running FEA on thermoplastics and elastomers

  • “I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on topics which would normally be taught in a semester-long course.” – Raman Jahal
  • “I benefited greatly. Jorgen is a great presenter and certainly lovers the topic.”
  • “Very valuable to design engineers running FEA on thermoplastics and elastomers”
  • “Gained a good overall introduction to the mechanics of polymers”
  • “I would highly recommend this class to my students”
  • “Will/has helped us revisit legacy material modeling and material testing”
  • “Great value. Two days of training saved weeks of engineering work.” – Mark Fischer
  • “Very useful. Enables use of advanced material models that are poorly explained in most documentation.”
  • “Comprehensive, in depth analysis of topics. Very positive, engaging, knowledgeable instructor.”
  • “To me, that was a very good balance between engineer’s needs to get more accurate polymer FEA in constrained time/budget, and the overview of models, codes, assumptions, and limitations.”
  • “Provides a competitive advantage.” – David DeJong
  • “Very valuable for real applications and real life situations.”
  • “This is a great class, which serves as a good refreshed as well as exposure to state of the art of models.” – Partha Rangaswamy
  • “Excellent class!” – Patrick Chow
  • “Extrordinary seminar!”
  • “Great class – thanks Jorgen!”
  • “Essential for competency in the usage of FEA involving polymer materials” – Steven Quigley
  • “I am very much satisfied about the class and the materials covered”
  • “Very valuable. Not something you see a lot in school or industry. Very Unique”
  • “Excellent course. Provided insight into the practical relevance and choices when selecting a wide variety of material models”
  • “Very important for people that works in FEM and polymers” – Juan Pablo Cusan
  • “This has been extremely valuable for me.”

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