FE Modeling of Solid Polymers – Part 2

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Date11 AM - 2 PM (EDT)3 PM - 4 PM (EDT)
Thu, Oct 12, 2017Web-based CourseOffline Workshop Support
Fri, Oct 13, 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 class is an extension of the Part 1 class, and covers in more depth the theory of different material models, and hands-on exercises designed to teach how to use the different models to solve real problems. The training class is targeted to people with an interest in performing non-linear finite element simulations of parts made from plastics, rubbers, thermosets, or other types of polymers.

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

  • Know the strengths and weaknesses of both simple material models (hyperelasticity, linear viscoelasticity, and metal plasticity) and advanced material models (e.g. Bergstrom-Boyce, Three Network Model, Parallel Network Model).
  • Know what experimental tests are necessary and sufficient for calibrating any material model.
  • Be able to quickly calibrate any material model using the MCalibration software.
  • Be able to use any of the standard built-in material models, or any of the material models in the PolyUMod library, to simulate the response of polymer products.


The training class is indented for people with experience running finite element simulations of different polymers (rubbers, thermoplastics, thermosets, biomaterials, etc). It is recommended, but not necessary, to have taken one of our introductory polymer modeling classes (e.g. Finite Element Modeling of Solid Polymers (Part 1)).

The examples presented in class will use the finite element programs Abaqus, ANSYS, and LS-DYNA. The material models presented in the class are available for almost all commercial FE codes.

Course Outline

  • Elasticity/hyperelasticity: review of hyperelastic models and when they should be used in FE simulations.
  • Linear viscoelasticity: strength and limitations the theory, including time-temperature superposition.
  • Metal plasticity theory: strengths and limitations of metal plasticity models for polymer simulations.
  • Material model calibration techniques using the software MCalibration. How to calibrate any material model using any set of experimental data, including inverse calibrations to force-displacement data.
  • Using user-material models in Abaqus and ANSYS, including advanced viscoplastic constitutive models incorporating rate and temperature dependence.
  • Advanced finite element simulations of different classes of polymers.

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…

Great value. Two days of training saved weeks of engineering work.

  • “I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on topics which would normally be taught in a semester-long course.”
  • “Very valuable for 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.”

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