A user programmed cohesive zone finite element for ANSYS Mechanical

E. Lindgaard*, B. L.V. Bak, J. A. Glud, J. Sjølund, E. T. Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
769 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract A cohesive finite element implemented as a user programmable feature (UPF) in ANSYS Mechanical is presented. Non-standard post-processing capabilities compared to current available cohesive elements in commercial finite element software packages have been defined and implemented. A description of the element formulation and the post-processing options are provided. Simulation studies are presented which serves to verify the implementation and compare the performance to ANSYS INTER205 cohesive element. The results show that the implemented element performs better in terms of ability to converge to a solution and requires fewer iterations to converge in the incremental Newton-Raphson solution procedure used. Additionally, a sensitivity study about the typical remedy to obtain convergent solutions having coarse meshes by lowering the onset traction is conducted. The study brings new insight to the effect of lowering the onset traction and recommendations of practical usage in case of coarse meshes are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Benchmark study
  • Cohesive zone models
  • Delamination
  • User defined finite element


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