The ASME Special Working Group on Computational Modeling for Explicit Dynamics was founded in August 2008 for the purpose of creating a quantitative guidance document for the development of finite element models used to analyze energy-limited events using explicit dynamics software. This document will be referenced in the ASME Code Section III, Division 3 and the next revision of NRC Regulatory Guide 7.6 as a means by which the quality of a finite element model may be judged. One portion of the document will be devoted to a series of element convergence studies that can aid designers in establishing the mesh refinement requirements necessary to achieve accurate results for a variety of different element types in regions of high plastic strain. These convergence studies will also aid reviewers in evaluating the quality of a finite element model and the apparent accuracy of its results.
In this paper, the authors present the results of a convergence study for an impulsively loaded propped cantilever beam constructed of LS-DYNA hexahedral elements using both reduced and selectively reduced integration. Three loading levels are considered; the first maintains strains within the elastic range, the second induces moderate plastic strains, and the third produces large deformations and large plastic strains.