Abaqus Multiphysics

Complete solutions for realistic simulation

Multiphysics Simulation in Abaqus

The different physical disciplines such as structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and electromagnetics are in reality tightly connected, because the interaction between multiple physical phenomena and the conversion of energy from one form to another is crucial to most industrial applications.

For example, in order to design efficient and reliable lithium ion batteries, engineers must account not just for the electrochemical behavior, but also thermal runaway, as well as fluid dynamics of the electrolyte and structural bending and swelling. Even during manufacturing, multiphysical effects need to be controlled, whether that is the flow of plastic in injection molding, or moisture build-up during electronic assembly.

The Abaqus Unified FEA product suite has significant capabilities that are used to solve multiphysics problems. These capabilities, developed over many years and fully integrated as core Abaqus functionality, have been used extensively for many engineering applications on products and engineering projects in use today.

Multiphysics technology has been a part of Abaqus from the beginning.Starting with Abaqus V2 (in 1979), Abaqus/Aqua simulates hydrodynamic wave loading on flexible structures for offshore pipelines. Through the years additional multiphysics capabilities have been added, such as fluid, thermal, electrical couplings, and many others listed below.

Creating a Multiphysics Simulation Flow in Abaqus

To address these challenging applications, Abaqus offers a range of multiphysics simulation capabilities including sequential results mapping, fully-coupled solution procedures, and co-simulation:

  • Sequential results mapping - The external field capability in Abaqus provides a general framework for mapping results from an upstream simulation onto an Abaqus simulation. Examples include mapping temperature from an upstream heat transfer simulation and mapping pressure from an upstream fluid dynamics simulation.
  • Fully-coupled simulation - When one-way coupling is not sufficient then Abaqus offers fully coupled solution procedures including thermal-stress, thermal-electrochemical-structural, acoustic-structural, and fluid flow through porous media.
  • Co-simulation - An open co-simulation framework provides the ability to connect Abaqus with external solvers.

The advantage of Abaqus Multiphysics is the ease with which Multiphysics problems can be solved by the Abaqus structural FEA user. From the same model, same element library, same material data, and same load history, an Abaqus structural FEA model can easily be extended to include additional physics interaction.

Multiphysics Capabilities inside Abaqus

Abaqus Eulerian-Langrangian simulation of an automotive airbag for passenger safety

Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian Simulation

The Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) approach in Abaqus which provides engineers and scientists with the ability to simulate a class of problems where the interaction between structures and fluids is important. This capability does not rely on the coupling of multiple software products, but instead solves the fluid-structure interaction (FSI) simultaneously within Abaqus.

Abaqus Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian Simulation

Abaqus Hydrostatic-Fluid-Mechanical Simulation simulation of a Waterbottle drop test compared to an experiment

Hydrostatic-Fluid-Mechanical Simulation

The Hydrostatic-Fluid-Mechanical Multiphysics capability allows the user to include the effects of fully enclosed gas- or liquid-filled cavities in their model. This is useful for simulating balloons, air bags, seat cushions, athletic shoes, partially filled tanks and other containers, air springs, IV bags, and many other applications that require consideration of the pressure-volume relationship of the enclosure and the energy inside the enclosed fluid.

Abaqus Hydrostatic-Fluid-Mechanical Simulation

Abaqus Piezoelectric-mechanical  Simulation of an ultrasonic motor

Piezoelectric-Mechanical Simulation

Abaqus contains a complete two-way electrostatic Piezoelectric-Mechanical simulation capability allowing electric flow to cause straining in the material (and shape change) and also allowing stress to cause electric potential change.

Abaqus Piezoelectric-Mechanical Simulation

Structural-Acoustic Simulation

Structural-acoustic interaction covers diverse application areas including noise transmission, radiation, acoustic attenuation or amplification. Abaqus integrates noise simulation within the finite element solver, allowing fully coupled structural-acoustic simulations to be performed within familiar Abaqus workflows.

Abaqus Structural-Acoustic Simulation

Thermal-Electric Simulation

Current flow generates heating, heating changes resistivity, resitivity change alters current flow. This type of simulation is useful in sensitive electronics devices such as fuses, links, electrical traces, and lightbulb filaments.

Abaqus Thermal-Electric Simulation

Thermal-Mechanical Simulation

Thermal-Mechanical interaction ranges from simple thermal stress (one-way coupling from thermal simulation to stress analysis) to more complex friction-driven heat transfer (in which frictional sliding generates heat as in brake systems) to fully coupled temperature-displacement simulation (in which motion affects heat transfer and heat transfer affects motion).

Abaqus Thermal-Mechanical Simulation

Thermal-Fluid-Mechanical Simulation

In many industrial processes, the combined effects of moisture and heat on product performance or behavior during assembly can be critical. By simultaneously considering the detailed behavior of the product under realistic operating conditions, designers and engineers can determine the ideal design or manufacturing process for a given performance goal.

Abaqus Thermal-Fluid-Mechanical Simulation

Structural-Pore Pressure Simulation

The influence of water on the behavior of soils under load is extremely complex and a sophisticated coupled approach is required to provide simulation results which can be relied on to help provide confidence in design decisions.

Abaqus Structural-Pore Pressure Simulation

Structures on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

A comprehensive set of Structural Analysis solutions using Abaqus FEA to guide design decisions and improve product performance and quality

Explore Structures

3DEXPERIENCE Works Structures

3DEXPERIENCE Works Simulation gives novices and experts alike the power to perform complex Structures analyses to validate product designs and make better-informed product decisions faster.

Explore 3DEXPERIENCE Works simulation


The Abaqus Finite Element Analysis product suite offers powerful solutions for both routine and sophisticated engineering problems covering a vast spectrum of industrial applications.

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Abaqus Multiphysics Additional Resources