We’re in the back half of the year, and Abaqus has received three updates on top of its yearly release, the latest having come out in May.  These updates are always worth at least reading about because they include plenty of bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features.  Anything in the release notes marked “2020 FDxx” is new since the original 2020 version.  Note the many enhancements to Abaqus/CAE, new GPU acceleration for Windows, and increased model size limits.


Product Enhancement Overview: Abaqus 2020 FD03 (FP.2022)

General Enhancements

  • In an Abaqus/Standard analysis you can now use more than 16 million nodes on a single computer node – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • The Abaqus Python version is upgraded to 2.7.15. Numpy is now at version 1.15.4. The SciPy and SymPy packages are now included with Abaqus Python.


Enhanced Functionality

  • Material enhancements – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007):
    • For the creep model, you can specify the time type (total or creep) and the Anand, Darveaux, and double power laws.
    • For the cap plasticity model, you can specify the time type (total or creep) and the power and time power laws.
    • For the viscous model, you can specify the time type (total or creep) and the Anand, Darveaux, double power, power, and time power laws.
    • For the Drucker-Prager creep model, you can specify the time type (total or creep) and the power and time power laws.
    • For the plastic model, you can scale the yield stress and include the static recovery term with the nonlinear isotropic/kinematic hardening model.
    • For the gap flow model, you can select the Bingham plastic or Herschel-Bulkley type to specify how you want to define the flow parameters.
    • For the user material model, you can indicate that user subroutine VUMAT contains the effective modulus for an Abaqus/Explicit analysis and specify the hybrid formulation for hybrid elements in an Abaqus/Standard analysis.
  • General contact enhancements – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007):
    • For general contact in Abaqus/Standard, you can specify secondary feature edge criteria for surface property assignments and control the smoothness of the surface-to-surface formulation upon sliding for specific interactions and control the edge-to-edge contact formulations.
    • For general contact in Abaqus/Explicit, you can specify secondary feature edge criteria and apply feature edge criteria statically or dynamically for surface property assignments and choose which sides of double-sided elements will be considered for node-to-face or Eulerian-Lagrangian contact with another surface for contact formulation.
  • Mechanical contact properties enhancements – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007):
    • You can specify the thickness that determines the contacting surfaces to be tracked.
    • You can define the surface interaction model in user subroutine UINTER in an Abaqus/Standard analysis or user subroutine VUINTER or VUINTERACTION in an Abaqus/Explicit analysis.
    • For a surface interaction model defined in a user subroutine, you can specify the number of state-dependent variables and the number of property values that are required.
    • In an Abaqus/Standard analysis with user subroutine UINTER, you can use unsymmetric equation solution procedures.
  • You can now choose the position where selected field output values are written – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • When partitioning cells by extrude/sweep of edges, the selected edges no longer need to be connected to each other.
  • You can now directly import Solidworks part and assembly files as parts in Abaqus/CAE.
  • You can choose local coordinate systems for displaying the results of queries such as points and distances.
  • You can renumber nodes and elements on parts by selecting from dependent instances in the assembly context.
  • The shear panel element type (SHEAR4) can now be assigned in the Mesh module.
  • Support for tensile failure plastic material suboption is now available.
  • Material test data evaluation is now supported for hyperfoam material data.
  • Abaqus/CAE now supports contact initialization data and assignment for Abaqus/Explicit.
  • You can now create a cluster areas geometric restriction for sensitivity-based topology optimization in Abaqus/CAE.
  • Synchronization of animations across multiple viewports is now controlled through linked viewports and the Linked Viewports Manager.


Enhanced Functionality

  • You can now specify a spatial distribution by importing data from a user-defined output database (.sim) file – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).


New Functionality

  • You can now perform a one-step inverse analysis in Abaqus/Standard to obtain the initial shape of a sheet metal part given its final (deformed) configuration and a reference blank surface to which the initial configuration must conform – 2020 FD03 (FP.2022).
  • A pattern-based special-purpose technique is now available for powder bed-type additive manufacturing processes – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • Fluid exchange based on the surfaces of failed elements is now available in Abaqus/Explicit – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • You can now specify interface nodes in the matrix generation procedure and use them to include generated matrices in the model in the matrix usage analysis – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).

Enhanced Functionality

  • The adaptive mesh refinement feature now allows you to improve the contact for Eulerian-Lagrangian contact interfaces – 2020 FD03 (FP.2022).
  • The AMS eigensolver is enhanced to support GPU acceleration on Windows platforms. The AMS eigensolver can use compute-capable GPUs on Windows platforms to reduce the run time for frequency extraction analyses – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • You can now include the temperature degree of freedom in a crack propagation analysis using the extended finite element method (XFEM) – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • You can now transfer model data and results of elements sets or part instances mutliple times from an Abaqus/Standard analysis to an Abaqus/Standard analysis – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • You can import an external field to define distributions, initial conditions, and history-dependent fields – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • The size of the models that Abaqus/Explicit can solve is increased significantly with this release – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • The iterative linear equation solver is enhanced to support modeling features with Lagrange multipliers, such as hybrid elements, connector elements, distributing couplings, and hard contact – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • New naming conventions and a change for volume fraction thresholds are implemented in the special-purpose techniques for additive manufacturing – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).


New Functionality

  • The LaRC05 and Hosford-Coulomb damage initiation criteria are now available in Abaqus/Standard – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • You can now model metallurgical phase transformation during additive manufacturing processes or heat treatment processes – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).

Enhanced Functionality

  • A local stabilized method involving pressure projections into the strain space is now available to eliminate spurious oscillations in a consolidation analysis – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • You can define the bulk and shear modulus in user subroutine VUMAT. The bulk and shear modulus are used to compute the stable time incrment in Abaqus/Explicit. Element information such as element number, integration point, section point, and layer number are passed in to user subroutine VUMAT.


New Functionality

  • You can now use linear kinematic conversion in Abaqus/Explicit to improve simulation robustness – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • Coupled temperature-displacement cohesive elements (COH2D4T, COH3D6T, COH3D8T, and COHAX4T) can be used in a fully coupled thermal procedure. You can define the thermal interaction constitutive behavior of the cohesive elements.
  • Coupled temperature-pore pressure cohesive elements (COD2D4PT, COD3D6PT, COD3D8PT, and CODAX4PT) can be used in soils procedures. You can define the fluid constitutive behavior of the cohesive elements. You can also define a gap fluid heat convection behavior.

Enhanced Functionality

  • You can now use distributions to specify layer thicknesses for composite solid elements – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).


Enhanced Functionality

  • To improve robustness, Abaqus/Standard considers the rotational degrees of freedom of cloud nodes in the rotational constraints of distributing couplings by default – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • Dynamic feature edge criteria are used when you specify that all feature edges for a contact surface should be activated – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).
  • The new dynamic memory management approach for solid erosion problems often results in dramatic memory reduction and 10% reduction in simulation run time – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).

Prescribed Conditions

Enhanced Functionality

  • You can now define initial predefined field variables by importing field data from an output database (.sim) file – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).
  • You can now specify initial conditions by importing data from a user-defined output database (.sim) file – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).


New Functionality

  • Parallel execution of Abaqus/Explicit is now available in hybrid mode using a combination of MPI and threads – 2020 FD03 (FP.2022).
  • The new abaqus fromsimpack translator reads Simpack matrix data from a binary Flexible Body Interface (FBI) file and creates equivalent matrix data in an Abaqus SIM file – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).

Enhanced Functionality

  • Flexible body dynamics workflow enhancements – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007):
    • The new FORMULATION parameter for the *FLEXIBLE BODY option allows you to generate different versions of the flexible body for the AVL EXCITETM flexible body dynamics solver from AVL LIST GmbH or the flexible body for the ADAMSTM flexible body dynamics solver from MSC.Software Corporation.
    • You can create an EXCITE binary (.exb) file for the EXCITE multibody dynamics solver as part of an Abaqus/Standard analysis.
    • The abaqus toexcite translator includes additional command line options. You can use the hide_mesh command line option to avoid writing the element nodes, connectivity, materials, and properties to the EXCITE binary file. You can use the recovery_matrix command line option to write the recovery matrix to the same EXCITE binary file as the other data or to a separate EXCITE binary file or to specify that the recovery matrix is not written.
    • For the abaqus substructurerecover utility, you can specify the node set names and the element set names for results output to help reduce the amount of output and the output database size for large-scale analyses.
  • Enhancements for the abaqus fromnastran translator – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007):
    • The new cshear command line option controls whether CSHEAR elements are translated to Abaqus SHEAR4 elements or to user elements.
    • Translation time is significantly reduced for large models containing millions of composite shell elements.
    • Thermal expansion coefficients for RBE2 elements are translated to the ALPHA parameter on the *KINEMATIC and *KINEMATIC COUPLING options.
    • The global structural damping coefficient PARAM,G is translated to the *GLOBAL DAMPING option even if the damping coefficient is negative.
    • When translating Nastran DMIGs to matrix data in a SIM file, the translator automatically creates a second Abaqus input file that references that SIM file and creates an Abaqus substructure that can be used in downstream analyses.


Enhanced Functionality

  • You can now request the Lode angle term output at an element material point – 2020 FD02 (FP.2014).

User Subroutines

New Functionality

  • You can now call utility routine GETPHYSICALCONSTANT from any Abaqus/Standard user subroutine to obtain values of physical constants defined in an Abaqus/Standard analysis – 2020 FD01 (FP.2007).

Click here to see these release notes from the 3ds site (may require login).


Grab the update from your 3DS download hub:


Need guidance with the update?  Feel free to contact us for help!



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