Results on 2D members - What is the influence of the option ‘Location’?

The Finite Elements Mesh in SCIA Engineer exists of linear 3- and/or 4-angular elements. Per mesh element 3 or 4 results are calculated, one in each node. When asking the results on 2D members, the option ‘Location’ in the Properties window gives the possibility to display these results in 4 ways.


1) In nodes, no average​

All of the values of the results are taken into account, there is no averaging. In each node are therefore the 4 values of the adjacent mesh elements shown. If these 4 results differ a lot from each other, it is an indication that the chosen mesh size is too large.
This display of results therefore gives a good idea of the discretisation error in the calculation model.


2) In centers

Per finite element, the mean value of the results in the nodes of that element is calculated. Since there is only 1 result per element, the display of isobands becomes a mosaic. The course over a section is a curve with a constant step per mesh element.


3) In nodes, average

The values of the results of adjacent finite elements are averaged in the common node. Because of this, the graphical display is a smooth course of isobands.

In certain cases, it is not permissible to average the values of the results in the common node:

  • At the transition between 2D members (plates, walls, shells) with different local axes.
  • If a result is really discontinuous, like the shear force at the place of a line support in a plate. The peaks will disappear completely by the averaging of positive and negative shear forces.


4) In nodes, average on macro

The values of the results are averaged per node only over mesh elements which belong to the same 2D member ánd which have the same directions of their local axes. This resolves the problems mentioned at the option ‘In nodes, average’.


Accuracy of the results

If the results according to the 4 locations differ a lot, then the results are inaccurate and the mesh has to be refined. A basic rule for a good size of the mesh elements, is to take 1 to 2 times the thickness of the plate.