Structural Analysis

MSC Software continues its 50 year long history by consistently developing best-in-class structural analysis tools for all types of engineering applications.

MSC Software provides a family of high performance solutions for FEA that meet the needs of experienced experts and designers, new engineers, and everyone in between. These solutions help companies meet their business challenges by helping engineers  gain deeper insight in their products through virtual testing. Engineers using MSC's structural analysis programs are able to evaluate many different types of designs, giving high confidence that the final design will successfully meet prescribed requirements before the physical product is built.

From single components to large complex systems, from linear static to highly non-linear dynamic problems, MSC's structural analysis capabilities are built to grow with your business, optimize your cost of ownership, and support you in achieving your goals.

MSC Software is used for many types of structural analysis:
  • Static stress analysis
  • Linear dynamics
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Multibody dynamics
  • Multiphysics, fluid-structure interaction, thermal-mechanical coupling
  • Multidiscipline
  • Optimization
  • Static and dynamic analysis
  • Thermal analysis
  • Advanced material modeling
  • Composite material analysis
  • Superelements
  • FEA and MBD Integration
Industry Uses:
  • Aerospace and Defense: Airframe Stress and Vibrations, Landing Gear and Brake System Stress and Vibration, Aircraft Structural Systems Analysis, Aircraft Subsystems and Components Development, Composite Material Structures
  • Automotive: Strength, Durability, N&V for: Vehicle System, Body-in-White, Trimmed Body, Chassis, Powertrain, Closures, HVAC system and Components, Interior Components; Vehicle Crash and Safety Development: Airbag deployment, Vehicle Crash, Roof Crush; Sound Engineering, Interior and Exterior Acoustics
  • Consumer Products and Packaging:Power Tool N&V, Glass Forming, Thermal Forming, Extrusions, Blow Molding, Hotfilling, Analysis of fluid filled bottles, thermos, cooking utensils and stove, Sporting Goods N&V, Strength and Durability, Composite Materials
  • Electronics: Electrical-Thermal-Mechanical Micro-Actuator, MEMS Devices, Soldering, PCB cooling, Ultrasonic motor, Structural Solenoid Actuator, Impact and Drop Testing, Vibration, Stress, Fatigue
  • Energy: Cooling Pipes, Transformers, Joule Heating, Electrical Laminations, Capacitor, switches, circuit breakers; Generator Vibrations and Acoustics; Wind Turbine Blade and Transmission Strength, Vibrations and Acoustics
  • Heavy Equipment and Machinery: Acoustic and vibration analysis, Composite and Elastomer curing, furnace, Material processing including cutting, machining and rolling
  • Medical: Blood flow analysis, Fluid bags, Laser welding, heart and other muscles, defibrillators, pacemaker, Artificial Valves, Prosthetics, Artificial Joints, Drug Delivery
  • Shipbuilding: Liquid transportation and sloshing, accident investigation, underwater explosion, arc welding, sonar, cabin noise control, exterior acoustics
Advanced modeling for material damage and failure

Detailed composite layups for impact simulation

MSC Software provides capabilities for modeling very broad spectrum of material types to meet the needs of many industries. Advanced Material modeling capabilities include:

  • Metals, plastics, rubbers, foam, composites, fluid, soil, reinforced concrete, rock and more
  • Composite laminates with per ply and stacking definitions
  • Combined thermal structural material models for multi discipline simulation
  • Extensive failure and yield models
  • Time, rate and temperature dependent material properties
  • Properties for De-lamination, crack propagation
  • Creep
  • Tabulated material properties
Stress in a hospital bed frame

Tapered rolling simulation

Stress in a lower control arm

MSC Software develops tools with a wealth of capabilities that span numerous analysis types. Primary analysis types include:

  • Linear and nonlinear analysis
  • Static and dynamic analysis
  • Buckling analysis
  • Steady state, transient, frequency response, modal, and acoustic analysis
  • Multiphysics and multidiscipline analysis
  • High velocity and impact analysis
  • Damage, Failure, and wear analysis

MSC has been developing and delivering leading solution technologies for engineers over the last 50 years, often being driven by feeback from engineers. MSC carries a reputation of developing some of the industries' most advanced and reliable structural analysis programs.

900M DOF body-in-white model

Vehicle system assembly for interior acoustics

Complex structural systems and large assemblies require special capabilities for efficient and accurate analysis. MSC offers industry proven, high performance technology and methodologies for correctly and efficiently modeling and studying these types of models. These include:

  • Techniques for correctly modeling welded, glued, and fastened assemblies, as well as jointed connections
  • ACMS – Automated Component Mode Synthesis for faster, parallelized dynamic analysis of large models
  • External Superelements for use in assembly process – Superelements enable logical partitioning of a full-vehicle and reuse of component information helping reduce solution time
  • Robust 3D contact analysis to account for elaborate assembly interactions

MSC has developed and implemented some of the most efficient and accurate solver techniques and methods available. These programs can take advantage of the latest in shared memory parallel and distributed memory parallel high performance computing platforms, to help solve some of the largest and most difficult structural systems problems seen.

Automated reporting

Structural finite element mesh

MSC Software offers a comprehensive set of finite element modeling and analysis software that allow engineers, designers, and structural analysts to complete the analysis process from CAD to CAE Report. Key capabilities include:

  • Standalone or CAD embedded CAE modeling and analysis environments
  • Multi CAD import and native CAD access
  • Geometry creation and editing
  • Mid-surface extraction and geometry cleanup
  • Advanced solid and shell meshing tools and algorithms for linear and higher order HEX, TET, QUAD, TRIA and BEAM elements
  • 3D contact analysis
  • Material modeling including composite layups
  • Extensive toolsets for creating and assigning loads and boundary conditions
  • Analysis setup and job submission
  • Static and animated plots and charts for structural deformations, stresses, strains, and failure with scalar and vector quantities
  • Macro and template creation for automated simulation process and reporting
Topology optimization


During the design and development stage of the Product Development (PD) process, the goal is to identify the best design to meet a number of different requirements. This requires the ability to identify the feasible design space, and then to develop the best or optimum design. MSC offers solutions to help address design improvement and optimization through gradient based shape, size and topology techniques for structural component or systems and multi-run techniques to help understand the global behavior of a design, giving confidence that a robust design is delivered.

Integrated motion–structure simulation for vibration analysis

Integrated motion–structure simulation for durability analysis

Aircraft ditch in water with airbags

Obtaining correct loading and boundary conditions for a structural simulation can be challenging. The quality of the result of a simulation is directly related to the quality of the inputs. When it is difficult to obtain good loads and boundary conditions it is often best to rely on other CAE simulations to generate that information. This is where multidiscipline, coupled and chained simulations can both simplify the process of re-using simulation data, and improve the overall simulation fidelity, which in turn improves the quality of and confidence in the simulation. Here are some examples of how MSC’s solutions can improve your simulation capabilities:

  • Motion-Structure Integration:predictions by using flexible bodies in a multibody dynamics simulation; vehicle and aircraft frame/structure fatigue, fatigue life of the read/write heads on a computer hard disk drive
  • Coupled thermal-structural analysis can give more accurate stress results when accounting for both the thermal loads and the structural loads simultaneously - combined friction and pressure loading of brake disk and rotor
  • Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI)- coupled solution provides more accurate fluid flow simulation when deformed structure is considered, and structure loading is more correctly applied on affected surfaces – tire hydroplaning; airbag deployment; blood flow over an artificial valve
  • Chained structural simulations will provide more accurate analysis for example by applying pre-loads/pre-stress before event simulation – aircraft engine blade-out simulation; automotive engine modal analysis
Repeatable process for bottle top load simulation

Simulation portal for managing and tracking simulation processes, history and content

In addition to being able to simulate structural behavior using CAE, many engineers and managers are concerned with making sure the simulation process is repeatable, to ensure high confidence results and enable process improvement, and also that it can be re-done quickly to support design studies and shorten product development time. A side effect of this ability to support higher engineering throughput is that it generates more information that should be tracked and managed. MSC provides next generation solutions for to help capture, author, and manage your CAE processes and content, helping to get the most out of your CAE strategy and investments.

Related Products: 


The Multibody Dynamics Simulation Solution


Explicit Dynamics and Fluid Structure Interaction


Structural, Nonlinear, and Thermal Simulation Packages


Advanced Nonlinear Simulation Solution

MSC Apex

Unified CAE Environment for Virtual Product Development

MSC Fatigue

FE Based Durability Solution

MSC Nastran

Multidisciplinary Structural Analysis


Complete FEA Modeling Solution


CAD-Embedded Multidiscipline Simulation


Fully Integrated Multidiscipline Simulation Solution


Advanced Thermal Simulation Solution
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