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Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?


I am a stress analyst working in the aerospace field. I am trying to recreate an old FEA using an input deck from the early 1990s, but am unfamiliar with the language. NASTRAN is the solver I use daily. I can't share the actual file, but below is an example of the deck with random values and skipped lines. So far I've been able to decipher that this file will create an FE Model consisting of various nodes, materials, and then use some "CONNECT" function to create a bar or quad element, as well as properties for these elements.

What I'm trying to understand is the BEAM card (highlighted below) and what each entry on the line means. I assume the first entry, "1", means material ID 1. I know 0.5 is the area of the section and 0.1 and 0.3 are the Ixx and Iyy of the section (I know the section geometry). What I don't know are the "0" entries and also why 0.5 shows up two more times in the 6th and 7th entries. Is anybody who's familiar with this type of solver able to tell me what exactly the entries in the BEAM card consist of AND/OR what solver language this is?

Thanks in advance!

Mystery Code:

1 0.0 2. 0.0
2 0.0 4. 0.0
3 0.0 6. 0.0
4 0.0 8. 0.0
MATERIAL 10000000 0 0.0003 .3 0 0 0
BEAM 1 .5 0 .1 .03 .5 .5 0
QUAD 1 1 .5 0.0002

RE: Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

I expect there is more detail in the other input files, but I'm not wasting time on incomplete Bowdlerised selections. Even the file extensions would be a clue. is it unix or dos?

I'd guess it means connect node 1 to node 2 using the defined beam element property. but it makes assumptions about beam orientation.


Greg Locock

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RE: Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

I do not recognize this format. If you are unable to find someone who does know, I will make a few guesses in case it helps.

1 = you said material ID
.5 = you said section area
0 = since this is an integer, it may be a code to turn on or off certain options
.1 = you said section Ixx
.03 = you said section Iyy
.5 = possibly Ixy or J?
.5 = possibly J or Ixy?
0 = since this is an integer, it may be a code to turn on or off certain options

I base these guesses on filling out the section properties, for which there are in general more than just Ixx and Iyy. Try calculating Ixy and J for your section to see if the values are 0.5

Other than that, they could be any number of things: offsets, stress recovery points, pin flags, transverse shear factors, etc...

RE: Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

The format for the BEAM element is given in the book "Finite Element Applications with Microcomputers" by J. Frank Potts and J. Walter Oler, published by Prentice-Hall in 1989.

You can view a copy on the Internet Archive if you create an account:


I pulled out a few pages and put in the attached pdf file.

RE: Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

Thanks all! This is exactly what I was looking for. Much appreciated for digging through the obscure MSC archives.

RE: Anyone recognize this FEA solver language?

FEMAP has supported MSC/PAL since the beginning. You need to toggle "Enable Old Analysis Interfaces" On in File Preferences, and the File - Import - Analysis Model has an MSC/PAL2 option.


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