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Shell Definition

The Shell Definition PropertyManager is used to define the thickness of thin and thick shell elements. You can also define a shell as a composite for static, frequency, and buckling studies.


  • Thin. Uses the thin shell formulation.

In general use thin shells when the thickness-to-span ratio is less than 0.05.

  • Thick. Uses the thick shell formulation.

  • Shell Thickness . Specifies the shell thickness. Lets you type the thickness and select units.

  • Composite. (Available only for surface geometries in static, frequency and buckling studies). Defines the shell as a composite laminate.

Composite Options

Available only when you model composite shell surface for static, frequency, or buckling studies. You can apply these options to a shell or a group of shells through multiple selection.

  • Sandwich. Selects the sandwich composite formulation.

  • Total Plies. Sets the total number of plies for the composite laminate. Available only when Sandwich option is cleared.

  • Symmetric. Specifies a symmetric layup of laminate about the laminate mid-surface. Available for editing only when Sandwich option is cleared.

  • All Plies Same Material. Applies the same material properties defined by Select material option to all plies.

  • Rotate 00 Reference. Redefines the stripes on the composite shell so that the earlier 90 degree ply angle now corresponds to 0 degree ply angle. The option applies to all faces of a shell definition.

  • Unit . Specifies the unit for the ply thickness.

  • Composite shell plies. Specifies the Thickness, Angle, and Material for each ply in the table.

  • Ply: Angle: . Lets you move the slider to set the ply angle for selected ply in Composite shell plies table. Alternatively you can type the value for ply angle in Composite shell plies table. Valid angle values are between -90 to 90 degrees.

The Ply: Angle: sets angle definition for all faces of the part and does not allow local control for an individual face.

  • Show Preview. Displays a preview of stripes on the faces of shells that correspond to the 0 degree reference ply angle. Shows a triad on each face of the shell that defines the ply angle for every face.

Composite Orientation

Available only when you model composite shell surfaces for static, frequency, or buckling studies. Composite orientation options allow you to control the ply orientation of each face separately.

  • Body/Shell. Available only when multiple shells are selected from the Simulation study tree. Allows you to select a surface body from the drop menu to which orientations are applied.

  • Selected Entities . Selects a face to which material orientation changes apply.

  • Mirror Orientation. When toggled, the direction of the blue arrow of triad is flipped. As a result ply angle definition changes from counter-clockwise direction to clockwise direction or vice versa.

  • Rotate Orientation. Rotates the stripes by 90 degrees along the surface of the ply. This option is similar to the Rotate 00 Reference but allows control for individual faces.


Available only when you model composite shell surfaces for static, frequency, or buckling studies. The offset options allow you to control the position of a composite laminate or stack relative to its surface.

  • Middle Surface. Positions the middle of the stack on the surface body.

  • Top Surface. Positions the top of the stack on the surface body.

  • Bottom Surface. Positions the bottom of the stack on the surface body.

  • Specify Ratio. Positions the portion of the stack defined by an offset value that is a fraction of total thickness measured from the mid-surface to the reference surface. The offset value ranges between -0.5 and 0.5.

Related Topics

Shell Mesh

Shell Modeling

To Define Composite Shells

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