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Factor of Safety

The Factor of Safety PropertyManager allows you to assess the safety of solid and shell models (sheet metals and surfaces) based on a failure criterion.

Factor of Safety - Step 1 of 3

  • Component . For assemblies and multibody parts, select All, or select a component or body from the menu.

  • Criterion . Failure criteria:

    • Maximum von Mises stress

    • Maximum shear stress (Tresca)

    • Mohr-Coulomb stress

    • Maximum Normal stress

    • Automatic. Automatically selects the most appropriate failure criterion across all element types. The software applies the following conditions:

      • The Default Failure Criterion assigned in the Material dialog box for each material.

      •  If you have not assigned a default failure criterion in the Material dialog box, the software assigns the Mohr-Coulomb stress criterion.

      • If you selected Max von Mises or Max shear (Tresca) criterion for a beam material, the software uses the yield strength as allowable stress.

      • If you selected Max normal or Mohr-Coulomb criterion for a beam material, the software uses the tensile strength as the allowable stress.

  • What does this mean. Displays the mathematical relation used by the Criterion.

Composite Options

Failure criteria for composites. (Available for models with composite shells only)


  • Include title text. Lets you type a custom title for the plot.

  • Associate plot with name view orientation. Associates a predefined view orientation with the active plot.

  • Next . Goes to the next step.

Factor of Safety - Step 2 of 3

  • Units . Sets the stress units.

  • Set stress limit. Sets the property used for determining the stress limit:

    • to Yield strength. Sets the stress limit to yield strength.

    • to Ultimate strength. Sets the stress limit to ultimate strength.

    • to User defined. Sets the stress limit to a user-specified value.

If you selected Mohr-Coulomb stress criterion from the previous step, you must set the tensile and compressive stress limits.

  • Multiplication factor. Allows you to enter a multiplication factor for calculating the selected stress limit. For example, if you apply a factor of 0.5 to a yield strength stress limit of 2000 psi, Factor of Safety uses 0.5 x 2000 = 1000 psi for the stress limit.

  • Beam Results

  • Shell Results . Available for shells only. Select the shell face for which you want to perform the Factor of Safety:

    • Top

    • Bottom

    • Minimum

    • Maximum

You should run two checks: one for the top face, and the other for the bottom face.

  • Material involved. Displays the material names and properties related to the stress limits used by Factor of Safety.

Composite Options

Available for models with composite shells only.

  • Worst-case across all plies. Envelope plot for minimum FOS across all plies (including top and bottom faces of every ply).

  • Ply number. Allows you to select the ply number for the factor of safety output. This option is not available when Worst-case across all plies is selected. You can select the top or bottom face for the selected ply number.

  • Prev . Returns to the previous step.

  • Next . Goes to the next step.

Factor of Safety - Step 3 of 3

  • Factor of safety distribution. Plots the distribution of the factor of safety.

  • Areas below factor of safety. Plots the regions below the specified factor of safety (displayed in red color). Regions above the specified factor of safety are displayed in blue color.

  • Safety result. Lists the minimum factor of safety based on the selected criterion.

  • Prev . Returns to the previous step.

Related Topics

To use Factor of Safety

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