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Assigning Materials

Use the Properties tab in the Material dialog box to define a material source, material model, and define material properties.  You can define constant or temperature-dependent properties. Defining materials in Simulation does not update the material assigned to the CAD model in SolidWorks. Applying a material to a body in Simulation displays the body in the study using the material's appearance.

You can create and edit your own material libraries using the Material dialog box. To access the Material dialog box, right-click the Parts icon in the Simulation study tree and select Apply/Edit Material.

  • Material Tree. Sets the source for specifying material properties to the model.

    • SolidWorks Materials. Uses the materials in the SolidWorks library. The materials in SolidWorks Materials are read-only.

    • Custom Materials. Allows you to input material properties manually. If you select this option, type a name for your material in the Name box.

    • Other libraries. The program lists library files in the folder specified in Library options. References for the SolidWorks Materials library include:



      Material Properties

      "Metals Handbook Desk Edition (2nd edition)", ASM International

      Stress-Strain Curves

      "Atlas of Stress-Strain Curves (2nd edition)", ASM International

      Fatigue Curves

      "Atlas of Fatigue Curves", ASM International

You can sort the materials by library, category, and material name. To sort the materials by library, right-click in the material tree and select Sort by Library,  which is the default sorting order. To sort the materials by category, right-click in the material tree and select Sort by Category. To sort the materials by material, right-click in the material tree and select Sort by Material. Some materials in the SolidWorks Materials library have stress-strain curves defined for use with the plasticity and nonlinear elastic models for nonlinear studies. These materials are identified by showing (SS) attached to the end of their names in the list box. Materials with S-N curves are identified by (SN), and materials with both S-N curves and stress-strain curves are identified by (SS,SN).

  • Material Properties. Sets the material model.

Note: To access all options for nonlinear and drop-test studies, select Custom defined under Select material source.

    • For sliding friction treat as: Selects the material model for use in motion study that imports a Simulation study.

    • Include Creep Effect. Activates the inclusion of creep effect in the selected material model. Creep effect is considered only for nonlinear studies. Among all material models available with nonlinear studies, creep effect is not available with linear elastic orthotropic and viscoelastic material models.

    • Use curve data to compute material constants. Available only for hyperelastic and viscoelastic material models in nonlinear studies.

    • Units. Sets the unit system in which you want to display (or input) the numerical values of the material properties. The following systems of units are available:

      • SI - N/m^2 (KPa) (International System of Units)

      • English (IPS) (United States Customary System of Units)

      • Metric (MKS) (Metric System of Units)

      • SI - N/mm^2 (MPa) (International System of Units)

    • Reference Geometry. Sets the reference geometry to be used in defining the directions of the orthotropic material properties. This option is available only with the linear elastic orthotropic material model. You can select a reference plane, a reference axis, or a coordinate system.

    • Create a Stress-Strain Curve. Allows the user to define a stress-strain curve for usage with nonlinear elastic, plasticity - von Mises, and plasticity - Tresca material models.

    • Category. Displays the name of the material category to which the selected material belongs.

    • Name. Displays the name of the selected material. It also allows you to enter a name for the custom materials you define.

    • Description. Allows you to type a description (maximum 256 characters) when using Custom Materials or another user-defined library.

    • Source. Available only when using Custom Materials or another user-defined library. Specifies a source of reference for custom defined materials.

    • Default failure criterion. Selects the failure criterion to apply for the part/assembly. The failure criterion is used for computing factor of safety when Automatic is selected (default) for Criterion in Design Check PropertyManager.

    • Sustainability. Indicates if the material has a link to the sustainability database, where sustainability criteria are defined.

      • For SolidWorks Materials:

Defined. Links to sustainability database

Undefined. Does not link to sustainability database

      • For custom materials, you can link to a material in the SolidWorks Material library to use its sustainability criteria.

Material Name. SolidWorks Material to which the custom material is linked

Undefined. Not linked to a material

Select. Allows the user to specify a link to a material in the SolidWorks Material library

  • Material Property Table.

    • Property. Lists material properties. The list depends on the selected material model and the study type. All the properties used by the study type and the selected material model are displayed.

    • Value. Displays/Sets the numerical value of each material property.

    • Units. Lists the units of each material property.

    • Temp Dependency. Sets the type of each material property value.

      • Constant. The value of the material property remains constant during the analysis.

      • Temp-dependent. The value of the material property varies with temperature according to a user-supplied temperature curve. To define the dependency, see SolidWorks Help: Material Dialog Box - Tables & Curves Tab.

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