2.4. Current-Technology Elements

As technology advances, ANSYS, Inc. continues to develop robust new element types using the most current technologies available. Current-technology elements are more advanced and feature-rich than legacy elements. For example, support for the following capabilities is available only in applicable current-technology elements:

In Selecting Elements for Your Analysis, current-technology elements appear first. You can readily identify them, as they are not typically associated with specific material types, nor do they specify restrictions such as “linear.” Most of the elements listed are current-technology elements in the sense that they are the best technologies that ANSYS, Inc. is able to offer at the current product release.

A few legacy elements are still supported to meet the needs of longtime users who have input files containing those elements. Legacy elements may eventually be replaced by new elements.

2.4.1. Legacy vs. Current Element Technologies

It is good practice to use current-technology elements rather than legacy elements in your analysis wherever possible.

The following table lists the remaining legacy elements and suggests current-technology elements to use instead. In some cases, an element KEYOPT setting, degree-of-freedom constraint, or command may be necessary to more precisely reproduce the behavior of a given legacy element.

Legacy Element Type [1] Suggested Current Element Type [2] Suggested Setting(s) to Approximate Legacy Element Behavior [3]
Element KEYOPT Comments
INFIN47 INFIN111 --- ---
PLANE13 PLANE223 --- ---
PLANE83 SOLID273 KEYOPT(6) = 0---
SOLID5 SOLID226 --- ---

KEYOPT(3) = 0 and KEYOPT(2) = 0 -- Full integration with the method


KEYOPT(3) = 0 and KEYOPT(2) = 3 -- simplified enhanced strain formulation

See Microplane in the Mechanical APDL Material Reference.
SOLID98 SOLID227 --- ---
  1. After considering element redundancy and consistency issues, ANSYS, Inc. may in future releases move legacy element documentation to the Feature Archive or undocument those elements altogether; however, the table does not imply that all legacy elements listed are immediate targets for such action.

  2. The table is not a definitive listing of legacy-to-current element equivalents in terms of either formulation or use of shape functions; for example, a suggested current element may require a more refined mesh in some cases, or may require adaptation via appropriate constraints for specific 2-D analyses.

  3. While a given KEYOPT setting can allow you to approximate the behavior of a legacy element, it may not be the most desirable KEYOPT for the current element. For structural-only analyses, try the ETCONTROL command for element and KEYOPT recommendations. For more information, see Automatic Selection of Element Technologies and Formulations.

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