Use of Salome_Meca for training students

5 March 2012

by M. Abbas and J. Delmas, EDF R&D / AMA

It is possible to train university students to numerical modeling in mechanics and thermics through the integrated solution Salome-Meca.

For students who are not specialists in numerical modeling and who have never used a finite element code, the solution Salome-Meca is particularly powerful :

  • an industrial software (Code_Aster) ;
  • a modern GUI (Salomé), particularly attractive for new learners ;
  • an easy installation on Linux systems using the package available in open source under LGPL license ;
  • a very rich documentation, natively in french but also available in english thanks to an automatic translation.

For more experienced students, the environment Salome-Meca allows for more ambitious projects, involving the use of more advanced features and numerical models (non-linearities of any kind, nonlinear dynamics, complex constitutive laws, civil engineering, damage, fracture, etc.).

As every year, 14 students of the Master of Science Mathematics for Industry, from the University Pierre et Marie Curie, have received training through a cycle of 15 sessions of 2 hours.

The training takes place in two stages:

  • 6 learning sessions to the numerical modeling in the platform Salome-Meca (CAD, meshing, computation with Code_Aster and post-treatment) based on the practicals used at EDF to train our engineers;
  • 8 sessions of mini-projects to autonomy, around topics imposed or freely chosen by students.

The work is evaluated through the production of a report and an oral exam.

Among these projects, there are some subjects around analytical / numerical issues and also others much more "applied" on real structures, which can be easily modeled with Salome-Meca:

  • Modal analysis of the Simone de Beauvoir bridge ;
  • Simulation of a thermal shock to a U-shaped tube from a steam generator of a nuclear power plant;
  • Calculating the stress intensity factor for a perforated plate ;
  • Simplified modeling of a turbine disk ;
  • Calculation of different types of hydraulic dams ;
  • Calculation of shafts submitted to torsion ;
  • Calculating a tank loaded with internal pressure.
Contraintes dans le barrage-voûte à double courbure d’Esch-sur-Sure
Stresses in the arch dam with double curvature of Esch-sur-Sure

The result is threefold:

  • For teachers in mechanics and numerical modeling, which benefit from a pedagogical solution, efficient and free ;
  • For students who can apply their theoretical knowledge to problems as close as possible to real cases ;
  • For companies which can be confident that future graduates are confronted with industrial problems and they have a first relevant experience in numerical modeling via the use of a professional software environment.