Integrated, Multidiscipline FEA Solution

  • Overview
  • MSC NASTRAN 2012
  • Capabilities
  • Resources


MSC Nastran is the world's most widely used Finite Element Analysis (FEA) solver that helped MSC Software become recognized in 2011 as one of the "10 Original Software Companies". When it comes to solving for stress/strain behavior, dynamic and vibration response and thermal gradients in real-world systems, MSC Nastran is recognized as the most trusted multidiscipline solver in the world.

MSC Nastran Graphic

MSC Nastran is built on work done by NASA scientists and researchers, and is trusted for the design of mission critical systems in every industry. Nearly every spacecraft, aircraft, and vehicle designed in the last 40 years has been analysed using MSC Nastran.

In recent years, several extensions to its capabilities have resulted in a single multidisciplinary solver providing users with a trusted solution to simulate everything from a single component to complex assemblies under diverse conditions.

MSC Nastran offers a complete set of linear static and dynamic analysis capabilities along with unparalleled support for superelements enabling users to solve large, complex assemblies more efficiently. MSC Nastran also offers a complete set of implicit and explicit nonlinear analysis capabilities, thermal and interior/exterior acoustics, and coupling between various disciplines such as thermal, structural, and fluid interaction. New modular packaging that enables you to get only what you need makes it more affordable to own MSC Nastran than ever before.

As part of our commitment to quality, the MSC Nastran Software Quality Assurance Program complies with the applicable portions of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations Part 50, Appendix B, Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, Reporting of Safety Related Defects and Non-Compliances. (see Statement of Quality Assurance Policy)


Structural Solutions


Stress analysts, durability engineers, and designers at nearly every automotive OEM and airframe manufacturer around the globe use MSC Nastran for structural analysis because they know they can trust the results. When risk isn't an option, MSC Nastran is the FEA solver trusted above all others.

MSC Nastran has a comprehensive element library, including specialty elements like welds, bushings, and fasteners that accurately model complete assemblies. Solution options include linear and nonlinear statics, 3D contact, dynamics, acoustics, thermal analysis, and more. Built in capabilities for sensitivity analysis, parameter studies, and optimisation enable you to find optimal sizing, shape, topology, topography and topometry optimisation simultaneously to find better designs.


Efficient Dynamic Analysis

When it comes to modelling and analysing large systems for vibration, transient response, or any other dynamic loading condition, MSC Nastran is the best and most efficient solution available. Key capabilities include Automated Component Mode Synthesis (ACMS), rotor dynamics, external superelements, FRF (frequency response function) based substructuring, Transfer Path Analysis (TPA), interior and exterior acoustics, and more.


Composites Analysis to Validate Materials

MSC Nastran provides capabilities to model and evaluate composites for performance and failure against both structural and thermal load cases. Nastran offers VCCT and cohesive zone modelling for composite failure, and calculation of stress intensity factors using either the VCCT or Lorenzi method to predict delamination.


High performance FEA for fast results

MSC Nastran is tuned for high performance and optimized for large scale systems, assemblies, and dynamics. Key capabilities include Automated Component Modal Synthesis (ACMS) for large modal based analyses and NVH simulations, automated external superelements, shared memory parallel (SMP) and distributed memory parallel (DMP) options.


Multidiscipline Optimisation

MSC Nastran provides a very comprehensive set of optimisation capabilities for shape, size and topology optimisation. The broad variety of constraints including symmetry and manufacturing constraints help you get a design that best meets your design requirements. The response and constraint functions can also be extended to multiple disciplines as well.

  • Multidiscipline response and constraint functions. E.g. exterior acoustic response as well.
  • Nonlinear response optimisation capabilities to account for nonlinear behavior of the system.
  • Multi-model optimisation going beyond a single model. With the use of multiple models running multiple analyses (e.g. modal, implicit nonlinear, crash), it gives broad flexibility to users to optimise the structures for multiple disciplines.


Product development teams need to verify and optimise their designs for multiple disciplines, including those with various physics like thermal, acoustics and fluids. They need to understand how thermal history or thermal state affects structural behavior, how vehicle trims influence cabin acoustics or how flow induced stresses or deformation affect a systemís behavior.

  • Interior and exterior acoustics
  • Brake squeal analysis
  • Fluid filled bottles
  • Hydroplaning
  • Brake heating
  • Plastic heat generation during forming

Multidiscipline Solution

Rarely does a structure have to conform to design criteria from a single discipline. Multiple factors and often multiple disciplines need to be accounted for an effective design. The multiple disciplines could be as simple as a linear static load and a frequency study or as complex as accounting for loads from a multibody dynamic analysis for a crash study (e.g. vehicle skidding and impacting a barrier) or doing an implicit nonlinear analysis for pre-stress study followed by an impact study using explicit analysis which may still be followed by implicit analysis for any residual stresses.

Analysts often have to use multiple, incompatible tools to solve these various aspects of the design. However, accounting for the mutual influence can be cumbersome and sometimes simply impossible. Analysts have to resort to approximations or omission of the effects of some of the disciplines, which could lead to a non-optimal solution.

MSC Nastran offers multiple advantages in tackling these problems:

  • Single platform for a wide range of disciplines. It leads to efficiencies in terms of model creation and maintenance.
  • Smooth communication between disciplines. Multiple disciplines can be chained to account for effects of one type of analysis on another. For example, pre-stress results can easily be included in a dynamic study.
  • Simultaneous incorporation of multiple disciplines in a single model. This coupling helps in obtaining a more accurate solution and possibly a better optimized solution.