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It’s the time of year for new releases of the Altair software, and this year the 2023 release is packed with a ton of features that give Altair users the most complete analysis package in the industry. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the enhancements in the flagship solver in the Altair HyperWorks package, Altair OptiStruct.

OptiStruct is known for its advanced optimization and finite element analysis capabilities. It provides engineers with an array of tools that empower them to simulate, analyze, and optimize complex designs, ensuring performance and cost-effectiveness in a variety of applications.

Added Optimization Solutions

OptiStruct is a leading technology in the topology optimization arena and this release adds onto the already robust lightweighting capabilities.

  • Electrical Analysis is now supported within Topology, Shape, Free-Shape, Size and Free-size design variables. Initially, two responses are included. These are the Nodal Electric Potential Response and the Global Electric Compliance response. It is important to note that temperature dependency and electro-thermal coupling are not supported in this process.

1-Nov-02-2023-03-57-07-9696-PMFig 1: Electrical Optimization Workflow

  • Elasto-Plasticity can now be considered when running a Shape Optimization study. This option is now available for Shape Optimization and Free-Shape Optimization. Plastic Strains, Displacements, Mass and Volume can all be included as responses.

2-Nov-02-2023-03-57-34-8207-PMFig 2: Optimization results


Transient Thermal Analysis

Heat transfer continues to be one of the most used analysis types by end users.

In 2023, users will have the ability to set up auto-timestepping, which allows for more advanced time-step control for transient thermal analysis (both linear and nonlinear).

3-Nov-02-2023-03-58-46-2696-PMFig 3: Auto-timestepping example

Users will also have the ability to set up repeated thermal cycles using the One Step Transient Thermal Stress feature. Entry can be read from multiple transient heat transfer subcases, repeated cycles of temperature history or defined end times of the period that the thermal load is applied.


Contact Wear Output

Altair continues to build the implicit capabilities of OptiStruct by adding a nonlinear static or transient analysis feature called Contact Wear Output. Users will set up their study and define parameters like wear coefficient, hardness, and exponents. Contact Wear is ideal for applications requiring the user to predict the behavior of rubbing surfaces, including two alloy surfaces.

The resulting plots will identify contact pressure, sliding velocity and wear depth.

4-Nov-02-2023-03-59-16-0841-PMFig 4: Contour Plot showing Contact Wear Depth

1D Beam Enhancements

Plasticity for beam elements is one of the more significant improvements users will see with regards to dynamic analysis. In both implicit and explicit scenarios, users will now be able to incorporate ROD and BAR type beams using the integrated beam formulation. These beams are ideal for scenarios that include short or slender structures. This is supported for isotropic, kinematic, and mixed hardening.

Because OptiStruct is part of the Altair HyperWorks environment, users also get access to Altair HyperMesh, which also includes new beam meshing tools with the 2023 release.


Information for this post was derived from two main sources – What’s New in OptiStruct 2023 by Rajiv Venkatasubramanian and the Altair OptiStruct 2023 Release Notes.

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