The factors that influence the speed of 3D FEM analysis include:
· Number of shell elements in the deck between girders or in the web between flanges,
· Target aspect ratio for shell elements,
· Vehicle increment for longitudinal loading,
· Vehicle increment in lane and lane increment for transverse loading,
· Number of load cases,
· Number of vehicles used in the analysis,
· Number of degrees of freedom
Some ways to speed up the 3D FEM analysis include visiting the Superstructure Definition: Analysis tab and revising the “number of shell elements” and “target aspect ratio for shell elements” to produce a coarser (larger) mesh. In addition, increase the vehicle increment for longitudinal loading, vehicle increment in lane and lane increment for transverse loading. Note that these changes will also affect the accuracy of the solution so engineering judgment should be used in making such changes.
Other recommendations include:
· 64-bit operating system and 64-bit BrDR are recommended for 3D FEM analysis.
· Choose a local folder as the Analysis Output Folder. Writing analysis output to a network folder will degrade the performance of the analysis.
· Select only the necessary analysis output for the analysis. Disk operations are expensive from the analysis performance perspective.