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Mario Juha's picture

I would like to know why ABAQUS is the dominant FEM program (in terms of comments) in this forum? Why do you consider ABAQUS over ANSYS?

I have been using ANSYS for at least 8 years and I am very please with the capabilities of it. But I have not seen ABAQUS or used it. Beside, reading all the comments that are posted in imechanica, I feel like I am using the wrong FEM program. 

Which are the advantage of ABAQUS over ANSYS?


Thank you,

 Mario J . Juha


Both are great FEA software! It depends on which kind of problem you are working on to make a choice.

As far as I know, ABAQUS is used more by the academic people whereas ANSYS is used more by the industry people.

Some people say ABAQUS is more robust in terms of performance.


I have worked with both these software though not for too long. Both of them are pretty much similar in several aspects (from the viewpoint of a fairly beginer end user) and I will agree with Ganesh that academia prefers Abaqus to Ansys.

I guess Abaqus can better model cohesive elements than Ansys (which I think does not model cohesive elements at all). There is also the UEL routine in Abaqus which makes it so much more convenient than Ansys. The other difference I find is that Abaqus works with instances in the Assembly module which is not there in Ansys. So, you can create one part and make multiple instances of it (in Abaqus). If you make a change to the part it will affect all of the instances. This feature I believe is not available in Ansys. 

jstello's picture

Ansys certainly does have cohesive elements in its classical user interface.


e.g from help files


          A cohesive zone material model is needed to model debonding in a contact analysis. This material is defined using the data table method (TB and TBDATA commands). Temperature dependent data is also allowed (TBTEMP command). On the TB command, use Lab = CZM to denote a cohesive zone material, and use TBOPT = CBDD or CBDE to indicate the specific material data you will provide. The two data definitions are described below. For more information on this material, see Cohesive Zone Material Model in the Theory Reference for the Mechanical APDL and Mechanical Applications.         

I have read your comment cohesive elements in
Ansys.So my  humble request you tosend any tutorials on cohesive zone
modelling in Ansys.

i have read your comment cohesive modelling possible in Abaqus and Ansys.So my  humble request you tosend any tutorials on cohesive zone modelling in Ansys.

Mario Juha's picture

Thank you for your comments, but so far I have not seen any big advantage of one over the other. How do you know that ANSYS is more used in trhe industry than ABAQUS? do you have a reference? or it is just a feeling? I know that according to ANSYS they are the leader in this business, but after reading imechanica I started to doubt it.



Craig A Steeves's picture

A regularly stated reason for using ABAQUS more in academia is that it offers better portals for user materials, user elements, user heat fluxes, etc.  The ability to write a FORTRAN subroutine and have ABAQUS incorporate it into a calculation is exceptionally useful.  However, I don't know if ABAQUS is still (or ever was) really superior to ANSYS in this regard, as I have only rarely used ANSYS. Any comments on this?

I also suspect that HKS (who originally wrote ABAQUS) deliberately went after the academic market, both through desiging flexibility into the program and through clever marketing.



I'm using both to some extent at present.  Ansys is liked by some because:

1) It's easier to use

2) It doesn't require users that necessarily understand either mechanics or finite elements

Abaqus has better nonlinear capabilities and, in my experience, certain algorithms are more robust accurate than the corresponding Ansys algorithms.  But Abaqus is

1) Less user friendly than Ansys (particularly the popular Ansys Worksbench that design engineers like).

2) Needs a deeper understanding of mechanics and FE technology.

Most engineers in the field have no use for nonlinear mechanics and have very little understanding of material behaviors beyond linear elastic.  Material data are also hard, if not impossible, to get.  So, even if a problem is best tackled by an advanced material model, the prudent choice is to go linear elastic, linear buckling etc.  That's something Ansys does well with minimal user input; no mesh generation hassles, complex geometries easily handled, etc.  Things can get done in short order.  Not so for Abaqus, though it's getting there as it ties in more closely to SolidWorks.

-- Biswajit 

Mario Juha's picture

Thank you for your comment. It is make sense to me. I have been using Ansys to solve, mainly, industrial problems. There is something that I like from Ansys and is it APDL commands, is like a scripting language. Probably ABAQUS has the same, I do not know. This question came to my mine now that I am trying to implement a custom hyperelastic material model in ANSYS. I have not seen many discussions about this kind of implementation, and I thought, that is because ANSYS is not well suited for this kind of applications. What do you suggest?

 Thank you,


Dan Cojocaru's picture

Abaqus allows the user to write Python based scripts for model generation and post-processing. The advantage is that Python is a popular open-source platform independent language (

Whatever you can do in Abaqus/CAE using GUI, you can do it by writing a script. You can also write GUI-based plug-ins.

In addition, Abaqus also allows the user to write C++ code for fast post-processing.

Twebb83's picture

Hello Mario

Your question is thought provoking and one that users of FEA are faced with deciding what software to use for sure. As mentioned, each software has their strong points and their weak points.  Abaqus is heavily used in all commerical industries, including Aero, Auto, Medical Devices, and  Civil Engineering. While I might come across as  biased as I work for SIMULIA, the devlopers of Abaqus, I am going to point you to some case studies and customer references.

 If you have time and interest in investigating the industry use case studies and user papers, take a look at this link as well as the customer references under each of the industry categories under the Solutions heading

It seems you are involved in in Civil Engineering, so you might find the bridge analysis being performed with Abaqus interesting. Our services team in our Central region peformed analysis for the Minnesota bridge collapse. The full report can be found here:

Finally, this is an interesting article on the use of Abaqus to evaluate the structural integrity of the Brooklyn Bridge

As to activity levels of Abaqus on this site, I think Abaqus users are very active and interested in asking questions and sharing their experiences.

There is an academic section on our website that you can find very useful too.

 Let me know if you have any specifica questions on SIMULIA and Abaqus.


I became an Abaqus/Simulia user around of three years ago in both fields, industry and academia and would like to add a few of the many issues in its favor that I found in my own, real life, day to day use:

1) Abaqus was conceived as a non-linear solver that handles linear models as a particular case. This feature makes it extremely powerful, robust and easy to use moving from one field to the other onejust one click away of geometrical no-linear or material models.

2) Technical support is remarkable. Simulia has a strong committment with their customer as one can rapidly find out. Every question that I posted to their web site was timely and precisely answered. Today I received a phone call (as it was every time in the past) from Simulia call center asking from a specific issue about the use of CAXA finite element that I had sent to them.

3) The days of Abaqus strong just in the Academia are already and definitely gone. Today, many industries and public institutions have moved to Simulia in recognition of capabilities that make Simulia the best among the major players available in the marketplace.

4) The first time that I met Abaqus (around of ten or more years ago) I got the idea of a very robust and powerful solver with a relatively underdeveloped GUI. Today, it definitely changed and probably, the fact that Simulia GUI came somewhat late was advantageous, because it could took advantage of the last advances in graphics technology. It looks like any CAD package and features all of their advantages by manipulating 3D objects naturally, efficiently and robustly.

5) Handling of parts instances into assemlies, material models available, non-linear analysis capabilities, integration of implicit and explicit codes, contact robustness, among many other issues can be readily appreciated going to the excellent technical documentation or, even better, trying it for a while.

6) Simulia has very convenient programs for universities so, those pertaining to  those institutions can take advantage of having access to a first class F. E. package at very convenient and reduced costs.

7) Simulia integration with many other packages and particularly within CATIA platform for PLM applications, lead to a suite that changed the way of conceiving, designing, developing, manufacturind and using products. Going to Simulia wab page to take a look will surely get you so impressed as myself when was introduced some months ago in this fascinating world.



Mario Juha's picture

Thank you very much for all the wonderful comments that I have received from all of you. As part of my education I will try to learn how to Abaqus.

Mario J. Juha

Hello everyone here. Thank you all for your useful queries and answers.

Presently i am using ANSYS for engineering analysis and my department is considering to buy ABAQUS. I want to know how ABAQUS is different from ANSYS in terms of modelling and analysis capabilities and features. I would specifically like to know whether ABAQUS can handle following problems:

1) Thermo - Structural analysis of Carbon - Carbon composite structures.

2) Thermal Ablation, Charring and erosion of composites (including  Carbon - Carbon composites), Graphite, carbon phenolic etc.

3) Analysis of Layered Composite Structures taking the complete anisotropic properties of layers along global coordinates from top to bottom in a composite laminate. 

4) High Temperature Flow Analysis.

looking for help 

 Thank You 

parvizs's picture

i'm using both of them I think since ansys workbench developed it's difficult to saying wich is good.

i like abaqus because

1. its easy to learn

2. its enviroment is more likely

3. beter under standig abaut element type


but i like ansys

1. designXplorer

2. many parameters on mesh quality

3. and it's good compatibility on fluid solid interactions

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