Prev: STEP-TAS  Part21


Up: Contents


Next: TASverter Options

Other Interfaces

Apart from the main reader and writer modules described in previous sections, TASverter offers the possibility of handling a limited number of other formats.

ESATAN GFF reader module

The STEP-TAS  dataset can also store generic analysis results data as well as the geometrical models described in previous sections. The GFF-reader  module is a proof-of-concept  prototype for extracting analysis results from ESATAN generated GFF files and storing the results in the STEP-TAS  dataset.

Users should be aware that the GFF-reader  currently reads the entire GFF data into memory, and only then converts the GFF representation into the STEP-TAS  dataset, leading to two equivalent sets of data in memory at the same time. As a result the conversion process can take a large amount of memory and processor time, and is not suitable for handling large data files.

Although the format of the ESATAN GFF file appears to be self describing, there is little official documentation about how ESATAN generates the data and what limitations are imposed. Most of the assumptions made during the GFF-reader  design process arose from reverse engineering test cases, so it is possible that some areas of GFF file handling have not been addressed.

The ESATAN GFF reader module can be selected from the TASverterGUI by setting the "Model Type" of the "From" file to "ESATAN GFF results", or by using TASverter with the command line option:


Comma Separated Values writer module

As mentioned above, the STEP-TAS  dataset can store generic analysis results data. The csv-writer  can be used to output these generic analysis results to a comma separated values (csv) format file. In principle, this comma separated values format can be imported easily into a wide range of tools, such as Microsoft Excel, Matlab, etc.

Currently the GFF-reader  is the only module capable of importing analysis results data into the STEP-TAS  dataset, so for the time being it is only possible to convert ESATAN GFF data to the csv format.

The csv-writer  module can be activated from the TASverterGUI by setting the "Model Type" of the "To" file to "Comma Separated value", or by using TASverter with the command line option:


Patran Session File Writer module


The Patran Session File Writer generates output in the format specified for a Patran Session file. The session file can be played in Patran to reconstruct the radiative geometrical model.

The Patran Session File Writer has been developed originally to make the thermal radiative geometry available for building the correspondence between the thermal nodes and structural finite elements. This correspondence or overlap is one of the inputs to the process of generating temperature loads for a thermo-elastic analyses. SINAS (see other pages on this site) is a tool supporting this process. The session file produced by the Patran Session File Writer constructs various items in the Patran database that can be used by the correspondence or overlap detection module that comes with the SINAS suite.

Activation of the Patran Session File Writer module

The Patran Session writer module can be selected from the TASverterGUI by setting the "Model Type" of the "To" file to "PATRAN session file", or by using TASverter from the command line with the option: 

Conversion from STEP-TAS to Patran Session File

Heading of the generated file

The generated Patran session file starts with comments that describe:

Furthermore the heading provides as comment a summary of the generated information and the way information is mapped from STEP-TAS to Patran entities. In addition the heading provides as comment instructions on how to invoke the generated session file in Patran.

Length unit

Patran does not provide a means of specifying the length unit to be used by the model. TASverter assumes a default length unit of metre for the length values in the generated Patran session file. This default can be overridden using the --destination_length_unit command line option to select a different unit.

If length unit conversion is applied, information about the conversion is included at the beginning of the generated model file in the form of a comment.

Meshed faces

For every face meshed on a STEP-TAS Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface (being a meshed surface and with additional information) PCL calls are generated to construct a separate surface with its normal aligned with the normal of the STEP-TAS face. This implies that for a single side active Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface that is meshed with 2 by 3 faces, 6 Patran surfaces will be constructed.

In the case of double side active Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface-s surface will constructed for the faces at both sides. The two surfaces to be constructed corresponding to two opposite faces will be coincident, but have opposite normals.

Thermal nodes

As indicated the Patran Session File Writer module is originally developed to provide input to the process of preparing a thermo-elastic analyses. Part of this process is building the correspondence between thermal nodes and the structural finite elements. Therefore geometry associated to each individual thermal node needs to be accessible.

For this purpose the Patran Session File Writer generates PCL calls to construct for each thermal node a separate group. The reference to each Patran surface that is generated from an active STEP-TAS face that have the same associated thermal node are collected in Patran group. The assigned group name is Sn in which n is the thermal node id.

Optical properties

No PCL function calls are generated to reproduce the optical property information stored in the STEP-TAS repository.

Meshed geometric item identifiers

The Patran Session File Writer generates PCS function call such that the meshed geometric items in the STEP-TAS file (e.g. originating from ESARAD SHELL union or primitive SHELLs) are represented as Patran groups in the database constructed by playing the session file. All generated Patran surfaces corresponding to the faces meshed on an Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface are collected in a group with the name equal to the id of the Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface. Unions of Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface instances (i.e. Mgm_compound_meshed_geometric_item) are treated similarly by collecting all surfaces produced from joined Mgm_meshed_primitive_bounded_surface instances into a Patran group with the id of the union.

Boolean operations

There are no PCL function calls generated to perform the boolean operations. However both objects involved in the boolean operation are reconstructed and can be used for applying the boolean operation using the Patran user interface.

Prev: STEP-TAS  Part21


Up: Contents


Next: TASverter Options