Numerical simulations such as Finite Element Method (FEM) are widely used as tool of structural analyses in both design and production. However, in the application of FEM to welding problems, the simulation scale is usually limited to the welding joint level. Only a few large-scale welding analyses are performed on existing research because welding problems are transient and show strong nonlinearity. In such cases, it is necessary to use static implicit FEM to achieve an accurate analysis, but the larger analysis scale requires larger memory consumption and computing time. Thus, we previously proposed idealized explicit FEM (IEFEM) to achieve shorter computing time and lower memory consumption.

Since IEFEM is based on dynamic explicit FEM, it is not needed to solve the stiffness matrix of the whole system and it is possible to analyze by only performing the calculation for each degree of freedom (DOF) and element. Such characteristic indicates that IEFEM is suitable for parallelization. Then, in this study, we developed parallelized IEFEM using a graphics processing unit (GPU). The usefulness and validity of the developed method are considered by analyzing a 3-dimensional multi-pass moving heat source problem, which is very difficult to analyze with commercial FEM software because of its analytical scale. As a result, it is found that parallelized IEFEM accelerated by a GPU can analyze a large-scale problem having over 1,000,000 DOFs on a single PC.

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