MSC Nastran
Structural & Multidiscipline Finite Element Analysis

MSC Nastran is the world's most widely used Finite Element Analysis (FEA) solver that helped MSC Software become recognized in 2011 as one of the "10 Original Software Companies". When it comes to solving for stress/strain behavior, dynamic and vibration response and thermal gradients in real-world systems, MSC Nastran is recognized as the most trusted multidiscipline solver in the world.

MSC Nastran is built on work done by NASA scientists and researchers, and is trusted for the design of mission critical systems in every industry. Nearly every spacecraft, aircraft, and vehicle designed in the last 40 years has been analyzed using MSC Nastran.

In recent years, several extensions to its capabilities have resulted in a single multidisciplinary solver providing users with a trusted solution to simulate everything from a single component to complex assemblies under diverse conditions.

MSC Nastran offers a complete set of linear static and dynamic analysis capabilities along with unparalleled support for superelements enabling users to solve large, complex assemblies more efficiently. MSC Nastran also offers a complete set of implicit and explicit nonlinear analysis capabilities, thermal and interior/exterior acoustics, and coupling between various disciplines such as thermal, structural, and fluid interaction. New modular packaging that enables you to get only what you need makes it more affordable to own MSC Nastran than ever before.

As part of our commitment to quality, the MSC Nastran Software Quality Assurance Program complies with the applicable portions of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations Part 50, Appendix B, Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, Reporting of Safety Related Defects and Non-Compliances. (see Statement of Quality Assurance Policy)


Structural Solutions

Stress analysts, durability engineers, and designers at nearly every automotive OEM and airframe manufacturer around the globe use MSC Nastran for structural analysis because they know they can trust the results. When risk isn't an option, MSC Nastran is the FEA solver trusted above all others.

MSC Nastran has a comprehensive element library, including specialty elements like welds, bushings, and fasteners that accurately model complete assemblies. Solution options include linear and nonlinear statics, 3D contact, dynamics, acoustics, thermal analysis, and more. Built in capabilities for sensitivity analysis, parameter studies, and optimization enable you to find optimal sizing, shape, topology, topography and topometry optimization simultaneously to find better designs.

Efficient Dynamic Analysis

When it comes to modeling and analyzing large systems for vibration, transient response, or any other dynamic loading condition, MSC Nastran is the best and most efficient solution available. Key capabilities include Automated Component Mode Synthesis (ACMS), rotor dynamics, external superelements, FRF (frequency response function) based substructuring, Transfer Path Analysis (TPA), interior and exterior acoustics, and more.

Composites Analysis to Validate Materials

MSC Nastran provides capabilities to model and evaluate composites for performance and failure against both structural and thermal load cases. Nastran offers VCCT and cohesive zone modeling for composite failure, and calculation of stress intensity factors using either the VCCT or Lorenzi method to predict delamination.

High performance FEA for Fast Results

MSC Nastran is tuned for high performance and optimized for large scale systems, assemblies, and dynamics. Key capabilities include Automated Component Modal Synthesis (ACMS) for large modal based analyses and NVH simulations, automated external superelements, shared memory parallel (SMP) and distributed memory parallel (DMP) options.

Multidiscipline Optimization

Perhaps you have been requested to investigate product improvement using optimization, or perhaps you are aware that these tools can be used to create better engineered designs. Design sensitivity and optimization are used when we seek to modify a design whose level of structural complexity exceeds our ability to make appropriate design changes. What is surprising is that an extremely simple design task may easily surpass our decision-making abilities. Experienced designers, those with perhaps decades of experience, are sometimes fantastically adept at poring through though mounds of data and coming up with improved designs. Most of us, however, cannot draw upon such intuition and experience. A basic goal of design optimization is to automate the design process by using a rational, mathematical approach to yield improved designs. Ways in which this might be put to us include:

Producing more efficient designs having maximum margins of safety. Performing trade-off or feasibility studies. Assisting in design sensitivity studies. Correlating test data and analysis results (model matching

Design optimization in MSC Nastran can combine analysis results from a number of disciplines, including statics, normal modes, buckling, direct and modal frequency, modal transient, acoustic, direct and modal complex Eigenvalue analysis, static Aeroelastic response and flutter analysis. In addition, design models can also employ superelements.

Source: MSC Nastran 2012 Design Sensitivity and Optimization User’s Guide


Product development teams need to verify and optimize their designs for multiple disciplines, including those with various physics like thermal, acoustics and fluids. They need to understand how thermal history or thermal state affects structural behavior, how vehicle trims influence cabin acoustics or how flow induced stresses or deformation affect a system’s behavior.

With support for a chained, uncoupled approach and a coupling method, MSC Nastran gives you the flexibility to include the influence of multiple physical phenomena on your designs. Scalability of MSC Nastran also enables you to conduct full vehicle studies without sacrificing accuracy. A few examples of the problems that can be addressed by MSC Nastran are:

Interior and exterior acoustics Brake squeal analysis Fluid filled bottles Hydroplaning Brake heating Plastic heat generation during forming

Multidiscipline Solution

Rarely does a structure have to conform to design criteria from a single discipline. Multiple factors and often multiple disciplines need to be accounted for an effective design. The multiple disciplines could be as simple as a linear static load and a frequency study or as complex as accounting for loads from a multibody dynamic analysis for a crash study (e.g. vehicle skidding and impacting a barrier) or doing an implicit nonlinear analysis for pre-stress study followed by an impact study using explicit analysis which may still be followed by implicit analysis for any residual stresses

Analysts often have to use multiple, incompatible tools to solve these various aspects of the design. However, accounting for the mutual influence can be cumbersome and sometimes simple impossible. Analysts have to resort to approximations or omission of the effects of some of the disciplines, which could lead to a non-optimal solution.

MSC Nastran offers multiple advantages in tackling these problems:

Single platform for a wide range of disciplines. It leads to efficiencies in terms of model creation and maintenance.

Smooth communication between disciplines. Multiple disciplines can be chained to account for effects of one type of analysis on another. For example, pre-stress results can easily be included in a dynamic study.

Simultaneous incorporation of multiple disciplines in a single model. This coupling helps in obtaining a more accurate solution and possibly a better optimized solution