MSC Patran

The Industry’s Leading Finite Element Modeling Environment

Patran is a comprehensive pre- and post-processing environment for FEA analysis and helps engineers to virtually conceptualize, develop and test product designs. Used by the world’s leading manufacturing companies as their standard tool for the creation and analysis of simulation models, Patran links design, analysis, and results evaluation in a single environment.
Companies can reduce time can cost of product development process by incorporating Patran into their simulation process. By enabling engineers to access the industry’s leading analysis programs, Patran can help organizations reduce the cost and burden of maintaining multiple pre- and post-processing tools in different parts of the organization and improve the time to market.
Through the seamless integration of CAD geometry, pre- and post-processing capabilities and the ability to perform sophisticated simulations on virtual parts, assemblies and structures, Patran is a key part of the design process for companies who rely on fast time to market and extraordinary product quality to drive market share and profits.
Patran enables engineers to directly import geometry from the CAD program of engineer’s choice, and then define loads, boundary conditions, and material properties, perform different simulations under different conditions, visualize the results, and ultimately better understand the relationship between design decisions and product performance characteristics such as stress, strain, vibration, heat transfer and many more.
In addition, Patran’s graphical interface is built to be fully customizable to your organization’s unique engineering processes. With Patran Control Language (PCL), engineers can supplement the powerful modeling and analysis capabilities with their own, customized applications, commands, and menus. Patran users can easily iterate and evaluate different design decisions and reuse existing designs and results without non-value added manual clean-up and recreation of data.



• Intuitive graphical interface with direct access of CAD geometry with automatic/ interactive feature recognition.
• Integration with MSC Software and third-party solvers
• Robust automatic surface and solid mesh generation with advanced surface mesh-on-mesh capability.
• Connectors and bolts with pre-loads
• Full 3D general contact available for nonlinear analyses.
• Support for Nastran’s Design Optimization and Topology Optimization.
• Support for Nastran’s Superelements
• Support for Marc’s Coupled Analyses
• Comprehensive results post-processing.
• Results standardization through results templates.
• Customization through Patran Command Language (PCL).


• Increase productivity of your design and development process
• Reduce development costs through increased use of simulation technologies
• Improve productivity and accuracy with multidiscipline analysis and optimization

Direct Access of CAD Geometry

PATRAN enables access to geometry from leading CAD systems for creating finite element models. Support for many industry-standard geometry exchange formats is also provided. An option is also available for direct import and export into Parasolid format supported by several CAD systems. All finite elements, loads, boundary conditions, and material properties can be associated to the geometry.

Geometry Creation and Editing

Patran contains an advanced set of geometry creation tools in addition to the direct CAD access capabilities for generating finite element model geometry. Patran also has a sophisticated feature recognition capability that allows users to delete or edit holes, fillets, and chamfers. For 3D solid geometry, existing meshes and loads will be automatically re-applied to the model after a change is made to the geometry.

Support for Multiple FEA Solvers

Patran also supports the other solvers developed by MSC (Marc, Dytran, and MSC Sinda) and also solvers like Abaqus, Ansys, LS-Dyna and PamCrash, enabling you to stay in a single graphical user environment even if you have to use multiple solvers for various analyses.

Graphical User Interface

Patran’s graphical user interface is a forms-based mouse-driven menu system for the opration of all tasks. It is designed to be easy to learn and use.

64-bit support for Performance

With the native port to 64-bit Windows and Linux, Patran can access all the available memory on the systems allowing the users to work with larger models, improving their productivity.

Model Browser Tree

The Model Browser Tree allows the user to quickly see what is in the current model in a user-friendly tree structure. Not only can model entities be viewed from the tree structure, the tree also allows you to create, copy, paste, modify, or delete those entities. The ease in visualizing, accessing, and manipulating model entities through the Model Browser Tree reduces learning times and increases your productivity.

Finite Element Modeling

Patran’s finite element modeling system permits the user to directly access model geometry and to quickly develop finite element meshes. Easily create and modify your finite element mesh using automated mesh generators and MSC Software’s technology such as the Mid-Plane and Advanced Surface Meshers.

Loads and Boundary Conditions

Patran provides a complete set of loads and boundary conditions such as structural and thermal. Functional variations can be evaluated with mathematical factors or other analysis results.
Loads and boundary conditions can be specified as total or incremental basis.

Materials and Elements Properties

Patran supports an array of material models such as isotropic, orthotropic, anisotropic, composite, thermal isotropic, thermal orthotropic and thermal anisotropic to perform a variety of analyses


Imaging encompasses the complete graphics capability found within the Patran product, including graphic shading and visual verification prior to analysis. Imaging features a number of options that take advantage of specialized hardware capabilities, including local view manipulation, local shading, multiple light sources, and transparency.
You can also export images and movies in many standard formats to include in documents and web-based reporting.

Results Evaluation

Patran can quickly and clearly display analysis results in structural, thermal, fatigue, fluid, magnetic terms, or in relation to any other application where the resultant values are associated with their respective finite elements or nodes.

Patran Command Language

PCL is the programming language at the heart of Patran. PCL is a high-level, block-structured language that provides many features found in traditional programming languages. It can be used to write application or site-specific commands and menus, perform variational modeling, and to more completely integrate with commercial or in-house software programs.

Determine External Maneuver, Dynamic and Internal Loads on Air Vehicle

Flightloads is a user interface that integrates the aeroelasticity capabilities of MSC Nastran and the FEM modeling functionality of Patran. Flightloads is useful for the prediction of external maneuver and dynamic loads on air vehicles. Typical modeling and analysis processes are supported, which emulate the workflow commonly found across the aerospace engineering community in the discipline of aeroelasticity (coupling of aerodynamics and structural response)

The Flightloads system provides the capability to:
• Start with native geometry from user-preferred sources such as CAD applications.
• Define the aerodynamic and structural models.
• Perform aerodynamic calculations.
• Analyze the combined structural-aerodynamic model to provide both component and total vehicle aeroelastic responses.
• View the results and produce external loads that can be passed to the stress group for detailed design and verification.
• Store intermediate results for subsequent retrieval in further analyze


Flightloads provides a tool that allows engineers to accurately, efficiently and confidently predict external air vehicle loads. Current loads cycle processes will be dramatically impacted by Flightloads.
Flightloads provides improved aero-structural coupling technology and validation tools. These tools also allow for improved throughput and understanding of the operating environment Flightloads supports structural and aerodynamic model evolution from preliminary and conceptual design through detailed design, and external sources of aerodynamics data (i.e., wind tunnel, flight test and other aerodynamics software).
Nonlinear aerodynamics can be defined over aerodynamic meshes and used in nonlinear trim analysis. External Integrated Loads Monitor Points are available to compute data for critical loads survey.
Tools provide efficient graphical user interface, robust modeling tools to simplify the construction of aerodynamic model building. HTML help pages, accessible from the
graphical user interface, are easily customized to document and distribute in-house best practices and procedures.
Graphical tools help with model verification.
External loads are better understood through Loads Browser capabilities, and aero structural coupling is easy through interactive spline definition and verification.
Flightloads provides seamless integration of external and internal loads.
One common structural model is now practical – customers can reduce or even eliminate model validation efforts between different structural representations.
Numerical efficiencies now make MSC Nastran Aeroelasticity computer resource usage comparable to those of linear statics analysis.
Maintain competitive advantage through integration of in-house, proprietary tools with Flightloads. Open architecture supports integration with both the graphics and solver tools.
Flightloads leverages the capabilities of MSC Nastran and Patran to deliver unmatched capabilities for external loads prediction.


• Aerodynamic Modeling
• Aero-Structural Coupling
• Aerodynamics
• Static Aeroelasticity Support
• Flutter Support
• Loads Browser/Post Processing

Aerodynamic Modeling

• Uses Doublet Lattice Method surfaces and bodies (MSC Nastran CAERO1 & CAERO2)
• Gives control surfaces, position and hinge moment limits
• Automates modeling with error detection and correction methods
• Displays extensive model visualization and query capabilities
• Supports multiple aerodynamic mesh representations
• Creates external integrated loads monitor points over the mesh

Aero-structural Coupling

• Defines and verifies spline relationships
interactively using existing or automatically generated structural displacements
• Results of aero-structural coupling are automatically displayed and animated
• Aerodynamics
• Stores aerodynamic database for data archive and reuse in a hierarchical format allowing for multiple models and multiple conditions
• Supports full nonlinear data over all trim parameters

Static Aeroelasticity Support

• Computes subsonic and supersonic aerodynamics internally
• Creates simultaneous symmetric and anti-symmetric boundary conditions
• Provides three analysis methods: flexible trim, flexible increments and rigid trim
• Uses nonlinear aeroelastic trim when nonlinear aerodynamics are present

Flutter Support

• Allows simplified input across the flight envelope for M-k pair set definition
• Sets multiple boundary conditions and M-k pair sets in a single execution
• Supports PK, PKNL, K and KE flutter eigenvalue analysis methods fully

Loads Browser/post Processing

• Runs Loads Plots and Load Summations, including automatic report generation, CSV export to spreadsheets
• Browses loads on either aerodynamic or structural models
• Retrieves model and loads data from database
• Sources of loads information: aerodynamics database, static aeroelastic analysis results, and loads/boundary conditions are applied to structural models
• Exports text file of MSC Nastran FORCE Bulk Data entries for selected loads
• Provides standard Patran results too

Design and Optimize Laminated Structures with Confidence

Patran Laminate Modeler is an application module of Patran to aid engineers, designers and analysts with composites development process that requires tight integration between design, analysis and manufacturing disciplines from concept through manufacture. Designers benefit from an intuitive and quicker specification of laminate designs that accurately reflect the ply-based physical composition of the structure, while analysts can gain from improved communication of structural details and generation of the analysis model. The manufacturer can avoid trial and error prototyping and minimize material waste by identifying potential problems in the product prior to manufacturing.
Whether you are designing a wheel cover, aircraft panels, floor pans, wind turbine blade or yacht hull, Patran Laminate Modeler provides functionality that lets engineers take complete advantage of virtual product development and build composite structures at a lower cost, and in an efficient manner. Listed below are a few of the benefits that Patran Laminate Modeler can help you realize in your design and development process


• Calculate failure indices
• Optimize materials, plies and layups
• Size zones efficiently
• Simulate manufacturability with robust draping algorithm
• Calculate and store fiber angle and shear data for every ply on every finite element
• Interface with multiple analysis tools
• Generate manufacturing data


• Develop optimized laminated structures
• Enable collaboration between designer, analyst and manufacturer
• Automate the design process
• Identify problems before manufacture
• Share composites design data with CAD products

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