How to assign material orientations in ABAQUS?

Sometimes we need to deal with anisotropic materials and that naturally requires us to assign material orientations for our part.
To assign the material orientation other than default, we need to first specify a coordinate system(CSYS) based on the default one.

We can create a CSYS In Property module using this tool

Then, we need to choose CSYS type in the pop up window, in this example we choose Rectangular.

after that we need to input following information in order to describe the CSYS we are building.

1.coordinates of origin
2.point on the X axis
3.a point on X-Y plane

Notice between each input, we should use Enter instead of click on Create Datum. The latter operation will generate whatever CSYS you currently has describe.


In the following figure, the yellow CSYS is which I just created. For this one, I input 0,0,0 1,1,0 1,-1,0 and clicked Create Datum. Notice the -1 in the third input will define the y axis in an opposite positive direction. Use this feature wisely and we could define whatever CSYS we want.


Next, We can use this specified CSYS to assign an orientation to the material.

Click on the assign material orientation tool.

Select the desired material section, and click done.
Choose the CSYS we just build in the Datum CSYS list.

Use default options and click done.

You can also assign material orientation to the default CSYS. This following figure shows I assigned two element to the default CSYS and two to the defined CSYS.

You can check your material orientation by clicking it in your part’s definition.


After assigning material orientation, the anisotropic material property you defined will follow the CSYS of orientation.

If you want to check your FEA result by this defined CSYS, you need to open *.ODE NOT using read only option, and find your CSYS under :Result – Option – Transformation – User-specified. After chosen, every vector will be transformed into the specified CSYS.

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3 thoughts on “How to assign material orientations in ABAQUS?

  1. Hi,

    Is it possible to specify an angle with respect to the global coordinate system to each element to which the material orientation would be projected?

    Thank you

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