MSC Nastran

Multidisciplinary structural analysis

MSC Nastran software displayed on computer monitor

The original and best FEA solver

With over 50 years of validation as the most industry-trusted finite element solver, MSC Nastran is continuously evolving to meet today’s structural analysis challenges.

MSC Nastran is a multidisciplinary structural analysis solver that performs static, dynamic, and thermal analysis across the linear and nonlinear domains, complemented with automated structural optimisation and award-winning embedded fatigue analysis. Hexagon’s investments in high-performance computing enhancements improve productivity and get you fast, accurate results.

Use MSC Nastran to ensure structural systems have the necessary strength, stiffness, and life to predict and prevent failures (excess stresses, resonance, buckling, or detrimental deformations) to engineer more functional, safer, and more durable products. MSC Nastran is trusted by a wide range of industries, where it is used to analyse everything from the economy and passenger comfort of structural designs in the automotive industry to improving airframes and fuselages in the aerospace industry.

MSC Nastran’s unique multidisciplinary approach to structural analysis allows you to:

  • Simulate and test designs virtually to reduce costly physical prototypes
  • Reduce reliance on physical testing in extreme or hazardous environments
  • Remedy structural issues that may occur during a product’s service, reducing downtime and costs.
  • Optimise the performance of existing designs or develop unique product differentiators to gain a competitive advantage
  • Certify designs in the aerospace, automotive, and shipbuilding industries
  • Take advantage of Hexagon’s interoperability to co-simulate across multiple disciplines.

MSC Nastran is based on sophisticated numerical methods, the most prominent being the Finite Element Method. Solve Nonlinear FE problems with built-in implicit numerical techniques. Get better results with optimisation algorithms, including MSCADS and IPOPT. Perform advanced fatigue and durability analysis in MSC Nastran with built-in CAEfatigue, the fastest and most robust fatigue solution on the market today.

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  • Multidisciplinary structural analysis

    Perform comprehensive, multidisciplinary analysis. MSC Nastran offers multiple analysis disciplines in one structural analysis solution to solve a wide variety of engineering problems. 

    • Linear or nonlinear analysis
    • Static analysis
    • Dynamic (NVH & Acoustics included) analysis
    • Thermal analysis
    • Buckling analysis

    One integrated solution for complex engineering challenges

    Reduce your dependency on multiple structural analysis programs from various vendors by using one solver for your most complex engineering challenges. 

    Perform fatigue analysis with embedded fatigue technologies and reduce the time usually associated with fatigue life determination.

    Assess the behaviour of advanced composites and fibre-reinforced plastics with built-in progressive failure analysis and user-defined services for mean-field homogenization coupling with Digimat. 


     Multidisciplinary Structural Analysis Multidisciplinary Structural Analysis

    Structural assembly modelling

    One structural component is rarely analyzed independently. Structural systems include numerous components and must be analyzed as a whole. Join multiple components for system-level structural analysis with MSC Nastran.

    • Expedite meshing with Permanent Glue to connect incongruent meshes that would traditionally require time-consuming mesh transitions
    • Save time constructing assemblies that consist of welds or fasteners with specialized connector elements
    • Use modules to combine and manage multiple components of a structure and form a complete assembly without the need to use additional connection elements or worry about ID numbering schemes
    • Speed up the re-analysis of large assemblies by constructing Superelements, or collaboratively sharing Superelements with other manufacturers while concealing confidential design information
    • Perform contact analysis and determine contact stresses and contact regions in multi-component designs
    • Increase productivity by using the automatic contact generation feature to automatically create the contact bodies and define the contact relationship between them.

    Structural Assembly Modeling


    Customer Testimonial
    "The use of glued contact for assemblies reduces the problem setup time from 1 day to 1 hour and avoids tedious mesh alignment between parts.”
    - Julien Rodess, Study Engineer Sogeti

  • Automated structural optimisation

    Design optimisation is critical to product development, but is often an iterative process that requires extensive manual effort. MSC Nastran includes optimization algorithms that automatically seek optimal configurations for your designs. 

    • Optimise designs for stress, mass, fatigue, etc. and get almost instantaneous results as you iterate on design variables such as material properties, geometric dimensions, loads, etc.
    • Enhance the shape or profile of structural members with shape optimisation
    • Find optimal composite laminate ply thicknesses with topometry optimisation
    • Determine optimal bead or stamp patterns for sheet metal parts with topography optimisation
    • Remove excess and unnecessary volume with topology optimisation
    • Simultaneously optimise multiple models across disciplines with multi-model optimisation


    Automated Structural Optimization

  • High-performance computing

    Increase your productivity with the high-performance computing enhancements to MSC Nastran. Analysis models can be very large and require extensive time and computing power to solve with traditional methods. MSC Nastran features high-performance computing capabilities that help you solve problems and perform analyses much quicker. These investments in high-performance computing can save engineers hours or days of analysis time and improve the profitability of your products. 

    • Take advantage of multi-core and multi-node clusters with parallelization technologies like shared memory parallels and distributed memory parallels
    • Accelerate simulation time and obtain higher performance for large models using the automatic solver selection feature, SOLVE=Auto. Let MSC Nastran automatically select the optimal solver and the most efficient parallelization method to use based on the analysis specifications (element types, solution type, available memory etc.)
    • Utilize nVidia GPU Cards to accelerate the analysis of models composed of solid finite elements
    • Perform modal analysis faster by using a highly tuned Lanczos solver or Automated Component Modal Synthesis


    High Performance Computing

  • Support and validation

    Hexagon offers many resources to support you as you use MSC Nastran. Available services include:

    • Technical support, often rated 4.5 out of 5 by customers
    • SimAcademy, where you can learn more about MSC Nastran from our experts

    MSC Software was one of the original developers of the first NASTRAN code, and that same dedication to NASTAN continues with Hexagon today. MSC Nastran has been continuously developed for over 40 years and is constantly evolving to meet today’s toughest engineering challenges.

  • Customer success stories
  • On-demand webinars