Ansys Meshing – Element Order (Linear & Quadratic)

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March 13, 2020


Source: Ansys

The global Element Order option allows you to control whether meshes are to be created with midside nodes (quadratic elements) or without midside nodes (linear elements). Reducing the number of midside nodes reduces the number of degrees of freedom. Choices for the global Element Order option include Program ControlledLinear, and Quadratic.

Examples are presented below. The heavy vertical line in each graphic represents the body boundary.

Program Controlled

Program Controlled is the default. For surface bodies and beam models, Program Controlled is identical to the Linear option described below. For solid bodies and 2-D models, Program Controlled is identical to the Quadratic option described below.



The Linear option removes midside nodes on all elements. Examples shown below are for a solid body.


The Quadratic option retains midside nodes on elements created in the part or body. All elements will have midside nodes.

 If Element Order is set to Quadratic, and if Straight Sided Elements is set to No, the midside nodes will be placed on the geometry so that the mesh elements properly capture the shape of the geometry. However, if the location of a midside node might affect the mesh quality, the midside node may be relaxed to improve the element shape. Therefore, some midside nodes might not follow the shape of the geometry precisely.

In this tutorial, you will learn the differences between Linear and Quadratic element order in Ansys Meshing.

Tutorial: Hexahedral Mesh using Ansys Meshing.

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