I am working on a 2D model that involves applying a thermal condition and large tensile displacement. The thermal condition causes shrinkage and is applied in the first load step. The tensile load is applied in the second load step. I can see that the mesh is adequate for the thermal condition, but it doesn't quite make it to the end of the second load step (it comes very close though). The error that comes up says that an element has become highly distorted. When I look at the element, I see that it is in a curved region.
I am using a nonlinear mechanical physics preference. My elements are triangular and the element order is linear. I have tried refining the mesh many times to make some quite tiny elements at the trouble spot. This has involved refining all of the elements in the model and refining the elements near the distorted element without success, so I'm starting to wonder if refining the model will solve the problem. I also have large large deflection turned on and am using hyperelastic material properties. And, each load step consists of 100 substeps. So, I've considered the things that the error message lists.
To me, it seems like I need to make slight improvements to my mesh. And metaphorically speaking, I'd like to learn to fish rather than just be given a fish since this is an error I've encountered a few times. I'm wondering if there are general tips that can help with meshing issues involving highly distorted elements or even if you can point me to a good source for learning more advanced meshing techniques. That way, I can have a better sense for troubleshooting meshing issues in future analyses.