Dassault Systèmes’ (Paris, France and Providence, R.I.) Abaqus 6.9, a unified FEA product suite from SIMULIA, reportedly delivers new capabilities for fracture and failure, high-performance computing, and noise and vibration. Notable features: The Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM) has been implemented in Abaqus and provides a tool for simulating crack growth along arbitrary paths that do not correspond to element boundaries. The method can be used with other Abaqus capabilities to predict the durability/damage tolerance of composite aircraft structures and assists in evaluation of the onset and growth of cracks in pressure vessels. The general contact implementation feature offers a simplified and automated method for defining part contact interactions in a model, reportedly improving modeling efficiency for complex assemblies. A new co-simulation method enables users to combine the Abaqus implicit and explicit solvers into a single simulation, substantially reducing computation time. And a new viscous shear model allows the simulation of non-Newtonian fluids, such as molten polymers.