The open-source software Salome-Meca with user-friendly graphical interface is the integration of the Code_Aster solver in the Salome platform, which are developed by EDF R&D based on the theory of finite element method, covering a large range of applications for 3D thermo-mechanical analyses in
linear and non-linear statics and dynamics. Therein, Code_Aster is a “stand-alone” thermo-mechanical solver with study data prepared in text file, which has no integrated GUI to create geometries and meshes, nor colorful post-processing, while Salome is a platform for physical simulations and a generic framework for different pre- and post-processing steps: CAD, mesh, data setting, mathematical operations and visualization.

Code_Aster is a free and open source software package for civil and structural engineering, finite element analysis, and numerical simulation in structural mechanics which was originally developed as an in-house application by the French company EDF. It was released under the terms of the GNU General Public License in October 2001.

Code_Aster contains 1,500,000 lines of source code, most of it in Fortran and Python, and is being constantly developed, updated and upgraded with new models. Justifying quality labels required by nuclear industry, most of the fields of the software have been validated by independent comparisons with analytical or experimental results, benchmarks towards other codes. The software is provided with about 2,000 tests: they are devoted to elementary qualification and are useful as examples. The documentation of Code_Aster includes more than 14,000 pages and encompasses user's manuals, theory manuals compiling EDF's know-how in mechanics, example problems, verification manuals. The vast majority of the documentation is in French with computer translations in English also available.

1) Easy installation of a complete framework (Linux);
2) User-friendly graphical interface;
3) Possibility of using different pre- and post-processing tools and accessibility to different input mesh and output result formats;
4) Possibility for a “stand-alone” use of Code_Aster solver;
5) Wide range of constitutive laws (elasticity, elasto-plasticity, elasto-visco-plasticity, fuel rods and metal under irradiation…);
6) Dealing with linear and non-linear issues (contact, friction, fracture mechanics, seismic analysis…);
7) Parallel calculation capability.

Material research in fatigue, damage, fracture, contact, geo-materials, porous media for pressure vessels and civil engineering structures:
1) Material resistance performance under beyond design conditions & facing natural catastrophe: earthquake, tsunami;
2) Numerical assessment of modularized construction of NPP by using concrete combined structure;
3) Coupled calculation: fluid/structure for the assessment of thermal fatigue, with Code_Saturne and Syrthes.

Official English website: http://code-aster.org