There are currently two well-known p-adaptive commercial FEA codes on the market, Mechanica and StressCheck.
Mechanica was an ambitious undertaking that those of us at Rasna and those who joined us later working for PTC worked hard on for 25 years. Towards the end we had added some pretty advanced features like large strain plasticity and large displacement sliding contact. We took pride in trying to make everything we did adaptive, by default. So all the underlying solutions in nonlinear analysis or optimization runs were p-adaptive. In addition, step size control in time-dependent solutions and nonlinear analysis were always adaptive. This did not always work, but it’s what we aimed for. Unfortunately PTC seems to be going in other directions and is not emphasizing Mechanica much these days. Recently they made a corporate deal with Ansys and our now selling Discovery Live under the name “Simulation Live”.
Another major commercial code on the market is StressCheck from ESRD. ESRD was founded by Professor Barna Szabo, who together with Professor Ivo Babuska invented the P-method, proved it converges, and worked out the important details of its implementation. ESRD recently had its 30th anniversary, and StressCheck is an excellent product which its customers use to achieve high quality results from FEA analyses. It has it’s own user interface and mesher. The user imports the CAD geometry and creates a high quality model in StressCheck, which then uses p-refinement to get accurate results. Users can also do breakout modeling. A local region, part of a large global model solved in another FEA code, is recreated in StressCheck. StressCheck provides tools to apply the boundary conditions to the local region from the solution to the global FEA analysis. StressCheck can do linear and various types of nonlinear analyses. I really like their CAE handbook, and they have a superb solution for composite joints.
In contrast, StressRefine is a niche product created for the sole purpose of being an accessory to other FEA codes, to extract more accurate stress results. It does not require the recreation of the model, instead working directly on an existing FEA model and using p-adaptivity to extract more accurate stresses from it. For large models it also does breakout analysis, but automates the process of creating the breakout region, applying interface conditions to it from the global model, and solving it adaptively for more accurate stress. So in it’s niche it requires less user intervention.
I would heartily recommend to anyone to use StressCheck. And perhaps consider my little niche product as an additional useful add-on.