In ABAQUS, there are multiple ways to specif your part is in plane stress/strain. 1. When assigning the section, one can specify that it is a generalized plane strain section. 2. When assigning the section, one can specify that the section is homogeneous with a plane stress/strain thickness of 1. 3. When meshing the part, elements within the same section can be assigned an element type of generalized plane strain, plane strain, or plane stress.
I have sorted through ABAQUS documentation but have yet to arrive at a satisfactory answer, regarding the effective differences between above options.
It seems that with option 1, there is no thickness specified. Does this mean that abaqus assumes the simulation such that it is infinitely thick in the Z, as is consistent with plane strain? Versus in option 2, the thickness is 1? Meanwhile, how would results be affected if only the elements were plane stress/strain, with a regular solid and homogeneous section?