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    I agree, I would calculate with shell elements. However, I have tested this myself. I created a simple model of a cantilever beam and compared different solid meshes with the max output von Mises stress result. Via hand calculations (baseline): Stress = 600 MPa 1x HEX8 element through thickness: Stress = 565 MPa 2x HEX8 element through thickness: Stress = 604 MPa 1x TET4 element through thickness: Stress = 154 MPa 2x TET4 element through thickness: Stress = 387 MPa 1x TET10 element through thickness: Stress = 623 MPa The results are a bit iffy because the max stress is located near the constraints (I should've done this using a 3-point bending model...) You can clearly see here that TET4 elements are bad at calculating stresses through the thickness due to bending. However the TET10 element (with midside nodes) is a lot better. Still, for best results calculating stresses through the thickness I would be using HEX elements (where possible) for thick components and QUAD elements for thin shell components.
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