Program: Mechanical Engineering
Due Date: March 27, 2008
Dr. D.C.D. Oguamanam
A rigid frame is a structural framework or skeleton consisting of straight and curved members that is designed to resist loads. Members are mostly interconnected with rigid connections. They can take bending moments as well as shear and axial loads . The rigid connections of the skeleton are designed so that the angles between them do not change with loads .
These types of structures can often have large amount of members, which makes it complicated to analyze. That\u2019s when engineers have to use finite-element analysis method. It allows solving complicated indeterminant beam problems.
In this case study, the rigid frame was given to be analyzed in the finite-element software ANSYS. The schematics of the frame can be seen on Figure 1. The structural load at C produces the axial load of 120 kip in member ED. The cross-sectional area of
The objective of this lab project was to evaluate the given rigid frame and then present the improved design that would decrease the load in member ED by at least 10%. The improved design was allowed to feature added or deleted structural members and increased cross-sectional area. The single restriction was that the member ED and its cross section were to be left unchanged.
This project consisted of two parts. First analysis of given rigid frame was completed. After that the improved design of the skeleton was presented and it was analyzed in ANSYS software to insure the improvements in the loading of member ED.
Firstly, the given rigid frame was drawn out in ANSYS and all the constants such as Young\u2019s Modulus of elasticity, cross sectional area were inputted. After that the displacement of node A in all directions and the displacement of node F in x direction were set to zero. Then, the total structural load was applied at point C. The goal was to achieve the loading in member ED to be around 120 kip. Since the cross-sectional area of ED was 4 in2 , the axial stress to be achieved was 30 ksi. Through trial and error, the structural load of 66,500 pounds at the point C was found to produce the stress of just below 30 ksi (29,971 psi).
Various design changes were considered and brain-stormed. The most ideas that seemed the most likely to produce were tested out on ANSYS. Most of the design changes produced no or little change in the loading of member ED. It was found that eliminating of members AE, BE and BD didn\u2019t affect the loading of member ED. The final design was inspired by idea that the larger amount of smaller triangles inside of skeleton of the frame would help carry the load and redistribute some of the loading away from member ED. Testing this design in ANSYS proved that indeed the improvement in stress and loadings was achieved.
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