Finite Elements in Mechanics

An introduction into the FEM theory and hands-on computer applications.
by Luis A. Prieto Ph.D., P.E. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Course Content
• Theory
• • • • • • • • • Fundamentals Review of Matrix Algebra One-dimensional problems Trusses Two-dimensional Axi-symmetry Iso-parametric elements Beams and Frames Three-dimensional

• Practice
• • • • • • • Basic SAP2000 Truss tutorial Concrete frame building Steel frame building Advanced model ETABS Student selected projects

INTRODUCTION The finite element method (FEM) is a powerful numerical solution of a wide range of engineering problems. and other flow problems. An assembly process. bridges and dam structures to field analysis of heat flux. . magnetic flux. such as the deformation and stress analysis of aircraft. The material properties and the governing relationships are considered over these elements and expressed in terms of unknown values at element corners. and several alternative configuratio ns can be tried out on a computer before the first prototype is built. With the advances in computer technology and CAD systems. buildings. comple x problems can be modeled with relative ease. results in a set of equations. a complex region defining a continuum is discretized into simple geometric shapes called finite elements. seepage. fluid flow. Solution of these equations gives us the approximate behavior of the continuum. duly considering the loading and constraints. In this method of analysis. automotive.

.Axisymmetric analysis of a missile nose cone. Complex shape (a) is first reduced to a simple piece at (b).

Finite element triangulation of portion of nose cone. .

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.Finite element analysis for tire inflation studies.

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. a toy manufacturer.Today’s Kids. used FEM to confirm the location of the failure points when the slide is subjected to a non-linear overload.

3-D visualization of the magnetic field B surrounding a bath plate. .

Iso-contours of the H-field in the rotor of a disk-brake assembly of a light truck. . are used to determine the natural frequency of vibration induced during braking.

showing the thermal stress around the cylinde r heads. .A V6 engine block.

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