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# FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF A PROPPED CANTILEVER BEAM

Instructor: Professor James Sherwood Revised: Dimitri Soteropoulos Programs Utilized: ABAQUS CAE 6.9-EF1 Problem Description: This tutorial shows how to build and analyze the propped cantilever beam shown in Figure 1. The finite element model of the beam will be constructed using ABAQUS CAE. Three different loads are considered: Material: Load case 1: Load case 2: Load case 3: Steel with E=29x106 lbs/in2 Distributed Lumped Consistent

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Creating the Model Geometry   Go to the Start Menu and open Abaqus CAE You may be prompted with an Abaqus/CAE 6.9 Extended Functionality box (Figure 1). Close this box by clicking the X in the top right hand corner.

Figure 1. Abaqus/CAE 6.9 Extended Functionality box.  Once the Extended Functionality box is exited, the ABAQUS CAE Viewport should look similar to Figure 2. (Please note the model tree is the series of functions listed on the left hand side of the viewport, while the module is the list of icons to the right of the model tree)

Model Tree

Figure 2. ABAQUS CAE Viewport

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 

A model of this I-Beam will be constructed using only beam elements. To create the model geometry of the steel I-beam, a sketch of the beam length must be generated. Using the left mouse button, double click Parts in the model tree and the Create Part (Figure 3a) dialog box appears. Enter a new name for the part (I-BEAM), and under the Base Feature tab choose Wire for shape and Planar for type. The Create Part dialog box should look identical to Figure 3b. Click Continue… and the graphics window will change to a set of gridlines.

Figure 3a. Create Part Dialog Box 

Figure 3b. Create Part Dialog Box (I-BEAM)

For the first step in generating the model geometry, a 100-in. long line must be created. Click the Create Lines: Connected icon in the module. (Remember, the module is the series of icons to the right of the model tree.) In the viewport click once with the cursor, then drag the cursor horizontally to any other place in the viewport such that you will be creating a line parallel to the bottom edge of the screen and click again. After clicking for the second time, press Esc on the keyboard to exit the Create Lines: Connected tool. Because a line of arbitrary length was drawn in the initial sketch, it will now be given the proper dimensions. Click the Add Dimension icon in the module and click the line in the sketch. After this click, the line should turn red and its corresponding dimension should appear. Move the cursor away from the horizontal line and click. At the bottom of the viewport, a New dimension: box should appear (Figure 4).
Example value. Your value may be different.

Figure 4. New Dimension Box

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To auto-scale the screen press F6 on the keyboard. the full length of the line might not be visible in the viewport. The viewport should look identical to that in Figure 5. Hit Enter.2011 . However.01.   Enter a value of 100. Figure 5. Click Done in the bottom left hand corner of the viewport.0 in the New Dimension box. long beam will appear (Figure 6). ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 4 REV 03. The sketch should resize to the appropriate dimension. and a grey 100-in. Dimensioned Line (100 in. Sketch mode will automatically be exited.)    Press Esc on the keyboard to exit the Add Dimension tool.

01.2011 . the Edit Material dialog box should look identical to Figure 7b.  ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 5 REV 03. Beam Model Defining Material Properties  To define material properties for this model. After the material properties have been entered. double click on Materials in the model tree and the Edit Material dialog box will appear (Figure 7a).Figure 6. and Poisson’s Ratio = 0. highlight Elasticity and click Elastic.32. Click OK. Enter values of Young’s Modulus = 29E06. and click the Mechanical tab. Enter a Name for the material (STEEL).

The units chosen for the definition of the material properties should be consistent and dictate what units should be used for the dimensions of the structure. Click File then click Save.01.2011 . At this point in preprocessing. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 6 REV 03. It may be of interest to save the file after each section of this tutorial. the model should be saved. Creating an I-Beam Profile  To create an I-Beam profile for this model.Figure 7a. Edit Material Dialog Box  Figure 7b. and click I under the Shape option. All of the dimensions have been input in inches. Enter a Name for the profile (I-BEAM).cae*) file. Name the file I-Beam Tutorial. The Create Profile dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 8b. The file will save as a Model Database (*. therefore. double click Profiles in the model tree and the Create Profile dialog box will automatically appear (Figure 8a). Edit Material Dialog Box (STEEL)  Please note there is no dropdown menu or feature in ABAQUS that sets specific units. the respective Young’s Modulus units should be entered in psi (lb/in2).

10051  If this description is done correctly.Figure 8a.2011 . ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 7 REV 03. the Edit Profile dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 9b. Create Profile Dialog Box   Figure 8b. Using the properties listed in Table 1 enter the respective values into the Edit Profile dialog box. This dialog box is where properties of the I-Beam will be entered. Create Profile Dialog Box (I-BEAM) Click Continue… The Edit Profile dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 9a).5 I11 20.8438 I12 0.875 J 3. Table 1.01. I-Beam Properties Property Value Area 10.0 I22 10.

Check the box to the left of Specify section material density: and enter a value of 0.32 for a Section Poisson’s ratio. and Beam under the Type tab.00073315. Create Section Dialog Box  Figure 10b. Enter a Name for the section (BEAM).01. Edit Profile Dialog Box  Click OK. double click Sections in the model tree and the Create Section dialog box will appear (Figure 10a). Enter 0.98E06. Create Section Dialog Box (BEAM) The Edit Beam Section dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 11a). Because only one profile has been created. Edit Profile Dialog Box (I-BEAM) Creating Sections  To create a beam section in ABAQUS.Figure 9a. enter a value of Young’s Modulus = 29E06 and Shear Modulus = 10.2011 . The Edit Beam Section dialog box should look similar to that in Figure 11b. the dropdown options for Profile name: is set to I-BEAM. Click Continue…  Figure 10a. and choose Beam under the Category Tab. Click Before analysis under the Section integration: option. Under the Basic tab. Your Create Section dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 10b. Figure 9b. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 8 REV 03.

Model Tree Expansion (Parts)  After the model tree has been expanded. click the + to the left of the part called I-BEAM. this action will further expand the model tree’s options. it can be assigned to the geometry. click the + to the left of the Parts icon. If this action has been done correctly. the model will turn from a grey line to a red line (Figure 13). In the model tree. Edit Beam Section Dialog Box  Click OK. Figure 12. draw a box around the complete geometry. double click Section Assignments.01. further expanding the model tree (Figure 12).2011 .Figure 11a. Next. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 9 REV 03. Figure 11b. Using the cursor. Edit Beam Section Dialog Box (I-BEAM) Assigning Sections  Now that the beam section has been created.

there is a dropdown menu labeled Assign. the model should turn a blue color. The Edit Section Assignment dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 14). Assigning Beam Sections    Click Done. If this action was done correctly. In the toolbar at the top of the Viewport. Figure 14.01. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 10 REV 03. click Assign and click Beam Section Orientation (Figure 15).Figure 13. Edit Section Assignment Dialog Box Assigning a Beam Section Orientation  A Beam Section Orientation must be assigned. Using the left mouse button.2011 . Click OK.

enter (0. The model should look identical to Figure 16. The model should turn back to a blue color. Beam Section Orientation Drop down Menu  Using the cursor. Hit Enter.0.1.   Figure 16. Click Done.0) in the Enter an approximate n1 direction (tangent vectors shown) option.0.2011 . ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 11 REV 03.Figure 15. Beam Section Orientation   Click OK. This step defines the orientation of the beam cross section in space.0. the model will change color from blue to red. Click Done. hold the left mouse button while dragging the cursor around the model to create a box around the entire geometry.01. The FE modeler always wants to be sure that the beam is located properly in space for the correct application of the load direction. If this drag is done correctly. Using the computer keyboard.

Hover the cursor over the Seed Edge: By Number icon and release the button on the cursor.2011 . Hit Enter on the keyboard. If this selection is done correctly. the model will turn from a pink to a red color. If this action is done correctly. and a mesh can be generated. Using the cursor. Click Done. Seeded Geometry (16 Elements)   Click Done. draw a box around the entire model. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 12 REV 03. The first step in creating a mesh is to seed the part. then the geometry should change color to pink. Click the Assign Element Type icon in the mesh module.     Figure 17.Creating a Mesh   To create a mesh for the model geometry. Now that the part has been seeded. double click Mesh (Empty) in the model tree. Click and hold the Seed Part icon in the mesh module and six icons will appear. The model will now appear to be seeded with evenly spaced pink points along its length Figure 17.01. In the Number of elements along the edges: prompt at the bottom of the viewport enter a number of 16. This value will seed the selected edge to have 16 evenly spaced elements along its length.

. Under Beam type: click Cubic formulation. To do this task. click the Mesh Part icon bottom of the viewport.01. Model Tree Expansion (Assembly) ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 13 REV 03. At the Creating an Instance  Now that the part has been meshed. You will be immediately prompted by the Element Type dialog box. Element Type (BEAM)   The part is now ready to be meshed. Figure 18. Under the Family category.2011 . Your Element type dialog box should look identical to Figure 18. If this procedure was done correctly. you will be prompted if it is OK to mesh the part? Click Yes. click the + to the left of Assembly in the model tree. it can be brought into the assembly. In the mesh module. Figure 19. The model tree will expand and should look identical to Figure 19. the geometry will turn blue. ensure that Beam is selected.

Create Instance ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 14 REV 03. This feature will allow multiple parts to be brought into the assembly. Click OK. If multiple parts had been created. then this step would allow them to be entered into the assembly.01.  Figure 21.2011 . the model should turn a blue color (Figure 21). The Create Instance dialog box will appear (Figure 20). Figure 20. Double click on the Instances icon in the expanded model tree. If this step was done correctly. Create Instance Dialog Box  The I-BEAM part is selected by default because only one part has been created for this tutorial.

Creating a Step   A Step is where the user defines the type of loading.01. The Create Step dialog box should look identical to Figure 22b. The Create Step dialog box will appear (Figure 22a). e. Create Step Dialog Box (LOADING STEP) Click Continue…. General. Static or Dynamic. Create a Name for the step called LOADING STEP. Figure 22a. e. Create Step Dialog Box  Figure 22b. and the Edit Step dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 23). ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 15 REV 03.2011 . double click the Steps icon.g. support constraints and external loads (forces and moments). In the model tree. Under Procedure type choose General > Static. and defines the boundary conditions.g.

Create a Name for the boundary condition called FIXED. and under the Step dropdown menu make sure to choose Initial.Figure 23. and choose Symmetry/Antisymmetry/Encastre under the Types for Selected Step option. Apply Constraint Boundary Conditions   Boundary conditions will be defined which will simulate a fixed (also known as “clamped”) beam at one end and a roller boundary condition at the opposite end. Figure 24a. Create Boundary Condition Figure 24b. Double click BCs in the model tree and the Create Boundary Condition dialog box will appear (Figure 24a). Under the Category option choose Mechanical. Edit Step Dialog Box  Click OK to accept the default values for the various options. Create Boundary Condition (FIXED) ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 16 REV 03.01.2011 . The Create Boundary Condition dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 24b.

    Click Continue… In the viewport. Using the cursor click the yellow point at the left side of the beam. and choose Symmetry/Antisymmetry/Encastre under the Types for Selected Step option.01. The Create Boundary Condition dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 26b. the two visible yellow points will be located at either end of the beam. If this action is done correctly. Click ENCASTRE (U1=U2=U3=UR1=UR2=UR3=0). ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 17 REV 03. Edit Boundary Condition Dialog Box (FIXED)   Click OK. The Edit Boundary Condition dialog box will immediately appear. The Edit Boundary Condition dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 25. the point will turn from a yellow to red color. Create a Name for the boundary condition called ROLLER. Double click BCs in the model tree.2011 . Under the Category option choose Mechanical. and the Create Boundary Condition dialog box will appear (Figure 26a). Click Done. A roller boundary condition will be applied to the right side of the beam model. and under the Step dropdown menu make sure to choose Initial. Figure 25.

2011 . The Edit Boundary Condition dialog box will immediately appear. the point will turn from a yellow to red color. Using the cursor click the yellow point at the right side of the beam. Figure 27. Click PINNED (U1=U2=U3= 0). Create Boundary Condition   Figure 26b. Create Boundary Condition (ROLLER)   Click Continue… In the viewport the two visible yellow points will be located at either end of the beam.Figure 26a. If this action is done correctly. Edit Boundary Condition Dialog Box (ROLLER)  Click OK. Click Done.01. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 18 REV 03. The Edit Boundary Condition dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 27.

Edit Load Dialog Box  Figure 29b. nine evenly spaced yellow arrows will appear on the model pointing in the –Y direction (Figure 30). In the Model Tree click the + to the left of the Loads(1) option. The model tree will expand and should look identical to Figure 31. Figure 30.Figure 29a. If this action was done correctly.01. Distributed Loading Condition   Because this project tutorial calls for three different loading conditions on the beam. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 20 REV 03. Edit Load Dialog Box (10lb/in) Click OK.2011 . the created distributed load will be “suppressed” so that multiple loads can be created with no confusion.

Model Tree Expansion (Loads)  Using the cursor. Scroll over the Suppress option and right click. a lumped load will be added to the model. Applying a Lumped Load to the Beam  Now that the distributed load has been suppressed.01.2011 .Figure 31. it would be of interest to create a Set so that a concentrated force can be applied to a specific set of nodes. Also the yellow arrows pointing in the –Y direction in the model will disappear. Suppress Distributed Load  If this action has been done correctly. Figure 32. Make sure to double click the Sets option that is underneath the I-BEAM part in the model tree (Figure 33). Double click Sets in the model tree. Because the lumped load will be only added to certain nodes of the model. right click DISTRIBUTED (Figure 32).  ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 21 REV 03. a small red X will appear to the left of DISTRIBUTED in the model tree.

and under the type option make sure to choose Node. Figure 34a. Create a Name for the set called INNER NODES.Figure 33. Create Set Dialog Box   Figure 34b. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 22 REV 03. draw a box around the model excluding the two outermost edges (Figure 35). Sets Option in Model Tree  The Create Set dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 34a).01.2011 . The Create Set dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 34b. Using the cursor. Create Set Dialog Box (INNER NODES) Click Continue… The model will change to a turquoise color.

Edit Load Dialog Box (LUMPED) Click OK. 15 yellow arrows will appear pointing in the – Y direction on the set of inner nodes (Figure 39). Figure 38a. Because only one set has been created. click I-BEAM-1.INNER NODES.01. click Sets… and the Region Selection dialog box will immediately appear. Edit Load Dialog Box  Figure 38b. This entry will prescribe a force of 62. The Region Selection dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 37.5 in the CF2: option. 24 REV 03. Region Selection Dialog Box   Click Continue… The Edit Load dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 38a). The Edit Load dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 38b. Enter a value of -62.  Click Continue… In the bottom right-hand corner of the viewport.5 lbs in the – Y direction at each of the interior nodes in the selected set. Figure 37.2011 ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL . If this procedure has been done correctly.

Up to this point. Click Done.2011 . If so. Enter a value of 32. Figure 41a. Edit Load Dialog Box (MOMENT) Creating a Job  To create a job for this model.552 in the CM3: option. perform the analysis. the use of the underline in the name. The Edit Load dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 41a). Using the cursor. double click the Jobs icon in the model tree. If this node has been selected correctly. create a Name for this job called CONSISTENT_LOAD. Blank spaces are not allowed in a job name. click Dismiss. Thus. where q is the distributed load per inch and L is the effective length of a beam element. The Create Job dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 42.01.    Click Continue… You may be prompted by the Region Selection Dialog Box. Figure 41b. click the node on the right end of the beam. The concentrated moment is equal to qL2/12.e. Edit Load Dialog Box  Click OK. The Edit Load dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 41b. it will turn a red color. In the Create Job dialog box. A job will take the input file created by the preprocessor and process the model. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 26 REV 03. i. L = 100/16 in. you have been preprocessing the model.

Create Job Dialog Box (CONSISTENT_LOAD)   Click Continue… The Edit Job dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 43). Figure 43.2011 .01.Figure 42. Edit Job Dialog Box  Accept the default values and click OK. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 27 REV 03.

At the top of the screen. Set Work Directory  The Set Work Directory screen will immediately appear (Figure 45). setting the work directory must be accomplished. Click OK. Click Select… and use standard Windows practice to select (and possibly create) a subdirectory.2011 . Figure 45. Set Work Directory (FOLDERS)   Click OK. click File and in the dropdown menu click Set Work Directory… (Figure 44). Figure 44. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 28 REV 03.Setting the Work Directory  To ensure that the input files write to the correct folder.01.

Figure 46. type abaqus inter j=CONSISTENT_LOAD and then hit Enter.A) then hit Enter.inp) of this model to the work directory.inp)    To write the input file of the job that was created. If the job has completed successfully the Abaqus prompt should look similar to Figure 46. It may be helpful to go to the folder on the computer to which the work directory is set to ensure that the input file was written there. Model Analysis (ABAQUS Command) Method #1      Go to the Start Menu and open Abaqus Command ABAQUS is set to a default directory (Example E:\>). This choice will write an input file (. Right click the job called CONSISTENT_LOAD and click the Write Input option. D:) then hit Enter.. To access a specific directory within that drive type cd followed by the specific folder name in that directory (e. first click the + next to Jobs(1) in the model tree.01.g. Abaqus Command Prompt (COMPLETED) ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 29 REV 03. type the drive ID of choice followed by a colon (e.g..Writing the Input File (. To change hard drive partitions in the Abaqus Command. cd APPLIED STRENGTHS T. Now that the correct directory has been sourced in the command window.2011 .

2011 . return to view the ABAQUS CAE viewport.Method #2    An alternative method for submitting an *. The model will now be submitted for analysis by ABAQUS and the progress can be viewed in the status window at the bottom of the screen.  ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 30 REV 03.01. The intent of this warning is to prevent the user from accidentally overwriting a previously completed analysis with the same name. Postprocessing using ABAQUS CAE   After the analysis has successfully completed in the Abaqus Command window using method #1 or using Method #2. If this selection was done correctly. Because the last step of creating the model was to create a job/write (and possibly submit) an input file. the CONSISTENT_LOAD job should still be highlighted in ABAQUS CAE model tree. If you see a warning:  Click OK. Right click the CONSISTENT_LOAD and then click Results.inp file for processing by ABAQUS can be accomplished with ABAQUS CAE Right click the job called CONSISTENT_LOAD and click the Submit option. the model should turn to a green color and the model will have rotated to an isometric view (Figure 47).

ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 31 REV 03. Views Toolbar  To view the deformed shape of the model. Next. click the Plot Contours on Deformed Shape icon in the Visualization module. The model should look similar to that in Figure 49. and the Apply Front View button can be clicked to view the model in the X Y plane. Click Toolbars and make sure the option Views has a checkmark to the left of it.2011 . Analysis Results Isometric View  To rotate the beam back into the X Y plane for viewing. click View in the toolbar at the top of the screen. The Views toolbar will appear (Figure 48).  Figure 48.Figure 47.01. If not. then click it.

ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 32 REV 03. Click Add Before… and the dialog box will disappear. a red line will connect appear on that particular element. Deformed Shape Obtaining Displacement Plots  To obtain a plot of the nodal displacement. Create Path Dialog Box (LENGTH) Click Continue… The Edit Edge List Path dialog box will immediately appear. a path must be created.2011 . Double click Paths in the model tree and the Create Path dialog box will appear (Figure 50a).01. all of the elements on the beam starting from the left end.Figure 49. As each element is selected. Create Path Dialog Box   Figure 50b. Figure 50a. At this click. The Create Path dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 50b. Create a Name for the path called LENGTH and ensure that Edge list is selected under Type. The model geometry should look identical to that in Figure 51.

and 33 REV 03.Figure 51. The Create XY Data dialog box will appear (Figure 52a). Under Source. choose the Path option (Figure 52b). Create XY Data Dialog Box   Figure 52b. Figure 52a. under the Y Values option click Field Output… and the Field Output dialog box will immediately appear (Figure 53a). The Edit Edge List Path dialog box will immediately appear. Under the Primary Variable tab click U Spatial displacements at nodes. Now that the path has been created.01. Under the X Values option click True Distance. Path of Elements   Click Done. Click OK.2011 ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL . click the Create XY Data icon in the Visualization module. Create XY Data Dialog Box (PATH) Click Continue… The XY Data from Path dialog box will appear.

The Field Output dialog box should look identical to that in Figure 53b. The viewport should change from viewing the deformed shape of the model to a plot (Figure 54). Field Output Dialog Box (U2) Click OK. Figure 54. Click Plot.01.under the Component option click U2. The Field Output dialog box will disappear and the XY Data from Path dialog box will reappear.2011 . Figure 53a. Plot of Y deflection (U2) ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 34 REV 03. Field Output Dialog Box  Figure 53b.

2011 .  Figure 55. click the XY Data Manager icon in the Visualization module. To view the numerical values of the Y displacement of the beam. Edit XY Data Dialog Box  Click OK in the Edit XY Data dialog box. XY Data Manager Dialog Box  Double Click _temp_1 and an Edit XY Data dialog box will appear (Figure 56). These are the X and Y values which generate the plot. ABAQUS CAE BEAM TUTORIAL 35 REV 03.  Click Cancel. Click Dismiss in the XY Data Manager dialog box. The XY Data Manager dialog box will appear (Figure 55). The values can be cut and pasted into Excel for further postprocessing. This option is located directly to the right of the Create XY Data option.01. Figure 56.