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Analysis types

Structural analysis
Structural analysis is probably the most common application of the finite element method.
The term structural (or structure) implies not only civil engineering structures such as bridges
and buildings, but also naval, aeronautical, and mechanical structures such as ship hulls,
aircraft bodies, and machine housings, as well as mechanical components such as pistons,
machine parts, and tools.
Static analysis
A static analysis calculates the effects of steady loading conditions on a structure, while
ignoring inertia and damping effects, such as those caused by time-varying loads. A static
analysis can, however, include steady inertia loads (such as gravity and rotational velocity),
and time-varying loads that can be approimated as static e!uivalent loads (such as the
static e!uivalent wind and seismic loads commonly defined in many building codes).
Static analysis is used to determine the displacements, stresses, strains, and forces in
structures or components caused by loads that do not induce significant inertia and damping
effects. Steady loading and response conditions are assumed" that is, the loads and the
structure#s response are assumed to vary slowly with respect to time. The $inds of loading
that can be applied in a static analysis include%
&'ternally applied forces and pressures
&Steady-state inertial forces (such as gravity or rotational velocity)
&(mposed (non)ero) displacements
&Temperatures (for thermal strain)
&*luences (for nuclear swelling)
Modal analysis
+ou use modal analysis to determine the vibration characteristics (natural fre!uencies and
mode shapes) of a structure or a machine component while it is being designed. (t also can
be a starting point for another, more detailed, dynamic analysis, such as a transient dynamic
analysis, a harmonic response analysis, or a spectrum analysis.
Harmonic analysis
Any sustained cyclic load will produce a sustained cyclic response (a harmonic response) in
a structural system. Harmonic response analysis gives you the ability to predict the sustained
dynamic behavior of your structures, thus enabling you to verify whether or not your designs
will successfully overcome resonance, fatigue, and other harmful effects of forced vibrations.
Buckling analysis
,uc$ling analysis is a techni!ue used to determine buckling loads-critical loads at which a
structure becomes unstable -and buckled mode shapes-the characteristic shape associated
with a structure#s buc$led response.