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Modal Analysis

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Eigensolution Example

1 1 0

A 1 2 1

0 1 1

This matrix is in fact the stiffness matrix for a two-element bar, with (EA/L) set equal to

1. Let us now find the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of A.

Ax x

where A is as given above, x is a vector (in this case, 3-by-1) and is a scalar value.

Thus, we can rewrite the equation as

A I x 0

where I is an identity matrix, in this case the (3x3) identity.

One solution to the equation above, of course, is x = 0. This solution is trivial, though,

and we seek solutions where x 0 . Within linear algebra, there is a provision for such

non-trivial solutions. It turns out that x need not equal zero, if the determinant of the

coefficient matrix [A I] is zero. Thus, we first find values of which make the

determinant zero, then we use these values in the eigenequation to find the non-zero x

vectors. Note that these non-trivial solutions can often have physical meaning, as further

mentioned below.

(1 ) 1 0

A I 1 (2 ) 1

0 1 (1 )

The determinant can be expanded, simplified and factored to yield the three solutions (the

eigenvalues of A)

1 0

2 1

3 3

Each of these eigenvalues is now placed into the equation [A-I]x = 0, and the resulting

set is solved for x. For the example of 3, only, we get

[ A 3 ] x 3 0

(1 3) 1 0 x1 0

1 (2 3)

1 x 2 0

0 1 (1 3) x3 3 0

or

2 x1 x 2 0

x1 x 2 x3 0

x 2 2 x3 0

which has solutions

x2 = -2x1

x3 = x1

1

and x1 is any arbitrary value. Thus, the solution x1 2 is the eigenvector of A,

1

corresponding to the eigenvalue = 3.

In the case of vibrations, the eigenvalues are related to the natural frequencies of the

system, and the eigenvectors are related to the motions of the system, when the system

vibrates at the natural frequencies. In the case of buckling analysis, the eigenvalues

represent limit loads for bifurcation buckling, and the eigenvectors again represent the

deflected shapes of the structure.

The eigenvalue problem derived in the course notes, [ K M 2 ]x 0 , is not set up for

efficient computational solution. In addition, if the eigenproblem is solved AS IS,

important and useful information will be missed. As a result, it is more common to solve

a related auxiliary problem, the mass-normalized problem.

To see how this works, first expand the equation above, and recognize that 2x is the

second time derivative of x. Thus we get back to our original equation

Mx Kx 0

decomposed into a Lower Triangular matrix L and its transpose:

M LLT

LLT x Kx 0 Lq K ( LT q)

~

L1 Lq L1 KLT q 0 q Kq

where

~

K L1 KLT

q ue jt q 2 ue jt 2 q

hence,

[ K I 2 ]q 0

The final form of the eigenproblem above is now computationally easier to solve for the

squared natural frequencies, and also has the desirable property that the q vectors are

mutually orthogonal and form a spanning set, so that the q vectors can be used to describe

the motion of the system, even if the system is subsequently damped and/or forced.

The q vectors are known as the MODE SHAPES of the system, and can be used in both

harmonic response and transient response analyses. In particular, if the q vectors are

normalized to unit length (that is, each divided by its own magnitude to create an

equivalently-directed vector of unit length) the set of normalized vectors are orthonormal,

and form a spanning set for solutions to forced problems. This is the basis of the MODE

SUPERPOSITION methods of dynamic analysis. In addition, these orthonormal vectors

can be used to further decouple the dynamic equation, making it easy to incorporate

damping as either modal damping or as proportional damping.

Harmonic Analysis

Suppose we have a body known to be subject to harmonic (sinusoidal) loading. The load

may be at any frequency, so let us call this frequency . The finite element equation set

will appear as

Mx Kx F0 sin t

In harmonic analysis, we assume the response, x(t) to be harmonic as well. (Harmonic

analysis only calculates steady-state response of the structure.) In that case, we have

x x0 sin t

x 2 x0 sin t

K M x

2

0 F0

x0 K 2 M F0 1

with all of this assuming sufficient boundary conditions have been applied to allow for

the inversion. Note that the solution is relatively simple, so long as K, M do not need to

be recalculated. That is, harmonic analysis is for linear analyses, only.

Recall that the interpolation used in deriving the element stiffness matrix may be written

as

u Nd

where

u is the generalized displacement of the element

N is a set of interpolation functions, chosen by the element designer

d is the set of nodal displacements of the element

1 2

The kinetic energy of a particle is found as T mv , which for a distributed mass must

2

be modified to

1 2 1

T

2 v dm (v T v)dV

2

where

is density,

V is the volume of the particle,

and the substitution of vTv for v2 is done for purposes of dimensional consistency in the

(upcoming) linear algebra.

Using the interpolation functions above, and noting that velocity v is the first derivative

(with respect to time) of displacement u, and that the interpolation functions N are

functions of position only (not functions of time,) we can see

1

T d N T NdV d

2 element

The integral in the last equation above represents the mass of the element, consistent with

the interpolated displacements. It is, thus, the CONSISTENT MASS MATRIX.

For completeness, note that the d term is nodal displacement, and if d is assumed

harmonic, then d d 0 e jt d jd d d 2 (d d ) , which is consistent with all

of the other derivations thus far: the mass matrix will end up multiplied by 2. Also

d

note that the equation of motion will come from the derivative equation (U T ) 0

dt

for a conservative mechanical system (U is potential energy, not addressed here.) Hence

the factor of and one of the d terms will vanish in the final equation of motion, and

we end up with

[ 2 M K ]d 0 ,

exactly as in the previous derivations. Note here that the form of the matrix equation just

completed is an eigenvalue problem defined in the first section of this document: if 2 are

chosen properly, the determinant of the combined matrix will be zero, allowing d to be

non-zero.

In IMPLICIT dynamic analysis (used in Abaqus/Standard, and thus for modal and

harmonic analyses,) the finite element equations are solved at every time step, as if the

previous time steps were not important. That is, there is no true time variation taken

into consideration. Perhaps one could think of this as a situation where you might make a

plot by, instead of knowing the function y(t), you find values of y at specified values of t,

and simply connect the dots on a chart. The dots will trace a curve that indicates time

variation, but the dots themselves were each calculated using only the time value that is

current time for each dot.

In EXPLICIT dynamic analysis, time variation is taken into consideration, and the

equations are solved by numeric integration from one time step to the next. There is

more room for error when an explicit analysis is used, but the analysis is typically much

faster, because finite element equations need not be solved at each iteration.

d2y

Take a simple differential equation, say, y sin x 0 . Rename the variable y to y1

dx 2

and its derivative with respect to x as y2. Then:

y1 y

dy1

y2

dx

dy 2 d 2 y

2 y1 sin x

dx dx

dy1

dx 0 1 y1 0

dy y sin x

2

1 0 2

dx

The result is just a simple restatement of the initial differential equation as a set of

coupled first-order DEs. Now, if we know the initial velocity (y2) and initial position

(y1), we can calculate their time derivatives at time 0, and numerically integrate over a

small time frame to get their values at the next time step. These then feed back into the

equation and are used to calculate new derivatives, so the process continues.

In a finite element problem, the mass and stiffness matrices (M and K) appear as

coefficients of the second derivative term and the zeroth order term, respectively. The

coefficient matrix above (containing ones and zeros, only) would have M and K in it, but

otherwise the general process is the same as outlined above, when the idea is extended to

FEA.

For linear analyses, M and K are not allowed to change as the analysis proceeds, so there

is never any need to solve FE equations to recalculate M or K. In nonlinear analysis, we

DO need to recalculate M and K periodically, which is one reason nonlinear analysis is

slow. The time savings of the explicit method becomes critical, then. Thus, Abaqus only

uses the implicit method for linear analyses.

Damping

Motions of a structure are, of course, non-perpetual. All motion must eventually cease.

In the mathematics of finite elements, we usually incorporate this effect by use of a

damping matrix.

velocity. Thus, we get Mx Cx Kx F (t ) . C is the damping matrix.

When the damping matrix C is not empty then the modal problem becomes one where the

eigenvalues are complex. This is not in itself a problem, and the complex eigenvalues

have true engineering implications. The real part of the eigenvalue represents

exponential decay of the solution, and the imaginary part represents oscillatory motion.

However, it is difficult to solve the equations to find these complex eigenvalues if C is

allowed to take any given value. Thus, experience has shown that there are some ways to

introduce damping that are better than others. The most common ways are to either input

modal damping ratios or to use proportional damping.

Modal damping ratios insert a constant damping ratio into each equation of modal

response, after decoupling the system of equations. The mathematics is covered in any

standard text on vibrations. The damping ratio is the ratio of true damping coefficient to

the theoretical critical damping ratio. A ratio of less than one is underdamped, so that

the mechanical response of the system is a decaying exponential. A ratio of unity or

greater indicates there will be no oscillatory response; a ratio of exactly one will cause

the quickest possible return to the equilibrium state.

When one uses modal damping ratios, typical values are on the order of 0.01 0.1,

though these are based on experience and it may be appropriate to use values far from the

values I have quoted.

approximate C. That is, we choose and and calculate C M K . Typically, a

and b are chosen based upon the first two resonant frequencies. Again, I refer you to a

text on vibrations.

(material property definitions are used, which in effect is similar to proportional

damping) and composite damping (for composite materials, only.)

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