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Introduction

Newtons first law, or more particularly its corollary, is the cornerstone of static

analysis: if a body is in equilibrium then the some of the forces acting on the body

must be zero.

second law states that the rate of change of momentum of a body, in a particular

direction, is equal to the applied force in that direction.

d (mv )

= Force Equation (1)

dt

dv

m = Force or simply mass acceleration = Force

dt

equation i.e.

Consider the behaviour of the simple dynamic system shown in Figure 1.

m

k

Figure 1.

If the mass is given an initial displacement from its static position and then released.

Then the mass will oscillate about its equilibrium position.

x m

k

Figure 2.

If the spring is linear then the force applied to the mass by the spring is;

k

and hence, from Newtons second law, the acceleration of the mass is &x& = x,

m

which has the form;

&x& = 2 x Equation (3)

k

where = Equation (4)

m

displacement of the mass is plotted against time then the result is as shown in Figure

3.

2 pi

A

wt

Figure 3.

Note:

2 m

= = 2 Equation (6)

k

1 1 k

fn = = Equation (7)

2 m

x& (0)

is given by x= sin n t + x(0 ) cos n t Equation (9)

n

Energy Formulation

The fundamental differential for the dynamic system in the previous example was

obtained directly. Other methods of formulating the differential equations of dynamic

equations exist. One potential approach is the energy approach. A conservative

system is one in which energy is not lost. Un-damped elastic systems can often be

considered as conservative systems. In such a system the total energy does not

change. Thus, if T is the total kinetic energy of the system and U is the potential

energy of the system then

d

T + U = Constant and hence, (T + U ) = 0 Equation (10)

dt

In particular, if the reference position for the potential energy is chosen such that U=0

at the static position then the equation can be formulated as

Multi Degree of Freedom Systems

The previous section explored a single degree of freedom system. However, most

dynamic systems cannot be described in terms of a single degree of freedom.

However, by using DAlemberts principle we can formulate the dynamic equation by

developing equivalent static equilibrium equations that incorporate inertial forces.

system, which is similar in form to the standard static equation;

Where the forces acting on the body include the inertial forces, thus

{x&}. Thus, the general dynamic equation for a linear multi-degree-of-freedom system

is described by the equation;

Where both the forcing function { f (t )} and the displacements {x(t )} are functions of

time.

Before considering how this dynamic equation can be solved let us consider the

various terms, or at least some of the components of the terms. The matrix [K ] is the

stiffness matrix of the structure, hence, it is completely defined by the structure and

should be relatively easy to calculate, either by hand or by extracting the stiffness

matrix from a structural analysis package having constructed an appropriate structural

model. The mass matrix [M ] is also defined by the mass of the components of the

structure and again can be calculated either by hand, which is relatively easy if a

lumped mass model is used, or taken from a structural analysis package. The

damping matrix [C ] is more difficult to quantify and for this reason, and because

damping will generally tend to limit the response of the structure, damping is often

omitted and the un-damped response sought. Finally, it is assumed that the forcing

function { f (t )} is known. However, many useful analyses can be carried out for the

particular case where there is no external forcing function.

freedom linear system will now be considered. These approaches are not necessarily

independent.

Time Stepping

The fundamental equation, Equation (14),

gives a snapshot in time. At a particular instant in time the forces, real and inertial

must balance. However, what is generally sought are expressions for {x(t )}. There a

many approaches to getting such results from the fundamental equation but perhaps

the most versatile, robust and conceptually simple approach is that of time stepping.

Put simply, if we know the displacements, velocities and accelerations of the system

at a particular instant then we can calculate the displacements, velocities and

accelerations at a short time interval later.

This is most easily seen by referring to a single degree of freedom system. If the

velocity, acceleration and displacement of the mass a simple system such as that

shown below are known at time t. At a time t + t later, the new displacement of the

system can be described by a Taylor series

t 2 t 3

x(t + t ) = x(t ) + x& (t ) t + &x&(t ) + &x&&(t ) +K Equation (16)

2! 3!

then we can make a very good guess at where we will be an instant later.

rearranged into the following form.

Thus, if we know the velocity and displacements at an instant we can calculate the

accelerations. Knowing the accelerations at time t we can then predict the velocity

and displacement of the system at an instant t later. The crudest approach would be

to assume that the force doesnt change during the time-step, a better approximation

assumes the force to vary linearly during the time step, with more sophisticated

algorithms modelling the variation of the acceleration more accurately.

Runge-Kutta

One popular algorithm for undertaking this time stepping is the Runge-Kutta method.

By introducing a dummy variable y = x& , Equation (17) can be expressed at two

equations, namely

y& = f ( x, y, t ) Equation (18b)

In the neighbourhood of xi and yi, x and y can be expressed using Taylor expansions.

Thus, letting h = t

dx d 2 x h2

x = xi + h + 2 +K Equation (19a)

dt i dt i 2

dy d 2 y h2

y = yi + h + 2 +K Equation (19b)

dt i dt i 2

Truncating the series after the first derivative but using an average value for the first

derivative gives,

dx

x = xi + h Equation (20a)

dt Average _ over (i i +h )

dy

y = yi + h Equation (20b)

dt Average _ over ( i i + h )

Clearly truncating the series this early is not a great idea in general unless the values

for the first derivatives are good averages for the average value during the time step,

i.e. not just the value at the start of the time step. Remember too that y is in fact x& and

dy

thus the average value of is in essence an average value for &x& .

dt

dx dy

Good values for the averages of and can be obtained by using Simpsons

dt dt

rule. Thus,

dy 1 dy dy dy

= + 4 + Equation (21)

dt Average _ over ( i i + h ) 6 dt ti dt ti + h 2 dt ti + h

dy

The Runge-Kutta procedure is very close to this except that is evaluated

dt ti + h 2

twice, the second time using an updated estimate for the force. The procedure is best

explained using the following table taken from Theory of Vibration with applications

by W.T. Thomson, published by Unwin Hyman.

Using the Runge-Kutta scheme x and y are evaluated four times during the time-step.

T1 at the start of the time-step, T2 and T3 half way through the time-step, and T4 at the

end of the time-step. At T1 the forces f (T1 , X 1 , Y1 ) , which govern the accelerations F1,

dy

i.e. the values, are evaluated on the basis of the initial values of xi and yi. At

dy

time T2 the xi + h and yi + h values half-way through the time-step are calculated based

2 2

on the accelerations at the start of the time-step. At time T3 the values of xi + h and

2

2

using accelerations based on the T3 accelerations.

h

xi + h = xi + [Y1 + 2Y2 + 2Y3 + Y4 ] Equation (22a)

6

h

yi + h = yi + [F1 + 2 F2 + 2 F3 + F4 ] Equation (22b)

6

Note:

The Runge-Kutta is not unconditionally stable and the output from this routine has to

be vetted. Nevertheless, it tends to give good results and can be used for non-linear

analysis. Furthermore, this method is self-starting. In general, the duration of the time-

step should be limited to less than one tenth of the period of oscillation.

Natural Response Free Vibration

The homogenous equation, Equation (15)

describes the response of a linear system in the absence of external forces. One trivial

solution to this system of equations is {x}, {x&} and {&x&} equal to zero. However, there

are other solutions. The natural modes of the system are the patterns of oscillation that

the structure will tend to oscillate in if disturbed.

The natural frequencies of a system are very important. If an external loading function

has a periodic component matching one or more of the natural frequencies then

resonance may occur with the effect that the amplitude of the oscillation will increase

until it is either restricted by damping, or the structure fails. See the video clip on the

Tacoma Narrows collapse in the Advanced Structures directory)

The natural modes of vibration and their corresponding frequencies can be found by

solving the equation

[[K ] [M ]]{x} = 0

2

Equation (23)

[A] [I ] = 0 ). For the non-trivial case where {x} 0 this equates to finding the

values for 2 for which the determinate of

[K ] 2 [M ] = 0 Equation (24)

Once the values of the natural frequencies, s, have been found the corresponding

mode shapes (eigenvectors) can be obtained by substituting the known value of

back into Equation (23).

For example, for a three degree of freedom system and the fundamental natural

frequency (smallest value of 2 ) Equation (23) becomes,

2

k13 1 m13 x1 0

2

k 21 1 m21 k 22 1 m22 k 23 1 m23 x2 = 0

2 2 2

2 2

This equation has no unique solution because the right hand side equals zero. The

mode shape gives the relative magnitudes of the displacement at the different degrees

of freedom. Therefore it is necessary to seed the problem by setting the magnitude of

one of the displacements to 1. Thereafter it is possible to solve for the other

magnitudes uniquely. Thus for example,

1 0 0 x1 1

k 2 m

k 22 1 m22 k 23 1 m23 x2 = 0

2 2

21 1 21 Equation (25)

k31 1 m31 k32 1 m32 k33 1 m33 x3 0

2 2 2

The eigenvectors of a system are orthogonal with respect to both the mass and

stiffness matrices. If the eigenvectors of a system are 1 , 2 , 3 , K , n then,

and

Modal Analysis

The displaced shape of a structural system can be described in term of its natural

mode shapes (eigenvectors). Thus, if the mode shapes are {1 }, { 2 }, {3 }, K , { n } then

the displaced shape {x} can be written in the form

where

1 ( x1 ) 2 ( x1 ) 3 ( x1 ) n ( x1 )

[ ] = [{1} {2 } {3 } L{ n }] = M M M L M

1 ( xn ) ( x )

2 n

( x )

3 n

( x )

n n

Since, the displacement of the system can be expressed in terms of the mode shapes

the response of the system in time can also be expressed in term of the mode shapes.

Thus,

Of course versions of Equations (26) and (27) could be constructed using any set of

independent vectors. However, using expressing the response of a system in terms of

its eigenvectors has two main advantages.

The eigenvectors of a structural system define the characteristics of the system.

Furthermore, the eigenvector associated with the 1st natural frequency (i.e. the lowest

frequency) is the most indicative of the systems characteristics, followed by the

eigenvector associated with the 2nd natural frequency (2nd lowest frequency) and so on

down to the last eigenvector. In many cases, truncating Equations (26) or (27) so that

the response of the structure is described in terms of a limited number of eigenvectors

does not have a large effect on the overall accuracy of the representation. The

advantage is that a problem with a large number of degrees of freedom can be reduced

to a problem with a very small number of degrees of freedom. This can be

particularly beneficial where techniques such as time-stepping, which may be

computationally expensive, are involved.

Advantage 2 Separation of the modal responses

Consider Equation (14) for the particular case where the damping is zero

1

the result is

particularly interesting.

Taking Equation (31) term by term. The first term contains the product

mG1 0 0

0 mG 2 0

[ ]T [M ][ ] = [M G ] = Equation (32)

O M

0 0 L mGn

which is referred to as the generalised mass matrix. This matrix is diagonal (i.e. it has

the property that it has non-zero entries on the leading diagonal only). The generalised

stiffness matrix,

k G1 0 0

0 kG 2 0

[ ] [K ][ ] = [K G ] =

T

Equation (33)

O M

0 0 L kGn

Has the same property. This property arises from the orthogonal properties of the

eigenvectors.

T

force vector.

f G1

f

[ ]T { f } = {FG } = G 2 Equation (34)

M

f Gn

Thus Equation (31), which has the same solution as Equation (30), is in a form where

the response of each mode is independent of all the other modes. For example, the

response of the first mode of the system will be governed by the equation,

mM 1Y&&1 + k M 1Y1 = f M 1 Equation (35)

Equation (35) describes the response of a single degree of freedom system. Therefore

identifying the response of the structure is equivalent to summing the response of n

(or less than n) single-degree-of-freedom systems.

The overall response in the natural coordinates {x} can be obtained from the modal

response {Y } via Equation (28).

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