Introduction to Finite Element Method

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Introduction to Finite Element Method

© All Rights Reserved

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ELEMENT METHOD

Basic Concept

blocks,

or

and manageable pieces.

1

Basic Concept

assemblage of a finite number of individual

structural components called “elements”.

number of ways,

represent complex geometry.

Basic Concept

FEM based on “Principle of discretization”

=

procedure in which a complex problem of

large extent is divided (discretized) into

smaller equivalent units.

2

Application

• Application of this idea can be found everywhere in

everyday life and in engineering.

• Examples:

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 5

Examples

beam bridge

3

Application to buildings

Steel frames

Concrete building

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 7

• Design analysis: hand calculations and

experiments are sometimes difficult to

conduct Computer simulation.

• FEM can model complex geometry,

variable cross sections, various geometries,

different properties, …

• FEM can be closely integrated with CAD

applications.

4

Advantages of the FEM

2- No restriction for the shape of the medium;

hence arbitrary and irregular geometries

cause no difficulty.

3- Accommodation of any type of BC.

4- Handle non-linearities, time-dependant Pb.

5- Valid for any engineering Pb.

• 1943: Courant (Variational Methods);

• 1956: Turner, Clough, Martin and Trop (Stiffness);

• 1960: Clough (“Finite Element”, plane problems);

• 1970s: Applications on mainframe computers;

• 1980s: Micocomputers, pre- and postprocessors;

• 1990s: Analysis of large structural systems.

5

Some Terminology

• FE: “small” elements (1D, 2D, 3D) obtained by

subdividing the given domain to be analyzed.

• Nodes or nodal points: intersections of the sides

of the elements.

• Nodal lines and nodal planes: interfaces

between elements.

• Linear elements: FE with straight sides.

• Higher order elements: FE with curved sides.

• Primary unknowns: nodal displacements

• Secondary unknowns: strains, stresses,

moments, shear forces, etc.

Basic procedure

• Step 1: Discretise the continuum: subdivide into elements: generate a mesh;

• Step 2: Select element displacement functions;

• Step 3: Calculate element properties: stiffness matrix [k].

• Step 4: obtain element load vector [F];

• Step 5: Assemble element properties (element stiffnesses global stiffness,

load vector).

• Step 6: Incorporate B.C. (set the element to the ground so disp = 0 or finite):

the stiffness matrix developed in step 5 will be modified to realize the

condition that disp of some coordinates = 0 or finite.

[F] = [K] {u} and {u}=[K]-1{F}. [K]: global stiffness matrix, [F]: vector of known forces

and {u}: displacements.

• Step 7: Determine displacements, strains and stresses

• Step 8: Check and iterate to eliminate precision errors if present.

6

Discretization

=

Process of separating the length, area or volume

into discrete (separate) parts or elements.

structure

elements

1-D elements

• Used for beams or frames

Node 1 Node 2 3

1 2

1

Curved element

2

7

2-D elements

Used ,for plane-wall, diaphragm, slab, shell, etc.

1- Triangular elements

3 3

3

5

6

6 5

1 2 1 1 2

4 2

4

3 nodes 6 nodes 6- nodes curved triangle

- Curved elements for 2-D domain with curved boundaries

2-D elements

2- Quadrilateral elements

8

3-D elements

Used for the analysis of solid bodies (stresses under

foundation, contact stress under point loads, etc).

Axisymmetric elements

Used in problems that are axisymmetric in nature.

9

Guidelines for discretization

• Discretization is a major decision making step in FEM.

• Simple structures: no problems.

• Most real structures: difficulties in

– processing of subdividing the structure;

– Numbering the nodes;

– Assigning coordinates to each node;

– Relating the structure coordinate numbers to elements numbers and

their coordinate number.

• In most FEM Software: discretization is handled automatically

by the “preprocessing” module of the software.

Examples of discretization

5

1 2 3 4 5 3 4

1 2

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

5 nodes and 4 elements 5 nodes and 4 elements

10

Examples of discretization

Material 1

Nodal line

Change in loading

Material 2

Change in material

capabilities of both hardware and software. But nowadays a

sufficient fine discretization of a whole structure can easily be

produced very Quickly by graphical preprocessors.

• Most new FE softwares provide automatic mesh generation;

• But this tool should not be used in an uncaring manner:

engineering knowledge is still required.

– An inadequate modeling of apparently irrelevant details (e.g. small

cantilever slab or opening in a slab) can lead to faulty result and

unsafe design.

– A sufficiently FE mesh should be used in regions of high deformation

pr stress gradients.

11

FE Equation

Direct method

ƒ1, u1 A,E ƒ2, u2

x

Node 1 Node 2

ℓ

ƒ1 EA 1 1 u1

ƒ 1 1 u

1 2

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 24

12

Element stiffness matrix of a prismatic bar:

Formal approach

ƒ1, u1 A,E ƒ2, u2

x

Node 1 Node 2

ℓ

Use conservation of energy: strain energy = work done by nodal forces

B 1 1

where

k T

E B dV : element stiffness matrix, with B

1 1

k EA

V

1 1

Same result !

E, 2A E, A

Example:

P x

1 2 3

1 2

Find stresses in the 2 bars

ℓ ℓ

u1 u2 u2 u3

1 1 EA 1 1

1 2EA k2

1 1 1 1

Element 1: k Element 2:

u1 u2 u3

2 2 0

EA

Global stiffness matrix K

2 3 1

0 1 1

13

Global FE equation

F1 2 2 0 u1

EA

F2 2 3 1 u2

F 0 1 1 u

3 3

Use B.C. and Loads condition: u1 = u3 = 0. and F2 = P.

F1 2 2 0 0

EA

P 2 3 1 u2

F 0 1 1 0

3

P

P EA

3 u2 u2

3 EA

u u E P P

1 E 1 E 2 1 0

3 EA 3A

u3 u 2 E P P

2 E 2 E 0

3 EA 3A

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 27

v02

Bar element in 2-D x, u02

in global coordinates E, A

2

y, v01 Y, v

1 α

x, u

Element stiffness matrix in u0 1

global coordinates

u1 v1 u2 v2

c 2

cs c cs u1

2

c = cos α

s 2 cs s 2 v1

k 2

EA cs

s= sin α

c cs c 2 cs u2

cs s s 2 v2

2

cs

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 28

14

Element stiffness matrix of a beam:

Direct method

F1, v1 F2, v2

E, I 2

1

x

M1, θ1 M2, θ2

Element stiffness equation:

v1 1 v2 2

F1 12 6 12 6 v1

M 6 4 2 6 2 2

1 EI 1

F2 3 12 6 12 6 v2

M 2 6 2 6 4 2

Formal approach

Strain energy stored in, the beam element

k BT EI B dx

0

with the strain-displacement matrix B:

6 12 x 4 6 x 6 12 x 2 6x

B 2 3 2 3 2

2

12 6 12 6

6 4 2 6 2 2

EI

obtain the same result k 3

12 6 12 6

6 2 6 4

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 30

15

Local Stiffness matrix of a general 2-D beam element:

u1 v1 1 u2 v2 2

EA EA

0 0 0 0

12 EI 6 EI 12 EI 6 EI

0 0

3 2 3 2

0 6 EI 4 EI

0

6 EI

2

2 EI

2

k

EA EA

0 0 0 0

0

12 EI

6 EI

0

12 EI 6 EI

2

3 2 3

6 EI 2 EI 6 EI 4 EI

0 0 2

2

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 31

element in a global coordinate system:

v02

y, v x0, u02

2

E, A M2, θ2

y0, v01

α

1

u01 M1, θ1

x, u

16

u1 v1 1 u2 v2 2

EA 2 12 EI 2 EA 12 EI 6 EI EA 2 12 EI 2 EA 12 EI 6 EI

c 3 s

cs 3 cs

3

s

c 3 s

cs 3 cs

2

s

EA 12 EI EA 2 12 EI 2 6 EI EA 12 EI EA 2 12 EI 6EI

cs 3 cs s 3 c c cs 3 cs s 3 cs c

2 2

6 EI 6 EI 4 EI 6 EI EA 2 6 EI 2 EI

s c s c 2 s

k 2

2

2

EA 2 12 EI 2 EA 12 EI 6 EI EA 2 6 EI 2 EA 12 EI 6 EI

c 3 s cs 3 cs s c 2 s cs 3 cs s

2 2

EA cs 12 EI cs EA s 2 12 EI c 2 6 EI EA 12 EI

c cs 3 cs

EA 2 12 EI 2

s 3 c

6 EI

c

3 3 2 2

6 EI 6 EI 2 EI 6 EI 6 EI 4 EI

s c s c

2

2 2 2

This step needs the use of the computer (mainly if stiffness matrix exceeds 5 x 5)

because it needs to invert the matrix.

- Unit diagonal method;

- Large diagonal method;

- Row column delete method.

17

Calculation of primary unknowns

Features of the assembled stiffness matrix

1) The stiffness matrix has its non-zeros terms along its

main diagonal (terms distant from the diagonal are 0).

2) Stiffness matrices are symmetric: advantage in storing

the matrices.

Half band width Values to be stored

5 3 4

-Reduction of the 5 0 6 2

3 4 0 0

required storage memory 3 6 7 0

2 0 7

-Reduction of the 4 3 5

solution time 4 7 4 0

3 5 k

k 9 6 4

0 2 3 9

4 6

7 3 0

0 0 5 6 7 3

5 0 0

0 0 0 4 3 5

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 35

Solution of equations {u} = [k]-1 {F}

Linear problems Non Linear problems

(Gaussian elimination) (Jacobi, Gauss Seidal)

- Cholesky’s square root methods;

- Halfband Gauss elimination solution technique;

- Skyline technqiue

- Frontal solution technique.

18

Calculation of secondary unknowns

nodal displacement {u}

strain {ε}

Standard software give the output in a tabular form and on graphical form.

Results include:

- Refined colored graphics;

- Direct stresses σx, σy;

-Shear stresses xy; maximum shear, etc.

Summary:

Computer implementations

• Preprocessing (build FE model, loads and

constraints);

• FE Analysis solver (assemble and solve the

system of equations);

• Postprocessing (sort and display the results).

19

Conclusions:

Procedures of FEM in Structural Analysis

1) Divide structure into elements with nodes;

2) Describe the behavior of the physical quantities on each

element;

3) Assemble (connect) the elements at the nodes to form an

approximate system of equations for the whole structure;

4) Solve the system of equations involving unknown quantities

at the nodes (e.g., displacements);

5) Calculate desired quantities (e.g., strains and stresses) at

the selected elements.

N.B.: be aware of the limitations of the FEM: such as loads

application is imposed (no moving loads), and do not

misuse the FEM (it is a numerical tool).

M. Ben Ouezdou, University of Nizwa, 2011 39

References

1- Yijun Liu, “Introduction to Finite Element Method”,

Lecture notes, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA,

1998.

Structural Analysis”, 2nd ed., Laxmi Publication ed.,

New Delhi, 2008.

20

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