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Tal Bar-Or, Samuel H. Gilbert, Lucas G. Hartman, & Wilson R. Pulling University of Pennsylvania; Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics 229 Towne Building | 220 S. 33rd Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104-6315

**โSimplicity is the ultimate sophistication.โ โLeonardo Da Vinci
**

INTRODUCTION Team Carchidi designed a trebuchet arm to be constructed with acrylic truss elements. Load computations were performed with a supplied MATLAB script to maximize the strength-to-weight ratio of the structure. The motivations behind this project were to gain valuable design experience and to expand our understanding of load levels throughout truss members. GOALS This project was aimed at optimizing the strength-to-weight ratio of a truss structure (defined as the failure load of the truss divided by its total weight) while adhering to a list of dimensional and strength specifications. Each requirement is detailed below. Structure Size and Supports The truss had to be 50 ๐๐ long, supported at the left end by two points A and G at least 5 ๐๐ apart and no more than 10 ๐๐ apart. Truss elements were not to cross each other. Truss elements that met had to end, and be connected by pin elements that could transmit loads. Material The truss was designed to be constructed of acrylic, with a density of 1200 ๐๐ โ ๐โ3 . Element Area The cross-sectional area, ๐ด# , of each truss member could vary but had to be a minimum of 4 ร 10โ5 ๐2 . Load Requirements The truss had a design load of ๐น๐ถ = 120 ๐. The load was to be applied vertically at the right end of the truss. Factor of Safety The truss had to have a factor of safety of at least 2.0, meaning it had to resist at least load of up to twice the design load without failure, per the criteria listed below: Yield: The magnitude of stress could not exceed |๐น# | โ ๐ด# = 15 ๐๐๐ = 15 ร 106 ๐ โ ๐โ2 in any member. No truss member in compression can have the magnitude of its load, ๐น# , exceed the value ๐ 2 ๐ธ๐ด# 2 โ12๐ฟ# 2 , where ๐ฟ# is the memberโs length, and ๐ธ is the Youngโs Modulus of each member (๐ธ = 2.5 ๐บ๐๐ = 2.5 ร 109 ๐ โ ๐โ2 ). This formula assumes a square cross-section. Buckling will not occur in tension.

Buckling:

Stiffness The truss structure as a whole had to have a minimum stiffness of 5 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 . This was calculated at the node where the maximum load was applied. The stiffness was calculated as the ratio of the applied force (design load) to the magnitude of the vertical deflection at the point of application. METHOD The truss script was downloaded off of Blackboard and saved into a working directory. The design optimization process consisted of multiple iterations. Each iteration started with the design of a new and/or improved truss on

1

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

**Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling
**

paper. Using a text editor, the input files for the Matlab script were edited to reflect each new truss structure to be analyzed. The first iteration of each unique design was performed using the minimum weight possible for that structure (meaning all members had the minimum allowable cross-sectional area). The script was then executed, followed by mathematical post-processing of its output data, which was done in Excel. The calculations performed will be outlined in Appendices section of this report. Each iteration was based off of the previous designโs failures and successes. For example, when a member in an intermediate design was found to have a stress within the allowable tolerance, its cross sectional area was gradually decreased until its stress was just below the tolerance. This saved weight without compromising the structureโs factor of safety. Similarly, when a specific member of the truss structure would have failed by buckling, its crosssectional area was gradually increased up until it met the required specifications to not fail. By addressing each failure point individually, it was possible to meet all specifications while maximizing the strength-to-weight ratio. The opening quote by Da Vinci exemplifies the approach used to designing the truss. To this end, the very first iteration was a simple triangular arrangement of three truss members, as depicted below in Figure 1. Building on this design, several iterations of varying complexity took place to yield the design of the final truss. Figure 1 โ Truss Iteration A

**Figure 2 - Deformation and Distribution of Loads of Truss Iteration A Under Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต
**

Undeformed Tensile stress Compressive stress

0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 -0.05 -0.1

Y

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25 X

0.3

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

2

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling

Table 1 โ Truss Iteration A: Node Coordinates and Displacements Under Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต Node X-coordinate (m) Y-coordinate (m) Horizontal Displacement @ 240 N(m) Vertical Displacement @ 240 N (m)

A B C

0.0 0.5 0.0

0.1 0.1 0.0

0.00000 0.00200 0.00000

0.00000 -0.01350 -0.00024

Table 2 โ Truss Iteration A: Member Properties: Cross-sectional Area, Length, Youngโs Modulus, Stress Needed to Cause Yield, and Force Needed to Cause Buckling for Each Member Member Cross-sectional 2 area (m ) Length (m) Youngโs Modulus (GPa) Stress Needed to Yield (MPa) Compressive Force to Buckle (kN)

1 2 3

0.000120 0.000395 0.000040

0.500000 0.509902 0.100000

2.5 2.5 2.5

15 15 15

1.233898259 -

Table 3 โ Truss Iteration A: Stress and Buckling Force Experienced by Each Member at Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต Member Stress in Member @ 240 N (MPa) Force in Member @ 240 N (kN)

1 2 3

10.00 3.10 6.00

1.20 -1.22 0.24

The data in Tables 1-3 was processed to reveal that this truss had a strength-to-weight ratio of 76.81. Its stiffness was 17.82 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 . The trussโ total mass was 0.318 ๐๐; its weight was 3.12 ๐. Its volume was 2.65 ร 10โ4 ๐3 . The maximum load the structure could handle before failure was 240 ๐. At this load, member 2 (as depicted in Figure 1) failed by buckling due to compression. Thus, the trussโ factor of safety was 2. While this initial iteration did fulfill all of the required parameters, further steps were taken to drastically improve the truss. A second major iteration that was undertaken during the lengthy trial and error period is depicted in Figure 3: Figure 3 โ Truss Iteration B 240 NN

โUNLOADEDโ

โUNLOADEDโ

โUNLOADEDโ

โUNLOADEDโ

3

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

**Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling
**

Figure 4 - Deformation and Distribution of Loads of Truss Iteration B Under Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต

0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 -0.05 -0.1

Undeformed Tensile stress Compressive stress

Y

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25 X

0.3

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

Table 4 โ Truss Iteration B: Node Coordinates and Displacements at Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต Horizontal Vertical Displacement Displacement XY@ @ Node coordinate (m) coordinate (m) 240 N (m) 240 N (m)

A B C D E F G

0.0 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0

0.10 0.10 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00

0.00000 0.00300 -0.00051 -0.00077 -0.00078 -0.00054 0.00000

0.00000 -0.03081 -0.01017 -0.00576 -0.00259 -0.00067 -0.00024

Table 5 โ Truss Iteration B: Member Properties: Cross-sectional Area, Length, Youngโs Modulus, Stress Needed to Cause Yield, and Force Needed to Cause Buckling for Each Member Member Cross-sectional 2 area (m ) Length (m) Youngโs Modulus (GPa) Stress Needed to Yield (MPa) Compressive Force to Buckle (kN)

1 2 3 4 5

0.0000804 0.0000820 0.0000820 0.0000820 0.0000820

0.50000 0.10198 0.10198 0.10198 0.10198

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5

15 15 15 15 15

1.3294 1.3294 1.3294

4

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling 6 7 8 9 10 11 0.0000820 0.0000400 0.0000400 0.0000400 0.0000400 0.0000400 0.10198 0.10000 0.40050 0.30266 0.20881 0.12806 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 15 15 15 15 15 15 1.3294 -

Table 6 โ Truss Iteration B: Stress and Buckling Force Experienced by Each Member Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต Member Stress in Member @ 240 N (MPa) Force in Member @ 240 N (kN)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

14.9876 14.9861 14.9861 14.9861 14.9861 14.9861 6.0250 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

1.2050 1.2289 -1.2289 -1.2289 -1.2289 -1.2289 0.2410 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

This next design also fell within all of the required parameters, however its was not optimized. Since the previous iteration, several zero-force truss members were added to help prevent buckling. It was noted that members carrying no load could be used to prevent buckling by breaking a long member into several shorter ones connected linearly by multiple nodes. Simple mathematical calculations revealed that the strength benefits of these zero force members far outweighed their weight toll. The data in Tables 4-6 revealed that the truss depicted in Figure 3 had a strength-toweight ratio of 161.09. Its stiffness was 7.85 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 . The trussโ total mass was 0.1532 ๐๐; its weight was 1.50 ๐. Its volume was 1.27 ร 10โ4 ๐3 . The maximum load the structure could handle before failure was 241 ๐. Immediately beyond this load, members 1-6 (as depicted in Figure 3) failed by yielding. Thus, the trussโ factor of safety was also 2. To further optimize the truss, the thickness of the truss members was carefully increased. Through meticulous optimization of cross-sectional areas, the maximum strength-to-weight ratio was achieved. The final truss design is outlined below. RESULTS The final design fell within all of the required parameters. The trussโ total mass was 0.4661 ๐๐; and its weight was 4.5720 ๐. Its volume was 3.8838 ร 10โ4 ๐3 . The maximum load the structure could handle before failure was 1000 ๐. The optimized truss had a strength-to-weight ratio of 218.72. Its stiffness was 32.09 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 . Immediately beyond this load, members 1-7 (as depicted in Figure 5) failed by yielding. Thus, the trussโ factor of safety is 8.33. Calculations for all of the above values can be found in the Appendices.

5

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

**Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling
**

Figure 5 โ The Final Truss Design

โUNLOADEDโ

โUNLOADEDโ

โUNLOADEDโ

โUNLOADEDโ

Tables 7-9 contain data utilized to calculate the aforementioned characteristics. Table 7 โ Node Coordinates and Displacements at Max. Load of ๐๐๐๐ ๐ต and Design Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต Horizontal Displacement @ 1000 N (m) Horizontal Displacement @ 120 N(m) Vertical Displacement @ 1000 N (m) Vertical Displacement @ 120 N (m)

Node

Xcoordinate (m)

Ycoordinate (m)

A B C D E F G

0.00 0.50 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.10 0.00

0.10 0.10 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00

0.00000 0.00300 -0.00052 -0.00080 -0.00082 -0.00060 0.00000

0.00000 0.00036 -0.00006 -0.00010 -0.00010 -0.00007 0.00000

0.00000 -0.03119 -0.01046 -0.00598 -0.00274 -0.00074 -0.00060

0.00000 -0.00374 -0.00126 -0.00072 -0.00033 -0.00009 -0.00007

Table 8 โ Member Properties: Cross-sectional Area, Length, Youngโs Modulus, Stress Needed to Cause Yield, and Force Needed to Cause Buckling for Each Member Member Cross-sectional 2 area (m ) Length (m) Youngโs Modulus (GPa) Stress Needed to Yield (MPa) Compressive Force to Buckle (kN)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

0.00033350 0.00033998 0.00033998 0.00033998 0.00033998 0.00033998 0.00006670 0.00004000

0.50000 0.10198 0.10198 0.10198 0.10198 0.10198 0.10000 0.40050

2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5

15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

22.8524 22.8524 22.8524 22.8524 -

6

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling 9 10 11 0.00004000 0.00004000 0.00004000 0.30266 0.20881 0.12806 2.5 2.5 2.5 15 15 15 -

Table 9 โ Stress and Buckling Force Experienced by Each Member at Max. Load of ๐๐๐๐ ๐ต and Design Load of ๐๐๐ ๐ต Member Stress in Member @ 1000 N (MPa) Stress in Member @ 120 N (MPa) Force in Member @ 1000 N (kN) Force in Member @ 120 N (kN)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

14.9925 14.9980 14.9980 14.9980 14.9980 14.9980 14.9925 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

1.7991 1.7998 1.7998 1.7998 1.7998 1.7998 1.7991 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

5.0000 5.0990 -5.0990 -5.0990 -5.0990 -5.0990 1.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

0.6000 -0.6119 -0.6119 -0.6119 -0.6119 -0.6119 0.1200 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000

Figures 6 and 7 show the graphic output of the FEA performed on the truss structure using Matlab. Figure 6 โ Deformation and Distribution of Loads of the Final Truss Design Under Max. Load of ๐๐๐๐ ๐ต

Undeformed Tensile stress Compressive stress

0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 -0.05 -0.1

Y

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25 X

0.3

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

7

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

**Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling
**

Figure 7 โ Deformation and Distribution of Loads of the Final Truss Design Under Design of ๐๐๐ ๐ต

Undeformed Tensile stress Compressive stress

0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 -0.05 -0.1

Y

0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25 X

0.3

0.35

0.4

0.45

0.5

DISCUSSION A loaded truss structure contains two-force members that experience either tensile or compressive forces. In static equilibrium, the sum of all forces (applied and reactive) acting on the truss must equal zero. By extension, the sum of the forces experienced at each node must be zero. The sum of all moments about any point must also be zero. A Matlab script was used to model the truss design. The location of the nodes and cross-sectional areas of the members, the youngโs modulus, and the external forces were inputted into the script in order to generate the forces in the members and the corresponding displacement. The accuracy of the Matlab script was verified by manual calculation of the forces in each member. According to the post processing of the scriptโs output data, all seven load-bearing members experienced a stress of approximately 14.99 ๐๐๐ (Table 9) at the maximum load. This is just under the maximum allowable stress of 15 ๐๐๐, and is an indication that the design was optimized. The compressive force experienced by members 3-6, 5.0990 ๐๐, is substantially smaller than the force which would cause compressive buckling, 22.8524 ๐๐ (Table 8). The compressive force to buckle is inversely proportional to the length of the member squared. Had a sole member been used to connect nodes B and G, as was the case in one of the first iterations, buckling of this member would occur at a load 25 times smaller. This is because the potential member would have been five times as long as members 2-6 were. The stiffness of the truss is 32.09 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 , far exceeding the requirement of 5 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 . According to post-processing of the scriptโs output data, the trussโ factor of safety, 8.33 is well above the minimum requirement of 2. Thus, given the validity of the Matlab script data, it is likely that the truss will not fail when it is manufactured and utilized as part of a trebuchet. The biggest weakness of the final truss design is that it has four zero force members. As previously discussed, the strength contributed by these members far exceeds their weight. In other words, a sole member extending from B to G in lieu of members 2-6 would have resulted in the removal of the non-load carrying members (members 8-11). However, to meet strength requirements, this member would have to have a large cross sectional area and thus would be far heavier. Another major weakness of the design is that if at any moment the instantaneous load on the truss exceeds 1000 ๐, it could fail. It is important to note that the Matlab script is not perfectly accurate. In the real world, the truss would react very differently and possibly fail sooner than expected. In real-life situations, the zeroforce members may not actually strengthen the truss.

8

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

**Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling
**

Had the truss been designed using CAD and FEM software, the design would differ slightly. Members that were far from failure at the design and maximum loads under the current constraints could have small holes drilled through them to reduce their weight. These holes would be sized and placed to further improve the strength-to-weight ratio of the truss. CONCLUSION Designing the truss offered insight into the complexities of real-world engineering. By far, the most striking realization was that the process of optimizing a design while meeting given criteria can be tedious and timeconsuming, but also gratifying. Specifically, small changes in structural properties can significantly alter the behavior and safety of a particular design. Even zero-force members can affect the behavior of a truss, increasing its strength-to-weight ratio. APPENDICES Variable Nomenclature ๐ is the mass of the truss. ๐ทis the density of the acrylic. ๐ is the volume of the entire truss. ๐ is the weight of the truss. ๐ is the acceleration caused by gravity. ๐น๐ต is the magnitude of the maximum load applied to the structure at node B to put the truss on the verge of failure. ๐น๐ท is the design load of the structure, 120 ๐. ๐๐ต is the magnitude of node Bโs vertical displacement at the design load. ๐ธ is the Youngโs Modulus of each member. ๐ด# is the cross sectional area of member number #. ๐ฟ# is the length of member number #. ๐# is the stress experienced by member number #. ๐น# is the force experienced member number #. Calculations for Final Truss Design Mass and Weight: ๐ = ๐ท ๐ = 1200 ๐๐ โ ๐โ3 3.8838 ร 10โ4 ๐3 = 0.4661 ๐๐ ๐ = ๐ ๐ = 0.4661 ๐๐ 9.81 ๐ โ ๐ โ2 = 4.5720 ๐

Strength-to-Weight Ratio: ๐น๐ต

1.000 ๐๐ = = 218.72 ๐ 0.0045720 ๐๐ ๐น๐ท 0.120 ๐๐ = = 32.09 ๐๐ โ ๐โ1 ๐๐ต โ0.00374 ๐

Stiffness: ๐๐ก๐๐๐๐๐๐ ๐ =

Factor of Safety: ๐น๐ต

1.000 ๐๐ = = 8.33 ๐น๐ท 0.1200 ๐๐

Compressive Force to Cause Buckling for Members 2-5: ๐ 2 ๐ธ๐ด2 2 12๐ฟ2 2 = ๐ 2 (2.5 ๐บ๐๐)(0.00033998 m2 )2 = 22.8524 ๐๐ 12(0.10198 ๐)2

Stress in Each Member at Max. Load of 1000 N: ๐1 = ๐2 = ๐น1 5.0000 kN = = 14.9925 ๐๐๐ ๐ด1 0.00033350 m2 ๐น2 5.0990 kN = = 14.9980 ๐๐๐ ๐ด2 0.00033998 m2

9

Trebuchet Truss Design and Analysis Using the Finite Element Method

**Bar-Or, Gilbert, Hartman, & Pulling
๐**

3 = ๐4 = ๐5 = ๐6 = ๐7 = ๐น3 โ5.0990 kN = = 14.9980 ๐๐๐ ๐ด3 0.00033998 m2
๐น

7 1.0000 kN = = 14.9925 ๐๐๐ ๐ด7 0.00006670 m2 ๐น8 0.0000 kN = = 0.00 ๐๐๐ ๐ด8 0.0000400 m2 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 7.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 3.335E-4 3.3998E-4 3.3998E-4 3.3998E-4 3.3998E-4 3.3998E-4 6.67E-5 4.0E-5 4.0E-5 4.0E-5 4.0E-5 dispbc.dat 1.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 3.0 7.0 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 ๐

8 = ๐9 = ๐10 = ๐11 = Matlab Script Input Files node.dat: 1.0 0.0 2.0 0.5 3.0 0.4 4.0 0.3 5.0 0.2 6.0 0.1 7.0 0.0

0.1 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.0

elem.dat: 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 3.0 3.0 4.0 4.0 5.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 7.0 1.0 8.0 1.0 9.0 1.0 10.0 1.0 11.0 1.0 scalefac.dat: 1

forces.dat: 1.0 2.0

2.0

-1.0

2.0 1.0 1.0

Matlab Script Output Files displ_out.dat 0.0 0.0 0.0029985007 -0.031190122 -5.2312139E-4 -0.010462428 -7.9667609E-4 -0.0059750707 -8.206641E-4 -0.002735547 -5.9508541E-4 -7.4385677E-4 0.0 -5.9970015E-4

force_out.dat 5.0 5.0990195 -5.0990195 -5.0990195 -5.0990195 -5.0990195 1.0 6.6418088E-15 1.0638028E-15 9.7983472E-16 1.8619006E-16

REFERENCES

โSimplicity is the ultimate sophistication. By Leonardo da Vinci.โ Famous Quotes at QuoteDB Interactive Database of Famous Quotations. 19 Oct. 2008 <http://www.quotedb.com/quotes/3069>.

10

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