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Mario Guagliano

2

• It is a numerical method

• At first it was developed to solve the problem of the computation of

the stresses in loaded structures.

• FEM can be applied to many other physical problems, where the

unkonwns are field variables (as dispalcement in structural

applications)

• It is a useful method to find a numerical solution to a particular

problem.

• Thus, it is different from analytical solutions to a class of problems,

for istance the fundamental equation that relates bending to

deflection.

d2y

2

= − M(x) EJ

dx

€

Mario Guagliano

First step: to divide the structure in 3

elements

form the mesh.

The elements describe the displacement field in a simple manner,

basically by means of a polynomial representation.

The nodes and not the sides are the connection points among

elements.

Mario Guagliano

The elements and the displacement field. 4

functions:

Mario Guagliano

The elements and the displacement field. 5

Mario Guagliano

The elements and the displacement field. 6

Then

Mario Guagliano

The elements and the displacement field. 7

Mario Guagliano

Strain and stresses 8

Mario Guagliano

9

Stress and strain

2Δ

2Δ

The way the node numbers are assigned is free, but the 123 sequence must

be counterclockwiseto obtain a positive element area .

Mario Guagliano

The stiffness matrix 10

external and the internal work.

Mario Guagliano

Stiffness matrix 11

is applied to node j in direction y.

Mario Guagliano

Global Stiffness matrix: 12

Element1

Element 2

Mario Guagliano

Global Stiffness matrix: 13

Element number

Mario Guagliano

Solution of the linear elastic problem 14

After having related the displacement field inside every element to the

nodal displacements at nodes, it is possible to proceed and to solve the

linear elastic problem that is developed in such a way to obtain the value

of the nodal displacements.

By opportunely assigning boundary conditions and loads, so that they

are referred to nodes, a linear system like the following one is solved:

[K ] g { f n }g = {F }g

{ f n }g = [K ] g −1{F }g

With [K]g is the global stiffness matrix, that gives the reaction forces at

nodes of the model€when a unit displacement is assigned to the nodes.

Mario Guagliano

Solution of the linear algeabric system: 15

the stress and the strain vectors by considering the elements of the

model. Thus, for each element:

Mario Guagliano

Congruence of displacements 16

3 u3

4 1 u1 2

The adopted expression of the displacements is valid for adiacent

elements, that has one common side (side 1-3)

This garantees that there are no voids or overlaps among elements when

they deform (the displacements are congruent or compatible)

increasing the mesh density.

Mario Guagliano

Following points (to be developed) 17

• The connection of the stiffness matrices of the different elements to

form the stiffness matrix of the system: [K]Global

• The schematization of the loads: {f}

• The representation of boundary conditions: {u}known

• The methods used to solve the system that gives the nodal

displacements {u}

• The computation of the strains {ε}

• The computation of the stresses {σ}

Mario Guagliano

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