You are on page 1of 130

Introduction to Finite Element Analysis

Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An
A Introduction
I t d ti to t Finite
Fi it Elements
El t

S
Some P
Practical
i lC Concepts

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Who am I?
Introduction
• Bart McPheeters FEA Process
An Example
– Sr. Application Engineer Complicated
Models
– BS in Naval Architecture/Marine Choosing
E i
Engineering
i Elements
Interpreting
– MS in Solid Mechanics/Material Results
Wrapping Up
Science
– 20 years using and supporting
FEA
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
• How do we solve an engineering Introduction
FEA Process
problem?
bl ? An Example
Complicated
Models
• Classical Methods Choosing
Elements
– Closed Form Solutions Interpreting
Results
• Roark Wrapping Up

– Approximate Solutions
• Superposition, series solutions
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
How can we solve a complex problem? FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
• Solve a number of simple problems, add them all up Models
and get the answer of a complex problem Choosing
Elements
– “Squaring the Circle” Interpreting
Results
Wrapping Up

4 triangles 8 triangles Many triangles

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
• Numerical Methods FEA Process
An Example
– Take the complex problem and Complicated
Models
break it up into simple problems Choosing
Elements
• Finite Difference Interpreting
Results
• Finite Element Wrapping Up
• Boundary Element

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
What Exactly is The Finite Element Method? Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
The Finite Element Method is a way of Complicated
analyzing a complex engineering problem by Models
g it up
breaking p into many
y small, very
y simple
p Choosing
Elements
problems Interpreting
Results
– The many small pieces called finite elements
Wrapping Up
– The assemblage of elements is called a finite
element model

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Grid Point Introduction
FEA Process
or Node An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Element Interpreting
Results
Wrapping Up

Example of a Finite Element Model

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
– A continuous structure has theoretically an FEA Process
infinite number of degrees of freedom An Example
Complicated
• Number of points that can move independently Models
Choosing
• An infinite number of simple problems! Elements
Interpreting
– The Finite Element Method approximates Results
the behavior of a continuous structure with Wrapping Up
a finite
fi it number
b off points
i t (d
(degrees off
freedom)
• A finite number of simple problems
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
– The finer the mesh (i.e. more DOF), the FEA Process
better we can approximate the structure An Example
Complicated
• Recall squaring the circle… Models
Choosing
– This includes Elements
Interpreting
• The geometry of the structure such as Results
curvature and thickness variations Wrapping Up
• Load application
• Stress and strain gradients

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
So what are these simple problems that we use? Introduction
FEA Process
– Break
B k complex l geometry into
i simple
i l shapes
h we An Example
can deal with (Lines, Squares, Cubes) Complicated
Models
– Use the computer to solve lots of these simple Choosing
problems
bl Elements
Interpreting
• And do millions and millions of simple numerical Results
operations on these simple problems Wrapping Up
• Computers are good at this
– Present the results graphically
• Computers are good at this too!
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
• History of the finite element method FEA Process
An Example
– The matrix theory of structural analysis first began Complicated
appearing in the technical literature in the early Models
1940s Choosing
Elements
– The term “finite element” was coined by Clough in a Interpreting
paper describing the technique used for plane- Results
stress analysis (Proceedings of the Second ASCE Wrapping Up
C f
Conference on Electronic
El t i Computation,
C t ti 1960)
– Large general-purpose finite element programs
began to appear in the 1970’s including NASTRAN,
ANSYS MARC,
ANSYS, MARC STARDYNE,
STARDYNE and d SAP
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
• Then things got really rolling… Introduction
FEA Process
– Finite element graphical pre and post An Example
processors became available in the 1980’s, Complicated
making the construction of finite element models Models
much easier and less pprone to human error Choosing
Elements
– Automatic meshing became a standard feature Interpreting
for graphical pre processors in the 1990’s. Results
Automatic meshing has gained much popularity Wrapping Up
as the automatic meshing technology matures
and the speed of computers continue to
accelerate

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
K But what is it really? FEA Process
An Example
N1 N2 F
• A simple example… Complicated
Models
ƒ K = Spring stiffness Choosing
Δu
(EA/L) Elements
Interpreting
ƒ Δu = Spring Results
N1 N2 Wrapping Up
elongation
ƒ F = Spring force

K * Δu = F www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
FEA Process
Divide the geometry into simple An Example
elements and assemble all Complicated
elements Models
Choosing
[K] = Stiffness matrix of the part Elements
(Sum of all elements) Interpreting
Results
{u} = Components of the Wrapping Up
di l
displacementst off th
the nodes
d off
the part
{F} = Components of the loads
on the
th nodes
d off th
the partt
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
[K] *{u} = {F} FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Solve this matrix equation with thousands (or Models
millions) of unknown u’s Choosing
Elements
• This is the basic ‘displacement’ approach Interpreting
Results
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
• Types of finite element methods Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
– There are two different types of finite Complicated
element methods - the displacement or Models
Choosing
stiffness method and the force or flexibility Elements
method Interpreting
Results
• In the displacement method, the node Wrapping Up
displacements are the basic unknowns in the
system of equations
• In the force method
method, the member forces are the
basic unknowns in the system of equations.
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
– Both methods can be used to FEA Process
An Example
solve structural problems Complicated
Models
• The displacement method is used by Choosing
Elements
many modern finite element codes, Interpreting
including NEiNastran and most Results
Wrapping Up
others

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
Introduction
• So why use FEM? It has many FEA Process
An Example
advantages: Complicated
– Model irregularly shaped bodies Models
– Handles general loading conditions Choosing
– M d lb
Model bodies
di can b be composed d off diff
differentt materials
t i l Elements
– Handles many types of boundary conditions Interpreting
– Elements can vary in size allowing use of small elements Results
when necessaryy Wrapping Up
– The Finite element model can be changed relatively
easily and cheaply
– Model many different types of physics
– Represent non
non-linear
linear behavior
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
– Finite elements are shapes which are Introduction
relatively easy to formulate and analyze: FEA Process
An Example
beams, plates, and blocks Complicated
Models
• The stress and strain within each element is a
Choosing
function of the displacement of the grid points it Elements
is connected to Interpreting
Results
Wrapping Up

3D
1D
2D

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Introduction
– The displacement of each grid point may Introduction
FEA Process
be described by six independent degrees An Example
of freedom (DOFs). A degree of freedom Complicated
Models
is defined as an independent component of Choosing
translation or rotation θy
Elements
Interpreting
Three translations (ux, uy, uz) Results
Three rotations ((θx, θy, θz) uy Wrapping Up

{u} = displacement vector θx


= { ux uy uz θx θy θz } ux
uz
θz

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


Introduction
• There are basically 7 steps that a FEA Process
An Example
user and a finite element code go Complicated
through to solve the problem Models
Choosing
– Some
S are user choices
h i Elements
Interpreting
• How to approximate reality Results
Wrapping Up
– Some are things an FEA code does for
you
• Solving lots of equations

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


Introduction
• The 7 steps (user/software) FEA Process
1.
1 Discretize
Di ti the
th structure
t t An Example
2. Choose a displacement function Complicated
Models
3. Choose stress/strain and strain displacement Choosing
relations Elements
4. Construct element stiffness matrices Interpreting
Results
5. Construct a global stiffness matrix and apply Wrapping Up
loads
6. Solve for the unknown displacements
7. Calculate the strains, forces and stresses from
the displacements
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


FEA Process
• Step 1: Discretize and Select •Step 1
Element Type •Step 2
•Step 3
•Step 4
– Discretize usuallyy means some kind •Step 5
•Step 6
of auto meshing, which can be done •Step 7
in FEMAP, MSC.Patran or any pre-
processor

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


• An element type is selected based on the analysis FEA Process
j
objectives of the system
y to be solved for and the •Step 1
geometry of the problem •Step 2
– For example if the objective is to find how much a •Step 3
widget displaces in a linear structural analysis then a •Step 4
10 node tetrahedral may be a good choice •Step 5
– If you have a plate-like structure, a 4-node shell •Step 6
element may be a more appropriate choice •Step 7
– If you have a structure that looks like a bunch of
connected beams, then a 2-node beam element mayy
be a good choice

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


• Step 2: Select Displacement Function FEA Process
•Step 1
•Step 2
– The displacement function describes the
•Step 3
displacement at any point in the element as a •Step 4
function of its grid point displacements •Step 5
•Step 6
– This function is defined within the element using
•Step 7
nodal values of the element. For example, a 4-
noded QUAD has a linear displacement function,
while a 20
20-node
node Hex element has a quadratic
displacement function
– You likely did this without knowing you were doing
it in step 1 when you chose the element type!
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


– Most functions are linear or quadratic. Linear FEA Process
elements are referred to as h-elements and higher •Step 1
order
d elements
l t are referred
f d to
t as p-elements
l t •Step 2
• Quadratic elements are really p-elements, but are •Step 3
usually referred to as just quadratic elements •Step 4
• The term p
p-element
element is usually reserved for elements •Step 5
which can change their displacement function during an •Step 6
analysis •Step 7
– The result is an approximation by a discrete model
composed
p of a set of p
piecewise-continuous functions
defined within each finite domain or finite element

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


FEA Process
• Step 3: Define the strain/displacement •Step 1
•Step 2
and stress/strain relationship •Step 3
•Step 4
– Strain/displacement is defined as the •Step 5
relationship
l ti hi bbetween
t strain
t i and d •Step 6
•Step 7
displacement
– Example: for small deflection in one
dimension this could be:
Δ L u2 – u 1
ε x = ------- = -----------------
L L
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


FEA Process
– Stress/strain law, also called the •Step 1
•Step 2
constitutive law, is defined as the •Step 3
relationship between stress and •Step 4
•Step 5
strain The simplest constitutive
strain. •Step 6
•Step 7
law is Hooke’s law, where E is the
modulus of elasticity
σx = Eε x
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


FEA Process
• You probably did this without •Step 1
•Step 2
knowing it too! •Step 3
•Step 4
– Finite Element materials incorporate the •Step 5
constitutive relations
relations. •Step 6
•Step 7
• A Nastran MAT1 implies a certain
stress/strain relationship
– All elements have an implied strain/
displacement relationship
• This is part of the element formulation
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


• Step 4: Derive the Element Stiffness FEA Process
•Step 1
Matrix •Step 2
•Step 3
– The three most common method for •Step 4
developing the stiffness matrix are •Step 5
•Step 6
• Direct Equilibrium Method •Step 7

• Work/Energy Method
• Method of Weighted Residuals

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


– The Method of Weighted Residuals allows finite FEA Process
•Step 1
elements to be applied directly to any differential
•Step 2
equation •Step 3
• Commonly used in FEA codes •Step 4
•Step 5
– All these methods will
ill gi
give
e the same res
results,
lts •Step 6
however one or the other may be more efficient •Step 7
in specific cases
– When you chose an element type
type, this was
chosen as well.
• Someone already derived it for you!

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


• Step 5: Assemble the element stiffness FEA Process
•Step 1
matrixes to create the global stiffness •Step 2
•Step 3
matrix •Step 4
•Step 5
– The final assembled stiffness matrix is a •Step 6
piece of the global equation {F} = [K]{u} •Step 7
where {F} is the global force vector, [K] is
the global stiffness matrix , and {u} is the
global displacement vector

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


– Assembly of the global stiffness matrix is FEA Process
•Step 1
contingent upon the elements being compatible
•Step 2
i.e. there are no seams or gaps in the model •Step 3
• The nodes of one element connect to the nodes •Step 4
j
of adjacent elements •Step 5
•Step 6
– “Compatibility” requires that the displacements •Step 7
on the element boundaries are the same for
g g elements ((C0 continuity)
neighboring y)
• C1 continuity requires that the element
curvatures/slopes are compatible – this is usually
not the case as it causes numerical problems

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


FEA Process
• Step 6: Solve for the unknown degrees •Step 1
off freedom
f d •Step 2
•Step 3
•Step 4
– The global equations are a N set of •Step 5
simultaneous
i lt equations,
ti where
h N iis th
the •Step 6
•Step 7
number of degrees of freedom
– Common methods of solving the global
equations are Gauss Methods, Conjugate
Gradient Methods, and Sparse Methods
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


FEA Process
• Step 7: Calculate the element strains •Step 1
and
d stresses
t •Step 2
•Step 3
– Using the node displacements strains can •Step 4
be calculated ((from the earlier equations)
q ) •Step 5
•Step 6
•Step 7
Δ L u2 – u 1
ε x = ------- = -----------------
L L

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The FEA Process


– Using the strains the stresses can be FEA Process
•Step 1
calculated •Step 2
•Step 3
σx = Eε x •Step 4
•Step 5
•Step 6
– Other derived quantities (element •Step 7

forces, for example) can be


calculated
l l t d if th
they are a ffunction
ti off
displacement.

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
• Model Description
p FEA Process
An Example
– Consider a Tapered Rod of Length Complicated
Models
L, which is fixed at x=0 and has an Choosing
Elements
applied axial force P at x=L Interpreting
Results
Wrapping Up
X
P

L
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
• Step 1 – Descretize and Select FEA Process
An Example
Element Types Step 1
Step 2
– Let’s use two elements and three nodes Step 3
to represent the bar Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Node 1 Node 2 Node 3 Step 7

Element 1 Element 2

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Let’s choose a 2-node 1D element type for this model Introduction
FEA Process
– A 1D element is defined by two nodes at either end of it.
it
An Example
– Axial translations u1x and u2x are the only displacements Step 1
at nodes 1 and 2. Thus, this element has two degrees of Step 2
freedom Step 3
• Assumptions Step 4
Step 5
– The bar cannot sustain shear force; that is F1y=0 and Step 6
F2y=0. Step 7
– Any effect of transverse displacement is ignored.
– Hooke’s law applies;

σx = Eε x
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
In the next step we are going to choose a Introduction
FEA Process
linear displacement element
element, which is An Example
somewhat at odds with the taper in the Step 1
real part Step 2
Step 3
• The taper will be accounted for by using Step 4
multiple rods of shrinking cross-section Step 5
• Obviously, more elements = better answer Step 6
Step 7
• Common
C ttrade-off
d ff iin FEM modeling
d li
• A better choice might be a tapered beam
element

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Step 2: Select a displacement Introduction
FEA Process
function
f i An Example
Step 1
– Assume a linear displacement variation Step 2
Step 3
along the xx-axis
axis of the bar.
bar This is a Step 4
common for line elements Step 5

u = a1 + a 2 x
Step 6
Step 7
u = global displacement at any distance x along the element
x = local distance in element and varies from 0. to L
– If you use a Nastran CROD element, this
is the way it works
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
– The ai are coefficients for the linear FEA Process
displacement
di l t equation
ti An Example
Step 1
– In matrix form this will look as follows: Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5

⎧ a1⎫
Step 6

u = [1 x ]⎨ ⎬
Step 7

⎩a 2 ⎭

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Express u as a function of global nodal Introduction
FEA Process
displacements d1x and d2x by using An Example
Step 1
them as boundary conditions Step 2
Step 3
• This is done by evaluating u at each Step 4
Step 5
node and solving for a1 and a2 as Step 6
follows: ( ) u 0 = d 1x = a1
Step 7

u (L ) = d 2 x = a 2L + d 1x
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
– Solving for a1 FEA Process
An Example
a1 = d1x Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
– And a2 Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
d 2 x − d 1x
a2 =
L

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Substitute back into the original Introduction
FEA Process
equation for u An Example

⎛ d 2 x − d 1x ⎞
Step 1

u = d 1x + ⎜
Step 2
⎟x Step 3
⎝ L ⎠ Step 4
Step 5
– In matrix form Step 6
Step 7

⎡ x x ⎤ ⎧d 1x ⎫
u = ⎢1 − ⎥ ⎨ ⎬
⎣ L L ⎦ ⎩d 2 x ⎭ www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Or write this as: Introduction

⎧d 1x ⎫
FEA Process

u = [N 1 N 2 ]⎨ ⎬
An Example
Step 1

⎩d 2 x ⎭
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
– where Step 5
Step 6
x
N1 = 1 − Step 7

L
x
N2 =
L www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Comments: Introduction
FEA Process
• Ni’s are commonly referred to as shape An Example
Step 1
functions Step 2
Step 3
– They are pretty simple for rod elements Step 4
Step 5
– They describe the displacement at any point
Step 6
inside the element as a function of the nodal Step 7
displacements at the corners of the element

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
• Required properties for shape FEA Process
An Example
functions: Step 1
Step 2
– At x=0, N1 = 1 and N2 = 0 Step 3
Step 4
– At X=1, N1 = 0 and N2 = 1 Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
– N1 + N2 = 1 anywhere inside the
element

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Step 3: Define the strain/displacement Introduction
FEA Process
and
d stress/strain
t / t i relationships
l ti hi An Example
Step 1
Step 2
– Strain/displacement (CROD uses this) Step 3
ddu d 2 x − d1x Step 4

εx = = Step 5
Step 6
dx L Step 7

– Stress/strain (a Nastran MAT1 uses this)

σ = Eε
x x

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Step 4: Derive the element Introduction
FEA Process
stiffness and load matrix An Example
Step 1
f1x f2x Step 2
Step 3
– Starting from the definition of stress Step 4
Step 5
P Step 6
σx = Step 7

A
– Where P is the applied force and A
is the area the force is applied to
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
Using the strain/displacement and FEA Process
An Example
stress/strain equations: Step 1

⎛ d 2 x − d 1x ⎞
Step 2

P = AE ⎜
Step 3
⎟ Step 4
⎝ L ⎠ Step 5
Step 6
Step 7
The applied load at end 1 of the rod
is:
f x1 = P
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
Introduction
• Substituting… FEA Process
An Example
AE
(d 2 x − d 1x )
Step 1
f 1x = Step 2
Step 3
L Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
– And at the other end… Step 7

f x 2 = −P
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– And putting that into the equation: Introduction
FEA Process

⎛ d 2 x − d 1x ⎞ An Example
f 2x = − AE ⎜ ⎟ Step 1
Step 2
⎝ L ⎠ Step 3
Step 4
– Combining everything and putting Step 5
Step 6
them in matrix form Step 7

⎧ f 1x ⎫ AE ⎡ 1 − 1⎤ ⎧ d 1x ⎫
⎨ ⎬= ⎢ ⎥ ⎨ ⎬
⎩f 2 x ⎭ L ⎣− 1 1 ⎦ ⎩d 2 x ⎭
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– But this is familiar now! Introduction
FEA Process
F K u An Example
= Step 1
Step 2
Step 3

⎧f 1x ⎫ AE ⎡ 1 − 1⎤ ⎧d 1x ⎫ Step 4

⎨ ⎬=
Step 5

⎢ ⎥ ⎨ ⎬ Step 6

⎩f 2 x ⎭ L ⎣− 1 1 ⎦ ⎩d 2 x ⎭
Step 7

F are forces
K is the element stiffness www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
u are the displacements
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Step 5: Assemble the element stiffness Introduction
FEA Process
matrixes to create the global stiffness An Example
Step 1
matrix and introduce boundary Step 2
conditions Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Node 1 Node 2 Node 3 Step 6
P Step 7

Element 1 Element 2

Node 1 is fixed -> u=0


Node 3 is loaded -> f2x = P
www.NEiSoftware.com
All other loads = 0, all other displacements unknown 1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Based on our derivation of stiffness Introduction
FEA Process
matrix for a rod element
element, we can An Example
Step 1
write the following element stiffness Step 2
Step 3
equations: Step 4
Step 5
⎧ f 1 x ⎫ A1 E ⎡ 1 − 1⎤ ⎧ d 1 x ⎫ Step 6
⎨ ⎬= ⎢ ⎥ ⎨ ⎬ Element 1 Step 7
⎩ f 2 x⎭ L1 ⎣ − 1 1 ⎦ ⎩ d 2 x ⎭

⎧ f 2 x ⎫ A2 E ⎡ 1 − 1⎤ ⎧d 2 x ⎫
⎨ ⎬= ⎢ ⎥ ⎨ ⎬ Element 2
⎩ ⎭
f 3x L2 ⎣ − 1 1 ⎦ ⎩d 3 x ⎭ www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Let’s simplify the stiffness Introduction
FEA Process
matrices An Example
Step 1
Step 2
⎡ k1 − k1⎤ ⎡ k2 − k2 ⎤
[K ]1 [K ]2 = ⎢
Step 3
=⎢ ⎥ ⎥ Step 4
⎣− k1 k1 ⎦ ⎣ − k 2 k 2 ⎦ Step 5
Step 6
A2E 2 Step 7
AE k2 =
where
h k1 = 1 1 d
and
L1 L2

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Assemble the two elements into a global Introduction
FEA Process
system of equations An Example
Step 1
− k1 ⎤ ⎡k − k2 ⎤
[K ]1 = ⎡⎢ [K ]2
k1 Step 2
=⎢ 2
⎣ − k1 k1 ⎥⎦ ⎣− k 2 k 2 ⎦
⎥ Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
⎧F 1x ⎫ ⎡ K 1 − K 1. 0 ⎤ ⎧d 1x ⎫ Step 6
⎪ ⎪ ⎢ ⎥ ⎪ ⎪ Step 7
⎨F 2 x ⎬ = ⎢− K 1 K 1. + K 2 − K 2 ⎥ ⎨d 2 x ⎬
⎪F 3 x ⎪ ⎢ 0 . − K2 K 2 ⎥⎦ ⎪⎩d 3 x ⎪⎭
⎩ ⎭ ⎣

www.NEiSoftware.com
Global Stiffness Matrix [K] 1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
– Include the boundary conditions Introduction
FEA Process
Zero displacement at Node 1,
1 An Example
Unknown at other nodes Step 1
Step 2
⎧0 ⎫ ⎡ K1 − K 1. 0 ⎤⎧ 0 ⎫ Step 3
⎪ ⎪ ⎢ ⎥ ⎪ ⎪ Step 4
⎨ 0 ⎬ = ⎢− K 1 K 1. + K 2 − K 2 ⎥ ⎨d 2 x ⎬ Step 5
Step 6
⎪P ⎪ ⎢ 0 . − K2 K 2 ⎥⎦ ⎪⎩d 3 x ⎪⎭ Step 7
⎩ ⎭ ⎣

Load P at Node 3, no load at other nodes


www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Step 6: Solve for the unknown Introduction
FEA Process
d
degree off freedoms
f d which
hi h are An Example
Step 1
displacements d2x and d3x Step 2
Step 3
This displacement is known,
known so we can eliminate that row and column Step 4
Step 5
⎧0 ⎫ ⎡ K1 − K 1. 0 ⎤⎧ 0 ⎫ Step 6
⎪ ⎪ ⎢ ⎥ ⎪ ⎪ Step 7

⎨ 0 ⎬ = ⎢− K 1 K 1. + K 2 − K 2 ⎥ ⎨d 2 x ⎬
⎪P ⎪ ⎢ 0 . − K2 K 2 ⎥⎦ ⎪⎩d 3 x ⎪⎭
⎩ ⎭ ⎣
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Which reduces to a simpler equation: Introduction
FEA Process
An Example

⎧ 0 ⎫ ⎡K1 + K2 − K2 ⎤ ⎧d2x ⎫
Step 1
Step 2
⎨ ⎬=⎢ ⎥ ⎨ ⎬ Step 3

⎩P ⎭ ⎣ − K2 − K2 ⎦ ⎩d3x ⎭ Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
It doesn’t take a lot to solve this simple
p system
y of equations
q Step 7

Solve for d2x and d3x

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

An Example
• Step 7: Solve the element strains and Introduction
FEA Process
stresses An Example
– Using the nodal displacements strains can be Step 1
calculated The d’s we found! Step 2
ΔL
u2 − u1 Step 3
εx = = Step 4
L L Step 5
Step 6
– Using the strains, the stresses can be calculated Step 7

σ x = Eε x
– Other derived qquantities can be calculated if they
y
are a function of displacement (element forces)
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

But what about more


complicated
li d models?
d l ?
Introduction
• There are a number of confounding FEA Process
An Example
things now… Complicated
Models
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Complex Models
• Step 1 – Discretize the model Introduction
FEA Process
– Lots of different elements available
An Example
• Shells (CQUAD4, CTRIA3) Complicated
• Solids (CHEXA, CTETRA) Models
• Different displacement functions Step 1
– Different
Diff t “types”
“t ” off elements
l t Step 2
• Linear, Quadratic (CQUAD8,CTETRA) Step 3
• Large strain, Large displacement (LGDISP) Step 4
Step 5
• Membrane Bending (PSHELL)
Membrane,
Step 6
• Revised Formulation (CQUADR) Step 7
• Different strain/displacement functions (MAT8)
• Etc…

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Shells and Solids


Introduction
• Meshing FEA Process
– What
Wh t type
t off element
l t to
t use?? An Example
Complicated
– How distorted can my elements be? Models
Step 1
– Can I use triangles or tets? Step 2
• Your ability to sufficiently discretize the Step 3
Step 4
model may determine which element types Step 5
are available Step 6
Step 7
– Solid-like structures may not be
appropriately modeled with shells, etc.
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Shells and Solids


Introduction
• In general, if the structure looks like FEA Process
a bunch of bars,bars use 1D bar An Example
elements Complicated
Models
• If it is built from plates, use 2D Shell Step 1
Step 2
elements Step 3
• If it is a 3D widget, use 3D solid Step 4
Step 5
elements Step 6
– Just because you have a 3D CAD Step 7
model doesn’t mean 3D solid elements
are the best way to model it!
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Shell and Solid elements


elements…
Introduction
• There are a number of confounding FEA Process
things
thi in
i Step
St 2 as well…
ll An Example
Complicated
Models
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 7

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Step 2
– Displacement functions still often linear, but now Introduction
FEA Process
involve 4 equations for a 4
4-node
node quad in 2D
An Example
space: Complicated
• N1 = ¼ (1-x)(1-y) Models
• N2 = ¼ (x+1)(1-y) Step 1
• N3 = ¼ (x+1)(y+1) Step 2
Step 3
• N4 = ¼ (1-x)(y+1) Step 4
• Ni = 1 at each node, other Nj = 0 Step 5
• N1 + N2 + N3 +N4N4 = 1 at allll points
i Step 6
Step 7
– Shape functions are defined in
parametric space
• Element mapped to parametric space
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Shells and Solids


• In 3D elements, the functions increase in number Introduction
p y
and complexity… FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
• Triangles and TETs… Models
– Triangles are special elements, in that they have a Step 1
different approach and mapping function Step 2
• The Strain/displacement functions for many do not work Step 3
as well as for QUAD elements
Step 4
• The basic triangle is a “constant strain” element, but
with a linear displacement function Step 5
Step 6
– Tets are also special elements
Step 7
• Linear ones often have problematic strain/disp functions

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plate and Solid elements…


elements
• Step 3 – Heart of the matter Introduction
– Choosing g strain displacement
p functions is the FEA Process
An Example
central problem of FEM Complicated
– Fortunately, FEM codes do it for you Models
• You just have to pick the appropriate element Step 1
f
formulation
l i Step 2
– Lots of different formulations depending on what Step 3
Step 4
you are trying to do: Step 5
• Linear analysis Step 6
• Nonlinear analysis Step 7
• Large strain
• Large displacement
• etc… www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plate and solid elements


Introduction
• General Strain Displacement relation:
FEA Process
– Derive
Deri e some relation of internal strain to the boundary
bo ndar An Example
node displacements: Complicated
• {e} = [B]{ui} Models
Step 1
• [B] is the strain-displacement
strain displacement matrix Step 2
– A number of ways to calculate it Step 3
Step 4
• Assumed strain field Step 5
• Assumed displacement field Step 6
Step 7
• Assumed stress field
– In realityy often use hybrid
y technique
q
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Solids


Introduction
• Strain/Displacement relation FEA Process
– Suffice it to say that [B] is usually a An Example
Complicated
complex expression for most 2D and 3D Models
elements involving lots of integrals and Step 1
Step 2
differentiation Step 3
– Complex expressions are difficult or Step 4
Step 5
impossible to evaluate closed form for Step 6
arbitrary element shapes Step 7
• Hence the need to map to parametric space

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Shells


• Step 4 – Element stiffness matrices Introduction
FEA Process
– Numerical methods and tricks used to evaluate An Example
for FEM models Complicated
• Map the arbitrary element shape to an easily Models
evaluated square or cube Step 1
– Plates map to 2x2 squares Step 2
– Solids map to 2x2x2 cubes Step 3
• Approximate surface and volume integrals Step 4
using Gaussian Quadrature Step 5
Step 6
– Numerically calculate values at a limited Step 7
number of places
– Similar to Simpson’s Rule Integration

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Solids


Introduction
• Standard plate mapping FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
(-1,1) (1,1)
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
(-1,-1) (1,-1) Step 7

4 Gauss
G points for
f performing
f numerical integration
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Solids


• A quadratic plate element will have 8 nodes defining Introduction
FEA Process
the boundary,
boundary and often have 9 Gauss points (3x3)
An Example
• A linear hex element will have 8 integration points Complicated
(2x2x2), a quadratic 20-node hex will have 27 Models
(3x3x3) Step 1
Step 2
• Sometimes bending, shear and extensional loads
Step 3
will be evaluated differently Step 4
– “Reduced shear integration” elements use 2x2 Step 5
or 2x2x2
2 2 2 ffor b
bending
di and d extensional
t i l lloads,
d and
d Step 6
a single point for shear to prevent numerical Step 7
problems

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Solids


Introduction
• The mapping transformation loses FEA Process
accuracy as the
th element
l t looks
l k less
l andd An Example
Complicated
less like the mapped shape Models
Step 1
– This is why distorted elements are “bad”
bad Step 2
– The accuracy of Gaussian Quadrature Step 3
Step 4
gets worse as the element shape Step 5
di
distorts as wellll Step 6
Step 7

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and solids


Introduction
• Step 5 – Assembly of global K FEA Process
– Individual
I di id l matrices
ti are much
h more An Example
complicated Complicated
Models
• Can be 24x24 size or larger Step 1
– Once the element matrices are done
done, Step 2
assembling them into a global matrix is Step 3
a simple task Step 4
Step 5
• Step 6 is the same idea,
idea but
but… Step 6
Step 7
– “extraordinary models require
extraordinary techniques…”
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Solids


– Solution usually stated as: Introduction
– {{u}} = [[K]]-1{{P}} FEA Process
– In reality a number of different techniques are used to An Example
find {u} – we don’t invert [K] per se Complicated
• Gaussian elimination that you learned in school is very Models
slow Step 1
• Upper/Lower Decomposition techniques faster Step 2
• Sparse solution methods often used Step 3
– Since most elements of a model usually connect to only a Step 4
limited number of other elements, [K] usually has a lot of Step 5
zero terms
– The matrix is often “almost” diagonal Step 6
• Iterative solvers sometimes faster Step 7
– Guess at a solution and iterate and adjust until it works

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and solids


• Step 7 – Finding results from displacements Introduction
– Using the defined [B] strain/displacement equation, FEA Process
you can get strains from {u} An Example
– From strains, depending on the element formulation, Complicated
you can get stresses, internal forces, etc. Models
– Recall that we were numerically evaluating the Step 1
solution at a limited number of places – the Gauss Step 2
Points Step 3
– Results often reported at Gauss points Step 4
Step 5
– Centroidal (element center) and Nodal (element
corner) results must be interpolated and extrapolated Step 6
from the Gauss point values using the shape Step 7
functions (from step 2)

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Plates and Solids


Introduction
• So how do we choose all these FEA Process
An Example
things? Complicated
Models
• Let’s look at a simple model that can Choosing
Elements
be solved in many ways Interpreting
– Illustrate advantages and Results
FEM Codes
disadvantages of different element Wrapping Up
types
– Help guide your choices
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Some Comparisons…
Introduction
FEA Process
Consider a simple cantilever beam: An Example
Complicated
P = 10 psi Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
10”
1”

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
FEA Process
“Theoretical”
“Th ti l” Roark
R k Solution
S l ti for
f the
th end
d deflection:
d fl ti An Example
Complicated
δ = wl4/8EI w = 10 lb/in Models
Choosing
l = 10 in Elements
δ = .00500” E = 30x106 Interpreting
Results
I = bh3/12 = 1x13/12 = .0833 FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
“Theoretical” Solution for the root moment is: Models
M = wl2/2 Choosing
Elements
M = 500 in-lb Interpreting
Results
“Theoretical” Solution for the root stress is: FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
σ = Mc/I
σ = 3000 psi

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• We’ll start with the simplest FEA Process
An Example
approximation Complicated
Models
– A beam model Choosing
– Beams are ‘theoretically
‘ correct’’ so it Elements
Interpreting
should be a slam dunk, right? Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
FEA Process
OK, it sounds simple
OK simple, so I run it through my An Example
FEM code. But I get the following answers: Complicated
Models
δ = .00507 Choosing
σ = 3000. psi Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
.00507?
00507? Wrapping Up

Shouldn’t the beam be giving me the


exact Roark answer?
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Not necessarily – Nastran may just make a Introduction
FEA Process
different set of assumptions: An Example
Nastran users typically use a PBAR card like this: Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
$ 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
PBAR 1 1 1. .083333 .083333 .140833
Interpreting
.5 .5 -.5 .5 -.5 -.5 .5 -.5 Results
0.85012 0.85012 0. FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

•Nastran is including the shear deflections here, so the deflection is


greater by the amount of the shear
•However, the shear stress is not included in the stress report, so the
stress value agrees with the Roark solution www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
• If the section were non-symmetric, there FEA Process
would ld be
b additional
dditi l considerations
id ti An Example
Complicated
– Offset of centroid and shear center Models
Choosing
(twisting) Elements
– Warping Interpreting
Results
– Non-uniform shear distribution FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
• Nastran CBEAM does these, Roark doesn’t
– Even simple beams can get complicated!!
• Nastran CBAR is a simpler element
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• One further note FEA Process
An Example
– My model used 10 elements along the Complicated
length Models
Choosing
– Identical results
res lts would
o ld be obtained for Elements
Interpreting
this problem using a single element Results
• If the deflection along the beam (or the FEM Codes
deformed shape is unimportant), you can Wrapping Up
use fewer bars

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
OK, now let’s make it from shell elements, and try Introduction
FEA Process
different meshes to see what works: An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
δ = .00504 Very nice
Results
σ = 2713 psi ~10%
10% low
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• With more Elements… FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
δ = .00505 All nice!
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
σ = 3083 psi

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• Now about if we turn the FEA Process
An Example
elements on their side so they Complicated
Models
g
are in bending? Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
• 1x10 mesh FEA Process
An Example
ƒ δ = .00502” Nice Complicated
Models
ƒ σ = 2797 p
psi A little low Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
• With a 4x40 mesh? FEA Process
An Example
ƒ δ = 00502” Nice Complicated
Models
ƒ σ = 3174 p
psi A little high, but not too much Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
How about triangles? Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
δ = .00117 Terrible! Results
σ = 823 psi Even worse!
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

Recall that triangles have different formulations that are not


as effective as QUADs!
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• Or lots of triangles?
g FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
δ = .00439 Still too stiff Interpreting
Results
σ = 2558 psi Still low FEM Codes
4-node triangles are too stiff – you can use them here and Wrapping Up
there in a model, but you don’t want a whole model made
from them.
And because they are stiffer than quads
quads, they will
preferentially take the load.
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
How about ‘bad’ elements? Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
δ = .00429
00429 Bad, but not too bad FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
σ = 2194 psi Same…

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
How about bad elements with QUADRs? FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
δ = .00481 Much better Interpreting
σ = 2937 psi Very much better
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
QUADR elements tolerate distortions much better then QUAD4s

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever Test
Introduction
What about solid elements? FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
δ = .00499 Great for one elment! Interpreting
Results
σ = 2479 psi Not too bad here either FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• Or lots of solid elements… FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
δ = .00501 Very nice Results
FEM Codes
σ = 3006 psi Very nice too. Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
FEA Process
Why
h ddoes everyone tell
ll me to avoid
id TET4 elements?
l An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
δ = .00127 As bad as triangles Results
FEM Codes
σ = 850 psi Terrible! Wrapping Up

Recall that TET elements, like triangles, have different formulations


•They are often ‘too
too stiff
stiff’
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• Lots of TET elements? FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
δ = .00385 FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
Still bad
σ = 2330 psi

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
But what if I use parabolic TET10 elements? Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
δ = .00490 Not bad for a single element! Results
FEM Codes
σ = 2403 psi Not great, but not terrible Wrapping Up

Most meshers automatically create these instead of TET4 elements!


A single element is good for displacement
displacement, but more are needed for stress
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Cantilever test
Introduction
• And with lots of them… FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
δ = .00501 Results
σ = 2998 psi
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
This is a very good answer, but it required 4129 grids!!!

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Conclusions from this test


• A fine mesh cures many ills Introduction
FEA Process
– Unless you use the wrong elements
elements… An Example
• It takes a lot of tets to get the right answer Complicated
Models
• Parabolic tets can help a lot, especially for Choosing
Elements
distorted geometries and places where you Interpreting
are forced into tets Results
FEM Codes
• Many meshes give good displacements,
displacements Wrapping Up
but still give bad stresses
• It’s jjust hard to g
get g
good stresses – be
wary! www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Conclusions from this test


Introduction
• One last conclusion: FEA Process
An Example
– The structure looked like a beam Complicated
Models
– The beam model g gave the best Choosing
Elements
answers with the fewest number Interpreting
Results
of elements FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Getting Results
Introduction
• Now lets revisit step 7, getting FEA Process
An Example
results… Complicated
Models
– FEM codes really only calculate Gauss Choosing
point results Elements
Interpreting
• Nastran has no mechanism to get the Gauss Results
Point stresses FEM Codes
• Nastran interpolates to get centroid values Wrapping Up

• Nastran extrapolates to get element corner


results
– These are not “Nodal” stresses –they are
www.NEiSoftware.com
calculated by each element for its own nodes 1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Getting Results
Introduction
• Post-Processors plot nodal results FEA Process
(usually) not element corner results An Example
Complicated
• The extrapolation usually produces Models
different values from different Choosing
Elements
elements for the same nodes Interpreting
• Element results therefore must be Results
FEM Codes
manipulated at the nodes to create a Wrapping Up
single value for the plot
• Consider this example…
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• This is a typical
yp element FEA Process
An Example
N4 N3 Complicated
Models
G4 G3 Choosing
Elements
Centroid Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
G1 G2 Wrapping Up

N1 N2

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• Results are reported
p at element FEA Process
An Example
corners and centroids like this: Complicated
Models
100 90
Choosing
Elements
G4 G3 Interpreting
Results
80 FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
G1 G2

70 60
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• Consider another element connected FEA Process
An Example
to this element: Complicated
100 90 Models
125 110
Choosing
Elements
G4 G3 G4 G3 Interpreting
Results
95 80 FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
G1 G2 G1 G2

80 65 70 60
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• And at the connected nodes, the FEA Process
An Example
elements have different Complicated
answers! Models
Choosing
– This is typical (and not necessarily Elements
Interpreting
wrong) Results
FEM Codes
– To get a ‘nodal’
nodal value for the post Wrapping Up
processor, it is necessary to come
up with some ‘best g guess’
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• Some typical
yp ways
y to do this: FEA Process
An Example
– Average the connected elements Complicated
Models
• 110+100/2 = 105 Choosing
Elements
• Most common default method Interpreting
Results
• ‘Stress Averaging’ FEM Codes
Wrapping Up
– Pick the largest
• Max(110,100) = 110

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• This is fine as long as the elements FEA Process
An Example
are the same thickness and that the Complicated
results are something that makes Models
Choosing
sense to average or pick the max of Elements
Interpreting
– But if they are different? Results
FEM Codes
– Consider…
Consider Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• A beam made from plates of two FEA Process
thicknesses:
thi k An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
• You expect a stress distribution like Wrapping Up
this:

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
• But if the element results are Introduction
FEA Process
averaged it could look like this:
averaged, An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
The peak is now in wrong location and wrong magnitude! Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
Introduction
• The moral of the story
y is… FEA Process
An Example
– Be careful with what you plot Complicated
Models
• Smooth contours look nice but may Choosing
Elements
hide high stresses Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Results
• Look at the real element results! Introduction
• Don’t average
g adjacent
j elements – especially
p y if they
y FEA Process
are different thicknesses or materials An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
Interpreting
Results
FEM Codes
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

FEM Codes
• Not all FEM Codes are created equally Introduction
FEA Process
• Different codes designed for different purposes An Example
– Linear codes – optimized for infinitesimal Complicated
displacements Models
Choosing
– Nonlinear codes – optimized for iteration
Elements
• [K] changes during solution Interpreting
– Implicit codes –statics, build and solve [K]-1 Results
FEM Codes
– Explicit codes – fast,
fast solve at [Ke] level,
level nonlinear Wrapping Up
– Eulerian codes – for fluids (constant volume)
– Thermal codes – heat transfer
• There is no one code that can do everything!
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

FEM Codes
Introduction
• Infinitesimal displacements FEA Process
– The
Th motion
ti off the
th noded is
i An Example
inconsequential to the solution of the Complicated
Models
problem Choosing
• Example – cantilever beam Elements
• Large displacements Interpreting
Results
– The motion of the nodes changes the FEM Codes
solution
l ti Wrapping Up
• Example fixed-fixed beam
• Bouncing ball
• Contact
C t t
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Infinitesimal Displacements
Introduction
• Cantilever beam FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
– Tip motion does not affect root load Interpreting
significantly for small displacements Results
FEM Codes
– Effect
Eff t isi proportional
ti l to
t sin(theta)
i (th t ) Wrapping Up

• =~ 0 for small deflections (<1/10 length)

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Infinitesimal Displacements
• Fixed-Fixed Beam Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Elements
– Initially no bending, no axial load – all shear Interpreting
– Once center deflects, bending and axial loads Results
appear and grow FEM Codes
• Becomes primary load path! Wrapping Up
– Motion of the beam center affects the responses
significantly
• Not an infinitesimal deflection problem
• An ID code will not show this effect!
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

FEM Codes
Introduction
• Linear ((Most FEM codes FEA Process
An Example
including NEi Nastran do this) Complicated
Models
– Stiffness matrix stays
y the same for Choosing
Elements
the entire solution Interpreting
Results
• Single unique static solution FEM Codes
– Loads can be applied in any order Wrapping Up

• Unique steps for other solutions


– Transient,
Transient frequency response
response, modal
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

FEM Codes
Introduction
• Nonlinear (NEi Nastran does this too!) FEA Process
– Stiffness
Stiff matrix
t i changes
h as solution
l ti evolves
l An Example
• Load applied in increments Complicated
Models
• Solutions necessary for each increment to get
Choosing
answer
Elements
– May require multiple iterations to get results for
Interpreting
each increment
Results
– Solve the static problem many times!
FEM Codes
• Solution is load path dependent Wrapping Up
– Order of loads is important
• Large displacements require a nonlinear solution

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

FEM Codes
Introduction
• Implicit (NEi Nastran or NEi Fusion) FEA Process
– Full
F ll stiffness
tiff and
d mass matrices
ti assembled
bl d and
d An Example
solved Complicated
Models
– Variety of solutions
Choosing
• Transient,
Transient modal
modal, static Elements
• Explicit (NEI Explicit for example) Interpreting
Results
– Solved at element level – no big matrices FEM Codes
– O l ttransient
Only i t solution
l ti available
il bl Wrapping Up
– Good for highly nonlinear problems
– Good for very large models

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Other Applications
• In general, the finite element method Introduction
FEA Process
can be applied to any continuum An Example
described by partial differential Complicated
Models
equations Choosing
Elements
• Thermal Analysis Interpreting
Results
• Fluid flow/wave propagation FEM Codes
• Electromagnetic Wrapping Up

• Dynamics

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Other Applications
Introduction
– Example: Steady-state heat conduction FEA Process
An Example
• Replace the structural stiffness matrix with Complicated
the matrix of thermal conductivities Models
Choosing
• q = kT where
where, q is heat flow k is thermal Elements
conductivity and T is temperature Interpreting
Results
• Single DOF at each node (temperature) Wrapping Up

• This is why most FEM codes also do thermal


problems!

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

References
• K. J. Bathe Introduction
Finite Element Procedures in Engineering Analysis FEA Process
P
Prentice-Hall,
ti H ll 1982 An Example
• R. D. Cook Complicated
Concepts and Applications of Finite Element Analysis Models
John Wiley & Sons, 1989 Choosing
• Harry G. Shaeffer Elements
MSC/NASTRAN PRIMER, 1998 Interpreting
Results
• Richard H. MacNeal Wrapping Up
Finite Elements: Their Design and Performance
• O. C. Zienkiewicz
The Finite Element Method
McGraw-Hill, 1994
• J.N. Reddy
An Introduction to the Finite Element Method www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
McGraw-Hill, 1984
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Conclusions
Introduction
• Now you should be somewhat FEA Process
An Example
familiar with some FEM buzzwords: Complicated
Models
– Gauss Points Choosing
– S
Shape Functions Elements
Interpreting
– Continuity Results
Wrapping Up
– Explicit/Implicit
– Large Displacements
– Etc…
www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

Conclusions
• But seriously, you should have a passing familiarity
with these concepts Introduction
FEA Process
– Why there are all sorts of different element types An Example
• Which type is or is not appropriate to use Complicated
Models
– Approximation issues with FEM Choosing
• Linear assumption Elements
Interpreting
• Infinitesimal assumption Results
• Shapep functions Wrapping Up
• Distorted elements
• Triangle and TET issues
– Results and where they come from
• Averaging by post-processors www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary
Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Design, Analysis, and Simulation

The End
Introduction
FEA Process
An Example
Complicated
Models
Choosing
Thank You for Joining Us! Elements
Interpreting
Results
Wrapping Up

www.NEiSoftware.com
1-77-Nastran
NEi Sensitive/Proprietary