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FINITE ELEMENT METHODS

COMPUTER TUTORIAL 1 ANALYSIS OF STRUCTURES BUILT OF BEAMS WITH STRAND7 Truss Structure In the STRAND7 program, go to Help Topics, STRAND7 tutorials. Do the first tutorial, Problem 1 – Static analysis of a truss. The help file can be kept open while you build the model. The members of the truss are universal beams 150 mm deep weighing 18 kgf/m (150UB18.0). The cross-sectional dimensions of these (from the Onesteel catalog) are:

9.5 mm

6 mm

155 mm

75 mm

STRAND7 does have its own on-line catalog of steel sections, but for this exercise, enter the dimensions to ‘edit’ the section. Print the deflections for the case of rigid joints, and for the case of pin joints. Note the difference. In the latter case, the values can be checked by a hand calculation. We will check the deflection due to load case 2 by hand for the pin-jointed case. To do this, first find support reactions. Then find the member forces reacting to the applied loading by summing forces at joints. Check that STRAND7 agrees with these member loads. One way to find the horizontal deflection at the loaded point, node 6, is to equate the work done by the load P to the energy stored in the frame. That is, if Ti is the tension in member i, and Li is length, then deflection δ in the direction of the load is found by equating ½ P δ to Σ ½ Ti2Li/(EAi) where Ai is the cross-sectional area of member i. Sample problems There are two structures built of beams supplied with STRAND7. Make a local copy and open the first of these (\Mechanical Engineering\Subjects\E4309\tower.st7). Run the static solver and open the result file. Note that results can be presented as bending moment and internal force data or as stresses. The bending moment and force data is needed for design in accordance with the Australian standard on steel structures AS4100, as it requires buckling calculations. If a member is close to buckling, bending moments

In order to get the orientation right the first time. You should be asked if you want to create the new combined load case. The orientation can be checked as you draw the beams. Open the result file. Reference node – in the plane of axes 2 and 3 Local axis 2 – minor principal axis Local axis 3 – centroidal axis of the beam N1 Local axis 1 – major principal axis Build a STRAND7 model of the frame on the next page. (A local system must be used. then Total Fibre. these being the major and minor principal axes of the cross-section (or local x and y axes). must form a triangle in plane 2. as this becomes node . taking care to orient the beams correctly. with the result file closed. This node. Which end of the beam you click on first matters. Axis 2 is normal to the beam. Plane 1 is the plane containing axis 1: this may be a plane parallel to the flange of an I beam in a 2D model. Three-dimensional Frame To model a three dimensional structure with beams. Hence the stresses based on a small deflection analysis given by STRAND7 may be underestimates. To orient these axes. and create the properties before you mesh the beams. and plane 2 is the plane containing axis 2. but towards the reference node. the orientation of the principal axes of the cross-section needs to be specified. Beam. To do this. Then in Results Settings for a beam. change the display mode from Diagram (bending moment diagram) to Contour. if you set STRAND7 to plot the cross-section (View. so that the section properties can be interpreted. to distinguish bending moments from torques and axial loads from shear forces). for finite rotation effects. Force and moment results are reported in this local axis system. and 3m long. Select Add and make both factors one. typically the web of an I beam in a 2D model. before stresses are calculated from them. due to both the applied moment and self-weight acting together. then Linear Load Case Combinations. using a Beam3 element. The vertical members are equal angle sections 200 x 200 x 18 in cross-section.are corrected according to the standard. Solid). find the worst stress in the tower frame. with the nodes at each end of the beam. you need to be conscious of the local axis convention shown above. and pick Stress. The top beams are 2m long and are 200 deep channel sections (Parallel Flange Channel). go to Results. This is done using transverse local axes 1 and 2. As an exercise in interpreting results. Element Display. to simply add the results. a third node is used (Beam3 element).

Note that in a 3D structure. so you do not select nodes to delete by mistake. Distributed Load. Find the worst total fibre stress due to the vertical distributed load shown. Beam. which for an equal angle is at 45 degrees to the side of the frame. There is no suitable node in this position which is part of the structure.N1 and orients local axis 3. Channels Angle members Legs fully fixed Apply the distributed loading shown of 5000N/m (Attribute. If you orient a beam wrong. Recall that the plane containing the reference node is the plane containing the minor principal axis (axis 2 – the red one on the display of the cross-section). Fix the vertical members at their base (Attribute. Global). Buckling Analysis The critical load for buckling of a structure can be estimated as a second step. Beam. You will need to use dynamic rotation to get appropriate viewing angles to see the orientation of beams. Also note in this problem that you could create special nodes that do not form part of the structure to act as reference nodes. Node. members are twisted as well as bent. The buckling analysis takes the stresses already found can uses them to compute a “geometric stiffness matrix” or “stress stiffness . You can switch beams on with the top menu and nodes off. after a linear elastic small deflection analysis. Plot the torsional shear stress on the beam surface – this is small – note that STRAND7 uses “slices” along the beam for this plot. Restraint). Principal Axis Angle and select the beam change the angle. Check this by an analytical estimate made for a single beam. This can occur when open sections are twisted. use Attribute. One detail this analysis will not reveal is local direct stresses at joints due to restraint of warping of the crosssection (ie prevention of axial deformation).

but can predict the onset of buckling. Run the buckling solver for the 3D frame above and find by what factor the loading given could be increased before buckling occurs. Only the beam on one side of C . they can be used. so that a load meets no resistance. The spring and the other links can be modeled using beams.matrix” KG. Basically buckling occurs when the geometric stiffness cancels out the linear elastic stiffness. This matrix is used to solve an eigenvalue problem. [K]u = λ [KG]u. with end-releases used to selectively create pin joints. with care. A negative λ means that the direction of the load must be reversed to cause buckling. Observe the deformed shapes of the modes of buckling. Modelling a mechanism While programs like STRAND7 or NASTRAN are intended for analysing structures. An example is the vehicle suspension arrangement below. Note also that local buckling can occur due to distortion of a cross-section. especially if quasistatic conditions apply. wheel A 30° B 200 mm Load from road D 200 mm 300 mm The pin joints at A and C can be created using restraints. Local buckling will not be detected by this solution. to do a force balance on a mechanism. This approach is unable to predict accurately what happens with finite deformation. The eigenvalue λ is the scaling factor on the loading previously applied to the linear analysis that will cause buckling. The lowest value of λ is usually the only significant one. This matrix describes changes in stiffness due to changes in shape (mainly due to finite rotation). Those at B and D require an end release so two different rotations can exist at the joint.

with geometric nonlinearity turned on. This solver requires that the load be incremented. We do not need to do this. End Release. and which load case is used.5. an iterative solution is used to get the internal forces to balance the external forces. We wish to find the force in the spring. Beam. if desired. The point of incrementing the load is to keep the rotations small in each increment. . (c) The maximum “fibre stress” (ie axial stress in a fibre) in the 3D frame. It can be modelled as a beam reset to be a spring in the property window. (e) A comparison of the lowest buckling load with that expected treating the vertical members as fixed-pinned columns. Rotation) by clicking near the end of the beam you want to release to rotate about axis 1. The spring should be given only an axial stiffness of 150 kN m-1. At each of these stages. Can you get analytical estimates that bound the result from STRAND7? (f) The spring load from the linear analysis of the suspension and the check on it. The wheel reaction is 3000N.8. This is done using the Load Increment button on the solver menu to specify a series of fractions of the load to be successively applied (eg 0. (b) The most tensile and the most compressive direct stresses in the tower sample problem. Fractions of imposed displacements can be applied as well. As we only want to do a force analysis. identified by their freedom case.the joint should be given an end release.1.0. and to the deflection of the wheel. Using the linear solver. Use the default number of cycles. as the solution each increment is only valid for small rotations. Submit (a) Deflections for the truss structure and the hand calculation used to check a deflection. The spring load from the nonlinear analysis. find the force in the spring. the other beams can be given any reasonable properties. Note what difference the correction for the actual deflected shape makes to the force predicted in the spring. Check this answer using statics. or with other end conditions. Apply the end releases at B and D (Attribute. Figure out the geometry of the problem using the dimensions given above (this requires some hand calculation). Then run the nonlinear solver (not in the demo version of STRAND7). and an analytical check on this stress. This is called equilibrium iteration. The positions of nodes are updated each increment. (d) The computed modes of buckling of the 3D frame and the total load needed to cause each mode. Note this applies to the undeformed geometry.0). for a particular wheel reaction force.

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