Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 293

Finite Element Best Practices

Instructor: Dr. Nicholas M. Veikos

CAEA
Revised: 04/22/98

This unpublished work, first created in 1997 and updated thereafter, is protected under the copyright laws of the United States and of other countries throughout the world. Use, disassembly, reproduction, distribution, etc., without the express written consent of United Technologies Corporation is prohibited. Copyright United Technologies Corporation 1997. All rights reserved. Information contained herein is proprietary and confidential and improper use or disclosure may results in civil and penal sanctions.

Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Overview
D What is FEA? D Advantages of FEA? D Disadvantages of FEA? D Nodal degrees of freedom.

Table of Contents

3 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Theory
D Fundamental equations for structural analysis. D Fundamental equations for thermal analysis. D System assembly/decomposition. D Element shape functions. D Linear rectangle shape functions. D Quadratic rectangle shape functions. D Incompatible linear rectangle. D Linear and quadratic triangle shape functions. D Pelement shape functions. D Isoparametric elements. D Numerical integration. D Fundamental characteristics of finite element solutions. D Natural boundary conditions.

Table of Contents

4 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Theory (Continued)


D Standard element types. D Truss/Rod or Spar elements D Beam/Bar element. D 2D solid elements D Shell elements. D Brick elements. D Tetrahedron elements. D Gap elements. D General contact elements. D Finite element model coordinate systems.

Table of Contents

5 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing
D General considerations. D How to begin. D Element selection. D Plane stress/plane strain. D Shell elements. D Axisymmetric vs. 3D slice. D Connecting 2D to 3D axisymmetric models. D Why does everyone hate Tets? D Mixing element types (general case) D Stress singularities D Applying loads and other boundary conditions. D Symmetry types. D Constraining rigid body motion. D What is rigid body motion? D Thermal equivalent to rigid body motion. D Typical error messages for rigid body motion. D Minimum constraints to inhibit rigid body motion. D Finding problems in complex models.

Table of Contents

6 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing (Continued)
D Coupling/constraint equations. D Contact elements vs. coupling equations. D Stress stiffening and spin softening. D Stress stiffening. D Spin softening. D Saint Venants principle. D Common modeling problems/errors. D Preloaded joints. D Interference fits. D 3D problems modeled as 2D. D Orthotropic materials. D Composite materials. D Element types for composite analysis. D 2D shell. D 3D solid D Axisymmetric elements. D Software available for composites analysis.

Table of Contents

7 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing (Continued)
D Dynamics modeling D Dynamics mesh density considerations. D Dynamic analysis type vs. software suitability table. D Element shape checking D Conditioning D Model review checklist

Table of Contents

8 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Postprocessing
D General considerations. D Stepbystep postprocessing. D LCF and Fracture analysis considerations.

Table of Contents

9 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix A: Mesh density/element type comparisons


D Mesh density/element type comparisons D Hole in a plate D Two dimensional beam in pure bending D Two dimensional beam in shear D Three dimensional beam in torsion D Result accuracy for shear in short beam D Effect of distorted elements

Table of Contents

10 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix B: Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis


D Example of rotor assembly analysis D Determine your objectives D Note your modelling assumptions D Show loads and restraints (free body diagram) D Mesh and apply boundary conditions D Model verification

Table of Contents

11 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix C: Example of blade outer gas seal (BOGS) analysis


D Example of blade outer gas seal analysis

Table of Contents

12 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix D: Bolted joint procedure


D Bolted Joint procedure D 2D procedure D Uses D Limitations D Outline of Methodology D Detailed modelling instructions

Table of Contents

13 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

OVERVIEW

Overview

14 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

WHAT IS FEA?
FEA (finite element analysis), or the FEM (finite element method), was primarily developed by engineers using physical reasoning and can trace much of its origin to matrix methods of structural analysis. The finite element method is a computer-aided mathematical technique that is used to obtain an approximate numerical solution to the fundamental differential and/or integral equations that predict the response of physical systems to external effects.

Overview

15 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

WHAT IS FEA? (Cont.)


The steps employed in FEA are outlined below:
D The part or system is divided into smaller, simpler regions called elements. Such elements touch but do not overlap and are very simple in shape, e.g., triangles/quadrilaterals in 2-D, tetrahedrons, wedges, and bricks in 3-D. The subdivision process is called mesh generation. An example of a simple 2-D solid geometry representation of a pillow block and the associated mesh of 2-D quadrilateral and triangular elements is shown in the next two figures. Note, the mesh shown is not meant to be indicative of a good mesh.

2-D SOLID MODEL OF PILLOW BLOCK

Overview

16 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

WHAT IS FEA? (Cont.)


Note that the finite element model looks similar to a jigsaw puzzle. However, we do not want the finite element model to behave like a jigsaw puzzle. At the interface between pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, shear and compressive forces can be transmitted but tensile forces cannot and hence the interfaces can open up. This means that in a jigsaw puzzle we do not maintain displacement compatibility (continuity) along the interelement boundary.
D In each element, the field variable(s) are approximated by simple functions, usually polynomials, and the coefficients of the polynomials are written in terms of the unknown values of the field variable(s) at the interelement connection points (vertices in the figure above) called nodes ( sometimes called grids). The functions that define the field variable, within each element, as a function of the nodal values and the coordinate location are called shape or interpolation functions. In structural problems the field variables are the displacements in each direction; in heat transfer the field variable is temperature. The functions employed are such that within an element and on its boundaries, the displacements are continuous and hence the interfaces will not open up as in a jigsaw puzzle.

COARSE 2-D MESH (QUADS AND TRIANGLES)

Overview

17 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

WHAT IS FEA? (Cont.)


D In each element, the governing equations are transformed into algebraic equations, called element equations, which, in general, represent an approximation to the governing equations in that region. In structural analysis, the element equations relate the displacements at the nodes of the element to the external nodal forces. Since the element shape is very simple and the element domain is small compared to the overall part/system, the polynomials employed are usually 2nd or 3rd order and yield 8-16 element equations in 2-D and 24-60 equations in 3-D structural problems for each element. D The overall part/system equations are assembled by adding the individual element contributions at common nodes. This set of equations is usually quite large; systems involving several hundred thousand equations are solved routinely. In structural analyses, the system equations represent nodal equilibrium in every direction at every node in the model. The corresponding equations for thermal analysis represent a scalar energy balance at each node. D The boundary conditions, such as specified nodal displacements and/or forces, are imposed by modifying the system equations. D The system equations are then solved using a direct technique, such as Gauss elimination, or an iterative technique, such as a preconditioned conjugate gradient solver. This yields the primary unknowns, the nodal values of the field variables, e.g., nodal displacements in a structural analysis and nodal temperatures in a thermal analysis. D Secondary quantities involving gradients of the field variables are then calculated from the individual polynomial assumptions within each element. In structural analysis, secondary quantities include element strains and stresses and vary throughout each element. In most cases, element nodal strains and stresses are recovered and are used for review purposes. In thermal analysis, secondary quantities include thermal gradients and flux and vary throughout each element. D Finally, solution results are sorted, listed and graphically displayed; this operation is called postprocessing.
Overview 18 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Advantages of FEA
The primary advantages of a finite element approach are outlined below:
D Complex geometry is easily accommodated. D Complex, nonlinear material properties can be employed. D Arbitrary boundary conditions can be applied. D Commercial computer codes can handle general classes of problems, rather than requiring different programs for plane, axisymmetric, 3-D, etc.

Overview

19 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Disadvantages of FEA
A number of disadvantages are associated with this technique:
D Solution is numerical rather than analytic. D Significant computing resources are required. D Large amount of input data needed for analysis. D Large amount of output information to be digested. D Small modeling errors can cause large changes in the solution.

Overview

20 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Nodal Degrees of Freedom


The finite element model consists of nodes and elements. A node is a user-defined, labeled point in space, at which the primary response of the system will be sampled. In a structural problem, the primary response, displacements and forces are calculated at nodes; in a thermal problem, temperatures and heat flows are computed at nodes. At every node, the system computes the degree of freedom (DOF) solution. In a structural problem, the degrees of freedom are the unknown nodal displacements required to accurately draw the predicted, deformed shape of the model. In some finite element codes, a structural model always has six degrees of freedom, three translations and three angular rotations, and the user must restrain any degrees of freedom that are not appropriate to the analysis. In other codes, the program automatically determines the appropriate nodal degrees of freedom by the type of elements that connect to the node. In all discussions from this point forward, structural nodal degrees of freedom are assumed to be the minimum number of nodal unknowns required to draw the deformed shape.

Overview

21 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

RotX RotZ Uy RotY Uz Ux

Rotational DOF allow outofplane bending but do not define the physical location. i.e. This is not the true angle of rotation.

Available Structural Degrees of Freedom


Overview 22 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Elements
An element represents an approximation to the structural or thermal field in a volumetric region in space. Elements can be graphically depicted as point, line, surface or volumetric entities but in reality each element approximates the behavior of a volumetric region. For example, an element that is graphically depicted as a straight line, may actually represent the centerline of a volume that is assumed to deform in accordance with beam theory. As in a hand calculation, the finite element code calculates the deformation of the centerline (the line element) and beam theory then predicts the deformation throughout the volume based on the kinematic assumption that plane sections remain plane.

Overview

23 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Elements (Cont.)
In general, every element has a minimum of four attributes in a commercial code:
D element type or library reference number D material reference number, which links the element definition to material properties D element property reference number, which typically links the element definition to other geometric data (not defined by the element nodes) such as shell thickness, beam cross-sectional area, etc. D node numbers of nodes that bound the element.

Additional attributes that define so-called element and/or material coordinate systems for the element are part of the element attributes in some codes.

Overview

24 Revised: 04/22/98

Overview
Meshing, Free and Mapped Meshes

The process of creating the finite element nodes and elements is typically called meshing. When a user meshes a particular region or part, the resulting mesh may be referred to as either a free mesh or a mapped mesh. See the next two figures for 2-D examples of each type of mesh. Free meshes are always easier to create than mapped meshes and allow the user to have more mesh control at the boundary lines at the expense of losing control of the shape and number of elements in the interior. Free meshes can be all quads in 2-D or mixtures of quads and triangles. Free meshes of volumetric regions are usually all tetrahedron elements unless a user takes a free mesh of surface elements and sweeps the surface mesh to create hexahedron elements. Mapped meshes are much more structured, typically look better and, particularly in 3-D since the mesh is all hexahedrons, employ a smaller number of elements. However, these characteristics do not ensure that a mapped mesh will produce more accurate results than a free mesh. In addition, if the simple regions(required for a mapped mesh) are not well-shaped, the resulting hexahedron elements will not be well-shaped.
March 15, 1999 FEM - BEST PRACTICES Overview - 20

Overview
Definition of a Mapped Mesh
A mapped mesh is an all quadrilateral (brick) mesh in 2-D (3-D) in which the internal element boundaries are bilinear interpolants of the boundary curves (surfaces) of the surface (volume) being meshed. To get a true mapped mesh, the following requirements must be met: surface must be bounded by 4 curves (composite curves are OK), the volume must be bounded by 5 or 6 surfaces, each of which is bounded by 4 curves number of elements on opposite lines must be equal

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Overview - 21

Overview
Definition of a Free Mesh

A free, sometimes called automatic, mesh is a more unstructured mesh. An area can have an arbitrary number of boundary lines with arbitrary element sizes on each line. The user gives up control of the internal mesh shape in return for ease of use. Such meshes can be all quads or a mixture of quads and triangles in 2-D. In 3-D, a free mesh of a volume typically creates all tetrahedral elements. The volume can be bounded by an arbitrary number of areas(surfaces).

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Overview - 22

Overview
Meshing

Free meshes are not unique. That is, with the same meshing specification, different programs will produce meshes that are quite different. Mapped meshes are, for the most part, unique. User controls on mesh density(fineness of mesh) generally allow several of the following options: # of elements or element size on individual lines; biasing on the line usually takes the form of a user-specified geometric progression or a spacing ratio, the size of the last element on the line to the first element on the line Element size at endpoints of lines Local and/or global specification of element sizes in regions or wherever another specification is not given.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Overview - 23

FEA BEST PRACTICES

ELEMENT THEORY

Element Theory

25 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis


The fundamental equations employed in structural analysis are nodal equilibrium equations, which can be expressed in matrix notation as:

[M] U ) [C] U ) [K]{ U } + { F }


where:
[M] = mass matrix

..

U U
.

..

= nodal acceleration vector

[C] = damping matrix = nodal velocity vector [K] = stiffness matrix { U } = nodal displacement vector { F } = nodal force vector

This equation expresses dynamic nodal equilibrium, i.e., the inertia forces plus the damping forces plus the elastic forces at the nodes must balance the externally applied nodal forces. In this case, displacements and forces are generalized to include translations/rotations and forces/moments at the nodes.

Element Theory

26 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


The equations simplify for static, or quasi-static analysis to an equation that looks like the matrix form of a simple spring equation:

[K]{ U } + { F }
This equation represents nodal equilibrium at every node in the model in every direction. The stiffness coefficient Kij, the entry in the ith row and jth column of the [K] matrix, is the force required in the direction of DOF I to produce a unit displacement of DOF J while holding all other displacements equal to zero. This physical interpretation is the basis for developing stiffness matrices based on physical reasoning and experimental results. The overall stiffness, mass, damping matrices and force vector are calculated by assembling element contributions at common nodes.

Element Theory

27 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


Element characteristics are calculated on the basis of physical reasoning for very simple elements such as springs, spars and beams. Consider the simplest finite element, a linear spring having two degrees of freedom, the extensional displacements at each end. Employ the fundamental definition of a stiffness coefficient, impose a unit displacement at one end and restrain all other degrees of freedom. Each unit displacement condition generates one column of the element stiffness matrix.
U1 1 k 1 FR 1 1 1 k 2 F R + K 11 + k K 21 + * k K 11 k 12 N[ K ] + K K 21 22 2 k(lbsinch) U2

2 1 F R + K 22 + k K 12 + * k

For a system experiencing nonzero values of U1 and U2, superposition yields,

or in matrix form,

F1 F2

K 11 K 12 + F + K K 21 22


U1 U2

F 1 + K 11U 1 ) K 12U 2 F 2 + K 21U 1 ) K 22U 2

+ [ K ]{ U }

where [K] is the element stiffness matrix for the spring element.
Element Theory 28 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


The element contributions are summed to form the overall system equilibrium equations. Consider the simple two-element model shown below:
k + 10lbsinch 1 1 2 2 2K 60 lbs 3

The element stiffness matrices are,


U1 10 [ K ] 1 + * 10

* 10 [ K ] 2 + 20 * 20 10 * 20 20 K 12 K 13 U1 K 22 K 23 U2 U K 32 K 33 3 * 10 * 20 0 0 30 * 20 U

U2

U2

U3

Assembling the element contributions yields the overall system equations,

F1 K11 F2 +K21 F3 K31 F1 10 0 +* 10 60 0

2 20 U 3

Element Theory

29 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


Note the system characteristics:
D The element and overall system stiffness matrices are symmetric. D Each column sums to zero; if the DOF contain both translations and rotations, each column will not sum to zero. D The main diagonal elements are always positive. D The system stiffness matrix is sparse and banded. D At every node, in every direction, the user knows either the nodal displacement or the applied nodal force (but not both).

The last two equations can be solved for U2 and U3 and, then knowing U2 and U3, the reaction force at node 1 can be calculated from the first equation.

Element Theory

30 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


Most elements are formulated on the basis of an energy principle or a weighted residual approach. The overall approach is outlined below:
D Assume a displacement field for the element, usually a polynomial function. D Compute the polynomial coefficients in terms of the unknown nodal displacement components. D Calculate the strains in terms of the nodal displacements. D Use the stress-strain relationship to derive the stress nodal displacement equations. D Substitute the expressions for stress and strain into the strain energy calculation and integrate over the element volume to obtain the element stiffness matrix. D Substitute the nodal displacement approximations into the expression for work done to obtain equivalent nodal forces.

Element Theory

31 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


In equation form, this procedure produces the equations:
{ d } + displacementvector, componentsaref(x, y, z) { d } + [N]{ U }

where is the vector of the displacement field components, the N matrix contains the interpolation or shape functions that define the spatial variation of the displacements, and the U vector contains the element nodal displacements. In a 2-D formulation, has two components, the x- and y-components of displacement. Note that the components of are functions of position, the entries in U are simply unknown constant values of the displacement components at each node of the element.

Linear triangle
Y X 1 2

Linear shape function:

u x + a ) bx ) cy u x + x + b x

Element Theory

32 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


Differentiating the vector to obtain the strains () in terms of the nodal displacements, yields

{ } + [ B ]{ U }
where the coefficients of [B] are, in most cases, a function of position(x,y,z) and are obtained by differentiating the coefficients of [N]. Hence the strains are not constant throughout the element unless the [B] matrix is composed entirely of constant terms.

Element Theory

33 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


The stress-strain relationship (Hookes Law for linear, elastic materials) is written as

{s } + [ D ]{ }
where is the column vector of stress components, i.e., normal and shear stresses. The [D] matrix coefficients are combinations of material constants such as Youngs modulus, Poissons ratio and shear modulus; isotropic or nonisotropic material laws can be easily modeled.

Element Theory

34 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


The stresses at any point inside the element, or on its boundary, can be calculated from

{s } + [ D ][ B ]{ U }
By inserting the coordinates (x,y,z) of an element stress sampling point into the coefficients of [B], the stress components at that point can be computed. In most cases, strains and stresses are calculated at the nodes of the element; however, the finite element model yields a prediction of these fields at every point in the element.

Element Theory

35 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Structural Analysis (Cont.)


An energy principle can be used to derive the element characteristics. The stiffness matrix, mass matrix and equivalent nodal load vector for a given element are given by:

[N] [N]dV [K] + [B] [D][B]dV { F } + [N] { b }dV ) [N] { t }dA


[M] +
T T T T

where the b and t vectors are body forces per unit volume and surface forces per unit surface area ,respectively and is the mass density of the material. All integrations are done over the volume of the element or the surface area over which the external traction is applied. The damping matrix in many applications is based on Rayleigh (proportional) damping and hence [C] is formed by linear combinations of [K] and [M]. The K and M matrices are symmetric which reduces computer storage requirements considerably.

Element Theory

36 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for ModeFrequency Analysis


The equation of motion for an undamped system in matrix notation is:

) [K]{ U } + {0} [M] U


For a linear system, free vibrations will be harmonic of the form:

..

{u } + { f } i cos w it
Where:

{f } + wi + t+

eigenvector representing the mode shape of the ith natural frequency ith natural circular frequency (radians per unit time) time

Thus, the equation of motion becomes:

* w i 2[M] ) [K]{ f } i + {0}


Element Theory 37 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for ModeFrequency Analysis (Cont.)


This equation is satisfied if either {F}i = {0} or if the determinant of ([K] w2 [M]) is zero. The first option is trivial and, therefore, not if interest. Thus, the second one gives the solution:

[K] * w 2[M] + 0
This is an eigenvalue problem which may be solved for up to n values of w2 and n eigenvectors {F}i which satisfy the equation of motion where n is the number of degrees of freedom.

Element Theory

38 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Thermal Analysis


The fundamental equations employed in thermal analysis are scalar energy balances at each node, which can be expressed in matrix notation as:


where:

K Q T C T ) +

[C] + SpecificHeatMatrix

+ nodalrateofchangeoftemperaturevector

[K] + effectivethermalconductivitymatrix { T } + nodaltemperaturevector { Q } + nodalexternalheatflowvector

The thermal element formulation is very similar to the structural problem.

Element Theory

39 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Thermal Analysis (Cont.)


Repeating the element procedure employed in the structural formulation,
T + [N]{T n}

where T(x,y,z) is the temperature at any point within the element or on the element boundaries and the components of the Tn vector are the element nodal temperatures. Differentiating to obtain the thermal gradients, in terms of the nodal temperatures, yields

{g } +

T, x T, y T, z

+ [B]{T n}

where the coefficients of [B] are, in most cases, a function of position (x,y,z). A comma denotes differentiation with respect to the variable following the comma. The thermal gradients are not constant throughout the element unless the [B] matrix is composed entirely of constant terms.

Element Theory

40 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Thermal Analysis (Cont.)


Fouriers Law of heat conduction is written as

{ f } + [D]{ g }
where f is the column vector of thermal flux components. The [D] matrix coefficients are simply the thermal conductivities for the material, again both isotropic or nonisotropic properties are easily included. The flux at any point inside the element, or on its boundary, can be calculated from

{ f } + [D][B]{T n}
By inserting the coordinates (x,y,z) of an element flux sampling point into the coefficients of [B], the flux components at that point can be computed.

Element Theory

41 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Equations for Thermal Analysis (Cont.)


The conductivity matrix, specific heat matrix and equivalent nodal heat flow vector for a given element are given by:

c[N] [N]dV [K] + [B] [D][B]dV ) [N] [N]hdA ) c[N] V [B]dV {Q} + [N] [N]qdV ) [N] t dA ) [N] hT dA
[C] +
T T T T T f T T f T b

where c is the specific heat, q is the internal heat generation per unit volume, h is the film coefficient on a convective boundary, Tb is the bulk fluid temperature adjacent to the convective boundary, tf is the heat flux on the boundary where an external flux is specified, the Vf vector is the conducting mediums fluid velocity vector (which in most cases is zero) and is the mass density of the material. All integrations are done over the volume of the element or the surface area over which the external convective or flux boundary conditions are specified. Note that convection boundary conditions affect the conductivity matrix as well as the heat flow vector. In addition, if the Vf vector is nonzero and hence mass transport of heat terms are included, the K matrix is nonsymmetric.

Element Theory

42 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Structural vs. Thermal Solutions.


The solution of a structural problem and a themal problem are very similar numerically. Physical quantities of structural and thermal analyses are analogous in the following ways:

Structural Displacements Strains Stresses BC Forces BC Pressure Elastic Foundation Temperature Distribution

Thermal Temperatures Thermal Gradients Flux Heat Flow Heat Flux Convection Internal heat generation per volume

Element Theory

43 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

System Assembly/Decomposition
The overall system equations are always formed by assembling element contributions. However, the system DOF can be nodal-based or element-based. In a nodal-based system, any node in the model is assumed to be a point where equilibrium equations are to be formed and solved and hence a node that has no attached elements will produce a singular set of equations. An element-based scheme, on the other hand, only constructs equilibrium equations for nodes that are connected to elements and hence unconnected nodes play no role in the analysis.

Element Theory

44 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

System Assembly/Decomposition (Cont.)


If the equations are to be solved using a direct solver, i.e., some form of Gauss elimination, rather than an iterative solver, some type of resequencing is needed to optimize (minimize CPU and disk resources) the decomposition. In a nodal-based system, the nodes are renumbered; in an element-based scheme, the elements are resequenced, i.e., assembled and eliminated in a different order. In most cases, the reordering (resequencing) is transparent to the user; the model and results appear to correspond to the original model. If resequencing is not done or the model is inappropriately resequenced, the computer resources required to solve the problem may be orders of magnitude larger than that of a properly reordered model.

Program ANSYS NASTRAN MARC MECHANICA

Assembly Method Element based Nodal based Element based Element based

Resequencing method Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic

Element Theory

45 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Shape Functions


Obviously, the shape functions play a crucial role in the overall element formulation. The assumed displacement or temperature field must satisfy certain conditions or convergence requirements. These requirements will be stated for structural applications since the conditions are more physically justifiable. The four general requirements, in the limit of mesh refinement, are:
D The assumed displacement field must be continuous within the element. D No strain should be induced in the element if the nodal displacements are assigned values consistent with a rigid body motion. D The element must be able to exactly represent all constant strain states. D Interelement compatibility must be satisfied, i.e., there must not be any gaps or overlaps at the interelement boundaries.

Element Theory

46 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Shape Functions (Cont.)


In general, good elements will satisfy the first three conditions at any level of mesh refinement. The fourth requirement is violated by many shell elements and some 2-D and 3-D solid elements. Elements that violate the fourth requirement are called incompatible or nonconforming elements. Such elements are perfectly acceptable if continuity is restored as the mesh is refined and the element approaches a state of constant strain.

Element Theory

47 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Shape Functions (Cont.)


A common test of element validity is the patch test [6], which is a numerical test rather than an analytic review. The patch test is performed by building a mesh of the elements in question. The mesh should employ some elements that are arbitrarily oriented and of a general shape and have at least one node that is completely surrounded by elements, i.e., not on a boundary. Subject the boundary nodes to displacements that correspond to a constant strain state and calculate the element strains and stresses. If, at every point in every element, the calculated strains agree with the exact values, the test is passed. The test must be repeated for all constant strain states.

Element Theory

48 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Patch Test
The patch test is used to evaluate incompatible (nonconforming) elements. In this test, a patch of elements with at least one element completely contained within the interior boundary of the model is subjected to a constant strain condition. If the element strains actually represent the constant strain conditions, the patch test is passed.

Element Theory

72 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Linear Rectangle Shape Functions


Elements that only have two nodes on a given side are normally called linear elements since the lowest order complete polynomial that can be fit through two points (values) is a linear function. A typical linear rectangular element of dimension 2w by 2h is shown in Figure 1.
4 2w Y X 1 Figure 1: 2h 3

The assumed temperature field for this element is


T + a ) bX ) cY ) dXY + N 1T 1 ) N 2T 2 ) N 3T 3 ) N 4T 4

where Ni is the shape or interpolation function for node number I and can be written in terms of the x and y coordinates of the nodes as
N1 N2 N3 N4 + + + + (w * X)(h * Y)4wh (w ) X)(h * Y)4wh (w ) X)(h ) Y)4wh (w * X)(h ) Y)4wh

Note the field includes a complete linear polynomial plus the mixed quadratic term.
Element Theory 49 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Linear Rectangle Shape Functions (Cont.)


In a 2-D structural analysis, the same polynomial is used to approximate the displacement in the x-direction and y-directions. The strains in such an analysis are computed from the assumed displacement field. If the x and y-displacements are called u and v, respectively, then the strains are :

x + u x y + v y g xy + u ) v y x
Note that since the assumed displacement field for u and v are the same as that of T, this element can model exactly a strain field that includes an x-strain that varies linearly with y, a y-strain that varies linearly with x, and a shear strain field that has a linear variation with respect to x and y. If this element is used to model any strain with a more complex variation, and virtually every practical problem has a more complex variation, the solution will be approximate.

Element Theory

50 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Quadratic Rectangle Shape Functions


Elements that have three nodes on a given side are normally called quadratic or parabolic elements since the lowest order complete polynomial that can be fit through three points (values) is a quadratic function. Such elements are also called higher order elements since the assumed field is of higher order than the corresponding linear element.

Element Theory

51 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Quadratic Rectangle Shape Functions (Cont.)


A typical quadratic, rectangular element of dimension 2w by 2h is shown in Figure 2.
4 2w 7 Y 8 X 6 2h 3

1 Figure 2:

The quadratic element includes all the polynomial terms as the linear element but includes the additional terms,
X2, Y2, X2Y, XY2

Note all quadratic terms and two mixed cubic terms are included. For structural problems, this element can model exactly strain fields where the x-strain includes all linear terms, the mixed quadratic term and a quadratic variation in y.

Element Theory

52 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Incompatible Linear Rectangle


The linear rectangle is too stiff in bending because the shape functions omit some of the quadratic terms needed to exactly model pure bending. Additional internal degrees of freedom can be added to improve the bending response by including the terms

1 * c 2 and1 * h 2Where : c + XW, h + yh


in the assumptions for both u and v. These terms improve the bending response but make the elements incompatible. Under some loading, an overlap or gap may be present at inter-element boundaries. However, if the element is formulated correctly, it can be shown that the solution does converge to the correct results as the mesh is refined. Many commercial FEA programs use incompatible elements for both 2-D and 3-D solid elements.

Element Theory

53 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Linear and Quadratic Triangle Shape Functions


The linear, or first order, triangle has only three nodes and hence the assumed field is a complete first order polynomial,
T + a ) bX ) cY + N iT i ) N jT j ) N kT k

where i, j and k are the three nodes of the triangle. The shape functions (Ni, Nj, Nk) can be expressed in terms of the coordinates of the three nodes by writing three simultaneous equations, when X=Xi and Y=Yi, T=Ti, etc. A typical shape function, Ni, is given by the equation,
Ni +

a i ) b iX ) c iY
2D

where
a i + X jY k * X kY j bi + Yj * Yk ci + Xk * Xj D + areaofthetriangle

Note that the shape function for node I always has a value of one when evaluated at node I and has a value of zero at all other nodes. Note that this assumed variation can only model (exactly) a constant gradient in each direction, i.e., in structural analysis, the strain and stress predictions are constant throughout this element, the [B] is composed of all constant terms. This type of element should rarely be used in structural analysis since the assumed field is of such a low order that the element will be very stiff and stresses will always be discontinuous at interelement boundaries.
Element Theory 54 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Linear and Quadratic Triangle Shape Functions (Cont.)


The quadratic triangle is a much better element and has an assumed field that is a complete second order polynomial. With six nodes, six coefficients can be calculated and hence the assumed polynomial has the form,
T + a ) bX ) cY ) dXY ) eX2 ) fY2 + N 1T 1 ) N 2T 2 ) N 3T 3 ) N 4T 4 ) N 5T 5 ) N 6T 6

Note that this field contains higher order terms than the linear rectangle and is complete to the same order as the quadratic rectangle. The rate of convergence of the solution, as the mesh is refined, depends on the order of the highest complete polynomial in the element and hence the quadratic triangle will converge at the same rate as the quadratic rectangle.

Linear triangle
Y X 1 Figure 3: 2

Quadratic triangle
6 Y X 1 4 2 5

Element Theory

55 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

P-element Shape Functions


In a p-element approach, the mesh (number of nodes and elements) is held fixed and increasingly more accurate solutions are calculated by selectively increasing the polynomial order and resolving. While the number of nodes and elements remain fixed in a p-element approach, the escalation is not free. As the polynomial escalates, nodeless DOF are added so that as an elements basis rises from p=2 to p=8, the total element DOF increase from 16 to 94. In most cases, the p-level process follows the following procedure:
D all elements start at a common p-level, usually quadratic(p=2) D a solution is performed and some type of error assessments on strain energy, displacement, strain and/or stress are made. Elements or boundaries of elements that will benefit from polynomial escalation are identified. D polynomial orders are frozen in some elements, say the F elements, and raised by one order in the other elements, say the E elements. D another analysis is performed, error estimates are redone, polynomial orders in the E elements are either frozen (move to the F set) or escalated to the next polynomial order D this process continues (loops) until the solution converges to some user-defined specification

These elements are also hierarchical elements; the stiffness matrices of a lower order element can be used to minimize the computations required for the higher order elements.

Element Theory

56 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

P-element Shape Functions (Cont.)


Some users believe that the mesh density considerations can be ignored in a p-element approach. While a p-element approach will produce more accurate results (for a given mesh) than a corresponding h-element, the solution is not independent of mesh density. While p-elements can produce very accurate solutions, a converged p-element solution is not always an accurate solution. The accuracy of the solution depends on a number of factors:
D the range of polynomial order allowed by the element D the escalation criterion, i.e., the basis for freezing the p-level in a given element D the convergence criterion, i.e., the basis for stopping the looping process D the geometric approximation of the mesh to the true (curved) geometry D mesh density and element shape

Many users do not consider the implications of setting the escalation and convergence criteria. If the escalation criterion is set too loose, element polynomials will be fixed at too low an order and considerable error is locked into the solution and the solution can converge to the wrong value. If the convergence criterion is too loose, the model will appear to be converged when, in reality, the solution is far from convergence. Default escalation and convergence criteria are usually too loose for accurate gradient results such as local strains and stresses.

Element Theory

57 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements
Isoparametric formulations were introduced by Irons [8] in 1966 and make it possible to have nonrectangular quadrilaterals, curved element edges, and singularity elements for fracture mechanics. In an isoparametric formulation, element nodes define not only the displacement at any point in terms of the nodal displacement values but also the coordinates of any point in terms of the nodal coordinates, i.e.,
{ d } + [N]{ U } {c } + [N]C N

where the c vector defines the global Cartesian coordinates (X,Y,Z) of a point in the element and CN is a vector of the X,Y, and Z coordinates of the nodes of the element. The elements are called isoparametric since the same shape functions are used to interpolate both coordinates and the displacement field. Since the shape is being mapped by the same function as the displacements, elements with two nodes/side will have straight sides, quadratic or higher order elements can have curved boundaries. The degree of the boundary curve can be of the same order, or lower, as that of the assumed displacement field on that boundary.

Element Theory

58 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements (Cont.)


The formulation will be described for the linear isoparametric quadrilateral; for a more detailed treatment, consult the excellent textbook by Cook [9]. A natural coordinate system is introduced, as shown in Figure 3. Note that the system is not an orthogonal system, the system is arbitrarily oriented with respect to global Cartesian, and elements sides are defined by the lines whose natural coordinates are 1. The origin of this normalized system, relative to the global Cartesian system, is at the average coordinates of the four nodes. The global coordinates of any point within the element are defined by the equations,
X +
h c+*1 c+*1 2 c+1 2 c+1 h+1 h+1 2 c Y, u

h+*1 2

N X Y + N Y
i i

h+*1 X, u

i i

Figure 4:

where Xi and Yi are the global coordinates of the four nodes of the element and the shape functions are the same as those of the linear rectangle with the substitution of the appropriate dimensions and new coordinate variables. The linear isoparametric shape functions are shown at the right.
Element Theory

N1 N2 N3 N4

+ + + +

(1 * c)(1 * h)4 (1 ) c)(1 * h)4 (1 ) c)(1 ) h)4 (1 * c)(1 ) h)4

59 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements (Cont.)


Displacements in the global Cartesian directions are interpolated by the same shape functions,
u + v

N U + N V
i i

where u and v are functions of X and Y, and Ui and Vi are the X and Y components of the global Cartesian displacement vector at node I. To calculate the strain-displacement matrix ([B]), the chain rule of partial differentiation must be employed since the derivatives of u and v with respect to X and Y are needed and the shape functions are in terms of and . For example, differentiating with respect to the natural coordinate and adopting the convention that a comma denotes differentiation with respect to the variable following the comma, yields,
u, c + u, XX, c ) u, YY, c

Element Theory

60 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements (Cont.)


In matrix form, the relationship between gradients of the x-displacement, u, in the two coordinate systems is
,c X, c Y, cu, X u, X u + X, h Y, h u, Y + [J]u, Y u, h

where [J] is called the Jacobian matrix. The coefficients of [J] are obtained by differentiating the expressions for X and Y as functions of and , which yields

N , c X Y, c + N , cY X, h + N , hX Y, h + N , hY
X, c +
i i i i

+ J 11 + J 12 + J 21 + J 22

i i i

Since the shape functions [N] are in terms of the natural coordinates, the differentiation can be performed and the [J] coefficients will be functions of and and the known, constant, X and Y coordinates of the four nodes of the element. For example,
N 1, c + * (1 * h) 4

Element Theory

61 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements (Cont.)


With [J] expressed as a function of and , the inverse relations are obtained by inverting [J] to give,

A, x + [J] *1A, c + [JI]A, c A, y A, h A, h


where A is a typical function, in our case either u or v and the symbol [JI] has been introduced as the inverse of the Jacobian matrix.. A typical strain can now be expressed as x + JI 11u, c ) JI 12u, h where JIij are the coefficients of the JI matrix and u can be differentiated with respect to the natural coordinates since it was assumed in terms of a natural coordinate polynomial function. With this preparation, the [B] calculation can be done.

x 1 { } + y + 0 g xy 0

u, x 0 0 0 u, y 0 0 1 v, x v, y 1 1 0

Ui U 2 U 3 etc. U 4 etc. etc. V1 V2 etc. V4 V4


62 Revised: 04/22/98

JI 11 u, x JI 21 u, y + v, x 0 v, y 0

JI 12 0 0 u, c 0 JI 22 0 u, h v, c 0 JI 11 JI 12 v, h 0 JI 21 JI 22

u, c N1, c N 1, h u, h + v, c 0 v, h 0

0 N 2, 0 0 N 2, h 0 N 1, c 0 N 2, c N 1, h 0 N 2, h

Element Theory

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements (Cont.)


[B] is the product of the three rectangular matrices given above and, for the 2-D plane element, the stiffness matrix is calculated as,
[K] +
1 1

[B] [D][B]tdXdY + [B] [D][B]tJdcdh


T T *1 *1

where t= thickness of the element and J is the determinant of the Jacobian matrix. J is the scaling factor between a differential area in the - system and the global Cartesian system, that is,
dXdY + Jdcdh + J 11J 22 * J 21J 12dcdh

In most instances, J is a function of position (,) and hence varies throughout the element. In the simple case of a rectangular or parallelogram element, J=(area of element)/4. J, the determinant of the Jacobian matrix, plays a crucial role in determining whether the isoparametric mapping is acceptable or the element is too distorted. J must be positive at every point in the element and on its boundary for the mapping to be acceptable, i.e., every point in the parent element ( square) maps onto one point in the real element. For linear isoparametric elements, J will be positive if every interior angle is <180_. Angles that are close to 180_ will produce ill-conditioned elements and hence should be avoided.

Element Theory

63 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Isoparametric Elements (Cont.)


The calculation of [K] requires area integration with respect to the natural coordinates. A typical term in the B matrix is a complex expression containing polynomials in and in both the numerator and denominator. Expressions for the mass matrix and equivalent nodal load vector can be derived by a similar process; the extension to higher order elements and to isoparametric mapping for 3-D elements is straight-forward [9]. While closed form expressions for [K] are possible with an isoparametric formulation, the analytic term by term multiplication, simplification, and integration is tedious and error-prone and hence numerical integration is commonly used.

Element Theory

64 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration
The calculation of element matrices and load vectors requires efficient numerical integration of polynomials and ratios of polynomial functions. In most commercial codes, Gauss quadrature [11] is employed. In Gauss, or Gauss-Legendre, quadrature, an integral is evaluated by summing the terms of a finite series as shown below,
I+

f(b)db + W f
n 1 *1

i i

where Wi are the so-called weighting coefficients and fi is the value of function f evaluated at a corresponding sampling point (ai) in the interval. Using Gaussian quadrature, one can exactly integrate a polynomial of order (2n-1) by employing n sampling points or integration points, sometimes called Gauss points. The accuracy of the quadrature is said to be O(h2n ). Therefore, using a 2-point rule for instance, one can exactly integrate a polynomial of order three or lower. If the integrand is not a polynomial but rather the ratio of two polynomials, then the integration will not be exact but will become more accurate as higher sampling rules are employed.

Element Theory

65 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration (Cont.)


The sampling points are not equally spaced in the interval, as in common integration techniques such as Simpsons rule, but instead are optimally chosen to achieve the best accuracy for polynomial integration. The sampling locations for an n-point rule turn out to be the roots of the Legendre polynomial of order n. The weighting coefficients and sampling or integration points for a few lower order rules are given below.
Number of Sampling Points(n) 1 2 3 Weighting Coefficient(Wi ) 2.0 1.0 8/9 5/9 Sampling Locations( ai ) 0.0
3 3

0.0
0.6

Element Theory

66 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration (Cont.)


For 2-D elements, double integration is needed and hence a Gauss rule of order n uses n2 sampling points and the numerical integration formula becomes,
I+

f(c, h)dcdh + W W fc , h
n n *1 *1 i+1 i+1 i j i j

Typical sampling points for two-point and three-point rules are shown in the figure below. The extension to 3-D elements is clear and involves a triple sum rather than a double sum.
3 c+ 3 4 2 h+ c 1 3 3 h+* 3 3 3 c + 0.6 h + 0.6 3 2 1 6 5 4 9 8 c

3 c+* 3

c + * 0.6

7 h + * 0.6 (b)

(a)

Element Theory

67 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration (Cont.)


The calculations required for element matrices such as [K] are not trivial. Consider the computations for the 4-node quadrilateral for plane stress/strain problems; the element has 8 degrees of freedom (displacements) and three nontrivial strains. The B matrix is a 3x8 matrix, the D matrix is 3x3, and the K matrix is 8x8. The K matrix is symmetric and therefore only 36 of the possible 64 coefficients need to be calculated. Each term in the integrand of [K] is the ratio of two polynomials, the polynomial in the denominator stems from [JI]. Every term of the JI matrix will have J (determinant of the Jacobian matrix) in its denominator and hence will have a polynomial function of the natural coordinates in its denominator. If a two-point rule is employed for area integration, a DO loop as I=1 to 4 is needed, to substitute the sampling location for and into the integrand matrices, perform the matrix multiplication, multiply by the weighting coefficients for that sampling point, and sum the contributions as the loop progresses.

Element Theory

68 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration (Cont.)


Since the finite element model is usually too stiff, using a lower order rule tends to compensate for the excess stiffness, i.e., reduce the stiffness, and produce a more accurate answer. However, if too few Gauss points are employed, one can introduce numerical instabilities into the solution that are called by various names such as hourglass modes, zero-energy modes, etc. The instability arises when the low order integration allows a deformation mode that causes no strain at the Gauss sampling points.

Element Theory

69 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration (Cont.)


If the Gauss points have no strain in that mode of deformation, the structure will have no resistance to that type of deformation and hence the K matrix will be singular. Commercial codes, in most cases, will automatically choose the lowest order Gauss rule that will suppress such modes. However, in simple test cases that use a very small number of elements, e.g., 1 or 2 elements, such modes may appear and produce singular or very inaccurate results. In such instances, a zero-energy mode that is incompatible with a similar mode in an adjacent element has been activated and the commercial code assumed that all practical models, i.e., models with more elements, would automatically suppress such modes.

Element Theory

70 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Numerical Integration (Cont.)


In evaluating finite element matrices, quadrature rules govern the accuracy and the cost of such evaluations. A low order quadrature rule will be less expensive from a computational viewpoint; the cost is roughly proportional to the number of sampling points times the square of the number of degrees of freedom in the element. However, if the order is too low then the quadrature error will exceed the discretization error, the error caused by using a finite number of elements to approximate the exact solution. A quadrature rule that is too high is a computational waste because the overall accuracy will still be driven by the discretization error. The bounds on the quadrature rule range from a rule that would exactly calculate the volume of the element and a rule that would exactly evaluate the entire integrand. In most cases, a rule that preserves the rate of convergence (due to discretization error) is employed. The rate of convergence (in energy) will be preserved if the finite element matrices are integrated with a rule that has an accuracy of O(h ) where p = order of highest complete polynomial in the element and m = highest order derivative in the strain energy. If Gauss quadrature is employed, a (pm+1) point rule would be used. Most linear and quadratic elements are integrated with a two-point rule in each direction.
2(p*m)1)

Element Theory

71 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Stress Extrapolation
In many commercial codes, element strains and stresses are calculated at the integration or Gauss points since it can be shown [12] that these locations are the most accurate places within the element to sample the strain/stress response. In general, the optimal stress or heat flux sampling points in the element are the Gauss points of the corresponding (pm+1) rule. For example, a quadratic (8noded) quadrilateral would be integrated with a 2x2 rule and the stresses would be calculated at the four Gauss points within the element. In most instances, users prefer element nodal strains/stresses since node locations are readily visible points in the model while Gauss points are interior to the elements. Strains and stresses at the nodes can be obtained by extrapolating the Gauss point values. The extrapolation is normally done [13] by employing a leastsquares polynomial fit (in natural coordinates) to the Gauss point stresses, component by component, and then simply substituting the proper natural coordinates of a given node.

Element Theory

73 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Stress Extrapolation (Cont.)


Program Nodal Averaging Method Full Graphics Power Graphics Average component Average component stresses at nodes, stresses at nodes, then compute then compute principal stresses. principal stresses. Use all selected Use only elements elements. that have a face on the surface. Plots data as is from solver Compute principals, then average at nodes P3standard Insight Average component Compute principals, stresses at nodes, then average at then compute nodes principal stresses.
74 Revised: 04/22/98

ANSYS

HYPERMESH MENTAT

PATRAN

Element Theory

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Characteristics of Finite Element Solutions


Displacement-based, conformable elements (h- or p-elements) exhibit the following characteristics:
D Displacements are singlevalued and are continuous (for conformable elements); quantities that are calculated from derivatives of displacements, i.e., strains and stresses, are, in general, singlevalued and continuous within each element but are not continuous at interelement boundaries. Most strain and stress contour plots are based on calculating average values at each node by averaging the predictions of the elements that connect to that node and then performing linear interpolation along element boundaries. Hence, contour plots will usually display strain/stresses as continuous while the true prediction of the finite element model is discontinuous at interelement boundaries. To maintain displacement compatibility (continuity) at interelement boundaries, adjacent elements must share all of the nodes on a given side or face of an element. A few examples of mixtures of quadratic and linear elements that create discontinuities are shown below:
Bad Linear Quadratic Linear Quadratic Bad Better Quadratic Bad

Quadratic

Linear

Quadratic

Linear

Element Theory

75 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Characteristics of Finite Element Solutions (Cont.)


D Nodal force and moment equilibrium are satisfied at each node. D Stressstrain relations, ,e.g., for linear, elastic material, Hookes Law ,is satisfied.

If proper numerical integration rules are employed, structural solutions will, for the most part, exhibit the following additional characteristics:
D Displacements are generally underestimated, i..e, the model is too stiff. However, at any given point, in any given direction, the displacement may or may not be underestimated. As the model is refined, the structure becomes more flexible. D Strains and stresses are generally underestimated, as the model is refined strain and stress predictions will increase. Strains/stresses do not, in general, converge monotonically as the mesh is refined. D If the model is loaded by tractions and/or temperatures, computed strain energy values will increase monotonically as the model is refined by increasing the polynomial order (for a fixed mesh) or by introducing more elements (for a fixed polynomial order) using reducible meshes. A sequence of reducible meshes is achieved by always creating new elements within the boundary lines of the current elements. D If the model is loaded by imposed displacements, the computed strain energy will decrease monotonically as the mesh is refined as described above. D If the model is loaded by imposed displacements and tractions or temperatures, strain energy values do not, in general, converge monotonically as the mesh is refined.

Element Theory

76 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Fundamental Characteristics of Finite Element Solutions (Cont.)


In general, for an element of size h, the displacement convergence rate for plane elasticity problems is of O(hp+1) where p=order of the highest complete polynomial in the displacement assumption. Stresses converge at a slower rate; for plane elasticity, stresses converge with an error of O(hp). Therefore, for linear elements (p=1), the error in displacement is reduced to of its current value if the mesh density is increased by a factor of two; the stress error is reduced to of its current value. Quadratic elements (p=2) are more accurate and, in addition, exhibit faster convergence; the error in displacement and stress being reduced by factors of 8 and 4, respectively, as the mesh size is halved.

Element Theory

77 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Natural Boundary Conditions


On a surface where the user does not explicitly impose a boundary condition, an implicit or natural boundary condition exists. The natural boundary condition for structural analysis is the condition that the stress normal to the surface and the shear stresses tangent to the surface are zero. In a thermal analysis, if no boundary condition is specified, the surface is adiabatic (insulated), i.e., the heat flux normal to the surface is zero. In a thermal analysis, a symmetry condition is also a natural boundary condition, i.e., the condition is imposed implicitly by simply leaving the surface with no applied boundary condition.

Element Theory

78 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Standard Element Types


Every commercial finite element code has a different element library and a user should carefully review the element definitions. Commercial codes will have most of the following types of elements available; the figures and descriptions are meant to be representative of a typical FEA code.

Element Theory

79 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Truss/Rod or Spar Element


A truss or spar element is typically defined by two nodes. This element is a twoforce member and hence the internal force must be directed along the line that connects the two nodes. The member is in uniform tension, compression, or is unloaded. The nodal degrees of freedom are the three translations at each node. Since no moment can be applied at the nodes, the connection at each end is essentially a ball joint. In a small deflection analysis, this element does not resist translation in a direction perpendicular to the centerline. Typical applications for such an element include modeling springs, bolts, cables, mechanism links, and truss members. By dropping the temperature of such a member, or specifying an initial strain, this element can be used to preload a joint.
J

X I Z

Element Theory

80 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Beam/bar Element
Beam elements are usually defined by either two or three nodes. The first two define the centerline location and orientation; the third node may be used to define the orientation of the principal axes of the crosssection. In general, axial displacements and torsional rotations are assumed to vary linearly along the axis; normal (transverse) displacements are assumed to vary in a cubic manner. Since beam theory forms the basis of such element, the parts length to thickness ratio should be five or higher (10 or higher if the beam element does not include shear deformation). Most commercial codes have more than one beam element type. Consider the following options/characteristics during the element library review:

Element Theory

81 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES D D D D D D D D symmetric or unsymmetric crosssection centerline coincident or offset relative to nodes shear center effects shear deformation effects tapered or constant crosssection shear relief due to taper straight or curved beam material properties: D elastic D plastic D creep D stress output: D locations, ends only or along span, sampling points in the crosssection D types of stresses D direct D bending D shear due to torsion D shear to vertical shear load

Element Theory

82 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

TwoDimensional Solid Elements


Some commercial codes treat 2-D stress problems (plane stress/strain) as degenerate shell problems where the geometry is in one plane, the loading is in the same plane, and hence only membrane stresses will develop. Other codes use specific elements in the library for 2-D stress states, including axisymmetric structures subjected to axisymmetric loading. Such elements are usually defined in a specific plane, the x-y plane or the x-z plane. Note, if such elements are employed, all loads must lie in the same plane as the element geometry and no stress variation through the thickness (normal to the element plane) can be calculated. Four-noded and eightnoded quads and six-node triangles are the more popular types. Frequently, pressure loads can be applied to particular faces (designated by numbers in circles); in addition, some codes calculate surface strains/stresses on the faces as well as at the nodes of the element. Elements that have midside nodes are always more accurate than those with only vertex nodes and the midside nodes allow the element boundaries to be curved (parabolic) in the undeformed and the deformed shape. The 8-noded quad and the 6-noded triangle displacement field are complete to order two and hence converge at the same rate as the mesh is refined.

Element Theory

83 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

2D elements that are axisymmetric, or have an axisymmetric option, are available in most codes. Such elements are normally formulated on either a per unit radian or per revolution basis. Users must be aware of the basis in order to correctly apply/interpret the following:
D mixing axisysmmetric and nonaxisymmetric elements D applying nodal forces D Interpreting element nodal and reaction forces D

Mixtures of axisymmetric and 2-D plane or 3-D solid elements can be very cost-effective models. Generally speaking, the part/system must be axisymmetric in geometry, loading and material properties; some codes allow nonaxisymmetric loading via a Fourier series approach in the circumferential direction. Axisymmetric elements subjected to nonaxisymmetric loads are sometimes called harmonic elements and are limited to a linear analysis since superposition will be employed in summing the terms of the series.

Element Theory

84 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Selection
Whenever justifiable, simplifying assumptions are introduced to reduce the modeling effort and computational cost.If the part geometry and loading are appropriate, simple elements such as spring, truss and beam elements can be very effective. Continuum elements provide the means to model more complex geometries and stress fields.

Plane Stress/Plane Strain


The simplest type of continuum models are based on the assumption of plane deformation. Consider a body with an embedded orthogonal Cartesian coordinate system that is being deformed. If all planes initially normal to the Z-axis, remain normal to the axis after deformation and all straight lines initially parallel to the Z-axis, remain parallel to Z after deformation, a state of plane deformation is said to exist [14]. If the displacements in the x,y and z-directions are called u,v and w, respectively, plane deformation is characterized by a displacement field that has the following form:
u= u(x,y), v=v(x,y), w=w(z)

Preprocessing

104 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Selection (Cont.)


A state of plane strain (in the x-y plane) is said to exist if, in addition, w=0 and hence the only nonzero strains are the in-plane (x-y) normal and shear strains. If the Z-strain is constant, but nonzero, the body is said to be in a state of generalized plane strain. The Z-normal stress is generally nonzero; for isotropic materials, the out-of-plane shear stresses are also zero. The only practical problems of interest are those where the body is cylindrical (prismatic) in the Z-direction and is subjected to loadings that are independent of Z and the body and surface traction loadings have no component in the Z-direction. For a body of finite length in the Z-direction, the displacement field assumption implies that the ends are supported by smooth, rigid surfaces normal to the axis of the cylinder, as shown in the figure. A typical problem, where a plane strain assumption is frequently employed, would be the analysis of a long roller supported by stiff races. A state of plane stress (in the x-y plane) is said to exist if the in-plane normal and shear stresses are only functions of x and y and the transverse normal and shear stresses are identically zero. The Z-normal strain is generally nonzero. For an actual body to be in a state of plane stress, the following requirements must be satisfied:
D The body geometry must be a thin plate; Z is the thickness direction. D The two Z=constant surfaces must be traction free. D The body forces and surface tractions must have no components in the Z-direction. D External forces must be uniformly distributed (independent of Z) or symmetrically distributed with respect to the mid-plane.

Preprocessing

105 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Selection (Cont.)


Most thin, planar parts subjected to in-plane loadings are assumed to be in a state of plane stress. In addition, most plate and shell element formulations are based on a plane stress assumption. A simple example of geometry and loading that conforms to the assumptions of plane stress is illustrated below.

Figure 5.1 A Thin Plate Under a State of PLane Stress

The decision on whether to use a plane stress versus a plane strain formulation should, in general, be based on the physical dimensions of the part. However, for a given geometry, a plane strain model will be stiffer than the corresponding plane stress model and will appear to have a larger Poissons ratio in the x-y plane. While 2-D plane strain/stress elements can be used to model 2-D bending and 3-D solid elements can be used to model 3-D bending, two or more elements are normally needed in the beam height or shell thickness direction.

Preprocessing

106 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Axisymmetric Versus 3-D Slice


Axisymmetric elements can be quadrilateral or triangular, linear or higher order, 2-D solid elements; in addition, some commercial codes also have axisymmetric shell elements. Although such elements appear to be 2-D, their formulations are based on the full toroidal geometry swept by revolving the element about the axis of symmetry. To employ axisymmetric elements, the model must have the following characteristics:
D geometry must be axisymmetric D material properties must be axisymmetric D loadings must be axisymmetric, some elements allow the loading to be nonaxisymmetric by using a Fourier series approximation to the loading and then performing an uncoupled twodimensional analysis for every term of the Fourier series.

Some codes require axisymmetric elements to be defined in the x-y plane while other codes require the geometry to lie in the x-z plane. If the x-y plane is employed, each node has two DOF, the x- and y-translations. However, the stress state is 3-D, in-plane stresses give the radial, axial and in-plane shear stresses; the out-of-plane stress, the z-stress, is the hoop stress. Axisymmetric elements provide the best of both worlds, the user builds a 2-D model, the computational cost of the solution is similar to that of a 2-D model, and yet accurate 3-D stresses are obtained.

Preprocessing

109 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Axisymmetric Versus 3-D Slice (Cont.)


Because the model appears to be 2-D, some users employ 3-D solid elements and model a small pie slice of the 3-D solid. This type of approach also yields accurate results but always takes more man-time and computer resources. The disadvantages to this approach, versus the use of axisymmetric elements,include:
D more effort to build a 3-D model D need to impose displacement boundary conditions consistent with axisymmetric results D 3-D model is only a facetted approximation in the circumferential direction D computational effort is larger than that required for axisymmetric elements

Axisymmetric and 2-D or 3-D solid elements can be employed in the same model. The user must, however, take care that the mixture of elements makes sense from a physical viewpoint. Some codes formulate elements on a per unit radian basis while other formulations are based on the full toroidal circumference. If 2-D plane and 3-D solids are mixed, thicknesses and material properties must be adjusted to ensure that the entire model is consistent in terms of both stiffness and mass (if inertia effects are to be included in the analysis).

Preprocessing

110 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Shell Elements
Typical four and eightnoded shell elements are shown below. Note that shell elements may be arbitrarily oriented in space and subjected to both inplane and outofplane loading. The X and Y axes are in the plane of the shell neutral surface and Z is perpendicular to the plane. In general, the inplane, middle surface displacement field assumption is the same, or similar to, the corresponding 2D solid element. The outofplane (normal) displacement is typically cubic. Most FEA codes have a number of shell elements in the library. Consider the following options/characteristics during the element library review (remember the results will never be better than shell theory predictions):
D use straightsided or curvedsided elements D definition of element and material coordinate systems D direction of positive pressure loading D stress stiffening/spin softening D small deflection, large deflection, large strain D thin shell or thick shell (needs to include shear deformation) D homogeneous or composite shell? If composite, does shell behave as a laminated shell or sandwich structure? D if composite, how are ply thicknesses (including drop off), material orientations, material properties defined? D coincident or offset with respect to the nodes D elastic, plastic, and/or creep D stress/strain sampling locations, inplane and through the thickness D stress/strain output coordinate system, element or material
Element Theory 85 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Shell Elements (Cont.)

Typical applications of shell elements include thin panels, castings, and molding. Blades are sometimes modeled with shells if the platform/airfoil attachment region is not an area of interest.

Element Theory

86 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Shell Elements
Beam and shell elements have the assumptions of beam or shell theory embedded in the element formulation and hence only one element is needed in the beam height or shell thickness direction. A structure can normally be approximated as plate- or shell-like if the length/thickness or radius/thickness ratio is 5 or larger (10 or larger if shear effects are not included in the formulation). Shell elements are based on shell theory and hence can never provide an answer better than classical shell theory. Shell formulations are normally based on either the standard Kirchhoff assumptions, i.e., plane sections remain plane and normal to the middle surface, or Mindlin assumptions, i.e., plane sections remain plane but not necessarily normal to the middle surface which implies that the transverse shear strain is constant through the shell thickness. The membrane (middle or neutral surface) behavior of shell elements is the same or similar to that of the corresponding plane stress/strain elements. The out-of-plane (normal to the middle surface) displacement field is similar to that of a beam element, a cubic, or higher, order polynomial. Linear shell elements, i.e., two nodes per element edge, typically have a linear in-plane, middle surface displacement field but a cubic, or higher order, normal displacement field. The shell mesh describes the middle surface of the shell and the finite element solution represents the deformation of the middle surface. Shell theory completely describes the deformation and stress state throughout the shell once the middle surface displacement field is known.

Preprocessing

107 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Shell Elements (Cont.)


While plane stress/strain elements are planar elements that can only be subjected to in-plane loads, shell elements can be oriented arbitrarily in 3-D space and subjected to both in-plane and out-of-plane loadings. Such elements allow the calculation of membrane, bending, in-plane and transverse shear stresses. Plane stress/strain elements have no stress variation through the thickness; shell elements have a linear variation through the thickness and hence when reviewing the strain and stress output one must typically review stresses on the top and bottom surfaces (membrane bending stresses) and the middle surface(membrane stress). Shell elements have six degrees of freedom per node, three translations and three angular rotations. Many shell elements are formulated such that the elements have little or no resistance to angular rotation about an axis normal to the plane of the element and hence cannot resist nodal moments about such an axis. Applying such a moment, via an external load or by connecting a beam element normal to the surface, should be avoided. In general, such loads should be applied by couples acting in the plane of the shell.

Preprocessing

108 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Brick Elements
Hexahedron elements, typically called bricks, may be linear (8noded), quadratic (20noded), and, less frequently, cubic (32noded). Most brick elements have only translations as DOF at each node; however, some codes have bricks with translations and rotations as DOF. This simplifies mixed models of bricks and shells and provides a higher order displacement field. Consider the following options/characteristics during the element library review:
D use straightsided or curvedsided elements D definition of element and material coordinate systems D stress stiffening/spin softening D small deflection, large deflection, large strain

Element Theory

87 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

When to use Linear or Nonlinear Stiffness Corrections.


Structure Turbine Blades Sync Rings Compressor blades Compressor disks Compressor stators Compressor cases Nozzle kinematics Nozzle panels, seals, flaps, liners, etc. Linear Corrections Stress Spin Stiffening Softening ** n n n n Nonlinear Corrections Geometric Material Nonlinear *** Nonlinear

n n

n n n

** Also called Centrifugal Mass. *** Stress stiffening is inherently included.


Element Theory 88 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Tetrahedron Elements
Tetrahedron elements, typically called tets, are normally linear (4noded) or quadratic (10noded). Cubic and higherorder elements can easily be developed but are not commonly used, except in a pelement context. Standard linear tets, which have three translations as DOF at each node, are very stiff and should be avoided. Quadratic tets provide good accuracy and quadratic stress convergence as the mesh is refined. Mixtures of bricks and tets are incompatible, i.e., such models inherently contain cracks and hence should be avoided. Properly arranged, one can maintain compatibility with a mixture of bricks, pyramids, and tetrahedron elements. Some codes have linear tets with six DOF per node, three translations and three angular rotations. This element (24 total DOF) has an accuracy considerably better than that of a standard linear tet (12 total DOF) but slightly poorer than that of a quadratic tet (30 total DOF). The rotations also simplify the connections between shells and tets.

Element Theory

89 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Why Does Everyone Hate Tets?


In general, most users have avoided the use of tetrahedral elements. The main reasons why tets are usually avoided are outlined below:
D Historically, early (1960-75) tet models were all 4-noded, linear tets that are very stiff and produce very poor results. D Quadratic (10-noded tets) models are usually very large models with large wavefronts and bandwidths. D Geometrically, it takes 5 tets to fill a brickshaped region and hence tet models are usually 5-6 times larger than the corresponding 8-noded brick model. D Large, quadratic tet models require a large amount of RAM and disk space when standard direct (Gauss elimination) solvers are employed. D Hard to visualize the interior shape of tet elements. D Very little experience/history to employ as the basis for mesh density and element shape judgements.

Over the last few years, tet models have become much more commonplace. The changes that drive the use of tets are given below:
D Time allocated for modeling/analysis has been greatly reduced. D Fast, reliable tet meshers have been developed, brick meshing is still restricted to relatively simple shapes. D Increases in CPU speeds, memory, and disk space have made tet models that were infeasible 2-3 years ago, routine today.

Preprocessing

113 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Why Does Everyone Hate Tets? (cont.)


D New solvers (iterative, parallel, sparse) exploit computer hardware changes to provide efficient solutions to very large problems. Static models having over 1.25 million DOF can be run on workstation-class computers in 4-5 hours. D FEA software provides better error measures to judge the adequacy of tet meshes.

While some users cite unfavorable results of tets in comparison to brick models, most of these comparisons are subject to question since brick elements with 90 degree corners are typically employed in the comparisons. Virtually all practical finite element models contain a large percentage of elements whose corner angles deviate significantly from 90 degrees. Brick elements, under shear and torsion loading, lose a large percentage of their accuracy as their shape changes from rectangular to trapezoidal. A simple comparison of distorted bricks versus tets [15] shows that as a brick corner angles deviates from 90 degrees to 45 degrees, the trapezoidal bricks produce results (under shear and torsion loading) that are only 10-50% of the accuracy of 90 degree bricks. See Appendix A for more details.

Preprocessing

114 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Gap Elements
For decades, nonlinear FEA codes have allowed users to model contact (places where parts may touch or lose touch during load application) by the use of gap elements. Contact always requires a nonlinear analysis and hence is an iterative solution; the iterations cease when some type of convergence criteria is met. Gap elements are pointpoint contact elements, i.e., the solution is monitoring whether the distance between two nodes is increasing or decreasing. If the two gap nodes remain separated or the distance increases, no load is transmitted at the interface. If the gap closes or an interference condition exists, a compressive load will be transmitted at the two nodes. Gap elements are very effective for many problems but suffer from a number of drawbacks such as:
D requires the mesh on both parts to match, node for node, in the contact zone D may require nontrivial effort to define the node pairs that are used by the gap elements D cannot model large relative motion in the contact zone D does not allow the direction of the compressive force to realign due to large deflection

Most gap elements require the user to define a gap stiffness. If the gap element closes, the element behaves like a linear spring; a compressive load is transmitted. Since the gap stiffness is finite, penetration (overlap) will occur. The gap stiffness must be large to minimize penetration; excessive values of contact stiffness may cause convergence difficulties. If parts having stiffnesses K1 and K2 in the gap direction are in contact, the gap stiffness can be estimated by the equation:
K gap + 1 100 1 K )K
1

Element Theory

90 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Gap Elements (cont.)


If values of K1 and K2 are unknown and cannot be easily calculated, the stiffness can be estimated by the equation:
K gap + fEh

where f is typically in the range 10100, E=Youngs modulus, h = characteristic contact length (e.g, h = thickness of 2D part or radius in an axisymmetric model). After the analysis is completed, the displacement in the contact region should be reviewed (at true scale) to ensure that the penetration is acceptable. If the gap is closed and hence a compressive load exists at the interface, the gap element may allow friction to be modeled as well. Most friction models are dry, sliding friction models; the friction force is less than or equal to the coefficient of friction times the normal force. Friction is a nonconservative loading and hence the model should be loaded in the sequence the parts will see in service.

Element Theory

91 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Gap Elements (Cont.)


A variety of gap element definitions exist in FEA codes. Before using such elements, users should thoroughly understand definitions/options such as:
D influence of nodal coordinate system D element coordinate system D definition of distance defining gap or interference D initial status/condition D how element behaves in a large deflection environment D directions of normal and sliding force directions D convergence criteria

If one or more parts could undergo rigid body motion if the gap elements open, then support those parts with soft springs to ensure stability. A good rule of thumb in modeling with gap elements, the model should be defined such that the model would still be stable if the gap elements were deleted. This ensures that the solution will never fail due to rigid body motion. If the only source of nonlinearity is gap (contact) elements, substructuring (superelements) should be considered. If superelements are employed, the equilibrium iterations will run much faster since only the DOF of the gap elements must be computed each iteration. For ANSYS users, a macro is available to do this automatically. Please contact Joe Metrisin (87965967) for details.
Element Theory 92 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

General Contact Elements


Gap elements cannot be used whenever large relative motion occurs in the contact zone or the nature of the contact is not known beforehand. General pointsurface or surfacesurface contact elements overcome such problems. In such models, the user somehow describes that one surface can make or break contact with another surface. While general contact elements are much easier to define and can be used in large deflection analyses, the number of contact elements is considerably larger since a contactor node (shown below) might potentially visit (contact) a number of target surfaces.

When using such elements, the node pattern on adjacent parts need not be aligned (have one to one correspondence). However, in modeling circular interference fits, considerable error can be introduced if the nodes do not align or the mesh is not extremely fine. The error stems from the contactor node making contact on the facetted approximation, target surface. The inscribed circle to the facetted approximation defines the effective radius which can introduce a very large error in the interference fit.
Element Theory 93 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

General Contact Elements (Cont.)


Contact is normally classified as either symmetric or asymmetric. If the model only considers whether the nodes on one surface will penetrate the other surface, the contact model is said to be asymmetric. If nodes on each surface are checked for penetrating the other surface, the contact model is said to be symmetric, the more general case. While symmetric models are larger (more elements) and hence, computationally more expensive, if the nature of the contact is unknown, a symmetric model should be employed.

Element Theory

94 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Finite Element Model Coordinate Systems


Coordinate systems are used for a variety of purposes in finite element modeling, including:
D to define the location of nodes D to define the magnitude and direction of imposed nodal displacements D to define the magnitude and direction of imposed nodal forces D to define the orientation of material property axes D to define the direction of strain and stress output

Element Theory

95 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Nodel/Displacement Coordinate System


In most cases, the coordinate system used to define the direction of imposed nodal displacements and forces is the same and is called the nodal or displacement coordinate system; this system is called the global coordinate system in NASTRAN. Nodal boundary conditions are applied in this system and the nodal displacement results are calculated in this system. The default nodal coordinate system in most commercial programs is the global Cartesian system and if that system does not meet the users needs, then the nodal system must be rotated to the required orientation. The typical approach is to have the nodes reference an existing coordinate system that has the desired orientation.

Element Theory

96 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Coordinate System


Most elements are formulated with respect to a local coordinate system called the element coordinate system and that system, or the socalled material coordinate system, is normally used for the strain and stress output directions. The element coordinate system for 2D and 3D solid elements is usually global Cartesian. Simple elements such as spar (truss) and beam elements have their element coordinate system aligned with the two nodes that define the endpoints of the element. Shell elements require careful review and checking. The element coordinate system for shell elements is usually defined by the nodes that define the element and hence each shell element has a different element coordinate system orientation and strain/stress component directions will be different for adjacent elements. If element connectivity is not done consistently (clockwise or counterclockwise), the element normal, usually the Zaxis, will be reversed for adjacent elements, 4 5 6 see the figure below:
ELEMENT DEFINED BY CONNECTING NODES 1,2,5,4, I.E. BY NUMBERING COUNTERCLOCKWISE ELEMENT DEFINED BY CONNECTING NODES 3,2,6,5, I.E. BY NUMBERING Y CLOCKWISE

1 Z

Reversed (inconsistent) shell normals typically present two problems in analysis:


D Positive direction of normal pressure may vary from element to element. D Average nodal stress contours on the top and bottom surface will be meaningless since for two adjacent elements sharing a common node (e.g., nodes 2 and 5 above), top and bottom are interchanged and hence averaged nodal stresses are nonsense (except at Z=0, middle surface).
Element Theory 97 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing
General Considerations
When modeling a new class of problems, an engineer should consider the following:
D If possible, avoid analyzing problems that your education, training, experience and other sources of information will not provide an approximate solution for comparison purposes or the ability to discern whether the solution is right or wrong. Most virgin finite element models are incorrect, i.e., need modifications. D Before starting on a model, carefully review how the model results will be used and if the finite element model will provide meaningful information. The worst scenario is to build and analyze an expensive model that is of no practical value. D Start with simple models. Consider the following hierarchy in complexity: D point (lumped mass) and line (spar, beam) elements D 2-D solid (plane and/or axisymmetric) elements D shell elements D 3-D solid elements D Use simple, degenerate models rather than large complex models to experiment with boundary conditions and/or analysis. Experimenting with large models to resolve boundary conditions is computationally, and lead-time, expensive.

Preprocessing

98 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

How To Begin:
D Review current System Level Procedures (SLPs). These procedures document the latest recommended analysis procedures and requirements for each particular component. Netscape links to these documents can be found in the P&W Intranet under: http://pw3fl.com/strudyn/strudocs.html D Write a brief outline that describes the following: D objective of the analysis D parts to be included in the analysis D technical assumptions to be employed in the analysis, some of the work described later may be needed to complete this portion of the outline D estimate of man-time and elapsed time required to build, analyze, and postprocess the model D estimate of computer resources needed, e.g., CPU time, disk space, RAM D nature, quantity, and presentation form for analysis results

Preprocessing

99 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

How To Begin (Cont.):


The purpose of the outline is to organize your thoughts on the analysis, resources required, schedule, report content, etc. and to ensure that you and your manager are in-sync on the analysis effort.
D Draw free-body diagrams of the overall system and the individual parts to be modeled. Show all external effects and the required interactions among the parts. D Based on the objectives of the analysis, choose which features to include and which to ignore in the analysis. Make the problem as simple as possible by deleting/suppressing unnecessary features in the geometry such as small fillets, breakedges, etc. Small features may force meshers to automatically bias a fine mesh in those areas, and/or may cause element shape problems or mesh failures. D Validate geometry in Unigraphics. Ensure your model passes all geometry checks. i.e. Info> Analysis> Examine Geometry > Select Set All Checks> OK... Any faceface intersections, self intersections, and spikes/cuts will more than likely cause ANSYS, PATRAN, or SCENARIO meshers to fail. Repair these problems in UG before proceeding. D Decide whether the analysis will be static (steady-state) or dynamic; if dynamic, what type(s) of analysis are to be done: D modal, with or without prestress, with or without spectrum input, how many modes are to be extracted? Do you want frequencies only, or stresses/deflections also? D harmonic response, steady-state or transient D general transient

Preprocessing

100 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

How To Begin (Cont.):


If a dynamic excitation is to be included, is the excitation well defined (known) or is further information needed? How many modes or what time step will be needed to resolve the dynamic response?
D Decide whether the analysis will be linear or nonlinear; if nonlinear what effect(s) make the analysis nonlinear: D geometric nonlinearities D stress (differential or geometric) stiffening D large deflection D large strain D buckling, linear or nonlinear D variable contact D material nonlinearity D nonlinear elastic D plasticity D creep D hyperelasticity D viscoelasticity or viscoplasticity

Preprocessing

101 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

How To Begin (Cont.):


If nonlinear material properties are to be employed, is the material data that describes the nonlinear behavior available? Does your finite element code support the required material behavior? If the analysis is nonlinear, are superelements (substructures) viable and cost effective? If contact is to be modeled, will friction be included, are the interfaces preloaded, how will you induce the preload?
D What types of elements will be employed in the analysis? Clearly, the elements must support the geometric and material nonlinearities decisions made in the previous step but additional decisions are required: D elements can, in general, be point, line, area or volumetric elements, what type or types of elements will be employed? D if area (surface) elements will be employed, is the geometry and loading coplanar so that 2-D solids can be employed or are shell elements needed? D linear (straight-sided), quadratic, cubic or p types of elements? D triangular or quadrilateral elements; tetrahedral or brick elements? D will all elements have the same degrees of freedom at common nodes? D will the meshes of adjacent regions/parts line-up? D free or mapped meshes?

Preprocessing

102 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

How To Begin (Cont.):


D What type of accuracy is needed in various regions of the model and what types of mesh densities are required to support these requirements? A few examples of mesh density versus accuracy for common loadings are given in Appendix A. How will you verify the adequacy of the mesh; remesh and reanalyze the entire model or submodel local regions? How much detail will be included in the model, i.e., do you intend to include every hole, fillet, round, etc. in the finite element model? D Is the geometry available in a CAD system? If so, where will the meshing be done, in the CAD system or the analysis system? If the geometry is to be transferred to the analysis system for meshing, what geometric forms will be passed and what is the expected reliability of such data? Can some parts or small features be neglected or suppressed? D Can any type of symmetry or antisymmetry be exploited to reduce modeling time and computer resources? D Before building the model, estimate the model size (nodes, elements, # of solutions, etc.). Based on the model size estimate, estimate the runtime and disk space requirements. It makes no sense to build a model that cannot be run on your computer system or runs so long that by the time you have an answer, no one cares!

Preprocessing

103 Revised: 04/22/98

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design

Geometric Considerations 1. Shape of finite element model should closely approximate the shape of the structure. Geometry

FE Model Approximation

2.

Place nodes at supports and load points.

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 8

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design

Geometric Considerations (continued) 3. Do not extend elements across discontinuities such as thickness changes and folds.

Geometry FE Model

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 9

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Geometric Considerations (continued) 4. If physical model is symmetric, use a symmetric mesh pattern. Reflective Symmetry

Symmetric Mesh

Asymmetric Mesh

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 10

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Stress Fields Guide Mesh Design 5. Use a uniform mesh pattern where possible.

6.

Avoid mesh patterns with a bias.

Biased

Unbiased

7.

Good stress results require a finer model than good displacement results.

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 11

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Stress Fields Guide Mesh Design (continued) 8. A priori assessment of the stress picture is an essential step for the layout of a mesh pattern. Dense mesh around notch

9.

Where applied loads or stresses change rapidly use smaller elements or higher order elements. High Stress in notch

10. Outside high stress regions use smooth transition from small to large elements.

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 12

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Element Usage 11. Represent curved surfaces with curved elements or more of the simpler flat elements.

12. Quadrilateral elements are preferred over triangular elements.

13. Avoid high aspect ratio of the element sides. 1:1 Ideal 1:2.5 Acceptable 1:9 Excessive

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 13

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Element Usage (continued) 14. Avoid elements with very obtuse or acute angles. Obtuse 15. Midside nodes of higher order elements should be placed accurately at middle of side (+/- 10%).

Acute

misplaced 16. Avoid unreasonable distortion in higher order elements.

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 14

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Element Usage (continued) 17. In modeling curved surfaces observe limits on the subtended angle: 5-15 for flat elements, 20-30 for curved elements.

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 15

Preprocessing
Guidelines for Mesh Design (continued)

Element Usage (continued)

18. Rotational degree of freedom about normal to shell surface may need restraining in some cases.

19. Special elements are necessary if Poissons ratio is close to 0.50.

March15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing, Part 1 - 16

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Connecting 2-D to 3-D Axisymmetric Models


Some gas turbine parts and assemblies can be very effectively modeled by using a mixture of 2-D axisymmetric elements and 3-D elements that represent a periodic slice. An example is shown below:

Preprocessing

111 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Connecting 2-D to 3-D Axisymmetric Models (Cont.)


The procedure will be outlined for a finite element code where the axisymmetric elements are formulated on a full circumferential basis, the Y-axis is the axis of symmetry and X is the radial direction. D the 3-D sector model must be built so that the global Y-axis corresponds to the axial direction D at the 2D-3D interface: D each node in the 2-D axisymmetric model should have a corresponding row of nodes in the 3-D model at the same axial location. D the nodal coordinate system of the 3-D nodes should be rotated into a cylindrical system which has local Z aligned with global Y and local X aligned with global X. D the 3-D nodes are constrained in the circumferential direction (nodal Y). D couple each 2-D node to the corresponding 3-D nodes in the radial direction (nodal X); the corresponding nodes are those with the same axial location as the 2-D node D write constraint equations which couple the motion of each 2-D node in the nodal Y-direction to the motion of the corresponding 3-D nodes in the nodal Z-direction. D the Youngs modulus, shear modulus and density for the 2-D portion of the model must be adjusted by the factor, 3-D sector angle/360. For example, if the 3-D sector angle is 30 degrees, the modified material properties would be 1/12 of their actual values. D stresses in the 2-D portion should be scaled up the inverse of the material reduction factor; for the given example, the 2-D stresses should be multiplied by 12.

Preprocessing

112 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Mixing Element Types (General Case)


In general, finite element codes allow a user to connect any type of element to any other type of element at one or more common nodes, regardless of whether or not it makes any physical sense. A general rule should always be remembered, an element can, at most, exert actions at its nodes in the directions of the elements degrees of freedom. The most common instances, where difficulties arise due to dissimilar degrees of freedom (DOF), occurs when beam elements are connected to plane strain/stress elements or shells are connected to 3-D solids such as bricks, wedges, and/or tetrahedral elements. A number of different approaches are used to tie such elements together:
D constraint equations based on plane sections remaining plane and normal to the middle surface (see coupling/constraint equations section). D embedding beam/shells into the solid mesh to transfer the moment via couples. D overlaying edge beams/plates on the surface of the solids so that the moment is transferred to the solids via couples rather than nodal moments.

The use of constraint equations is limited to small deflection problems and requires considerable user effort in a complex model. The process of embedding elements requires considerable effort and the local solution results are quite sensitive to the depth of embedment. The overlay method is relatively simple to apply and is applicable to both small and large deflection problems. In most instances, the overlay method is the preferred approach and good results are obtained by making the bending inertia of the beams/shells large to enforce plane sections remain plane; the in-plane stiffness should be small to allow Poissons effect to occur in the thickness direction. Remember to set the density of the overlay elements to zero to avoid incorrect mass effects.
Preprocessing 115 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Coupling/Constraint Equations
Coupling/constraint equations allow a user to specify relationships between the primary nodal unknowns, displacements in structural problems, temperatures in a thermal analysis. Some codes call such equations, multipoint constraint equations. Coupling equations are a very simple form of constraint equation. A typical coupling equation might enforce the condition that the x-displacement at nodes 1 and 6 are the same.

U x1 + U x6
A typical example of coupling might be to model sliding at the blade/disk interface. If friction is neglected, no separation is allowed at the interface, and the node pattern on both parts align at the interface, the sliding interface can be modeled as follows. The nodal coordinate system for the disk and blade nodes can be rotated to be tangent and normal to the interface and the nodes are coupled in the normal direction. This allows frictionless sliding at the interface but does not allow penetration or separation in the normal direction. Constraint equations are more general in that the user can write equations that express an arbitrary linear relationship among the nodal unknowns. Constraint equations are used for a variety of applications, such as:
D connecting dissimilar meshes (mesh pattern does not align) D modeling interference fits D inducing preloads in bolted joints D connecting dissimilar elements that connect to a common node, by dissimilar we mean elements that do not have the same degrees of freedom, e.g., connecting shell elements with brick elements D modeling rigid regions
Preprocessing 142 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Coupling/Constraint Equations
A typical example of using a constraint equation, connecting a 2-D beam element to 2-D solid elements, is shown below Employing the assumption of beam theory, plane sections 62 y,Uy remain plane and normal to the middle surface, a constraint equation connecting the angular rotation at node 12 to the x,Ux translations at nodes 11 and 13 can be written as(assuming Z is normal to the paper and Y is parallel to the vertical edge),

ROTZ 12 +

UY 11 * UY 13
D 11*13

13

12

11

19
The denominator is the horizontal distance (X-distance) between nodes 11 and 13. This constraint equation is only valid for small values of angular rotation since we have employed the assumption that the angle and the tangent to the angle are the same.

22

25

18

21

24

Coupling/constraint equations act like elements in that they increase the connectivity of the finite element model and therefore increase the bandwidth or wavefront of the system equations. The use of such equations will, in general, increase the computational effort required to solve the problem.

Preprocessing

143 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Coupling/Constraint Equations (Cont.)


Constraint equations can be major sources of error in finite element models. Improper constraint equations can artificially stiffen a model and/or induce artificial stress risers. Perhaps the most common error in the use of constraint equations, constraints that induce artificial stress, can be uncovered by a simple test. Consistent constraint equations should not induce stress when the model is subjected to a uniform temperature rise and displacement constraints that just restrain rigid body motion. In most cases, constraint equations should not be used in models undergoing large deflection. Constraint equation coefficients are usually based on the original locations of the nodes and the nodal displacement directions and hence are not correct as the nodes move through large displacements. Users should also be very careful in constructing constraint equations when the nodal coordinate system has a different orientation at each of the nodes involved in the constraint equation. The displacement relationship described by the constraint equation is expressed in the nodal coordinate system. In some commercial codes, constraint equations are automatically generated when the user defines constraint or rigid elements.

Preprocessing

144 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Coupling/Constraint Equations (Connecting shells to solids)


When connecting shellstosolids, a layer or footprint of shells parallel to the solid element surface can be used to transfer the momemt load from the shells to the solids. Without these elements, the joint would act as a hinge, and no moment would be transferred.

Shell element mesh shares nodes with solid brick mesh.

Shell element nodes tied to solid tet mesh with constraint equations (Ux, Uy, Uz DOF).

SHELLTOSOLID element interface with matching meshes.

SHELLTOSOLID element interface with dissimilar meshes.

Preprocessing

145 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Temperature Dependant Coefficient of Thermal Expansion


Mean Alpha (used by ANSYS, NASTRAN) is taken with respect to a reference temperature. For instance, if you measure thermal strains in a laboratory starting at 70F and took readings at 200, 400, 600, 800F. When you plot the straintemperature data, the slopes of the secants to the curve would be the mean values of the coefficient of thermal expansion defined with respect to the reference temperature (To=70F). The slopes of the tangents to this curve represent the instantaneous alpha (used by MARC).

Instantaneous a Tn2 Instantaneous a Tn1

Thermal Strain

Mean a Tn2

Mean a Tn1
To Tn1 Tn2

Preprocessing

116 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Temperature Dependant Coefficient of Thermal Expansion


Mean coefficient of thermal expansion: This is the most common definition of thermal expansion and is usually the value reported in most lab data. This definition of thermal expansion is used by ANSYS and NASTRAN. If you are analyzing a part that has a zero thermal strain temperature other than the reference temperature of the alpha curve, you must convert the strain vs. temperature values to the new reference temperature. Instantaneous coefficient of thermal expansion: This definition of thermal expansion is the less common version and is used by the MARC program. The advantage of this definition is that it is independent of reference temperature. The disadvantage is that most lab data must be converted to this definition to be correct.

Preprocessing

117 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Temperature Dependant Coefficient of Thermal Expansion


The definition of the instantaneous thermal expansion coefficient is:

a + T

When deformation is unrestrained, T is temperature above a reference temperature (Tref) at which the thermal expansion is assumed to be zero. If the expansion coefficient is constant (not temperature dependent) then,

T + a T * T ref
T

is the thermal strain. If alpha is temperature dependent, then:

T +

adT + a(T)T * T
T ref

ref

where

a( T ) +

1 T * T ref

adT
T ref

Where a , which is temperature dependent, is an effective expansion coefficient, sometimes called the mean coefficient of thermal expansion. ANSYS and NASTRAN use this mean definition rather than the socalled instantaneous definition. Note that the use of the mean coefficient assumes that Tref is the definition temperature about which data is supplied and is also the reference temperature at which zero thermal strains exist in your structure. If these temperatures are not the same, then a modified equation must be used for the mean coefficient.
Preprocessing 118 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Modified Coefficients of Thermal Expansion.


In some models, the zero thermal strain temperature (Tref) may not be the same as the temperature at which the mean coefficients of thermal expansion are defined. This typically occurs in composite materials where the zero thermal strain temperature (stress free temperature or consolidation temperature) is much higher than room temperature where the thermal expansion coefficients are measured from.
o th o + a ( T )(T * T o) +

Consider:

a
To T

instdT

Eq: T1

r th r + a ( T ) T * T ref +

a
T ref

instdT

Eq: T2

Equations T1 and T2 represent the thermal strain at a temperature T for two different starting points, To and Tref. Now let To be the temperature about which the data has been generated (definition temperature), and Tref be the temperature at which all strains are zero (reference temperature). ) what is needed as program input. Thus ao(T ) is the supplied data, and a r(Tis

Preprocessing

119 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Modified Coefficients of Thermal Expansion (cont.)


The right hand side of equation T1 may be expanded as:
T ref

a
To

instdT

a
To

instdT )

a
T ref

instdT

Eq: T3

also,

a
To

T ref

instdT

+ a o T ref T ref * T o

Eq: T4

or,

a
To

T ref

instdT

+ a r(T o) T ref * T o a r( T ) +

Eq: T5

combining equations T3, T4, T5:

a o( T ) )

T ref * T o a o( T ) * a o(T ref) T * T ref

The above equation is used to convert alpha from a measured temperature (To) to a different thermal strain free temperature (Tref). This adjustment can be performed automatically in ANSYS using the MPAMOD command.
Preprocessing 120 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Stress Singularities
Stress singularities (infinite stresses) do not occur in practice; stress singularities predicted by finite element models are caused by modeling errors or by finite element solutions attempting to match elasticity solutions that are singular. Typical sources of such singularities include:
D fine mesh surrounding a point force D sharp corners (reentrant) that do not have finite fillets or allow for local yielding D cracks in the finite element model caused by errors in mesh generation D poorly located midside nodes on higher-order elements D severe distortion of elements

Real structures do not possess such singularities and hence finite element models must be constructed in such a manner that these singularities will not be calculated.

Preprocessing

121 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Applying Loads and Other Boundary Conditions


Equivalent Nodal Loads For Pressures, Temperatures, etc. The static structural equations,

[ K ]{ U } + { F }
allow the use of applied nodal forces and moments. Distributed loadings causes by pressures, inertia loads, temperature distributions, etc. are usually introduced into these equations by a consistent nodal load vector approach,
{F } +

[N] {b}dV ) [N] {t}dA


T T

where the b and t vectors are body forces per unit volume and surface forces per unit surface area ,respectively. Note that the equivalent or consistent nodal load vector depends on the shape or interpolation functions used in the element formulation. While linear elements (two nodes/side) have consistent load vectors that can also be derived by simple statics, quadratic and higher order elements have consistent load vectors that are statically equivalent but whose load distribution is not intuitive.

Preprocessing

122 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Applying Loads and Other Boundary Conditions (Cont.)


The nodal load distributions for quadratic elements subjected to a few simple uniform distributions are shown below:
Q P Q Q P Q P Q P + 1 3 Q + 1 12 P + 2 3 1 Q + 6 P Q Q P Q P P P P

L Q P Q

P+1 3

(a)

(b)

(c)

P + 1 , Q + 1 3 12

(d)

P and Q are consistently derived fractions of the total force on a quadratic element. In each case the force is uniformly distributed and directed upward, and the side nodes are located at the midsides.
(a) (b) (c) (d) Body force on a rectangular plane element. Traction on the top edge of a plane element. Traction on the rectangular top surface of a solid element. Traction on the triangular face of a quadratic element.

Note that in case (b), the use of two linear elements on the top edge would have produced nodal loads of , , and of the total load rather than the 1/6, 2/3, and 1/6 distribution. The 3-D load distribution is even more disturbing, a pressure load on the face produces some nodal loads that are in the opposite direction.
Preprocessing 123 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Applying Loads and Other Boundary Conditions (Cont.)


When using contact elements between midside node elements, the contact stiffnesses must be modified to maintain consistent loading. Uniform Pressure

Contact element stiffness

4K

Preprocessing

124 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types
Whenever possible, finite element modeling should exploit known conditions of symmetry or antisymmetry. When investigating symmetry, the user must consider whether the model exhibits symmetry in the following:
D shape D material properties D load and support conditions

Perhaps the most common type of symmetry is reflective or mirror symmetry, i.e., the model has a plane of symmetry. The loading can be symmetric, antisymmetric, or exhibit no regularity with respect to the plane of geometric and material symmetry.
P P P P

Symmetric Loading

Antisymmetric Loading

Preprocessing

125 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


Note that for symmetric loading, reflection about the symmetry plane brings the applied loads and support conditions into alignment with the conditions on the other side. Antisymmetry exists when a reflection of geometry, loads, and support conditions produces loads and supports that are reversed from those of the other half. In either case, only one-half of the system needs to be modeled and analyzed as shown below:
P P

Symmetry

Antisymmetry

D Zero translation perpendicular to the D Zero translation in the plane of plane of symmetry. symmetry D All rotation vectors (nonzero) are D All rotation vectors (nonzero) lie in perpendicular to the plane of the plane of symmetry symmetry Some finite element preprocessors can apply symmetry or antisymmetry boundary conditions automatically, others require the user to explicitly define the appropriate nodal displacement boundary conditions. Note, in a general case, such conditions require two changes to the finite element model: D If the plane of symmetry does not align with the nodal coordinate system, the nodal systems must be rotated so that translations and rotational displacements have components parallel and normal to the plane of symmetry. D The appropriate translations and rotations must be restrained, see figure above, for all nodes that lie in the plane of symmetry.
Preprocessing 126 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


Symmetry on 2D or 3D planer or solid elements with translational DOF only.

Constrain translational DOF normal to surface.

Preprocessing

127 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


Symmetry on shell elements with translational and rotational DOF

Constrain translational DOF normal to surface, and rotational DOF as shown.

Preprocessing

128 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


Another common symmetry condition in rotating components is known as periodic or rotational or cyclic symmetry. For this type of model, the geometry, material properties, and loading are repeatable, i.e., periodic with respect to some axis. A simple example of this type of model would be a single or multiple tooth (only one tooth is needed) model of a helical gear under centrifugal load. A 3-D model of the entire gear is shown below: 56,000 BRICK ELEMENTS

Preprocessing

129 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


A periodic symmetry model of 1/53rd of the gear is shown below: The single sector model will produce the same results as analyzing the entire model provided the following conditions are met:
D the nodal pattern, i.e., nodal locations (in a cylindrical sense) and nodal coordinate system at corresponding locations on the left and right faces, must match on the faces where we have cut through material to isolate a repeatable sector D displacements in all directions at corresponding nodes on each face must be constrained to be identical via coupling or constraint equations
1,760 NODES 1,053 BRICK ELEMENTS

Some commercial codes can impose cyclic symmetry automatically, other codes require the user to explicitly rotate the nodal coordinate systems and couple the appropriate node pairs on the left and right faces.
Preprocessing 130 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


Occasionally, users impose reflective symmetry in situations where cyclic symmetry should be imposed. Under a pure spin load, symmetry and cyclic symmetry would yield the same results for the model shown below. However, if a twist load is applied , the resulting stresses are significantly different as illustrated below:
MN ANSYS 5.3 JAN 15 1997 15:54:58 PLOT NO. 1 MN MX STEP=1 SUB =1 TIME=1 S1 (AVG) DMX =.04494 SMN =35783 SMX =300640 35783 65212 94640 124069 153497 182926 212355 241783 271212 300640 ANSYS 5.3 JAN 15 1997 15:53:01 PLOT NO. 1 STEP=1 SUB =1 TIME=1 DMX =.042089 SMN =52921 SMX =275255 52921 77625 102329 127032 151736 176440 201144 225847 250551 275255

MX

9% error

Symmetry constraints

Cyclic Symmetry

Preprocessing

131 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)

MX

Symmetry Constraints:
Symmetry constraints (enforced displacements) force cut boundaries to remain planar. This may or may not be a valid assumption. A clue to the validity is that matching nodes on the left and right cut boundaries should have equal stresses. In this example, note that the stress distribution on the left and right faces do not correspond. This is an invalid solution. Symmetry constraints are easier to define and cheaper to run than cyclic symmetry constraints.

MN

Y X Z

Preprocessing

132 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


MN

MX

Cyclic Symmetry Constraints:


Cyclic symmetry constraints force corresponding faces to deflect identically, not necessarily planar. note that the stress distribution on the left face matches that on the right face. Cyclic symmetry contraints are more difficult to define and are more costly to run.

Y X Z

Preprocessing

133 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Symmetry Types (Cont.)


Other situations may invalidate symmetry such as material properties.

Unsymmetric loading or unsymmeteric material properties may cause unsymmetric response. Holeinplate model is loaded symmetrically. Orthotropic material properties are oriented 30degrees offaxis. In this case, a 1/4 or 1/2 symmetry model of the holeinplate would be invalid. Gas Turbine examples are DS or SC turbine blades and vanes, various composite structures.
MX

MN

Hole in Plate with 30degree offaxis orthotropic material properties.

Preprocessing

134 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Constraining Rigid Body Motion


What Is Rigid Body Motion?
A part or system that is unsupported, or inadequately supported, will have a singular stiffness matrix, [K]; a singular matrix is one whose determinant is zero and hence which has no inverse. If a static analysis is performed on such a system, no unique solution exists and commercial finite element software will not be able to solve the overall system equations. To make [K] nonsingular, sufficient displacement boundary conditions must be imposed to constrain all possible rigid body motions. Rigid body motions are displacement fields (motions) that do not cause any deformation.

Thermal Equivalent To Rigid Body Motion


In a thermal analysis, the equivalent to rigid body motion is a steady-state analysis that predicts an infinite nodal temperature solution. An example of such a system would be a part subjected to nodal heat flow, or element heat flux, and no boundary condition (convection, specified nodal temperature) to extract (balance) the heat flow. The steady-state solution to constant heat input, with no heat output, is a part at infinite temperature.

Preprocessing

135 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Typical Error Messages For Rigid Body Motion


Rigid body motion in a static solution causes commercial software to issue a variety of messages such as,
D Negative main diagonal during solution. Small pivots. DOF limit exceeded (ANSYS) D Negative terms on factor diagonal. Excessive pivot ratios. (NASTRAN) D 2004 Exit code (MARC)

In some instances, the solution will run but the results contain displacements that are very large in one or more directions. All of the above indicate a poorly posed problem, there is no unique solution.

Preprocessing

136 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Minimum Constraints To Inhibit Rigid Body Motion


Some commercial codes can detect the singularity of [K] and impose sufficient constraints to restrain such motion. In most instances, the user needs to impose constraints consistent with the actual environment. Assuming the model consists of only one part, the following list gives the minimum constraints for a given class of problem:
D 2-D plane stress/strain, 2-D beams/spars need a minimum of three restraints, assuming that the nodes only have in-plane translations and the out-of-plane rotation as degrees of freedom D 2-D axisymmetric model needs one constraint in the axial direction, assuming that the model only has radial and axial degrees of freedom at each node D 3-D solids/shells need a minimum of six constraints

Note these are the minimum number but one cannot simply apply any constraints of that number and obtain a correct solution.

Preprocessing

137 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Minimum Constraints To Inhibit Rigid Body Motion (Cont.)


The constraint guidelines described above for common element types are presented graphically in the Element Rigid Body Motion Rigid Body Motion following table:
Type Permitted Prevented

2-D Spar
(UX,UY)

2-D Beam
(UX,UY,ROTZ)

2-D Plane Stress/Strain Solid


(UX,UY)

2-D Axisymmetric Solid


(UX,UY)

3-D Solid
(UX,UY,UZ)

Preprocessing

138 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Minimum Constraints To Inhibit Rigid Body Motion (Cont.)


For assemblies, one must consider how rigid body motion is restrained for each part as well as the overall assembly. In general, translations in all three directions and rotation about three arbitrary perpendicular axes must be restrained. In other words, the displacement constraints must be able to resist an arbitrary force in any direction and an arbitrary moment about any axis. Frequently, excessive constraints are applied to a model. While rigid body motion is inhibited, the displacement and strain/stress fields predicted by such model are incorrect. Excessive constraints, in many cases, are worse than insufficient constraints. The solution will not run with insufficient constraints; excessive constraints produce incorrect results. A common modelling check to verify rigid body motion constraints is to apply a uniform elevated temperature load to a model. A properly constrained model should not generate any stress under a free thermal expansion loading condition.

Preprocessing

139 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Finding Problems In Complex Models


For complex models having numerous element types and/or parts, it may be difficult to determine which regions of the model are experiencing rigid body motion and what constraints are needed to inhibit such motion. For example, it is not immediately apparent that the system of constraints shown on the model below permits rigid body rotation about axis A-B:

An additional constraint must be added (bringing the total number of constraints to six) to eliminate all possible rigid body motions:

Preprocessing

140 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Finding Error Via Modal Analysis


While computationally more expensive than a static analysis, a modal analysis will frequently expose the weaknesses of an improperly constrained static model. After ensuring that all elements have density/inertia in all directions, a modal analysis is performed. One mode and a zero, or near zero frequency, will be found for every possible rigid body motion. Animating the mode shape will graphically illustrate the direction in which the model is free to translate.

Preprocessing

141 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Contact Elements Versus Coupling Equations


When the parts of an assembly can undergo relative motion with respect to each other, the interface between the parts can be modeled using either coupling equations or contact elements. The assumptions of each approach are quite different. If coupling equations are employed, the following procedure is employed:
D the nodal pattern for each part must align at the interface D the nodal coordinate system for the nodes at the interface must be rotated to have components parallel and normal to the interface D the corresponding nodal displacements (at the interface) of each part must be coupled in the direction normal to the surface

This approach allows a linear solution to the interface. However, separation cannot be modeled, interface forces cannot change direction during deformation, and frictional effects are neglected. Therefore, coupling produces the least expensive (computationally) solution but not necessarily an accurate solution. Whenever coupling equations are used, the element forces should be reviewed (during postprocessing) to ensure that all forces induced via coupling are compressive and have directions, in the deformed shape, that are physically reasonable. Remember that coupling equations are simply degenerate constraint equations and hence should not be used in regions undergoing large rotations. The use of contact elements to model an interface is always a more accurate approach; this approach will produce the same results as the use of coupling, if all assumptions associated with coupling are satisfied. Contact elements allow friction and separation (or additional contact) to be included in the analysis. However, such analyses are always nonlinear, may have convergence difficulties, and can be computationally expensive.
Preprocessing 146 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Stress Stiffening
Stress stiffening, sometimes called geometric stiffening, incremental stiffening or differential stiffening, is the stiffening or softening of a structure due to its stress state. This effect couples in-plane and transverse displacement, i.e., creates an increase or decrease in transverse stiffness due to membrane stress. Tensile membrane stresses increase the transverse stiffness while compressive stresses lower the stiffness. This effect is normally significant in a thin flexible structure, whose bending stiffness is small compared to its axial stiffness. Typical examples of stress stiffening are the increase in the bending frequencies of a turbine blade due to rotational speed, change in frequency of a guitar string as the string tension is increased, change in stiffness of a beer can as it is pressurized, etc. Stress stiffening is a second order geometric nonlinearity; this effect should automatically be included when a user activates a large deflection structural analysis. In some codes, the user can turn on large deflection and stress stiffening; turning on stress stiffening, in addition to large deflection, is normally used to help the convergence characteristics rather than change the analysis results. In other words, the analysis result is unchanged by including stress stiffening in addition to large deflection. The stress stiffening matrix is added to the regular stiffness matrix; in a static analysis the equilibrium equations become,

([ K ] ) [K s]){ U } + { F }
If membrane stresses become compressive then terms in the stress stiffness matrix may cancel the positive terms in the regular stiffness matrix. The combined matrix, or total, stiffness matrix may be nonpositive-definite which indicates the onset of buckling. In fact, a linear or eigenvalue buckling problem is solved by simply determining the scalar multiplier(s) of the stress stiffness matrix that will make the total matrix singular.
Preprocessing 147 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Spin Softening
While stress stiffening effects increase the stiffness of a rotating part, spin or centrifugal softening reduces the stiffness. However, the combined effect is still a stiffened structure compared to a nonrotating configuration. Spin softening is an attempt to introduce large deflection effects into a small deflection solution. Consider the simple spring-mass system shown below,

Ws

K
r u

Equilibrium requires that the spring force balance the centrifugal force and hence in a small deflection analysis, KU + w s 2Mr where S is the angular velocity, r is the radial rest position of the mass and u is the radial displacement of the mass from the rest position. To include large deflection effects, the centrifugal force is calculated in the deformed geometry, and hence the equilibrium equation becomes, Rearranging terms, yields, K * w s 2M u + w s 2Mr
KU + w s 2M(r ) u)

The term in parentheses is the reduced stiffness matrix that accounts for spin softening effects. The formulation can be extended to three dimensions and results in a modification to the main diagonal coefficients of each element matrice in each translational direction [16]. In a 3-D problem, spin softening only affects the stiffness in the plane of rotation; the stiffness in the direction normal to the plane of rotation is not affected.
Preprocessing 148 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Spin Softening
The effect of stress stiffening and spin softening on the fundamental natural frequency of a simple rotating blade [17] is shown.
Fundamental Natural Frequency (Herts) A = No Stress Stiffening, No Spin Softening B = Stress Stiffening, No Spin Softening C = NoStress Stiffening, Spin Softening D = Stress Stiffening, Spin Softening

AngularVelocityofRotation(w s)(RadiansSec)

Effects of Spin Softening and Stress stiffening on Fan Blade Natural Frequencies

Preprocessing

149 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Saint-Venants Principle/Submodeling
In 1855, B. de Saint-Venant proposed a principle that can be stated as follows[18]: If some distribution of forces/moments acting on a portion of the surface of a body is replaced by a different distribution of forces/moments acting on the same portion of the body, then the effects on the parts sufficiently removed from the region of application are essentially the same, provided the two distributions are statically equivalent. In most cases, the effect of local distributions on a structure are assumed to be negligible at 5-6 times the greatest linear dimension of the area over which the distribution is applied. However, it is possible that local effects can be felt throughout the structure if the structure has thin walls [19]. Saint-Venants principle forms the basis for a two-step approach to analysis sometimes called submodeling, rebreak, or the cut boundary displacement method. This approach is outlined below: D build a coarse model that is sufficient to resolve the displacement field and the basic stress field but may not be fine enough to resolve the local stress field around stress risers. D perform an analysis of the coarse model and review the results D decide which region(s) need a finer mesh to resolve the stress field D build a new model of the region(s) with a much finer mesh; the boundaries of the new model should be sufficiently removed (>6 times critical dimension of the riser) from the area of interest D impose displacement boundary conditions, on the boundary nodes where we have cut through material, consistent with the coarse model D impose any other loads that the elements in that region(s) would feel, e.g., pressures, inertia loads, temperature distributions, etc. D analyze using the new local submodel D review the stress distribution on the cut boundaries and compare to the distribution in the coarse model, if the stiffness of the submodel is similar to the stiffness of the region in the coarse model, the stresses should also be very similar and hence we can have confidence in these local results.
Preprocessing 150 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Saint-Venants Principle/Submodeling (Cont.)


Although the steps appear to be labor-intensive, commercial codes can perform most of the operations automatically and a 3-D part can usually be submodeled and reanalyzed in a few hours. In most cases, submodels are not needed for 2-D problems since a very fine mesh can be employed. An example of a coarse model of an assembly and the corresponding submodel of one part of the assembly is shown below. Radial and axial coupling equations are used to model the sliding interfaces.
ANSYS 5.3 SEP 19 1996 13:49:38 PLOTNO. 1 ELEMENTS TEMPERATURES TMIN=800 TMAX=1400 U CP OMEG PRES 800 866.667 933.333 1000 1067 1133 1200 1267 1333 1400

COARSE MODEL

Preprocessing

151 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Saint-Venants Principle/Submodeling (Cont.)


This model is a thermal stress model and hence the submodel must include spin, the temperature distribution, and the specified displacements on the cut boundaries.
ANSYS 5.3 SEP 19 1996 14:12:18 PLOTNO. 1 ELEMENTS TEMPERATURES TMIN=867.082 TMAX=1065 U OMEG 867.082 889.098 911.114 933.13 955.146 977.162 999.178 1021 1042 1065

SUBMODEL NEAR FILLET

Preprocessing

152 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Common Modeling Problems/Errors


Modeling a single part is usually straight-forward; assemblies, on the other hand, frequently require more judgment and/or approximations. Some configurations may be modeled using a variety of techniques, some of which are equivalent and some of which are not. In the next few sections, a brief review of typical modeling approximations are reviewed and some common errors are discussed.

Preprocessing

153 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preloaded Joints
Bolts are frequently employed to preload joints. In most instances, a preloaded joint requires the modeler to consider a number of factors, such as: D How will preload be introduced? D Drop temperature of the bolt D Drop temperature of spar connecting two halves of bolt or initial strain in spar D Constraint equations D Initial interference of contact elements between bolt/nut heads and flanges D How will bolt be modeled? D Simple spar or beam D Simple 2-D/3-D solid elements, no detail D Complex 2-D/3-D model of bolt D Bolt/flange interaction model D Bolt-flange connected via coupling equations D Contact elements, with or without friction D bolt head-flange D bolt body-flange hole D Flange-Flange interaction D Coupling equations D Contact elements D Contact element type D Point-point (gap element) D Surface-surface (general contact)
Preprocessing 154 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preloaded Joints (Cont.)


D Contact stiffness D Hand calculation D FEA result D Nonlinear controls (if contact elements are employed) D rate of loading D path dependence D convergence criteria D Constraints to eliminate/suppress rigid body motion D Soft springs D Rely on initial status and continuing status of contact elements and friction

Most methods of preloading the joint rely on inducing a strain() in the bolt such that E*A* equals the preload, where E=Youngs modulus and A= cross-sectional area of the bolt. The flexibility of the clamped components must be recognized when the strain is computed, as the components compress, the bolt load will relax. In most cases, an initial run is made with an approximate strain, the resulting bolt load is reviewed, and the initial strain is scaled to produce the proper preload.

Preprocessing

155 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preloaded Joints (Cont.)


The most common errors associated with preloading bolted joints are:
D Attempting to simulate a preload by applying a constant force to the bolt, this approach will not let the bolt load change as parts expand or contract. D Putting contact elements with initial interference between the flange surfaces, this will induce a tensile load in the bolt but the preload is trying to pry the flanges apart rather than pushing the parts together.

Preprocessing

156 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Interference Fits
Interference fits can be simulated by a variety of approaches, some more accurate than others. For instance, in modeling the interference between a disk and a shaft, one might employ one of the following techniques:
D Assume shaft contraction will be small and simply impose a uniform radial displacement, at the disk bore, equal to the radial interference. D Impose a unit uniform pressure on the exterior of the shaft and bore of the disk. After the analysis, scale the pressure such that the radial expansion of the disk plus the radial contraction of the disk equals the radial interference. D Couple the disk and shaft nodes in the radial direction and impose a temperature rise on the shaft such that it should expand an amount equal to the radial interference. D Let the disk and shaft share a common set of nodes at the interface, set the coefficients of thermal expansion to zero except in the radial direction, and subject the shaft to the temperature rise described above; assumes interface stays locked radially and axially. D Write constraint equations between the disk and shaft nodes at the common interface. The radial expansion of the disk plus the radial contraction of the shaft must equal the radial interference. D Use gap or contact elements between the disk and shaft and impose an initial interference in the model via temperatures or gap input data or by modeling the parts at their true dimensions.

Clearly, all of these approaches, except the last, are based on maintaining contact over the entire interface. Some assume a uniform pressure distribution and most neglect friction at the interface. The last approach is the most general and accurate approach in that nonuniform pressure distributions, separation, and friction can be included in the model; however, it requires a nonlinear analysis.
Preprocessing 157 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

3-D Problems Modeled As 2-D


All real parts have stress distributions that are three-dimensional and hence assumptions such as plane stress, plane strain, shell theory, etc. are always approximations to the true stress state. The goodness of the approximation should always be verified by comparing the 2-D results to the results of a 3-D modeling effort. For example, a 2-D model of a blade-disk attachment neglects end effects in the attachment region. As the blade twists in the attachment region, the stress field variation in the axial direction will be quite significant; clearly a 2-D model cannot predict such stresses.

Preprocessing

158 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Orthotropic Materials
Orthotropic materials require special care to ensure the proper stiffness is computed and the strain and stress output is clearly understood. A few considerations are listed below:
D Orthotropic material properties must be defined with respect to some coordinate system since the material properties are directionally-dependent. How is this material coordinate defined in your FEA code? D Orthotropic material properties are typically specified in one of two formats, row-normalized form or column-normalized form. Which form does your FEA code expect?

Preprocessing

159 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Composite Materials
Composite materials require special methods to handle the unique material properties. Simple composite structures can be handled with conventional elements using an orthotropic assumption, however more complex layered composites require the use of special elements. The first step is to determine the behavior you wish to model and the type of materials you have. These decisions will influence whether you choose 2D, layered shell, or 3D solid elements. Several questions should be answered before you begin:
D If the structure is a layered composite, will the structure be modeled using a layered shell element (assumes plane stress), a layered 3-D solid element or regular 3D solid elements. D For layered shell elements, does composite behave like a thin laminated structure where all layers carry bending, or does it behave like a sandwich structure where outer layers carry bending and center layer carries the shear? D For a layered structure, how are the ply thicknesses, material properties, and material orientation angles defined and checked? D Shell elements should be defined in such a way that shell normals and ply numbering are consistent for adjacent elements. D What type of output is required for the composite elements? D Strain/stress sampling locations ? D Strain/stress measures, failure criteria? D Strain/stress directions?

Preprocessing

160 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Composite Materials

2D shell elements with plane stress or plane strain assumption.

3D geometry with 2D layered shell elements.

3D solid finite elements with layered composite or orthotropic assumption.

Axisymmetric elements with orthotropic assumption. 161 Revised: 04/22/98

Preprocessing

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Types for Composite Analysis


2D Shell Elements
Advantages:
D Can analyze structures which dont have uniform loadings or boundary conditions. D Used in sizing with respect to flexural stress and stiffness (i.e. deflection, vibration, or buckling). D Low cost compared to a 3D brick analysis.

Disadvantages:
D Lots of printout to sort through D No interlaminar tensile stress prediction. D Interlaminar shear stress is an approximation.

2D Plane Stress
Advantages:
D D D D Predicts interlaminar tensile and interlaminar shear stresses. Easy to set up and quick to run. Useful in parametric analysis. Contour plotting for data reduction.

Disadvantages:
D Limited to structures that dont vary through thickness.

Preprocessing

162 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Types for Composite Analysis (Cont.)


3D Solid Elements
Advantages:
D Interlaminar stress recovery for complex geometry. D Analyze edge effects.

Disadvantages:
D Computer intensive solution. D Cost (modelling time and computer).

Axisymmetric Elements.
Advantages:
D D D D Used to analyze bodiesofrevolution. Interlaminar stress recovery. Easy to set up and quick to run. Contour plotting for data reduction.

Disadvantages:
D Will not handle nonaxisymmetric loads.

Preprocessing

163 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Software Available for Composites Analysis


Preliminary Design:
Several computer programs are used for composites analysis at P&W: These programs are primarily used to generate material properties for composites.
D GINA: D ICAN: Graphical Integrated Numerical Analysis. D TEXTCAD: Textile Composite Analysis for Design . Integrated Composites Analyzer. D METCAN: Metal Matrix Composites Analyzer. D CEMCAN: Ceramic Matrix Composites Analyzer. D 8863: Inhouse developed codes.

Finite Element Analysis:


Below are several commercially available finite element programs available that have composites analysis capability:
D COMP, G76B: D PATRAN D ANSYS D MARC D NASTRAN
Preprocessing

Inhouse code for preprocessing. Commercially available pre, and post processor for ANSYS and NASTRAN. Commercial FEA program for linear and nonlinear analysis. Commercial FEA program for linear and nonlinear analysis. Commercial FEA program for linear and nonlinear analysis.
164 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Dynamics Modeling Considerations


Mass and stiffness matrices are not unique. In General:
D Consistent mass matrix generally gives the best results. D Lumped or reduced mass formulations are better if the structure has one dimension which is much different than the others (long, thin structures). D Lumped mass matrix performs better for wave propagation problems. D Structural damping ([C]=[K]) represents material hysteresis and bolted connections. D Mass damping ([C]=[M]) represents damping due to rigid body motion of structure.

Preprocessing

165 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Dynamics Mesh Density Considerations


D Relatively coarse mesh can be used to obtain natural frequencies. D Accurate modal shape resolution and stress distribution requires a more refined mesh. D Adequate mesh for static analysis may not be sufficient for vibration analysis if high frequency modes are required. As a minimum, mesh density must be sufficient to describe the mode shape of interest. D Wave propagation problems require a fine mesh (nX  /20). D Mesh density requirements depend on the element type.

The next five figures illustrate the percent error in frequency and mode shape versus mesh density for beam, shell, and solid elements. Note that considerably coarser meshes can be used if frequencies, rather than accurate mode shapes are the quantities of interest.

Preprocessing

166 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing

167 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing

168 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing

169 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing

170 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Preprocessing

171 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Structural Dynamics Codes


Dynamics Analysis Category General Purpose FE Codes X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Explicit Dynamics Codes Kinematics Codes Special Purpose Codes

Low Frequency Structural Dynamics High Frequency Structural Dynamics Shock Wave Propagation Impact/Penetration Random Vibration Rigid Body Dynamics/Kinematics Stability (Flutter) Rotor Dynamics Fluid/Structural Coupling

Preprocessing

172 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Element Shape Checking


Perfect elements are square quadrilaterals, equilateral triangles, cubic hexahedral elements, etc. However, perfect elements are a rarity in real finite element models. Any deviation from such perfect shapes generally reduces the accuracy of the finite element solution, see Appendix A for some examples. Commercial codes typically employ a variety of checks on the shape of elements, such as:
D Element aspect ratio (for rectangle elements this is the length to height ratio). While allowable values are highly dependent on the gradients being modeled, typical values for aspect ratios are 3-4:1 for good stress results, 6-7:1 for good displacement/stiffness predictions. D Element taper ratio D Internal angles; avoid acute or obtuse angles, as internal angles approach 180 degrees the stress field in the element will become singular. While most commercial codes do not produce warnings if internal angles are 9045 degrees, severe loss of accuracy occurs, under certain loading, at much smaller deviations (see Appendix A). Parallelogram elements, in general, produce much better results than trapezoidal elements. D For midside node elements: D curvature of a side(s) of an element; severe distortion of quadratic elements can cause such elements to perform similar to linear elements D deviation of a midside node from the midside position; as the midside node approaches the quarter-point of the side, the stress field becomes singular. This is the basis for many so-called crack tip elements.

Elements with midside nodes are generally less sensitive to distortion than the corresponding linear elements. A p-element is the extreme example of a higher order element that is relatively insensitive to distortion.
Preprocessing 173 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Shell Element Warping


Linear shell elements (4-noded elements) are frequently used to model curved surfaces; the four nodes may not exactly lie in the same plane and hence the shell element is said to be warped (the face of a linear brick element may experience similar warping). A typical nondimensional measure of the warping is the ratio of the normal deviation of the nodes from an average plane divided by the shell thickness. As the ratio approaches one, i.e., the deviation is similar to the shell thickness, the model may be considered too warped for analysis. Most shell models will fail to predict a stress free condition under a uniform temperature rise if warped shell elements are employed.

Preprocessing

174 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Conditioning
Most FEA codes try to alert the user if the model is ill-conditioned; the equilibrium equations are ill-conditioned if small changes in the stiffness matrix or load vector cause large changes in the displacement solution. The cause of ill-conditioning may be physical, such as the development of a yield hinge or the onset of buckling. However, in most cases, when ill-conditioning is raised as an issue, a user is discussing large changes in the solution caused by the use of finite precision arithmetic in the computer. Computer manipulation errors include truncation error and roundoff error; however, truncation error, storing only the leading n bits of a stiffness coefficient, is more significant. The digits that were dropped because of truncation may be critical to obtaining an accurate solution. Consider the simple spring model shown at the right [20]:
k2 u2 2 1 u1 P k1

The equilibrium equations are,

K1 * K 1

* K1 U 1 P + K 1 ) K 2 U 2 0

Adding the equilibrium equations, yields

K 1 ) K2 * K 1U2 + P

This equation gives the exact solution, K2 U2 =P. However, when the computer calculates the entries in the stiffness matrix, K1 and K2 are only stored to a certain number of significant figures and if the stiffnesses differ by many orders of magnitude the results may be very inaccurate. If K1=1.000000 and K2=4.444444E-6 and the computer carried seven digits, the subtraction , (K1+K2)-K1, yields 1.000004 1.000000 =0.4E-6, only one significant figure representing the stiffness K2 remains. If only six significant figures are employed, the subtraction would yield 1.000000 1.000000 = 0.000000, and hence the equation solver should find the matrix is singular and hence has no unique solution. Note this error is caused by the high stiffness spring being supported by the low stiffness spring. If K2 >> K1, no ill-conditioning occurs.
Preprocessing 175 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Conditioning (Cont.)
Typical sources of ill-conditioning include:
D stiff regions supported by very flexible regions; this is the most common source of ill-conditioning D thin-walled shell structures; ill-conditioning stems from the membrane stiffness being much larger than the bending stiffness D using a Poissons ratio very close to 0.5 D using a low-order Gauss rule D modeling a rigid region with very stiff elements; use constraint equations and make the region totally rigid

Various measures of conditioning can be calculated but no single test appears to be completely reliable.

Preprocessing

176 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Conditioning Measures
Some codes, during element formulation, report the minimum and maximum values, and corresponding element numbers, of the main diagonal coefficients of the element stiffness matrices. A large ratio of max to min indicates the model is composed of very flexible and very stiff elements and hence may be ill-conditioned. Ratios of 108 or larger may produce problems; a review of the elements reporting the min and max values is in order. Other tests are usually based on examining the main diagonal coefficients of the overall, i.e., assembled, stiffness matrix. Checks may include: D Ratio of largest main diagonal to smallest main diagonal coefficient, sometimes called the pivot ratio; large ratios (1013) may be an indication of ill-conditioning. This test may be overly pessimistic; note in the previous example if K2>>K1 the software would still give a warning message even though the system is not poorly conditioned. D Diagonal decay test [20]. As equations are eliminated during the Gauss elimination process, the subtractions reduce the magnitudes of diagonal coefficients in equations that have yet to be processed. We see this in the simple spring example where K22 reduces from K1+K2 to K2. The software stores the original value of each Kii and divides it by its reduced value just before the reduced value is used as a pivot in eliminating the ith equation. If the ratio is 10n, and if the computer stores numbers using p significant figures, then only p-n accurate digits remain. Most codes perform element formulations, assembly, and decomposition using double precision arithmetic. Ratios of 107 or higher may produce warning or error messages. In NASTRAN, this ratio is called the conditioning number. Be aware that a number of measures are called by similar names. Another measure, the so-called condition number [9] or spectral condition number, represents the ratio of the largest to the smallest eigenvalues of the scaled [K]. This measure, which is expensive to calculate, can be used to calculate the worst-case estimate of the loss of significant figures. Processing the equations in a different order (resequencing) can sometimes reduce the truncation error; in general the equations should be processed (eliminated) starting from the more flexible region and proceeding toward the stiffer region.
Preprocessing 177 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Conditioning Measures (Cont.)


Very small main diagonal coefficients (pivots) may simply indicate the model has one or more errors such as:
D incorrect material properties D incorrect element properties, e.g., thickness, moment of inertia, etc. D node that is not connected to any element (nodal-based equation solver) D crack(s), i.e., unmerged nodes, that cause an element(s) to be unsupported D elements have different nodal degrees of freedom, share common nodes, but load transfer is not correct D improper restraints(support conditions) D mass/stiffness ratio D improper units

Preprocessing

178 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Model Review Checklist


Assuming the model is consistent with the true part/system environment, model review consists of checking the finite element model for actual errors, i.e., input that is inconsistent with the modeling assumptions. The following list is a checklist for static analysis; dynamic analyses require these checks as well as additional checks associated with resolving the input loading(s) curve, the dynamic response, and the types and quantities of output required. Verify the following:
D Analysis type is properly specified to static analysis. D Required analysis options are activated: D stress-stiffening D large deflection D large strain D material nonlinearity D creep, primary and/or secondary D plasticity, etc. D For nonlinear analysis: D convergence criteria D load application sequence D full load or incremental loads, depends on the nature of the nonlinearities D sequence of load application, for path-dependent problems such as contact with friction, plasticity, and other energy-dissipating phenomenon, the solution is path-dependent D frequency/quantity of data written to the results file/database/printed output D Proper element types/options are defined and assigned to the proper regions of the model, verify graphically.
Preprocessing 179 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Model Review Checklist (Cont.)


D Element properties: D properties defined correctly D assigned to the proper elements, verify graphically D Material properties are defined correctly: D linear, isotropic, orthotropic, anisotropic D temperature-dependent material properties, reference temperature for thermal strain D time-dependent material properties for creep, viscoelasticity, viscoplasticity D for large strain problems, does program expect true stress-strain data or engineering stress-strain data? D assigned to the proper elements, verify graphically D Model geometry, check key dimensions. D Element connectivity: D check model for cracks, plot free edges D check connections at nodes where dissimilar elements connect D check shell normal directions, beam orientations, contact element orientations

Preprocessing

180 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Model Review Checklist (Cont.)


D Loads/boundary conditions D displacements/forces D all parts restrained from rigid body motion, consider three translations and three angular rotations D review implications (if applicable) of large deflections; displacement and force directions do not update as the system deforms and hence the original load directions may not be appropriate with significant motion. D pressures D check pressure distribution and direction graphically D consider implications of large deflection and large strain, pressure loads, in general, are follower loads and hence the load direction updates as the geometry deforms. In addition, under large strain, the application area may change which changes the total load acting on the model. D temperatures D check graphically. How are temperatures defined, nodal temperatures or element temperatures? If two parts are sharing common nodes, a temperature rise in only one part should be simulated by element temperatures rather than nodal temperatures. D inertia loads D units for density? D applicability of inertia loads to each part; in most codes, any element that has a nonzero density will feel the inertia load D coordinate system and direction specification for gravity or G-loads, check graphically D units for angular velocity, coordinate system for defining the axis of rotation

Preprocessing

181 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Model Review Checklist (Cont.)


D If possible, have program do a simple calculation/run to determine the total mass and center of mass of each part to verify element properties and overall representation of the geometry. D Get an estimate of computer time and disk space required for the analysis and verify that the resources are available and will stay available until the run is done. D For a linear analysis, consider subjecting the model to each type of load separately, i.e., in individual load steps/subcases. For instance, apply thermal loads and spin loads separately to isolate how each loading contributes to the final stress state. In the postprocessing, use superposition to add the two sets of results together.

Preprocessing

182 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Postprocessing

Postprocessing

183 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

General Considerations
Many FEA users consider postprocessing to be the process of creating the pretty pictures. While graphics is a key tool in postprocessing, postprocessing has the following objectives:
D Verify that the model was subjected to the proper loading environment, D Verify that the model behaves kinematically as expected, i.e., no hinges, cracks, rigid body motion, etc. D Verify that the general distribution of displacement and strain/stress is as expected or can be physically and/or mathematically justified. D Examine the goodness of the FEA predictions. Evaluate the mesh density (discretization error). D Determine critical regions for displacement and strain/stress results and associated magnitudes and directions. D Compare the results to allowable values and/or calculate the life of the part/system. D Determine the features (parameters) of the design that appear to cause nonuniform stress and displacement results. D Determine which features (parameters) are more significant in determining the functional response of the part/system, i.e., perform a design sensitivity study. D Determine the loads that are transmitted to other components or systems.

Postprocessing

184 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Step-By-Step Postprocessing
D review the printed output/error files D check for warning/error messages D check total mass/center of mass of model D for nonlinear models, review convergence history D review the reactions, sum the reactions to determine the net force and moments, compare to the applied loadings D draw freebody diagrams of each part D review coupling/constraint equations for validity, e.g., if coupling was used to simulate contact, all coupling forces must be compressive D review the displacement field D plot the distorted shape, review the displacement scaling factor, animate the deformed shape. D review the maximum displacement component in each translation and rotation direction; compare the maximum values to the part/system dimensions to decide whether the analysis should be considered as small or large deflection. D does the distorted shape coincide with expectations, in both magnitude and direction?

Postprocessing

185 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

StepByStep Postprocessing (Cont.)


D review the strain/stress field D plot contours of strain/stress; note, by default, most strain/stress contour plots are based on averaging the element nodal predictions. This makes the strain/stress field appear to be continuous when in reality the FEA model predictions are not continuous. Averaging always lowers the predictions compared to unaveraged values. D plot averaged strain/stress values D at critical (max.) nodes, compare the unaveraged element nodal predictions to the average nodal values D do hand calculations using classical formulae from Roark [21], Peterson [22], or Pilkey [23] and compare to the FEA predictions D the smoothness of the contours is a good indication of the accuracy of the results, the real stress field is smooth in a homogeneous part. D if the postprocessor supports this capability, plot unaveraged stress/strain values and compare to the averaged results. The contour mismatch at interelement boundaries is a good graphical representation of the continuity or lack of continuity in the strain/stress results. D if the postprocessor supports this capability, review error measures such as strain energy errors, stress deviations, etc. D check appropriate invariants such as: D maximum principal strain/stress D minimum principal strain/stress D von Mises or equivalent strain/stress D maximum shear stress D check strain/stress components D magnitudes, tension/compression, justify by hand calculations or experimental results
Postprocessing 186 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

StepByStep Postprocessing (Cont.)


D If using symmetry BCs. Verify their validity by checking to see if stresses match up on coupled boundaries. D Are stresses on free boundaries tangent to the surface. D review error measures; note most error measures are only valid for linear, static homogeneous models, discontinuities in material properties and element properties will make such estimates invalid or invalid in certain regions of the model. D energy errors D strain/stress discontinuity measures D consider submodeling for one or more of the following reasons: D more accurate results in a local region D verify the adequacy of the mesh in a particular region D investigate the effect of small design changes without reanalyzing the entire part/system D For Pelements: D Check recommended convergence criteria vs. default.

Postprocessing

187 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Use of Appropriate Stress Quantities for Design System


D Always use principal stresses when calculating LCF or fracture lives. The P&W life systems are calibrated to principal stresses, not von Mises. Any life analyses done with stress quantities other than principal values are incorrect, unless otherwise directed by the life group.

Design System LCF Fracture Creep Plasticity **

Program U553 SURCK Infomat Creep curves Ansys, Nastran, Marc, W140

Appropriate Stress Principal Principal Principal Consult life group **

In general, stresses from a plastic analysis should not be use in any P&W life system. U553 and SURCK use linear elastic stresses and perform their own plastic shakedown. Using stresses from a plastic analysis in our life system will result in anticonservative results.

Postprocessing

188 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

References
1. M.J. Turner, R.W. Clough, H.C. Martin, L.J. Topp, Stiffness and Deflection Analysis of Complex Structures, Journal of the Aeronautical Sciences, Vol.23, No. 9, 1956, pp.805823. 2. R.W. Clough, The Finite Element Method In Plane Stress Analysis, Proc. 2nd ASCE Conf. Electronic Computation, Pittsburgh, PA, Sept. 1960, pp. 345378. 3. H. Kardestuncer, Finite Element Handbook, Chapter 4, McGrawHill,New York, 1987. 4. H. Kardestuncer, Finite Element Handbook, Chapter 5, McGrawHill, New York, 1987. 5. O.C. Zienkiewicz, The Finite Element Method, 3rd edition, McGrawHill, New York, 1977. 6. G.P. Bazeley, Y.K. Cheung, B.M. Irons, and O.C. Zienkiewicz, Triangular Elements in Bending Conforming and Nonconforming Solutions, Proc. Conf. Matrix Methods in Structural Mechanics, Air Force Institute of Technology, WrightPatterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 1965. 7. B. Szabo and I. Babuska, Finite Element Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1991. 8. B.M. Irons, Engineering Applications of Numerical Integration in Stiffness Methods, AIAAJ, Vol. 4, No. 11, 1966, pp. 20352037. 9. R. D. Cook, Concepts and Applications of Finite Element Analysis, 2nd edition, John Wiley, New York, 1981. 10. D. S. Burnett, Finite Element Analysis, Addison Wesley, Reading, MA, 1987. 11. A. H. Stroud and D. Secrest, Gaussian Quadrature Formulas, PrenticeHall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,1966. 12. J. Barlow, Optimal Stress Locations in Finite Element Models, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1976, pp. 243251. 13. E. Hinton, F.C. Scott and R.E. Ricketts, Local Least Stress Smoothing for Parabolic Isoparametric Elements, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol.9, 1975, pp.235238.
References 189 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

References (Cont.)
14. A. Saada, Elasticity Theory and Applications, Pergamon Press, New York, 1974. 15. P. Kohnke, ANSYS Verification Manual, 1996. 16. W. Carnegie, Vibrations of Rotating Cantilever Blading, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 3, 1959. 17. ANSYS Users Manual, Volume IV, Theory for Revision 5.2, August, 1995, pg. 331. 18. I. Sokolnikoff, Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, McGrawHill, New York, 1956. 19. N. J. Hoff, Journal of Aeronautical Sciences, Vol. 12, 1945, pg. 445. 20. R. D. Cook, Finite Element Modeling For Stress Analysis, John Wiley, New York, 1995, pg. 127. 21. Warren Young, Roarks Formulas for Stress and Strain, Sixth Edition, McGrawHill, New York, 1989. 22. R. Peterson, Stress Concentration Factors, John Wiley, New York, 1974. 23. W. Pilkey and P. Chang, Modern Formulas for Statics and Dynamics, McGrawHill, New York, 1978.

References

190 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix A Mesh Density/Element Type Comparisons Examples


Introduction
A few example problems are presented that illustrate the effect of mesh parameters on solution accuracy. These mesh parameters include:
D mesh size D element type D element shape D mesh biasing D element displacement formulation

The example problems include:


1. a small hole in a square plate under uniform edge pressure 2. a twodimensional beam in pure bending 3. a twodimensional beam in shear 4. a threedimensional beam in torsion
Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons 191 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

All of these problems have closedform theoretical solutions, or a very accurate numerical solution, which are used to gauge the accuracy of the finite element results for the mesh variations. The designations used in the tables are:
4noded, linear, isoparametric quadrilateral with extra shape functions (incompatible modes) QUAD-4* standard 4noded, linear, isoparametric quadrilateral TRI-3 standard 3noded, constant strain triangle QUAD-8 standard 8noded, quadratic, isoparametric quadrilateral TRI-6 standard 6noded, quadratic isoparametric triangle QUAD-4

The mesh input consists of the type of element (quadrilaterals or triangles in two dimensions, bricks, wedges or tetrahedrons in three dimensions), the displacement function (linear for elements with no midside node, quadratic for elements with midside nodes), number of elements along each length, and the biasing of element spacing along each length. Triangles are formed by dividing quadrilateral areas along the diagonals so that four triangles replace one quadrilateral. It should be noted that the 4node linear quadrilateral with extra displacement functions (incompatible modes), QUAD4, should provide improved results, particularly in bending.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

192 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Hole In A Plate Problem


The hole in a plate problem is represented in the schematic below. A square plate is loaded by uniform pressure on two edges. A small hole with a diameter of onetenth that of the plate edge causes a compressive stress concentration of approximately three at the top or bottom of the hole.

where:

p L d thickness

= = = =

1000 psi 10 inches = plate length/width. 1 inch = hole diameter 1 inch

A onequarter symmetry model of the plate is analyzed, using quadrilateral and triangular elements with both linear and quadratic displacement functions. Mesh density is varied, and the biasing of element spacing toward the hole is also evaluated. The theoretical maximum normal stress in the xdirection (SMX) at the top of the hole is approximately 3085 psi. The following table summarizes the mesh study results.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

193 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES


ELEMENT TYPE
QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 QUADP

# HOLE ELEMENTS
6 6 6 6 12 12 12 12 12 12 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 12 12 12 6 6 12 6 6 12 24 8

# RADIAL ELEMENTS
10 10 10 24 10 10 10 24 24 24 10 10 10 24 10 10 10 24 10 10 10 10 10 20 10 10 20 40 15

SPACING RATIO
5 10 15 5 5 10 15 5 10 15 5 10 15 5 5 10 15 5 5 10 15 5 10 15 5 10 15 15 VARIABLE

# OF ELEMENTS
60 60 60 144 120 120 120 288 288 288 60 60 60 144 328 338 328 548 420 410 396 60 60 240 328 338 600 1124 120

SMX/SMX THEORY
0.931 0.954 0.959 0.963 0.955 0.980 0.986 0.992 0.994 0.994 0.958 0.979 0.982 0.988 0.719 0.937 0.899 0.922 0.848 0.943 0.943 0.965 0.996 1.001 0.916 1.015 1.005 1.003 1.000

* EXTRA DISPLACEMENT FUNCTIONS SUPPRESSED **SPACING RATIO IS THE RATIO OF THE SIZE OF THE LAST RADIAL ELEMENT TO THE SIZE OF RADIAL ELEMENTS ADJACENT TO THE HOLE.
Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons 194 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

A review of the results of this mesh study illustrates several conclusions and trends:
1. The pelement solution provides the most accurate solution with the least amount of elements (not necessarily the lowest computational cost). 2. Quadratic displacement functions provide greater accuracy than linear displacement functions, assuming the same number of elements in the mesh. 3. Quadrilateral elements provide greater accuracy than triangular elements, assuming the same number of elements in the mesh. 4. Biasing the mesh toward the hole significantly increases accuracy. The linear triangles (TRI3) require large biasing ratios (ratio of largest/smallest element side length along a line) to produce reasonable results. Approximately 612 linear elements are needed to span an arc of 90 degrees unless very large biasing ratios are used.

Mesh Density Study: Holeinplate

5. The effect of the extra displacement functions in the linear quadrilateral elements has little effect on this type of loading.

The contour plot below represents the normal stress in the xdirection distribution near the hole for the 8noded quadrilateral mesh with 6 elements along the hole, 10 elements along the radial direction, and a bias spacing ratio of 10.
Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons 195 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

TwoDimensional Beam In Pure Bending


Using classical beam theory, the stress and displacement fields for a beam in pure bending can be found. In this mesh study, various twodimensional meshes were used to predict the maximum bending stress and the maximum deflection for the geometry shown below.
Y

L
where: h L M E depth = = = = = = 1.0 inch 10.0 inches 2000 inlb 30 x 106 psi 0.3 0.2 inch

The maximum bending stress occurs along the top and bottom surface of the beam, and is given by the following expression:
s x + Mh + 60.0KSI 2I

The maximum deflection at the end opposite from the fixed end is equal to the following expression:
u y + ML + 0.20inch 2EI
2

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

196 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

The results from this study are summarized in the table below.
Element Type
QUAD4 QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 QUAD8 TRI6

# Length ele- # Height ele- Length Spac- Height Spacments ments ing Ratio ing Ratio
2 2 4 8 12 12 12 16 16 16 24 24 2 4 12 12 16 16 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 2 8 8 2 4 1 2 4 4 8 8 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.2** 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 1 1 5 1 1 1 1 1 5 1 5 1 1

# Of elements
2 2 8 16 24 48 48 32 128 128 48 96 2 32 192 192 512 512 2 8

Ux / Uy Theory
1.005 0.095 0.165 0.345 0.435 0.440 0.440 0.480 0.490 0.405 0.575 0.585 0.065 0.125 0.715 0.715 0.820 0.820 1.000 1.000

Smx /Smx Theory


1.000 0.103 0.307 .645 0.812 0.805 0.787 0.893 0.878 0.905 0.962 0.955 0.028 0.157 0.617 0.708 0.862 0.940 1.000 1.000

*EXTRA DISPLACEMENT FUNCTIONS SUPPRESSED **VARYING LENGTH SPACING CAUSES UNEVEN BENDING ALONG BEAM LENGTH

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

197 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Results from the table can be summarized as follows:


1. The exact solution can be found with only a few elements using the 4node quadrilateral with extra displacement functions, the 8node quadrilateral, or the 6node triangle. Only one element is needed in the thickness direction to accurately predict the bending deflection and stress. 2. Even using hundreds of linear quadrilaterals or triangles and biased element spacing, the solution using these elements still contains significant error. 3. Biasing element spacing along the length caused uneven bending along the beam length, which is contrary to pure bending. 4. Some benefit was found on the stress results due to element mesh biasing along the height of the beam. 5. The use of extra displacement functions in the quadrilaterals causes a dramatic improvement in bending behavior. Only one element is needed in the thickness direction.

A contour plot of the bending stress for the 6noded triangular mesh containing eight elements is shown above.
Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons 198 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

TwoDimensional Beam In Shear


The same geometry used in the previous study on pure bending is used in this study, except that a shear load of 200 lbs is substituted for the moment. Again, classical beam theory provides closedform solutions for the stresses and displacements. In particular, the maximum bending stress at the top or bottom surface at the support location is given as follows:
s x + PLh + 60.0ksi 2I

The maximum shear stress occurs along the centerline of the beam, and has a value given in the following expression:
t xy + PH + 1.5ksi 8I The displacement at the end where the shear load is applied, at the center of the beam, is as follows:
3 2 u y + PL ) Ph L + 0.135inch 3EI 8GI 2

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

199 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

The following table contains the results from the mesh study in which quadrilateral and triangular elements were used, with both linear and quadratic displacement functions, and with various mesh biasing in the height direction of the beam. A pelement model was also analyzed. The search for the maximum shear stress in the model is limited to regions away from the ends of the beam, where inaccurate results in the numerical solution can occur near the nodes where boundary conditions are applied.
Element Type
QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3 TRI3

# Length ele- # Height elements ments


2 4 8 8 12 12 12 16 16 2 12 12 12 12 12 16 16 24 24 30 2 12 16 24 30 1 2 4 4 2 4 8 2 4 1 2 4 8 8 8 2 4 2 4 8 1 8 4 4 8

Height Spacing Ratio


1 1 1 0.2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 0.2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

# Of elements
2 8 32 32 24 48 96 32 64 2 24 48 96 96 96 32 64 48 96 240 8 384 256 384 960

Ux / Uy Theory
0.933 0.978 0.993 0.993 0.993 0.993 0.993 0.993 0.993 0.096 0.770 0.785 0.785 0.785 0.785 0.844 0.859 0.911 0.926 0.956 0.067 0.711 0.815 0.904 0.933

SMxy / SMxy Theory


0.667 0.667 0.920 1.000 0.667 0.920 0.987 0.667 0.920 1.127 0.300 0.460 0.500 0.467 0.507 0.460 0.633 0.600 0.787 0.887 0.667 0.893 0.873 0.893 0.960

Smx /Smx Theory


0.750 0.875 0.942 0.938 0.958 0.963 0.965 0.970 0.975 0.078 0.775 0.772 0.767 0.760 0.772 0.862 0.860 0.937 0.938 0.960 0.022 0.638 0.683 0.770 0.867

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

200 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES


QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 QUADP 2 2 4 4 12 2 2 4 4 12 8 1 4 2 4 8 1 4 2 4 8 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 VARIES 2 8 8 16 96 8 32 32 64 384 32 0.993 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.948 0.956 0.993 0.993 1.000 1.000 0.667 0.820 1.247 1.053 1.007 1.573 2.387 1.773 1.707 1.093 1.000 1.000 0.990 1.003 1.005 1.012 0.808 0.822 0.948 0.952 1.007 1.005

* EXTRA DISPLACEMENT FUNCTIONS SUPPRESSED

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

201 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Results from this study are summarized below:


1. Pelement solution provides for the most accurate result with the least number of elements, however the computer time associated with repeated solutions is a negative factor. 2. The quadratic displacement function elements (8node quadrilaterals, 6node triangles) predict the displacement and bending stress fairly well, but a larger number of elements are required to accurately predict the shear stress. 3. The linear elements with extra displacement functions need two elements through the thickness and 12 elements along the length to predict displacement and bending stress with acceptable accuracy, i.e., within 5%. Four elements should be used in the thickness direction to accurately predict shear stress. 4. The linear quadrilaterals, without the extra displacement functions, and the linear triangles, performed poorly in predicting all result quantities. Over thirty elements along the length and eight elements through the thickness are needed to produce acceptable results for all results monitored in this study.

A contour plot of the shear stress for the mesh of 8node quadrilaterals with 12 by 8 element spacing is shown above.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

202 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

ThreeDimensional Beam In Torsion


A threedimensional beam 20 inches long with a 2 inch by 2 inch square crosssection, is subjected to a torque of 16000 inlb. The maximum shear stresss occurs at the midpoint of each side and is equal to the following:
t max + 0.60T + 9.60ksi

The mesh density study considered brick, wedge and tetrahedral element shapes, using both linear and quadratic displacement functions. A coarse mesh and a fine mesh were used for each element type. The maximum shear stress was obtained away from the ends of the beam to eliminate edge effects. The results are presented in the table below.
Element Type
LINEAR BRICK LINEAR BRICK QUAD BRICK QUAD BRICK LINEAR WEDGE LINEAR WEDGE QUAD WEDGE QUAD WEDGE LINEAR TET LINEAR TET QUAD TET QUAD TET

# Length # Height # Width elements elements elements


8 16 8 16 8 16 8 16 8 16 8 16 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4

# of elements
32 256 32 256 128 1024 128 1024 475 3904 475 3904

SMxy/SMxy Theory
0.632 0.917 1.111 1.017 0.640 0.853 1.049 1.008 0.454 0.720 0.905 1.034

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

203 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Results can be summarized as follows:


1. All linear elements underestimate the maximum shear stress by a significant amount. 2. The linear tetrahedron mesh, in particular, greatly underestimates the maximum shear stress. For example, using 3904 elements, the maximum shear stress predicted is 6.91 ksi, compared to the actual value of 9.6 ksi. 3. All quadratic elements performed adequately, although less brick elements were needed to approach the correct solution compared to wedges or tetrahedrons, as would be expected for a block type of shape.

A contour plot containing the shear stress contour for the quadratic brick mesh with 8 elements along the length, and 2 elements along the height and width is shown in the figure above.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

204 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Result Accuracy For Shear In Short Beam


Returning to the twodimensional beam in shear problem, an additional set of analyses was performed assuming a shorter beam of 3 inches. As the length to height ratio of the beam decreases, the deformation due to shear becomes a more significant portion of the total deflection. Several of the meshes used in the previous shear beam study were used to determine the accuracy of the mesh for the shorter beam. The comparison of the long beam (10 inch) to the short beam (3 inch) solutions are contained in the table below. The target value for the maximum shear stress is 1.50 ksi. As before, the maximum shear stress is selected away from the edges in an attempt to eliminate stresses due to the edge effects.
Element Type
QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4* QUAD4* TRI3 TRI3 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 TRI6 TRI6

# Length elements # Height elements


2 4 8 12 2 12 2 12 2 4 12 2 12 1 2 4 8 1 8 1 8 1 2 8 1 8

# of elements
2 8 32 96 2 96 8 384 2 8 96 8 384

Long beam SMxy/SMxy Theory


0.667 0.667 0.920 0.987 1.127 0.500 0.667 0.893 0.667 1.247 1.007 1.573 1.093

Short beam SMxy/SMxy Theory


0.667 0.667 0.920 0.987 0.173 0.927 0.400 0.967 0.667 1.247 1.007 0.620 1.013

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

205 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES


Long beam SMxy/SMxy Theory
0.933 0.978 0.993 0.993 0.096 0.785 0.067 0.711 0.993 1.000 1.000 0.948 1.000

Element Type
QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4* QUAD4* TRI3 TRI3 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 TRI6 TRI6

# Length elements # Height elements


2 4 8 12 2 12 2 12 2 4 12 2 12 1 2 4 8 1 8 1 8 1 2 8 1 8

# of elements
2 8 32 96 2 96 8 384 2 8 96 8 384

Short beam SMxy/SMxy Theory


0.915 0.968 0.988 0.998 0.500 0.973 0.430 0.963 0.975 1.000 1.018 0.973 1.013

The results indicate:


1. Standard linear elements (QUAD4, TRI3) produce much better deflection ratios in the short beam since shear deflection is a substantial portion of the overall tip deflection. 2. The quadratic elements predict similar accurate results in the short beam and long beam models.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

206 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Effect of Distorted Elements


A simple study was performed to determine the effect of element distortion on the results of the twodimensional beam subjected to a shear load. A more comprehensive study, employing 3D elements, follows in the next section. Three element types were used in the study: the 4noded quadrilateral with extra displacement functions suppressed, the 4noded quadrilateral with extra displacement functions included, and the 8node quadrilateral. In each case, a mesh of 12 elements along the length and 8 elements along the height of the beam was used as the initial case. Additional cases were run that varied the number of elements along the top and bottom of the length of the beam. For example, one case uses 11 elements along the top and 13 along the bottom, which causes free meshing and a distorted mesh. The next case uses 10 elements along the top and 14 along the bottom, and so on. Element biasing was not included in this study. A constant 8 elements were used along the height of the beam.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

207 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

The same geometry and loading as before for the 10 inch long beam were used. The target values are 0.135 inch for maximum displacement, 1.50 ksi for maximum shear stress, and 60 ksi for maximum bending stress. The table below contains the results of this study.
Element Type
QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4 QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD4* QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 QUAD8 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6 TRI6

# Length elements # Length elements # Height Uy/Uy on top on bottom elements Theory
12 11 10 9 8 12 11 10 9 8 12 11 10 9 8 12 11 10 9 8 12 13 14 15 16 12 13 14 15 16 12 13 14 15 16 12 13 14 15 16 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 0.993 0.993 0.985 0.985 0.985 0.785 0.630 0.481 0.393 0.341 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000

SMxy/SMxy Theory
0.980 1.073 1.087 1.327 1.513 0.500 0.627 0.853 1.073 1.393 1.007 1.033 1.040 1.027 1.073 1.093 1.080 1.100 1.100 1.167

SMx/SMx Theory
0.965 0.965 0.915 0.907 0.900 0.767 0.610 0.555 0.545 0.543 1.012 1.010 1.007 1.005 1.002 1.007 1.007 1.007 1.007 1.007

*EXTRA DISPLACEMENT FUNCTIONS SUPPRESSED

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

208 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

The results from this study indicate the following:


1. The linear quadrilateral with no distorted elements is not accurate, and added mesh distortion greatly decreases the accuracy further for all result variables. 2. The linear quadrilateral with extra displacement functions provides accurate results with an undistorted mesh. As the element distortion increases, the displacement results hold steady, but the stresses start to diverge from the target values. Also, the stresses start to oscillate along the length of the beam. 3. The 8noded quadrilateral provides accurate results for both the rectangular and distorted meshes. 4. The 6noded triangle provides accurate displacements and bending stresses for both rectangular and distorted meshes, however the shear stress predictions deteriorate somewhat with increasing distortion.

The contour plot shown above contains the shear stress for the case of the 4noded quadrilateral with extra displacement functions for the distorted mesh with 8 elements on top and 16 elements on bottom.

Appendix A Mesh Density / Element Type Comparisons

209 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix B Example of a Rotor Assembly Analysis

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

210 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Introduction
This example illustrates the typical decision making process employed to analyze the turbine rotor assembly shown in the cross section below.

Determine Objective of the Analysis


The goal of this analysis is to determine the structural integrity of the disk and coverplates. Of particular interest are the disk/coverplate interfaces, disk web, and bore stresses. The disk bolted flange and minidisk are not important to this analysis. The drafting part or Unigraphics part definition is shown on the previous page. This file contains a complete part definition which has much more detail than is necessary for this particular analysis. In order to prevent problems with the available FEA automeshers, it is necessary to defeature the geometry. i.e. remove any small feature not critical to the analysis that may cause a meshing problem or failure. Examples of these include small fillets, or break edges. Most FEA meshers will put at least one element on each boundary entity. If the geometry contains a line segment of 0.002 inches, a resulting FEA mesh will have an element edge on that feature of 0.002 inches long. This will often times result in a badly shaped element at that location, or a mesh failure.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

211 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Drafting part

FEA model part

Remove features not critical to the analysis

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

212 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Drafting part

FEA model part

Extremely small features cause meshing problems and are usually not needed in the analysis.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

213 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Note your Modelling Assumptions:


You will be faced with many decisions on how to model certain features. Generally, the more accurate the FEA representation of a feature, the more time and effort it takes to model. If you decide up front that a certain feature is not critical to the analysis, you should not waste time creating a detailed representation. A simplification can be made as long as care is taken to ensure your representation does not affect results in the areas you are concerned about. For example, the bolted flange in the previous example is of no concern to this analysis. It can be modelled simply provided you are aware of the effects this will have.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

214 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Assumptions: Mating flange geometry and bolts are not modelled. Structure is assumed to be axisymmetric. Holes are simulated as plane stress. Bolt inertia simulated with radial forces. Bolt preload ignored. Flange face assumed to remain planer (vertical). Effects: Low confidence in stress/deflection results in flange, bolt holes, arm, and flangetodisk fillets. Stress/deflection results in main disk are PROBABLY uneffected by these assumptions. This is where experience and engineering judgement are required. Considerations: When in doubt, include extra features. Consider who will review your results. You may have confidence in the assumptions, but you may have difficulty convincing a reviewer or customer.
Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis 215 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Below, assumptions were made to model the blade and disk attachment features. These are 3D features that cannot be accurately represented in a 2D model. They must be accounted for at least for their effect on the disk and coverplates. In this case, the axial and radial stiffnesses of the dead rim features must be modelled to represent the coverplate interfaces, and the inertial and gas loading. What effect will these assumptions have on the analysis?

Assumptions: Blade not modeled. Blade pull simulated with forces. Disk structure assumed to be axisymmetric Disk dead rim modeled as plane stress. Part interfaces modeled with contact elements or coupled DOF (MPCs). Friction? Min or max tolerances and fits. Effects: Stress/deflection results in dead rim and live rim area have low confidence. Part interfaces status (contact or loose) is assumed prior to analysis if coupled DOF are used. If contact elements are used, what about frictional effects? Considerations: When in doubt, include extra features. 3D model necessary for blade/disk attachment areas.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

216 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Show Loads and Constraints (Freebody Diagram)


All loads and boundary conditions should be well documented. This includes listing their source, revision, and an illustrated freebody diagram.
Blade Loads P1 P2 P7 Pressure Loads (P1P8) P8

P6 P3 Axial constraint P5 Radial load from bolts. P4


Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis 217 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Show Loads and Constraints (Freebody Diagram)


Also document any interference fits or gaps as these may vary as the design matures. You may have to perform several analyses to bound the effects of max and min tolerances.
Specify part fits/gaps.

Radial Snap Conditions


Perform tolerance stackup. Fit = 0.005 0.015 tight. Analyze min fit to determine if parts remain in contact. Analyze tight fit to determine if contact area is overstressed.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

218 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Mesh and Apply Loads/Boundary Conditions


Only after the complete problem definition and objectives are completed should you begin the modelling procedure. The upfront work is necessary to determine the type of model, mesh refinement, and other modelling details.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

219 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Model Verification:
The following methods can be employed to verify the model prior to analyzing the actual engine conditions.
5. Elevated isothermal load case to verify constraints. Free thermal expansion should not generate any stresses in a model properly constrained against rigid body motion under most circumstances. This rotor assembly model may be an exception. If the coverplates are of a different material than the disk and have a different coefficient of thermal expansion, they will respond differently than the disk under a thermal load and hence may generate stress. Also, if there is an interference fit between the disk and coverplates, the assembly condition will generate stresses by themselves. 6. Apply unit loads to verify load path, or apply various load types individually. For parts or assemblies with complex loading conditions it can be difficult to determine if the loads and BCs are applied correctly. It is often times prudent to run several load cases applying each type of load individually and evaluating their isolated effect. For example, running individual load cases for RPM, pressure, temperature, and assembly loads may isolate a problem otherwise masked during a combined load analysis. This procedure can also provide valuable insight into which conditions most affect the design. 7. Review program calculated section properties. Both ANSYS and NASTRAN will calculate and print section properties (mass, center of gravity, moments of inertia, etc.) for the model. This information can be used to verify model position, overall dimensions, etc. with known values. 8. Always review the solution printout for errors and warnings. Just because the program created an output file does not mean the analysis is correct. The printout contains valuable information such as the matrix coefficients (ANSYS) and epsilon (NASTRAN) which estimate the conditioning of the matrix. For nonlinear analyses, the iteration summary, convergence values, load step information, etc. MUST be reviewed to verify the solution. 9. Plot/review the deformed shape. Does the magnitude of the displacement seem reasonable? Verify with a hand calculation (RnT), etc.
Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis 220 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES 10. Plot/review stresses. Are stress contours smooth? Are there any singularities (location of infinite stress). Do the stresses match hand calculations (P/A)? 11. Review the reaction loads. Do the applied loads match the reaction loads? Generate a Freebody diagram. 12. Verify the mesh density. Plot the strain energy norm (ANSYS) or review element nodal variation in critical areas. Are stress or temperature gradients across elements in key areas too high? 13. Review coupling (CPs or MPCs) for validity. For example, if the coverplate/disk interfaces were modelled with constraint equations instead of gaps, are they in compression or tension. If interfaces are in tension, the solution is invalid. Consider using contact elements.

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

221 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Model Verification: Check Reaction Loads.


Blade Loads P1 P8

P2 P7

Sum reaction forces at constrained nodes. Do reaction forces balance the applied force and pressure loads?
P6 P3

P5

P4

Appendix B Example of Rotor Assembly Analysis

222 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Appendix C Example of Blade Outer Gas Seal (BOGS) Analysis

Introduction
This example illustrates a structural analysis of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) High Pressure Fuel Turbopump (HPFTP) 1st and 2nd stage Blade Outer Gas Seals (BOGS). This is a detailed structural analysis report that is to be submitted to the customer who, in this case, is the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Some portions of this document not related to the FEA analysis were deleted for brevity. It is intended that the reader use this as an example of good documentation techniques which are as important as good analysis techniques. Remember, that your documentation is the final product and reflects on the quality of your analysis.

Appendix C Example of Blade Outer Gas Seal (BOGS) Analysis

223 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

When reviewing the report, Please note the following items:


Title Page and summary (page 1)
D Note that the first page (1page only) contains the author, date, subject, purpose of the analysis, relevant part numbers and their materials, and a brief, 1paragraph summary of the results of this analysis.

Part Identification (page 2)


D Note that this page shows you what the subject parts look like and exactly where they are in the engine cross section. Keep in mind that this document may be reviewed by someone who is unfamiliar with this component, and that it may be referenced 5, 10, or 20 years from now.

List load cases, load tracking, material properties (page 34)


D It is important to list the source of your loads and thermal files including the revision numbers. Note that during the design phase, loads can change frequently and must be documented carefully. If at some time in the future, someone is reviewing your analysis, and they are unclear as to the source of your loads, the analysis becomes useless.

Detailed load illustrations (page 510)


D These pages illustrate very clearly in freebodydiagram form exactly what loads and temperatures are applied to the model. D Note the Thermal File Tracking section which discusses the assumptions made to develop the temperature loads. D What would happen if you were reviewing this analysis 5years from now, and didnt have this section?
Appendix C Example of Blade Outer Gas Seal (BOGS) Analysis 224 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Configuration details: (page 1115)


D Document geometry details. Did you model min or max dimensions? Why? D Did you model different configurations, loading conditions, assembly fits, etc.? D Discuss the evolution of the part. Why changes were made, lessons learned, etc.

FEA model details (page 1620)


D This section contains the details of your finite element model. What program was used? D What dimensions, fits, constraints? Where did you obtain BCs? Why?

Results, detailed loads (page 2133)


D Note the results summary and margin calculations. D Note efforts to bound analysis by analyzing min, max dimensions, min, max fits, loads, etc.

Detailed results, part history (page 3444)


D Note that the discussion shows the history of the part as it matures. Lessons learned from the analyses are interpreted and discussed relative to the changes made to the parts. This interpretation section is critical to your analysis. It is the final product of your efforts. A good structural analysis report is much more than a collection of pretty color contour plots (i.e. ADAPCO).

Table summaries (page 4558)


D These tables contain the detailed results which are necessary for a critical review or life assessment.

Dynamics Analysis (page 6068)


Appendix C Example of Blade Outer Gas Seal (BOGS) Analysis 225 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES D Note in this section a discussion of how engine wear patterns on the demo parts are consistent with model results. Comparing your analytical results to hardware experience is the ultimate method of model verification. D Whenever possible, compare your results to strain gage data, wear patterns, LCF crack initiation, etc.

File Storage (page 78)


D Note that all model, load, temperature, and results files are stored on DDM. This is the ISO9000 approved system for data archival. Note that diskettes and tapes are not approved archival methods. Tapes can be lost and are not easily tracked online.

References (page 7980)


D Note detailed references of load cases, thermal file tracking, material properties, procedures, etc.

Appendix C Example of Blade Outer Gas Seal (BOGS) Analysis

226 Revised: 04/22/98

FEA BEST PRACTICES

Acknowledgement
The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. W. David Day for contributing the BOGS analysis report which is the basis of this appendix. This analysis and report sets a standard of excellence which others are encouraged to aspire to.

Appendix C Example of Blade Outer Gas Seal (BOGS) Analysis

227 Revised: 04/22/98

Workshop List
1. 2D Beam - Effects of Element Order 2. Mesh Density Study 3. Properties of [K] 4. Element Type Selection Exercise - Blade/Vane Geometry 5. Shell Modeling 6. Stress and Strain at an Interface 7. Typical Stress Singularities 8. Thermal Stress 9. Loads in Quadratic Elements 10. Symmetry/Antisymmetry 11.Constraint Equations 12.Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening 13.Element Selection/Boundary Conditions

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 1

Workshop #1

2D Beam - Effects of Element Order

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 2

2-D Beam - Effects of Element Order


2-D Beam - Effects of Element Order Purpose: To demonstrate the effect of mesh density and element type on finite element analysis results. Discussion: A cantilevered beam, 10 inches long by one inch high by 0.2 inch thick, with an applied shear load of 200 pounds at the free end, is modeled using two-dimensional plane stress elements. This problem is accessed via the 2D_BEAM toolbar button. Where: h = 1.0 inch L = 10.0 inches S = 200 lb. E = 30 x 10 6 psi = 0.3 thickness = 0.2 inch
Workshops. - 3

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

2-D Beam - Effects of Element Order


The known theoretical values for the following values are: Maximum bending stress = 60.0 ksi Maximum shear stress (away from ends) = 1.50 ksi Maximum displacement = 0.135 inches Tasks: 1. A mesh density study is to be done to determine the required number of elements in the thickness and length directions to model a beam type of configuration. What type of loading should we use for the study, a pure moment load or a shear load? That is, which type of loading requires a finer mesh? 2. For the 3-noded triangle, 4-noded quad( with extra shapes) and 4-noded quads(w/o the extra shapes), determine the recommended number of elements to be used in the thickness and length directions(no biasing) to accurately(within 3%) determine the deflection and bending stress or to accurately determine the deflection, bending stress and shear stress under shear loading.
March 15, 1999 FEM - BEST PRACTICES Workshops. - 4

2-D Beam - Effects of Element Order


3. If time allows, investigate the following configurations:
Case # Element Shape Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Element Order Linear Linear Linear Linear Quadratic Quadratic Linear Linear Linear Linear Quadratic Quadratic Extra Shape Functions Active Active Suppressed Suppressed N/A N/A Active Active Suppressed Suppressed N/A N/A # of top and bottom elements 10 10 10 10 10 10 20 20 20 20 20 20 # of height elements 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 6 6 6 6 6
Workshops. - 5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

2-D Beam - Effects of Element Order


# of top and bottom elements 10 10 10 10 10 10 20 20 20 20 20 20 MAX Bending Stress MAX Shear Stress

Case # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Element Shape Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad Tri Quad

Element Order Linear Linear Linear Linear Quadratic Quadratic Linear Linear Linear Linear Quadratic Quadratic

Extra Shape Functions Active Active Suppressed Suppressed N/A N/A Active Active Suppressed Suppressed N/A N/A

# of height elements 3 3 3 3 3 3 6 6 6 6 6 6

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 6

Workshop #2

Mesh Density Study

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 7

Mesh Density Study


Mesh Density Study Purpose: To demonstrate the effect of varying element type, size, shape and biasing on finite element analysis results. Discussion: A 10 inch square by one inch thick plate with a one inch diameter hole in the middle is modeled using one-quarter symmetry and two-dimensional plane stress elements. The plate has pressure on two opposite sides equal to 1000 psi. Note: This model can be analyzed by selecting the HOLE_PLT toolbar button, which activates a menu that requests mesh input.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 8

Mesh Density Study


(continued)

L where: p = 1000 psi L = 10 inches d = 1 inch thickness = 1 inch


FEM - BEST PRACTICES Workshops. - 9

March 15, 1999

Mesh Density Study


(continued)

The maximum stress from the theoretical solution is approximately -3085 psi at the top edge of the hole. Using various element types, element spacing and element biasing toward the hole, the maximum stress at the edge of the hole can be predicted and compared to the theoretical result. Tasks: (1) Using a mesh with 6 elements along the hole length and 10 elements along the edge of the plate, vary the element biasing along the edge using values of 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20. The edge biasing represents the length of the largest element to the smallest element at the ends of the edge. For instance, edge biasing of 10 will result in a mesh that contains elements at the hole that are 10 times smaller than at the edges of the plate. Repeat the analysis using four types of elements (linear rectangles, linear triangles, quadratic rectangles, quadratic triangles). Fill in the table below with the maximum normal stress in the x-direction (a toolbar button X_STRESS will automatically create this stress contour) for all element types, as shown :

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 10

Mesh Density Study


(continued)

Fill in the Table:


Edge Biasing Linear Rectangles Max. Stress (psi) Quadratic Rectangles Max. Stress (psi) Linear Triangle Max. Stress (psi) Quadratic Triangles Max. Stress (psi)

10

15

20
March 15, 1999 FEM - BEST PRACTICES Workshops. - 11

Mesh Density Study


(continued)

Tasks (continued)

(2) Using quadratic rectangles and a edge bias value of 1 (even spacing), determine the number of elements along the hole and edge of the plate needed to obtain a maximum stress value that is close ti the theoretical value. (Hint: Try 10 elements along th hole and 20 along the edge, then 15 and 30, then 20 and 40, etc.)

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 12

Workshop #3

Properties of [K]

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 13

Properties of [K]
Properties of [K] Each diagonal coefficient(Kii) is positive. For any structure, no diagonal coefficient is negative, or zero, unless the structure is unstable. If the structure is not supported, [K] does not resist rigid-body motion. Therefore, if {u} is a displacement vector associated with rigid-body motion,

{F } = [K ]{u} = {0}
Each column of [K] is a set of nodal forces and/or moments that is in equilibrium under a unit displacement corresponding to that column. For any linear structure, the matrix [K] is symmetric, I.e. Kij=Kji. For the truss shown below, the axial stiffness of each member is:

k i = Ai Ei / Li
March 15, 1999 FEM - BEST PRACTICES Workshops. - 14

Properties of [K]
(continued)

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 15

Properties of [K]
(continued)

The overall system stiffness matrix can be expressed in terms of the axial stiffness of each member and the overall system equations are:

k 3 + 0.36k 2 0.48k 2 k3 0 0.36k 2 0.48k 2

0.48k 2 0.64 k 2 0 0 0.48 k2 0.64 k 2

k3 0 k3 0 0 0

0 0 0 k1 0 k1

0.36k 2 0.48k 2 0 0 0.36k 2 0.48k 2

u1 p1 0.64k 2 v1 q1 0 u 2 p2 = k1 v2 q 2 0.48k 2 u 3 p3 k1 + 0.64 k 2 v3 q3 0.48k 2

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 16

Properties of [K]
(continued)

Write rigid-body motion vectors for the following cases and show that each produces an {F} vector that has all zero forces. (a)translation in the direction of bar 1 (b)translation in the direction of bar 2 (c)rotation through a small angle about node 2

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 17

Workshop #4

Element Type Selection Exercise Blade/Vane Geometry

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 18

Element Type Selection Exercise


Element Type Selection Exercise:
For the blade / vane geometry shown, select an element type,using one layer of elements, which can be used to accurately model the crosssections in each of the cases listed. State the displacement boundary conditions that would be imposed.
X

Y Z

Cross - Section

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 19

Element Type Selection Exercise


(continued)

Cases :
1. Tip fully constrained - section anywhere, uniform pressure

2. Tip free - section near tip, uniform pressure

3. Tip free - away from tip, uniform pressure - temperature gradient through the cross-section

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 20

Workshop #5

Shell Modeling

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 21

Shell Modeling Workshop


A flat plate of dimension 10x10x1 with various boundary conditions is analyzed using a 10x10 mesh of shell elements. The plate is also subjected to experimental testing. The finite element modeler presents his results and the lab technician shows the experimental results at a meeting. The results do not correlate well. The host of the meeting criticizes the finite element model saying that clearly the results will not correlate since the elements length to thickness ratio is 1 and hence clearly outside the range of shell theory. As a neutral party, you are asked for your opinion on why the results do not correlate. State your explanation(s). A simple steel plate of length 10, height 0.1 and thickness 0.5 is subjected to a tip load of 10 lbs in a direction perpendicular to the 10x 0.5 plane. One analyst constructs a beam model using one element, another constructs a shell model using one element.. Both element types assume a cubic transverse displacement. Which model predicts a larger tip deflection? Calculate an estimate of the percent difference between the two models. A composite (sandwich or corrugated) panel structure is to be modeled using simple, noncomposite, shell elements. The panel is 10 x 10 but the cross-section is composite. Testing in the lab has determined that in-plane, the panel behaves as if it has a thickness of 0.2 but when tested in bending the panel appears to have an equivalent thickness of 0.4. A crude model of homogeneous shell elements is to be used for static and dynamic analysis. Outline your suggested approach.
FEM - BEST PRACTICES Workshops. - 22

March 15, 1999

Workshop #6

Stress and Strain at an Interface

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 23

Stress and Strain at an Interface

Some stress and strain components are continuous across an interface, and some are not. It is important to recognize which measures are not continuous, so that the analyst does not average these values at nodes along the interface (as would occur in a nodal contour plot). Consider the two-dimensional problem below and determine for each stress ( x, y and xy) and strain ( x, y and xy) component whether it is continuous or discontinuous across the interface. What arguments can be used to support your selections?

Y X

Rubber layer Steel layer

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 24

Workshop #7

Typical Stress Singularities

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 25

Typical Stress Singularities


3 x 1000 lbs
Consider this plane model. For each location determine whether or not it is a singularity and if it is whether it is a strong singularity or a weak singularity

1000 psi

C D D E F G

H
Y Z X

I
Fixed Y displacement

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 26

Workshop #8

Thermal Stress

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 27

Thermal Stress
(continued)

Temperatures have two influences on a structural analysis: most material properties are temperature-dependent temperature distributions induce thermal loads in the structure In thermal stress analysis, stresses are calculated from the equation,

{ } = [D]({ } { T })
where are the total strains calculated from the displaceme nts
The thermal loads caused by the temperature distribution are calculated from the equation,

{FT } = [B]T [D ]{ T }dVelement


volume
If boundary conditions allow free expansion and contraction, the material is homogeneous, and the temperature distribution is a linear function of x, y, and z, all stresses will be zero.
FEM - BEST PRACTICES Workshops. - 28

March 15, 1999

Thermal Stress
(continued)

Question #1 Assume we have an axisymmetric part that is not restrained from expansion or contraction: if the temperature distribution varies linearly only in the axial direction, would the stresses be zero or nonzero? if the temperature distribution varies linearly only in the radial direction, would the stresses be zero or nonzero?

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 29

Thermal Stress
Consider the 3-node, linear, triangular element shown below. For this element, the [B] matrix will be constant. The origin of the model is at the centroid of the element. Assume the temperature distribution is:

T = C1 X + C 2Y
For a 2-D model, the stress calculation reduces to,

1 x E 1 y = 2 (1 ) 0 0 xy

0 T 0 [B ]{U } T (1 ) 0 2

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 30

Thermal Stress
Question 2 If we plug into the equation for calculating the nodal loads due to temperature, all nodal loads are zero and hence all displacements(U) are zero. Plug into the equation for calculating stress and write the equation for the stress in the x-direction: does the stress distribution seem reasonable? evaluate the stress at the centroid, does it seem reasonable? y,v

x,u

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 31

Workshop #9

Loads in Quadratic Elements

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 32

Loads in Quadratic Elements


The equivalent nodal loads for quadratic elements are, in most cases, nonintuitive. The general formula for calculating the nodal equivalent of a surface traction distribution is:

{F } = [N ]T {t }dA
where {F} are the equivalent nodal forces, [N] is the shape or interpolation function matrix, {t} is the vector of surface tractions (pressure loadings in most cases) and we are integrating over the area where the traction (pressure) is applied. In many cases, the vector {t} has only one nonzero component and many of the entries in [N] are zero. For instance, in the case of the quadratic element shown on the next page, if the distributed load(q) is in the y-direction and is applied on the surface y=b, the only nonzero nodal forces will be in the y-direction at nodes 3,4 and 7.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 33

Loads in Quadratic Elements


(continued)

The equation for {F} reduces to:

2 2 2 X / L X / L N @ y = b F 4 y L / 2 4 L /2 2 2 {F } = F 7 y = N 7 @ y = bqTdX = 1 (4 X / L ) qTdX F 3 y L / 2 N @ y = b L / 2 2 2 3 2 X / L + X / L

where q is the pressure in the y-direction, T= thickness (in-out of paper). Note that for any shape function, NI, the shape function is 1 at node I, is zero on any edge other than edges where node is located, is zero at any other node, and is nondimensional.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 34

Loads in Quadratic Elements


(continued)

Calculate the equivalent nodal forces for a concentrated 10 lb. Load acting at X=L/4, Y=b in the Y-direction. Hint: q is in general a function of X; for a concentrated load of q=0 except at the point of load application. At the point of load application, qTdx=load magnitude. Additional hint, no integration is needed!

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 35

Workshop #10

Symmetry/Antisymmetry

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 36

Symmetry/Antisymmetry Workshop

The frame shown below is to be analyzed under three different loading conditions: equal vertical ( Fy ) loads at nodes 22 and 24 equal but opposite vertical loads at nodes 22 and 24 a moment about the Z-axis at node 23

Each member has a cross-sectional area A and an inertia I. Assume we are only going to model the left half of the structure. State the displacement boundary conditions, loads, and section properties to be used in the analysis.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 37

Symmetry/Antisymmetry Workshop
(continued)

The plate shown below is subjected to two symmetrically-placed, convection BCs as shown. The film coefficient is the same at both locations but the bulk temperature at one location is 100 and at the other it is -100. Can we get an accurate solution by modeling only a portion of the plate? If so, show the portion and state all BCs.

20" x 1" plate with h=1 and tbulk = 100, tbulk = -100

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 38

Symmetry/Antisymmetry Workshop
(continued)

For cases A, B and C, decide on the smallest portion of the model that can be analyzed and state the boundary conditions required on the boundaries of the model. The tangential displacement is restrained along the entire inner bore. Case A: Radial Loads

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 39

Symmetry/Antisymmetry Workshop
(continued)

Case B: Tangential Loads

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 40

Symmetry/Antisymmetry Workshop
(continued)

Case C: Equal and opposite tangential loads at 3 & 9 oclock

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 41

Symmetry/Antisymmetry Workshop
(continued)

For the shell structure(all boundaries clamped) shown below, determine the smallest portion that can be analyzed, sketch the region and specify all loadings/boundary conditions.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 42

Workshop #11

Constraint Equations

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 43

Constraint Equations
Constraint Equations Many finite element users employ constraint equations to connect dissimilar meshes. Some finite element codes can write the constraint equations automatically and some require the users to write the equations manually.

Mesh that does not line up.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 44

Constraint Equations
(continued)

The constraint equations relate the displacements at the nodes of the finer mesh(A,E,D,C) to the displacements of the nodes of the coarser mesh(A,B,C). For instance, the displacement at node E would be written as a linear combination of the displacements of nodes A and B. If node E is 75% of the distance from node A to node B, the constraint equation in a typical direction would be written as

U E = 0.25U A + 0.75U B
Consider the mesh in the figure above. Would writing such constraint equations produce a Co continuous displacement field, i.e., no holes or cracks at the interface? Imagine that we fix all nodes except B,D, and E, fix nodes B,D, and E in the vertical direction and then move node B horizontally, draw a typical deformed shape plot.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 45

Workshop #12

Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 46

Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening


Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening Purpose: Determine the effect of spin softening and stress stiffening on a spinning, twisted blade. Discussion: A simplified, twisted, airfoil is spun at 1200 rad/sec. The first five frequencies are to be computed.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 47

Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening


(continued)

The known solutions for the first and fifth natural frequencies are: First natural frequency: 436.23 Hz Fifth natural frequency: 3605.43 Hz The effect of including stress stiffening and spin softening will be assessed. Tasks: Run a series of analyses using the following inputs for mesh density, stress stiffening, and spin softening. Record the results for the natural frequencies and compare them to the known values. Note: This model can be accessed via the MODAL toolbar button.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 48

Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening


(continued)

Input quantities:
Case Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 # of Height Elements 5 5 5 10 10 10 # of Width Elements 3 3 3 6 6 6 Spin Softening NO NO YES NO NO YES PreStress Stiffening NO YES YES NO YES YES

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 49

Stress Stiffening/Spin Softening


(continued)
Record results here:
Case Number 1 2 3 4 5 6
March 15, 1999

# of Height Elements 5 5 5 10 10 10

# of Width Elements 3 3 3 6 6 6

Spin Softening NO NO YES NO NO YES

PreStress Stiffening NO YES YES NO YES YES

First Mode

Fifth Mode

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 50

Workshop #13

Element Selection/Boundary Conditions

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 51

Element Selection/Boundary Conditions


A flat circular plate(see next viewgraph) having an inner radius of 2 and an outer radius of 6 and a thickness of 0.2 is rotating about the Z-axis at 10000 RPM. Assume that three different FEA models are to be constructed: . 2-D solids(plane stress) . Shell elements . 2-D solids(axisymmetric) Which element type do you recommend for this problem? For each type of element: sketch your finite element model show all displacement boundary conditions

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 52

Element Selection/Boundary Conditions

Model This Part and Show the Displacement Boundary Conditions If Three Different Types Are Employed.

March 15, 1999

FEM - BEST PRACTICES

Workshops. - 53