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# Educat i on & T

Educat i on & T
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r ai ni ng
Fundamentals of Numerical Techniques for
Static Dynamic and Transient Analyses Part
T
T
his, the first of two articles, compares the numerical
aspects of dynamic and static solution types. The second
article will discuss time varying (transient) problems and the
pertinent features of implicit and explicit solutions.
Statics
For a linear static analysis, the system equations can be
represented as matrices of the form:
{F} = [K] {X}
The {F} matrix is 1 column wide (i.e. a vector) and is a
numerical representation of the loads on the model. The [K]
matrix is square; having as many rows as columns and, for a
solid element model, its entries are the nodal stiffnesses in
each direction. The {X} matrix is a single column vector of
displacements and is the only unknown. To find it requires
manipulation of the above equation, observing the rules of
matrix algebra, giving:
{X} = [K]
-1
{F}
Thus, to find the displacements within {X}, it is necessary to
invert [K]; which accounts for the bulk of the processing
required of the analysis. Once all the displacements are found,
differentiation with respect to the different directions is
required to obtain the strain matrix, which can be multiplied by
a matrix of material properties to get the stresses.
Eigenvalue Solutions: Modal Analyses
A static analysis is valid if the frequency of an applied load is
significantly lower than the first natural frequency of the
structure. If not, a vibration analysis is required, which can
determine whether the structure is likely to resonate in
Only modal analysis, which does not consider damping, is
considered here. The aim of a modal analysis is to find the
frequency values and displacement shapes of the natural
frequencies of the structure. From the matrix equations given
below, the eigenvalues are found, which are the squares of the
natural frequencies; and the eigenvectors, which describe the
maximum displaced shape the structure has when excited at
this frequency. The eigenvectors cannot give actual values of
displacement, only the relative displacements of each node in
the model; hence the term mode shape. The displacement
response of a structure to a specific forcing frequency would
comprise some contribution from up to all the eigenvectors in
varying proportions, dependant on the value of forcing
frequency and the amount of damping for each mode.
For an undamped system the matrix equations are of the
form:
[M] {X} + [K] {X} = [0]
The displacement vector {X} has been differentiated twice on
the left hand side to produce the acceleration vector. The
static problem considered before had only one solution for
{X}; this problem has as many solutions as there are degrees
of freedom: there are n solutions for {X}, where n is the
number of degrees of freedom.
The solutions to the above equation are obtained by assuming
the displacement vector is time dependent and has a simple
harmonic form, thus:
{X} = {X
0
}Sint
So that:
{X} = -
2
{X
0
}Sint
The vector {X
0
} is termed an eigenvector (of peak
displacements over time) and represents the (mode) shape
the item would assume if excited by a forcing frequency of
Hz.
Substituting for {X}:
[K]{X}-
2
[M]{X}={0}
or for the ith natural frequency, the solution can be written as:
[K]{X}
i
-
2
i
[M]{X}
I
={0}
Each one of these displacement solutions {X}
i
, is a mode
shape, which has a corresponding natural frequency
i
.
A modal analysis will determine (within a small error due to the
presence of damping) the proximity of any mode of interest to
the frequency of the excitation force. Generally, the nearer the
two, the more likely is resonance to occur and the more likely
the chance of vibration induced failure. However, damping
has a smearing effect and other mode shapes will also be
evident to an extent. In general, modal analysis is used to
check whether a resonant frequency is outside, or below a
Actual displacements can be obtained from a subsequent
response analysis. This will thus provide a better assessment
of the likelihood of failure from vibration, but will require
damping values to be specified. These values are often
difficult to obtain accurately.
Buckling
Force equilibrium for a simple strut (the Euler strut) gives a
solution for displacements as a second order differential
equation, the standard solution to which is trigonometric,
implying multiple solution values. This illustrates that buckling
can also be interpreted as an eigenvalue problem, which will
be discussed in the second article.
Contact:
M ark Chillery, Chalice Engineering, UK
enquiries@chalice-engineering.com
www.nafems.org
April 2004 Page 6
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