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STRUCTURAL: Chapter 1: Overview of Structural Analyses (UP19980818) http://uic.edu/depts/accc/software/ansys/html/guide_55/g-str/GSTR1.htm...

Chapter 1: Overview of Structural Analyses


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Chapter 1 * Chapter 2 * Chapter 3 * Chapter 4 * Chapter 5 * Chapter 6 * Chapter 7 * Chapter 8 * Chapter 9


* Chapter 10 * Chapter 11 * Chapter 12 * Chapter 13 * Chapter 14

1.1 Definition of Structural Analysis


Structural analysis is probably the most common application of the finite element method. The term
structural (or structure) implies not only civil engineering structures such as bridges and buildings, but also
naval, aeronautical, and mechanical structures such as ship hulls, aircraft bodies, and machine housings, as
well as mechanical components such as pistons, machine parts, and tools.

1.2 Types of Structural Analysis


The seven types of structural analyses available in the ANSYS family of products are explained below. The
primary unknowns (nodal degrees of freedom) calculated in a structural analysis are displacements. Other
quantities, such as strains, stresses, and reaction forces, are then derived from the nodal displacements.

Structural analyses are available in the ANSYS/Multiphysics, ANSYS/Mechanical, ANSYS/Structural, and


ANSYS/LinearPlus programs only.

You can perform the following types of structural analyses:

Static Analysis-Used to determine displacements, stresses, etc. under static loading conditions. Both linear
and nonlinear static analyses. Nonlinearities can include plasticity, stress stiffening, large deflection, large
strain, hyperelasticity, contact surfaces, and creep. Chapter 2 describes static analyses, and Chapter 8
describes nonlinearities.

Modal Analysis-Used to calculate the natural frequencies and mode shapes of a structure. Different mode
extraction methods are available. Chapter 3 describes modal analysis.

Harmonic Analysis-Used to determine the response of a structure to harmonically time-varying loads.


Chapter 4 describes harmonic analysis.

Transient Dynamic Analysis-Used to determine the response of a structure to arbitrarily time-varying loads.
All nonlinearities mentioned under Static Analysis above are allowed. Chapter 5 describes transient dynamic
analysis.

Spectrum Analysis-An extension of the modal analysis, used to calculate stresses and strains due to a
response spectrum or a PSD input (random vibrations). Chapter 6 describes spectrum analysis.

Buckling Analysis-Used to calculate the buckling loads and determine the buckling mode shape. Both linear

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STRUCTURAL: Chapter 1: Overview of Structural Analyses (UP19980818) http://uic.edu/depts/accc/software/ansys/html/guide_55/g-str/GSTR1.htm...

(eigenvalue) buckling and nonlinear buckling analyses are possible, and are described in Chapter 7.

Explicit Dynamics Analysis-ANSYS provides an interface to the LS-DYNA explicit finite element program
and is used to calculate fast solutions for large deformation dynamics and complex contact problems. Chapter
14 describes explicit dynamics analysis.

In addition to the above analysis types, several special-purpose features are available:

Fracture mechanics (Chapter 10)


Composites (Chapter 11)
Fatigue (Chapter 12)
p-Method (Chapter 13)

1.3 Elements Used in Structural Analyses


Most ANSYS element types are structural elements, ranging from simple spars and beams to more complex
layered shells and large strain solids. Most types of structural analyses can use any of these elements.

Note-Explicit dynamics analysis can use only the explicit dynamics elements (LINK160, BEAM161,
SHELL163, SOLID164, COMBI165, MASS166, and LINK167).

Table 1-1 Structural element types

Shape or
Category Element Name(s)
Characteristic
General LINK1, LINK8
Spars
Bilinear (Cable) LINK10
General
BEAM3, BEAM4
Tapered
BEAM54, BEAM44
Beams Plastic
BEAM23, BEAM24
Shear Deformable
BEAM188, BEAM189
Elasto-Plastic
General PIPE16, PIPE17, PIPE18
Pipes Immersed PIPE59
Plastic PIPE20, PIPE60
Quadrilateral PLANE42, PLANE82, PLANE182
Triangle PLANE2
Hyperelastic HYPER84, HYPER56, HYPER74
2-D Solids Viscoelastic VISCO88
Large Strain VISCO106, VISCO108
Harmonic PLANE83, PLANE25
p-Element PLANE145, PLANE146
Brick SOLID45, SOLID95, SOLID73, SOLID185
Tetrahedron SOLID92, SOLID72
Layered SOLID46
3-D Solids Anisotropic SOLID64, SOLID65
Hyperelastic HYPER86, HYPER58, HYPER158
Viscoelastic VISCO89
Large Strain VISCO107

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STRUCTURAL: Chapter 1: Overview of Structural Analyses (UP19980818) http://uic.edu/depts/accc/software/ansys/html/guide_55/g-str/GSTR1.htm...

p-Element SOLID147, SOLID148


Quadrilateral SHELL93, SHELL63, SHELL41, SHELL43, SHELL181
Axisymmetric SHELL51, SHELL61
Shells Layered SHELL91, SHELL99
Shear Panel SHELL28
p-Element SHELL150
Point-to-Surface CONTAC48, CONTAC49
Contact Point-to-Point CONTAC12, CONTAC52
Rigid Surface CONTAC26
Acoustic
FLUID29, FLUID30, FLUID129, FLUID130, INFIN110, INFIN111
PLANE13, SOLID5, SOLID98
Piezoelectric
Coupled-Field PLANE13, SOLID5, SOLID98
Thermal-Stress
PLANE13, SOLID5, SOLID62, SOLID98
Magnetic-Structural
FLUID38, FLUID79, FLUID80, FLUID81
Fluid-Structural
Spring COMBIN14, COMBIN40, COMBIN39
Mass MASS21
Control Element COMBIN37
Specialty Surface Effect SURF19, SURF22, SURF153, SURF154
Pin Joint COMBIN7
Linear Actuator LINK11
Matrix MATRIX27, MATRIX50
Spar LINK160
Beam BEAM161
Shell SHELL163
Explicit Dynamics Solid SOLID164
Spring-Damper COMBI165
Mass MASS166
Cable LINK167

1.4 Types of Solution Methods


Two solution methods are available for solving structural problems in the ANSYS family of products: the
h-method and the p-method. The h-method can be used for any type of analysis, but the p-method can be
used only for linear structural static analyses. Depending on the problem to be solved, the h-method usually
requires a finer mesh than the p-method. The p-method provides an excellent way to solve a problem to a
desired level of accuracy while using a coarse mesh. In general, the discussions in this manual focus on the
procedures required for the h-method of solution. Chapter 13 discusses procedures specific to the p-method.

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