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Pre-Analysis

1. Mathematical model
2. Numerical solution procedure
3. Hand-calculations of expected results/trends

Example: Steady One-Dimensional


Heat Conduction in a Bar
y

x
z
L
We are interested in finding the temperature
distribution in the bar due to heat conduction

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Energy Conservation for an
Infinitesimal Control Volume
Infinitesimal
“Control Volume”

Δ
x
Δ
Δ

Mathematical Model: Governing


Equation and Boundary Conditions
• Governing equation
 + = 0, 0≤ ≤
• Boundary conditions
 0 =
q L = q = −
• Exact solution is straightforward

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Numerical Solution:
Discretization
• Reduce the problem to determining temperature
values at selected locations (“nodes”)
T

1 2 3 4 x

x
We have assumed a shape for ( ) consisting of piecewise
polynomials

How to Find Nodal


Temperatures ?
System of
Mathematical Model Invert Nodal
algebraic
(Boundary Value temperatures
equations in nodal
Problem)
temperatures
Post
Piecewise
={ } processing
polynomial
approximation for T
( )
Each algebraic
equation will
relate a nodal
1 2 3 4 temperature to
its neighbors

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How to Derive System of Algebraic
Equations?
Piecewise Weighted Integral Piecewise polynomial
polynomial Form approximation for T
approximation for T

∫ ∫ + =0
(x) is an
+ =0 + =0 arbitrary piecewise
polynomial function
( ) is an
System of algebraic arbitrary function
eqs. in nodal System of algebraic eqs.
temperatures in nodal temperatures

How to Derive System of Algebraic


Equations?
Piecewise polynomial
approximation for T

∫ + dx = 0
(x) is an
arbitrary piecewise
polynomial function

System of algebraic eqs. x


in nodal temperatures

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Integration by Parts

• ∫ + =0

• w k − ∫ k +
∫ =0

dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

w + + 0.5 Δ − +

+ + + Δ +

+ + + Δ +

w + + 0.5 Δ + =0

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dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

⋯+w + + 0.5 Δ +

dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

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dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

w + + 0.5 Δ − +

+ + + Δ +

+ + + Δ +

w + + 0.5 Δ + =0

={ }

dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

={ }

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dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

w + + 0.5 Δ − +

+ + + Δ +

+ + + Δ +

w + + 0.5 Δ + =0

dT dT
w k − k + =0

1 2 3 4

+ = 0.5 Δ − ={ }

+ + = Δ

+ + = Δ

+ = 0.5 Δ +

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Essential Boundary Conditions

=T + = 0.5QΔ −

+ + = Δ

+ + = Δ

+ = 0.5 Δ +

Comparison of Finite-Element and Exact


Solutions
• Nodal temperature values are exact
– Unusual property of 1D FE solution
• Temperature boundary condition is
satisfied exactly
• Flux boundary condition is satisfied
approximately

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Comparison of / between Finite-
Element and Exact Solutions
• Error in / > Error in
• Energy is not conserved for
each element

“Reaction” at Left Boundary

 =− =
− 5.5 W/m
• Energy is
conserved for
the bar

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How to Improve the Polynomial
Approximation?
• Increase no. of elements Original Mesh
• Increase order of polynomial 4
1 2 3
within each element
– Use more nodes per Refined Mesh
element
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Second-Order Element

Error Reduction: Results


1 element, second-
3 elements 6 elements
order polynomial

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Finite-Element Analysis: Summary of
the Big Ideas
• Mathematical model to be solved is usually a boundary value
problem
• Reduce the problem to solving selected variable(s) at selected
locations (nodes)
• Assume a shape for selected variable(s) within each element
• Derive system of algebraic equations relating neighboring nodal
values
• Invert this system to determine selected variable(s) at nodes
• Derive everything else from selected variable(s) at nodes

Finite-Element Analysis: Summary of


the Big Ideas
• Reduce error by using more elements and/or
increasing the order of interpolation
• Finite-element solution doesn’t satisfy the
differential equation(s)
– Satisfies a special weighted integral form
• Essential boundary conditions are satisfied
exactly
• Natural or gradient boundary conditions are
satisfied approximately

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