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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

We are interested in finding the temperature


distribution in the bar due to heat conduction

Energy Conservation for an


Infinitesimal Control Volume
Infinitesimal
Control Volume

Mathematical Model: Governing


Equation and Boundary Conditions
Governing equation

= 0,

Boundary conditions

0 =

q L = q =

Exact solution is straightforward

Numerical Solution:
Discretization
Reduce the problem to determining temperature
values at selected locations (nodes)
T
1

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

How to Find Nodal


Temperatures ?
System of
Invert
algebraic
equations in nodal
temperatures

Mathematical Model
(Boundary Value
Problem)
Piecewise
polynomial
approximation for T

={ }

Each algebraic
equation will
relate a nodal
temperature to
its neighbors

Nodal
temperatures

Post
processing

( )

How to Derive System of Algebraic


Equations?
Piecewise
polynomial
approximation for T

=0

System of algebraic
eqs. in nodal
temperatures

Piecewise polynomial
approximation for T

Weighted Integral
Form

=0

( ) is an
arbitrary function

=0

(x) is an
arbitrary piecewise
polynomial function

System of algebraic eqs.


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.


in nodal temperatures

Integration by Parts

w k

=0

w k

dT

1
w

=0

=0

dT

+ 0.5

+ 0.5 +

=0

w k

dT

+w

w k

dT

=0

=0

+ 0.5 +

dT

k
3

dT

w k

1
w

dT

dT

=0

=0

3
+ 0.5

+ 0.5 +

=0

={ }

w k
1

dT

k
3

dT

={ }

dT

w k

1
w

+ 0.5
+

+ 0.5 +

dT

=0

=0

w k

dT

=0

k
2

dT

4
={ }

= 0.5

= 0.5 +

Essential Boundary Conditions

=T

= 0.5 +

= 0.5Q

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

Comparison of / between FiniteElement 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
Increase order of polynomial
within each element

Original Mesh
2

Use more nodes per


element

Refined Mesh
1

Second-Order Element

Error Reduction: Results


3 elements

6 elements

1 element, secondorder 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 doesnt 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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