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8 Aufrufe7 SeitenThe question of “what type of elements should be used?” never fails to pop up in the minds of analysts when carrying out finite
element analysis (FEA). Indeed, the selection of elements from a variety of different types of elements is part and partial of FEA.
Initially, only one-dimensional (1D) elements were developed. The introduction of two-dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D)
elements, which came later, greatly increase the capability of finite element (FE) programs to model and solve complex engineering
problems. Not only do these elements provide improvement in accuracy of the results but also brought about new challenges which
include evaluation of numerical errors, validity of results, setup and execution time as well as large computer memory capacity. The
outcome of the analysis is very much dependent of the type of element chosen. The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors
influencing the selection of elements in FEA by considering the effects of different types of elements on the results of FEA. A simple
case study of an I-beam subjected to an asymmetric load is carried out by FEA. Three different models of the I-beam were prepared
and analyzed separately using 1D elements, 2D elements, and 3D elements. The results of these models were compared with the
mathematical model of the I-beam. The FEA results of these models showed good agreement with the theoretical calculation despite
the small and negligible errors in the analysis. Since the aim of FEA is an effective and efficient solution to engineering problems, it
becomes a necessity to consider factors such as structural shape, desired analysis results, and computer capability while choosing the
right element for the analysis.

Dec 19, 2013

© Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

PDF, TXT oder online auf Scribd lesen

The question of “what type of elements should be used?” never fails to pop up in the minds of analysts when carrying out finite
element analysis (FEA). Indeed, the selection of elements from a variety of different types of elements is part and partial of FEA.
Initially, only one-dimensional (1D) elements were developed. The introduction of two-dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D)
elements, which came later, greatly increase the capability of finite element (FE) programs to model and solve complex engineering
problems. Not only do these elements provide improvement in accuracy of the results but also brought about new challenges which
include evaluation of numerical errors, validity of results, setup and execution time as well as large computer memory capacity. The
outcome of the analysis is very much dependent of the type of element chosen. The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors
influencing the selection of elements in FEA by considering the effects of different types of elements on the results of FEA. A simple
case study of an I-beam subjected to an asymmetric load is carried out by FEA. Three different models of the I-beam were prepared
and analyzed separately using 1D elements, 2D elements, and 3D elements. The results of these models were compared with the
mathematical model of the I-beam. The FEA results of these models showed good agreement with the theoretical calculation despite
the small and negligible errors in the analysis. Since the aim of FEA is an effective and efficient solution to engineering problems, it
becomes a necessity to consider factors such as structural shape, desired analysis results, and computer capability while choosing the
right element for the analysis.

Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

Als PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

8 Aufrufe

The question of “what type of elements should be used?” never fails to pop up in the minds of analysts when carrying out finite
element analysis (FEA). Indeed, the selection of elements from a variety of different types of elements is part and partial of FEA.
Initially, only one-dimensional (1D) elements were developed. The introduction of two-dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D)
elements, which came later, greatly increase the capability of finite element (FE) programs to model and solve complex engineering
problems. Not only do these elements provide improvement in accuracy of the results but also brought about new challenges which
include evaluation of numerical errors, validity of results, setup and execution time as well as large computer memory capacity. The
outcome of the analysis is very much dependent of the type of element chosen. The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors
influencing the selection of elements in FEA by considering the effects of different types of elements on the results of FEA. A simple
case study of an I-beam subjected to an asymmetric load is carried out by FEA. Three different models of the I-beam were prepared
and analyzed separately using 1D elements, 2D elements, and 3D elements. The results of these models were compared with the
mathematical model of the I-beam. The FEA results of these models showed good agreement with the theoretical calculation despite
the small and negligible errors in the analysis. Since the aim of FEA is an effective and efficient solution to engineering problems, it
becomes a necessity to consider factors such as structural shape, desired analysis results, and computer capability while choosing the
right element for the analysis.

Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

Als PDF, TXT **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

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Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 561

EFFECT OF ELEMENTS ON LINEAR ELASTIC STRESS ANALYSIS:

A FINITE ELEMENT APPROACH

Wai Chee Mun

1

, Ahmad Rivai

2

, Omar Bapokutty

3

1

Postgraduate Student,

2

Associate Professor,

3

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknikal

Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Melaka, Malaysia

cmwai@live.com.my, ahmadrivai@utem.edu.my, omarbapokutty@utem.edu.my

Abstract

The question of what type of elements should be used? never fails to pop up in the minds of analysts when carrying out finite

element analysis (FEA). Indeed, the selection of elements from a variety of different types of elements is part and partial of FEA.

Initially, only one-dimensional (1D) elements were developed. The introduction of two-dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D)

elements, which came later, greatly increase the capability of finite element (FE) programs to model and solve complex engineering

problems. Not only do these elements provide improvement in accuracy of the results but also brought about new challenges which

include evaluation of numerical errors, validity of results, setup and execution time as well as large computer memory capacity. The

outcome of the analysis is very much dependent of the type of element chosen. The aim of this paper is to investigate the factors

influencing the selection of elements in FEA by considering the effects of different types of elements on the results of FEA. A simple

case study of an I-beam subjected to an asymmetric load is carried out by FEA. Three different models of the I-beam were prepared

and analyzed separately using 1D elements, 2D elements, and 3D elements. The results of these models were compared with the

mathematical model of the I-beam. The FEA results of these models showed good agreement with the theoretical calculation despite

the small and negligible errors in the analysis. Since the aim of FEA is an effective and efficient solution to engineering problems, it

becomes a necessity to consider factors such as structural shape, desired analysis results, and computer capability while choosing the

right element for the analysis.

Keywords: Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Modeling, Stress Analysis, and Linear Static Analysis.

--------------------------------------------------------------------***----------------------------------------------------------------------

1. INTRODUCTION

The popularity of finite element analysis (FEA) in the

industry, especially aircraft [1], automotive [2-4], and even

civil engineering, has now spread to the academics [4-7].

Though FEA was created to analyze complicated engineering

structures, it is now also used in research to study simple

structural behavior [7, 8] and predict material properties [9].

FEA is the practical application of finite element method

(FEM), which is an alternative method to solve engineering

problems numerically [10-14]. Often, the governing equations

for a structural problem, especially engineering structures, are

very complicated. The solution of these sophisticated

mathematical models is very tedious and sometimes near

impossible. The FEM breaks down the structure into small but

finite pieces called elements. Equations are formulated for

each element and the results are combined to obtain the final

solution to the engineering problem [11-13]. The outcome of

the FEA is therefore greatly influence by the skill of the

analyst to select the right type of element to represent the

structure. Unfortunately, the ability to select elements for

effective modeling and analysis is usually gained through

experience and seldom discussed in literature.

Since the discussion and also the analytical model to justify

the effects of elements in FE modeling is lacking, this paper

aims to investigate the factors influencing the selection of

elements in FEA by considering the effects of different types

of elements on the results of FEA. Since there are many

different types of elements which, are developed

independently and vary from one finite element (FE) software

to another, the scope of this research is limited to the

similarities and differences between one dimensional (1D)

elements, two dimensional (2D) elements, and three

dimensional (3D) elements.

2. TYPES OF FINITE ELEMENTS

Though there are different types of elements with various

shapes, elements in FEA are generally grouped into one 1D

element, 2D elements, and 3D elements. They are recognized

based on their shapes. For example, elements can take on the

form of a straight line or curve, triangle or quadrilateral,

tetrahedral and many more. The simplest element is a line

made of two nodes. All line elements, whether straight or

curved, are called 1D element [10, 11]. Examples of 1D

element are truss element and beam element [4, 12].

IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163 | pISSN: 2321-7308

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Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 562

2D elements are surface elements with triangle or quadrilateral

as their basic shapes [11, 13, 14]. Examples of 2D elements

are 3-node triangular element and 6-node triangular element

[12]. These surface elements can have either regular or

irregular shapes shown in Fig -1. 2D elements are plane

elements. They are often used to solve 2D elasticity problems

[5, 8, 14].

3D elements are usually used to mesh volumes [10-12]. They

are derived from 2D elements and are used when the volume

of the structure cannot be neglected [8]. Generally 3D

elements have quadrilateral or hexagonal shape. Examples of

3D solid elements are 4-node tetrahedral element, 10-node

tetrahedral element, 8-node isoparametric element, etc [12].

Fig -1: Typical finite element geometries [15].

3. MODELING AND VALIDATION

A wide flange beam, W460x74 [16], is subjected to an

eccentric load of 1000 kN shown in the Fig -2. The load is

applied to one end of the beam about 200 mm from the neutral

axis of the beam. The other end of the beam is assumed to be

fixed with no translational or rotational displacements. The

cross section of the beam and its configuration is also

illustrated in Fig -2. The beam is given steel properties. Table

-1 contains the necessary dimensions and material properties

[16] of the beam.

Table -1: Wide flange beam W460x74 dimensions and its

properties

Dimension

L (mm) 5000.00

H (mm) 457.00

t (mm) 9.00

t1 (mm) 14.50

t2 (mm) 14.50

W1(mm) 190.00

W2 (mm) 190.00

Properties

Youngs Modulus (N/mm

2

) 200000.00

Poisson ratio 0.30

Fig -2: (a) Wide flange beam W460x74 subjected to an

eccentric load; (b) Cross section of wide flange beam,

W460x74 [17].

Three case studies were carried out separately on the beam

using 1D element, 2D element, and 3D element as shown in

Fig -3. Commercial FEA software, namely MSC Patran and

MD Nastran, were utilized for the purpose of this research.

Fig -3: FE model of wide flange beam W460x74 using:

(a) 1D element; (b) 2D element; (c) 3D element

IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163 | pISSN: 2321-7308

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Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 563

In order to compare the memory and execution time of the

solver, the finite elements used are of the same global edge

length which is 100 mm. Since the load is applied 200 mm

from the neutral axis of the beam, the load can be decomposed

into an equivalent compressive force of 1000 kN and moment

of 200 MNmm at the centroid of the beam. The same loading

condition is applied to all three FE models of the beam to

eliminate the effect of loading conditions on the choice of

elements.

The FE models of the wide flange beam W460x74 are verified

by comparing the results of FEA with the solution of the beam

mathematical model. Theoretical calculations of the beam

stresses and displacement are done using Equations (1-6) [16]

with dimensions and properties as mentioned in Table -1.

Table -2 shows the comparison between FEA results with

theoretical calculation. It is proven that the results of FEA for

all three FE models are in good agreement with theoretical

calculation. Therefore, all the FE models are considered valid

and can be used for this study.

o

n

=

P

A

(1)

o

m

=

Mc

I

(2)

o

1

=

P

A

+

Mc

I

(3)

o

n

=

PL

AL

(4)

o

m

=

ML

2

2LI

(5)

o

1

= (o

n

)

2

+ (o

m

)

2

(6)

Where, F is the axial load, M is bending moment, A is the

beam cross sectional area, I is the beam second moment of

area, o

n

is the normal stress, o

m

is the bending stress, o

1

is the

maximum stress due to the applied load, o

n

is the deflection of

the beam from axial load, o

m

is the deflection of the beam

from bending moment, o

1

maximum deflection of the beam.

Table -2: Comparison between FEA and theoretical

calculation of stresses and displacement for wide flange beam

W460x74

Results Theory

FE Model

1D 2D 3D

Maximum

Tensile Stress

(MPa)

32.251 32.300 32.248 31.895

Maximum

Compressive

Stress (MPa)

245.881 246.000 245.703 245.573

Maximum

Beam

Deflection

(mm)

38.132 38.100 38.400 38.400

4. RESULTS

Table -3 shows the comparison of FEA results available for

1D FE model, 2D FE model, and 3D FE model for wide

flange beam W460x74. Stress results for 1D FEA are

available in the form of bar stresses and are neatly organized

into axial stresses, bending stresses, and combined axial and

bending stresses. Axial stresses are stresses due to the force

acting normal to the surface while bending stresses are stresses

due to moment. Combined axial and bending stresses are

further divided into minimum and maximum combined

stresses. Stresses for 2D FE model and 3D FE model are

displayed in the form of stress tensor. Stresses such as axial

stresses, bending stresses and combined axial and bending

stresses must be perceived and interpreted by the analyst

through the stress tensor.

Table -3: Comparison of FEA results between 1D FE model,

2D FE model, and 3D FE model

Analysis Results

FE Model

1D 2D 3D

Stress tensor NA Available Available

Bar stresses, Axial Available NA NA

Bar stresses, Bending Available NA NA

Bar stresses, Max

combined

Available NA NA

Bar stresses, Min

combined

Available NA NA

Displacement Available Available Available

Deformation Available Available Available

Both displacement results and deformation for 1D FE model,

2D FE model, and 3D FE model are available as resultant or

as separate components in the x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis

directions. Table -4 displays the deflection of the beam in the

y-axis due to the applied load.

Table -4: Deflection of wide flange beam W460x74 at

different beam length

Length of Beam, x

(mm)

Deflection of Beam, y (mm)

Theory 1D 2D 3D

500 0.4648 0.4648 0.4523 0.4442

1000 1.6125 1.6125 1.5943 1.5783

1500 3.5159 3.5159 3.4920 3.4690

2000 6.1790 6.1790 6.1496 6.1183

2500 9.6027 9.6027 9.4745 9.5300

3000 13.7869 13.7870 13.5677 13.6997

3500 18.7319 18.7320 18.6859 18.6329

IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163 | pISSN: 2321-7308

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 564

4000 24.4376 24.4377 24.3861 24.3236

4500 30.9040 30.9041 30.8470 30.7801

5000 38.1311 38.1313 38.0351 38.0020

The deflection is taken at 10 different but constant increment

of the length of the beam. Theoretical values of the beam

displacement are obtained using Equation (7) [16].

o

=

ML

LI

(7)

Where o

bending moment, L is the total length of the beam, E is the

Youngs Modulus of the beam, I is the beam second moment

of area.

It is shown in Table -4 that the deflection of the beam in the y-

axis obtained from 1D FE model is closest to the theoretical

value. The deflection of the beam in the y-axis obtain from 2D

FE model and 3D FE model, although close to each other

values, vary slightly from the theoretical value. The deflection

of the beam is plotted against the length of the beam in Fig -4.

It is seen in Fig -4 that the curves of 1D FE model, 2D FE

model, and 3D FE model coincides with the theoretical curve.

This shows that the errors are small and can be neglected.

Fig -4: Wide flange beam W460x74 deflection at different

length of beam

Fig -5 shows the manner in which the beam deforms under the

influence of the load. 3D FE model gives a better illustration

of deformation of the beam than that of 2D FE model. 1D FE

model gives the simplest illustration of the beam deformation

as the beam is modeled as a line at the neutral axis of the

actual beam. The cross section of the beam is then applied to

the 1D element. All 3 FE models of the beam show that the

beam bends upwards due to the asymmetric loading.

The stress distribution in the beam due to the applied load is

shown clearly in 2D FE model and 3D FE model of the beam.

However, this cannot be observed in 1D FE model. Fig -6

shows the stress distribution of all the 3 FE model of the

beam. The fringe indicates minimum stress increasing to

maximum stress from blue to red colour respectively. Since

the load causes an upward bending, the top surface of the

beam will experience compression while the bottom surface

experience tension. Referring to Equation (3), the bottom

surface will experience minimum stress while the top surface

experience maximum stress. This is correctly indicated by the

colors of the fringe in 2D FE model and 3D FE model.

However, the maximum stress at the top surface of the beam is

indicated by green colour instead of red.

Fig -5: Deformation of wide flange beam W460x74:

(a) 1D FE model; (b) 2D FE model; (c) 3D FE model

The colour red is located at a small spot at the top end of the

beam. This indicates the stress concentration area where stress

is multiplied several times of the maximum stress.

Coincidently, this stress concentration area is also the area

where the load is applied. According to Saint Venants

principle [16, 18-20], elements near the points of load

application are expected to experience very large stresses

while stress distribution for the rest of the cross section of the

beam may be assumed independent of the actual mode of load

application.

The Saint Venants phenomenon of stress concentration due to

static loading can also be explained by Equation (1). If the

area of load application is reduced, the stress at that area

increases. Hence, if the area approaches zero, the stress

become infinite. Therefore, the maximum stress of the beam is

computed at the top surface according to the Flexure formula

[20].

IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163 | pISSN: 2321-7308

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 565

Fig -6: Stress distribution and deformation of wide flange

beam W460x74 (side view): (a) 1D FE model; (b) 2D FE

model; (c) 3D FE model

Table -5 shows the execution time and computer memory

required to run the analysis of 1D FE model, 2D FE model,

and 3D FE model. 3D FE model takes up the most memory

and the longest execution time. 1D FE model used the least

computer memory and requires the shortest execution time.

Table -5: Memory Usage and Execution Time of FE Model

FE Model

1D 2D 3D

Memory usage (mb) 15.219 97.125 163.031

Execution time (s) 2.770 5.660 10.795

5. DISCUSSION

The errors in FEA results of 1D FE model, 2D FE model, and

3D FE model are due to the different characteristics of 1D

elements, 2D elements and 3D elements. These

characteristics are simply different assumptions made in the

computation of the elements. The mathematical model to

compute stresses and deformation of beam presented in most

undergraduate textbooks, such as Beer [16], Mott [18], and

Young [19], is that of the assumptions of 1D elements.

Therefore, the results of 1D FEA are very similar to those

obtained by theoretical calculation. For example, a beam in

compression will experience uniform decrement in length and

increment in width throughout the member regardless of the

mode of load application. Clearly, this assumption has been

proven flawed by Saint Venants principle. 2D and 3D

elements, which consider plane stresses such as shear stress,

produce stresses and displacement values which deviate

slightly from the solution of 1D mathematical model.

However, to overcome the phenomenon of Saint Venants

principle, an improved method of load application should be

adapted.

Due to the consideration of plane stresses in 2D and 3D

elements, the results obtained are more detail in terms of stress

distribution and displacement. The interpretation and

extraction of FEA results for 2D FE model and 3D FE model

also become more tedious compared to 1D FE model. The

importance of the detail results in 2D and 3D FEA is the

identification of location of stress concentration which may

cause fatal failure of the structure.

In terms of accuracy, all three FE models which, are 1D FE

model, 2D FE model, and 3D FE model, display reliable FEA

results. Since FEA is a numerical method, it is expected to

have small but acceptable errors. Although 1D elements, 2D

elements, and 3D elements have different characteristics, the

small errors in their FEA results proved that the accuracy of

the FEA results is dependent on the element size, which is

defined by the global edge length. The quality of the mesh has

to be refined until a mesh independent result is obtained.

The choice of elements for FEA, therefore, depends largely on

the geometry of the structure. Not all structures can be

modeled using 1D element or 2D element. 1D element is used

for long and slender symmetrical structure with uniform cross

section. 2D element is used for plate or shell like structure

while 3D element is used for structure with complex geometry

which cannot be simplified for analysis.

Since the form of FEA result is very much influenced by the

type of elements, the desired analysis result becomes one of

the deciding factor for the selection of elements in the early

stage of FE modeling. If a detail analysis in which the stress

distribution due to the applied load is required, then 2D

element or 3D element are of better choices. 1D element,

however, can still be used for rough and quick estimation of

overall factor of safety for the engineering structure.

Lastly, the choice of element for FEA also depends on the

analysis time and memory capacity of the computer available.

Since all three FE models produced reliable FEA results, the

execution time and computer memory becomes the deciding

factor. It is always better to carry out the analysis in the

shortest amount of time with the smallest computer memory

required so that the engineering problem can be solved

effectively and efficiently. In this case, modeling with 1D

elements is the best choice followed by 2D elements and

lastly, 3D elements.

CONCLUSIONS

Two important parameters in linear static analysis in FEA are

stress and displacement. The results, however, might differ

depending on the types of element used for modeling. The

difference is due to the different characteristics inherent by

different elements. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the

characteristic of the elements in order to optimize modeling to

achieve accurate and reliable FEA results. However, since the

IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163 | pISSN: 2321-7308

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 566

type of FE elements differ from one FE software to another, it

is too immense to cover all the different elements available in

all the different commercial software available.

With the advantages and limitations of these elements in mind,

three factors are to be considered when deciding on the types

of elements to be used in FEA, which are the geometry of the

structure, desired analysis results, and analysis time frame as

well as the capability of the computer.

The most important factor is the geometry of the structure. 1D

elements are used for simple analysis of symmetrical and

slender structure. Normally, 2D elements are sufficient for

most of the engineering problems. 3D elements should only be

used if the structure has complex geometry and is unable to be

simplified.

Next factor to be considered is the results required. If it is just

simple and quick analysis on the structural integrity, 1D

element is the right choice. 2D element and 3D element are

used for detail results such as determination of stress

distribution, while 1D element is used for rough estimate.

Last but not least is the execution time and memory required

for the solver to run the analysis. If the limitation is on the

analysis time and computer memory, 1D element is the best

choice. If a large computer memory is available, modeling

with 2D element or 3D element is better in the sense that it

gives a detail FEA result.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to acknowledge CRIM, and Faculty of

Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia

Melaka (UTeM) for supporting the present work through

PJP/2012/FKM(18C)S1112 Research Fund.

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[19]. W.C. Young, R.G. Budynas, A.M. Sadegh, Roarks

Formulas for Stress & Strain, eighth ed., McGraw-Hill, United

Stated of America, 2012.

[20]. W. Lacarbonara, A. Paolone, On solution strategies to

saint-venant problem, Journal of Computational and Applied

Mathematics. 206 (2007) 473-497.

BIOGRAPHIES

Wai Chee Mun is currently a postgraduate in

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka. His is

undertaking his research in the field of finite

element analysis.

IJRET: International Journal of Research in Engineering and Technology eISSN: 2319-1163 | pISSN: 2321-7308

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Volume: 02 Issue: 10 | Oct-2013, Available @ http://www.ijret.org 567

Ahmad Rivai is currently an associate

professor teaching in the Faculty of

Mechanical Engineering of Universiti

Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.

Omar Bapokutty is currently a senior lecturer

teaching in the Faculty of Mechanical

Engineering of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia

Melaka

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