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Bar Elements in 2-D


S. Ziaei Rad
Distributed Load
Uniformly distributed axial load q (N/mm, N/m, lb/in) can
be converted to two equivalent nodal forces of magnitude qL/2.
We verify this by considering the work done by the load q,

Distributed Load

that is, where

Thus, from the U=W concept for the element, we have

Distributed Load

The new nodal force vector is

In an assembly of bars,

Bar Elements in 2-D

Note: Lateral displacement

does not contribute to the
stretch of the bar, within the
linear theory.

In matrix form,

or, where the transformation matrix

is orthogonal, that is,

For the two nodes of the bar element, we have


The nodal forces are transformed in the same way,

Stiffness Matrix in the 2-D
In the local coordinate system, we have

Augmenting this equation, we write

Stiffness Matrix in the 2-D
Using transformations given in previous slides, we obtain

Multiplying both sides by and noticing that

, We obtain

Thus, the element stiffness matrix k in the global coordinate

system is

which is a 4
4 symmetric matrix.
Stiffness Matrix in the 2-D
Explicit form
Note:The structure stiffness
matrix is assembled by
(*) using the Element stiffness
matrices in the usual way a
in the 1-D case.

Calculation of the directional cosines l and m:

Assembly Rules
1. Compatibility: The joint displacements of all
members meeting at a joint must be the same.

2. Equilibrium: The sum of forces exerted by all

members that meet at a joint must balance the
external force applied to that joint.
Element Stress
The Direct Stiffness Method (DSM)
Example 2.3

Problem: A simple plane truss is made

of two identical bars (with E, A, and L),
and loaded as shown in the figure. Find
1) displacement of node 2;
2) stress in each bar.
Example 2.3 (Member formation)
Solution: This simple structure is used here to
demonstrate the assembly and solution process using
the bar element in 2-D space.

In local coordinate systems, we have

These two matrices cannot be assembled together, because they

are in different coordinate systems. We need to convert them to
global coordinate system OXY.
Example 2.3 (Globalization)
Element 1:

Using formula (*), we obtain the stiffness matrix in the

global system
Example 2.3 (Globalization)
Element 2:

Using formula (*), we obtain the stiffness matrix in the

global system
Example 2.3 (Merge or Assembly)
Assemble the structure FE equation,
Example 2.3 (Application of BCs and
Load and boundary conditions (BC):

Condensed FE equation,

Solving this, we obtain the displacement of node 2,

Example 2.3 (Recovery)
Using formula for stress, we calculate the stresses in the two bars
Example 2.4
Problem: For the plane truss shown ,

Determine the displacements and

reaction forces.

Solution: We have an inclined roller

at node 3, which needs special attention in the FE solution.
We first assemble the global FE equation for the truss.
Example 2.4
Element 1:
Example 2.4
Element 2:
Example 2.4
Element 3:
Example 2.4
The global FE equation is,
Example 2.4
Load and boundary conditions (BC):

From the transformation relation and the BC, we have

that is, This is a multipoint constraint (MPC).

Example 2.4
Similarly, we have a relation for the force at node 3,

that is,
Example 2.4
Applying the load and BCs in the structure FE equation
by deleting1st , 2nd and 4th rows and columns, we have

Further, from the MPC and the force relation at node 3, the
equation becomes,
Example 2.4
which is

The 3rd equation yields,

Substituting this into the 2nd equation and rearranging, we have
Example 2.4
Solving this, we obtain the displacements,

From the global FE equation, we can calculate the reaction

Example 2.4
A general multipoint constraint (MPC) can be described as,

where are constants and are nodal

components. In the FE software, such as ANSYS or
MSC/NASTRAN, users only need to specify this relation
to the software. The software will take care of the

The assumptions up to now based on the idea that truss elements

result in zero external forces under zero displacements. This is
implicit in the linear-homogeneous expression of the master stiffness
equation f = Ku.
If u vanishes, so does f. This behavior does not apply, however,
if there are initial force effects.
If those effects are present, there can be displacements without
external forces, and internal forces without displacements.

A common source of initial force effects are temperature changes.

Imagine that a plane truss structure is unloaded (that is, not
subjected to external forces) and is held at a uniform reference
temperature. External displacements are measured from this
environment, which is technically called a reference state. Now
suppose that the temperature of some members changes with respect
to the reference temperature while the applied external forces
remain zero. Because the length of members changes on account of
thermal expansion or contraction, the joints will displace.
Initial Force Effects (also called Initial
& Initial Stress Effects by FEM authors)

Thermomechanical effects
Moisture effects
Prestress effects
Lack of fit
Residual stresses
Thermomechanical Effects on Bar
Thermomechanical Effects on Bar
Axial strain is sum of mechanical and thermal:
Incorporating Thermomechanical
Effects into the Element Stiffness
Generalization: Initial Force

Where does come from? Thermal effects, moisture,

prestress, lack of fit, residual stresses, some nonlinearities.
Common property: if displacements u vanish

fM + fI = 0 fM = fI
There are (self-equilibrating) mechanical forces in the
absence of displacements
Suppose that the example truss is now unloaded. However the
temperature of members (1) (2) and (3) changes by T ,T and 3T ,
respectively, with respect to Tref .
The thermal expansion coefficient of all three members is assumed
to be .
Because the prescribed displacements are zero, the reduced system
is simply
Treating Initial Force Effects
How to Write a Simple MATLAB Program for 2D bar
Nodes, Elements ,Members Properties (Geometry, Material)

Element Stiffness Matrices

(Local Coordinates)

Element Stiffness Matrices

(Global Coordinates)

Forming Global Stiffness Matrix and Force Vector

Apply the B.C.

Solution Phase

A MATLAB Program
node_no1 x1 y1
node_no2 x2 y2
elem_no node_no1 node_no2 length theta E A
F_global=[ fx1 fy1 fx2 fy2 ];

elem_no Dof1 Dof2 Dof3 Dof4

(NN,MN)=size(Node) ;

A MATLAB Program
for i=1:NE
Ke_local=Kelocal (Element(i,4), Element(i,6), Element(i,7)); % Kelocal is a Matlab function
Te_rotatoin=T_rotation(Element(i,5)); % T_rotation is a Matlab function
ke_assemble=Assemble(Ke_global,Connectivity(i,:),NN); % Assemble is a Matlab function
K_global= K_global+ke_assemble

% F_global=[ fx1 fy1 fx2 fy2 ];

% Assume that the external forces are in global coordinates
% If they are in local coordinates then they have to transfer using
% F_global=Te_rotation*Fe_local

% Applying the B.C

F_globalBC=Boundry_conditionF(F_global, BCdof)

% Solution Phase
A MATLAB Program
% Postprocessing Phase
for i=1:NE
stress(i)=Stress_calc(U, Element(i,2), Element(i,3),Element(i,4), Element(i,5) );

% end of the program