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Introduction to the Finite Element Method (3)

Petr Kabele
Czech Technical University in Prague
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Czech Republic

petr.kabele@fsv.cvut.cz ∗ people.fsv.cvut.cz/~pkabele

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Outline

Types of finite element programs


Practical aspects of finite element analysis
Examples of FE modeling

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Finite element programs – classification and structure
FEM programs
➢general purpose
● simulation of general physical problems (statics, dynamics, heat/mass

transport, magnetism, ... , coupled problems)


● more complex problem definition/input (choice from many options)

● user must perfectly understand the mathematical and physical essence of

analyzed problem
● e.g DIANA, ADINA, ABAQUS

➢specialized, engineering
● simulation of specific engineering problems (e.g. elastic truss structure)

● user-friendly input (mouse-click, predefined material models, structural

members, cross-sections etc., close linkage to design codes)


● use in engineering practice (structural design)

● e.g. SAP

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Structure of finite element programs

Computational core
Preprocesor Postprocesor
graphical interface for FE program itself graphical interface
data input for processing and
visualization of results

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Practical aspects of finite element analysis
General consideration:
“Finite element analysis is essentially an approximate method for calculating the
behavior of real structures by performing an algebraic solution of a set of
equations describing idealized structures”

Physical reality Finite element model

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Selection of analysis type

Consider what physical phenomena should be analyzed.

stress analysis
linear
stability
static nonlinear
... ...
mechanical dynamic
heat transport ... ... modal analysis
mass transport linear
transient analysis
fluid nonlinear
... ...
magnetism
coupled, interaction
... ...

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Selection of modeling hypotheses

“The most difficult part”

Geometry and morphology (model scope and detail, structural form, internal
composition, connections between the structural elements,…)

Material models and properties

Actions (mechanical, physical, chemical…)

Existing alterations and damage (cracks, constructional mistakes,


disconnections, crushing, leanings, …)

The interaction of the structure with its surroundings (soil, fluids, other
structural parts,...)

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To this end:

Clarify what result is anticipated (e.g. overall deformation of a large


structure vs. crack propagation at a detail).

Consider, what information about the analyzed structure is available


(geometry, material, surroundings/supports, loading).

Think of suitable simplification, reduction of dimension, substructuring,


decomposition, use of symmetry.

Select suitable kinematic assumptions and dimension (truss, beam, 2-


D solid, plate, shell, 3-D solid). Bear in mind the complexity of model,
solution time, postprocessing time and visualization of results.

In complex problems, combining various kinematic assumptions may


be efficient (e.g. beam + plate). However, proper linkage of all DOF’s
must be ensured.

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Pre-analysis

Make a rough estimation of the expected result (e.g. simplified calculation by


hand).

Estimate locations of strain concentration and locations of uniform strain –


use denser mesh in locations with steeper gradients.

Run a pilot analysis with coarser mesh

compare results with the rough estimate

use the results to identify further locations of strain concentration

Refinement and analysis


Refine the hypotheses and FE mesh as necessary based on the previous
step and run the analysis

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Preliminary results check

Always check after analysis – plot magnified displacement of the model,


display the stresses (generalized stresses), reactions

Compare results with the rough estimate.

Check that loading and kinematic boundary conditions act as expected


(stress under loading must correspond to imposed distributed load, outer
reactions must be in equilibrium with imposed loading).

Check for possible discontinuities due to improper meshing (overlaps of


mesh, unexpected stress concentrations)

If check fails, find and correct mistakes in input and return to “Refinement
and analysis”.

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Example:

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Rigorous results check

Analysis verification:

“Is the mathematical formulation solved correctly?”

Check error/accuracy/convergence messages.

Check mesh quality criteria.

... ...

Analysis validation

“Does the mathematical model correctly represent the physical


reality?”

Validation of modeling hypotheses ... see SA2 Lecture 1.

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Results processing and presentation

FE analysis usually produces huge amount of data. These must be sorted


out and presented in an easy-to-understand way.

Some examples:

plot of deformed configuration

contour plots of field variables (displacement, stress, strain,


components or principal values, ...)

vector plots (displacements, principal stress, strain, ...)

line plots of field variables along line, section

time history plots/tables of values in given points

extreme values of field variables

... ... (see iDiana intro for examples)

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Example 1 Perform analysis of a slab.
Uniform distributed load
8 kN/m2 (incl. self weight)

Thickness: 0.15 m
Plan: 2 x 3 m

Material (R/C):
E = 30 GPa
ν = 0.2

Supports allow free


sliding and rotation
but no vertical movement
(up or down)

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Model 1 : plate elements

mesh 1

3-node plate elements


6 DOF/node (3 translations
+ 3 rotations)

mesh 2

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Model 1 : plate elements

Boundary conditions
ϕx, ϕy, ϕz ... free
u, v, w ... fixed
u, v, ϕx, ϕy, ϕz ... free
w ... fixed u, v, ϕx, ϕy, ϕz ... free
w ... fixed

v, ϕx, ϕy, ϕz ... free


u, w ... fixed

u, v, ϕx, ϕy, ϕz ... free


w ... fixed

Note: these point BC are imposed to prevent rigid body movement in slab plane.

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Model 1 : plate elements - results
Deflection

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Model 1 : plate elements - results
Bending moment intensities

Mesh 1: Element 59
mx my
Int point 1 -9.24586E-04 -5.78145E-03
Int point 2 -4.27317E-04 -5.93220E-03
Int point 3 -7.25490E-04 -5.66659E-03
Average: -6.92464E-4 -0.00579341

Mesh 2: Element 431


mx my
Int point 1 -5.05462E-05 -5.63296E-03
Int point 2 -5.62267E-04 -5.64567E-03
Int point 3 -3.10636E-04 -5.64596E-03
Average -9.23449e-4 -0.00564153

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Model 1 : plate elements - results
Stress
... may be not directly accessible,
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calculated from σ y , ext = ± 2
my
h

σy,ext = ±1.54491 MPa

σy,ext = ±1.50441 MPa

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Model 1 : plate elements - results

Deformed shape and reactions (notice corner forces)

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Model 1 : plate elements - results

Deformed shape and reactions (notice corner forces)

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Model 2 : solid elements
mesh 1

20-node isoparametric solid elements


3 DOF/node (3 translations)

mesh 2

mesh 3

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Model 2 : solid elements

Boundary conditions
u, v, w ... fixed
u, v ... free u, v ... free
w ... fixed w ... fixed

z, w u, w ... fixed

y, v u, v ... free
x, u
w ... fixed

Note: these point BC are imposed to prevent rigid body movement in slab plane.

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Model 2 : solid elements - results
Deflection

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Model 2 : solid elements - results

Deformed shape and reactions (notice corner forces)

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Model 2 : solid elements - results

Bending stress σy

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Models 1, 2, 3: comparison

Deflection

y-axis

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Models 1, 2, 3: comparison

Model Extreme stress (MPa)


Plate 1 ±1.54
Plate 2 ±1.50
Solid 1 ±1.64*)
Solid 2 ±1.57*)
Solid 3 ±1.59*)

*) extrapolated values

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Example 2
Perform a stress analysis of a wall exposed to uniform load, self-weight and
foundation settlement. Identify the locations and magnitudes of maximum tension.

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Initial calculation
4-node isoparematric quarilateral plane stress elements (Q4)

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Deformed mesh

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Principal stresses

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Maximum principal stress

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Maximum principal stress – smoothed plot

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Convergence study – meshes

Q4 elements

Q9 elements

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Convergence of extreme displacement Convergence of max. princ. stress

-7.008E-03 3.0
-7.010E-03
2.5
-7.012E-03
Q4
-7.014E-03 Q4 2.0

sig_max
Q9
-7.016E-03 Q9
u_ext

1.5 Q9a
-7.018E-03 Q9a
-7.020E-03 1.0
-7.022E-03
0.5
-7.024E-03
-7.026E-03 0.0
100 1000 10000 100000 100 1000 10000 100000
DOF
DOF

Mesh El. type # of elem # of DOF u_ext sig_max


1 Q4 106 262 -7.0239E-03 1.671
2 Q4 408 914 -7.0148E-03 2.328
3 Q4 1616 3426 -7.0107E-03 2.631
4 Q9 106 946 -7.0128E-03 2.346
5 Q9 408 3458 -7.0095E-03 2.606
6 Q9 1616 13314 -7.0090E-03 2.760
4r Q9 378 3114 -7.0097E-03 2.782

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Maximum principal stress

Q4 elements

Q9 elements

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Maximum principal stress

Q4 elements

Q9 elements

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Maximum principal stress

Q4 elements

Q9 elements

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Local refinement

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Convergence of extreme displacement Convergence of max. princ. stress
-7.008E-03 3.0
-7.010E-03
2.5
-7.012E-03
Q4
-7.014E-03 Q4 2.0

sig_max
Q9
-7.016E-03 Q9
u_ext

1.5 Q9a
-7.018E-03 Q9a
-7.020E-03 1.0
-7.022E-03
0.5
-7.024E-03
-7.026E-03 0.0
100 1000 10000 100000 100 1000 10000 100000
DOF
DOF

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References
K.J. Bathe: Finite Element Procedures, Prentice Hall, Inc., 1996
ADINA R&D, Inc.: Theory and modeling guide, Volume I: ADINA, November
2006
TNO DIANA BV.: DIANA User's Manual -- Release 9.3 -- Teacher Edition, 2008,

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Remark
This document is designated solely as a teaching aid for students of CTU in Prague,
Faculty of Civil Engineering, course Numerické metody v inženýrských úlohách.
This document is being continuously updated and corrected by the author. Despite
author’s utmost effort, it may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Limitation on Liability. Except to the extent required by applicable law, in no event
will the author be liable to any user of this document on any legal theory for any special,
incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages arising out of the use of the
work, even if author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
This is a copyrighted document © Petr Kabele, 2007 – 2012

Last modified: 28.11.2012

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