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# Introduction to FEM

## FEM Modeling: Mesh, Loads and BCs

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 1

Introduction to FEM

Topics in Chapter 7
General Modeling Rules Finite Element Mesh Layouts Distributed Loads NbN Lumping EbE Lumping Displacement BCs suppressing rigid body motions taking advantage of symmetry and antisymmetry

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 2

Introduction to FEM

## General FEM Modeling Rules

Use the simplest elements that will do the job Never, never, never use complicated or special elements unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing Use the coarsest mesh that will capture the dominant behavior of the physical model, particularly in design situations

## 3 word summary: Keep It Simple

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 3

Introduction to FEM

## Another Justification for Simplicity

In product design situations several FEM models of increasing refinement will be set up as design evolves Ergo, do not overkill at the beginning

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 4

Introduction to FEM

## Where Finer Meshes Should be Used

entrant corners Cutouts Cracks weld Vicinity of concentrated (point) loads, and sharp contact areas

## Abrupt thickness changes

Material interfaces

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 5

Introduction to FEM

## Avoid 2D/3D Elements of Bad Aspect Ratio

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 6

Introduction to FEM

## Elements Must Not Cross Interfaces

No

OK

Physical interface

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 7

Introduction to FEM

## Element Geometry Preferences

Other things being equal, prefer in 2D: Quadrilaterals over Triangles in 3D: Bricks over Wedges Wedges over Tetrahedra

## (Elements do not file discrimination suits)

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 8

Introduction to FEM

## Node by Node (NbN) Distributed Load Lumping

Nodal force f3 at 3 is set to P, the magnitude of the crosshatched area under the load curve. This area extends halfway over adjacent element sides

;; ;; ;; ;;
3

f3 = P 4 5 6

Boundary

## Finite element mesh

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 9

Introduction to FEM

## Element by Element (EbE) Distributed Load Lumping

Force P has magnitude of crosshatched area under load curve and acts at its centroid

f2e 1

e

f 2 = (b/L )P

C
e

f3e = (a/Le)P

f3e

2
4 5 6 Boundary

P
a b

## Finite element mesh

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 10

Introduction to FEM

EbE Shortcut for Linearly Varying Line Load (Bypasses Centroid Calculation)

Le (2q +q ) fi = 6 j i
e

qi

## ;;;;; ;;;;; ;;;;; ;;;;; ;;;;;

e

qj Le (q +2q ) fj = i j
e 6

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 11

Introduction to FEM

## Essential Two types Natural

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 12

Introduction to FEM

## Boundary Conditions Essential vs. Natural

Recipe: 1. If a BC involves one or more DOF in a direct way, it is essential and goes to the Left Hand Side (LHS) of Ku = f 2. Otherwise it is natural and goes to the Right Hand Side (RHS) of Ku = f

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 13

Introduction to FEM

## Minimum Support Conditions to Suppress Rigid Body Motions in 2D

;;; ;; ;

(a)

(b)

y B

(c)
B

;; ;;
A

;; ;;

;; ;; ;
A

;;; ;;
A

; ;
x

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 14

Introduction to FEM

## ;; ;; ;; ;;; ;; ; ;;; ;;; ; ;;; ;;; ;; ;;;;;

y B A C z

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 15

;; ;; ;;
x

Introduction to FEM

## Visualizing Symmetry and Antisymmetry Conditions in 2D

(a)

Symmetry line

(b)

Antisymmetry line

## A" displacement vectors

A' A

A"

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 16

Introduction to FEM

## Example of Application of Symmetry BCs

y
(a) A C B D

(b)

; ;; ; ; ;
IFEM Ch 7 Slide 17

; ;

A C

B D

Introduction to FEM

y
(a) A B

(b)

## ;; ;;;; ;; ;; ;; ;;;; ;;;;

A B C

Vertical (y) motion of one node such as C or D may be constrained to suppress y-RBM

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 18

Introduction to FEM

## "Breaking Up" Point Loads at Symmetry BCs

y

(a)
A B D

(b)

P/2 P/2

P/2 P/2

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 19

;; ;; ; ; ; ;

; ; ;

(c)

P/2

Introduction to FEM

## "Breaking Up" Point Loads at Antisymmetry BCs

(A trickier problem)
y

A C

B D

;; ;; ;; ;; ;; ;;

P/2

IFEM Ch 7 Slide 20

;; ;; ;; ;; ;; ;;
P/2

; ; ;

2P

; ; ;