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# 2.

Introduction to FEA
&
General Steps of FEA
2.1. Definitions
2.2. Typical Steps In F.E. Analysis
2.3. Modeling Requirements for FE
2.1. Definitions

## What is Finite Element?

 The Finite Element Method
A CAE technique in which a model of physical
configuration is developed. It permits computer modeling
prior to prototype building.

##  Finite Element Analysis

A group of numerical methods for approximating the solution of
governing equations of any continuous system.
2.1. Definitions
Example of problems that can be treated by FE:

• Structural Analysis
• Heat Transfer
• Fluid Flow
• Mass Transport
• Electromagnetic Potential
• Acoustic
• Bioengineering
2.1. Definitions
The primary commercial FE codes
 NASTRAN for aircraft industry
 ANSYS for nuclear industry
 ABAQUS
 MARC
 SAP
 PATRAN
2.2. Typical Steps in FE

## Steps 1 - 5 are typically performed in sequence

using Computer Aided Engineering tools.

## The flow chart of the process using CAE tools

is:
2.2. Typical Steps in FE
5 steps involved in the procedure

## 1. Computer modeling, mesh

generation Pre-Processor
2. Definition of materials properties.

3. Assemble of elements
Solver
defined

## 5. Solution using the required solver

and display results/data Post-Processor
2.2. Typical Steps in FE

## 1. Divide / discretize the structure or

continuum into finite elements.

## This is typically done using mesh

generation program, called pre-processor.
2.2. Typical Steps in FE

## Ex.: Nodal loads associated with all elements,

deformation states that are allowed.
2.2. Typical Steps in FE

## 3. Assemble elements to obtain FEA model

2.2. Typical Steps in FE

## 4. Specify the load and boundary conditions.

Constraints, force, known temperatures, etc.

## 5. Solve simultaneous linear algebraic equations

to obtain the solutions.
2.3. Modeling Requirements

1. Model geometry

2. Material Properties

3. Meshing (s)

5. Boundary conditions
2.3. Modeling Requirements
1. Model Geometry
simplify from actual dimensions

##  Is it necessary to model all the details of the

components?
 The problem can be reduced to part-modeling via
symmetry?
2.3. Modeling Requirements
2. Material Properties
Standard or based on test data

##  Can we use standard data for the selected materials?

 Elastic modulus, poisson ratio, thermal conductivity,
electromagnetic permeability, etc.
 If it is not standard materials, do we need to confirm the
properties first through testing?
 Composite materials, new types of alloys, honeycomb
structure, etc.
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing

## practical considerations in the meshing can lead to

better accuracy of results and efficient computation.

• Aspect ratio
• Element shape
• Use of symmetry
• Mesh refinement
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (examples)

2-D meshing

3-D meshing
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)

* Aspect Ratio
 is defined as the ratio of the longest dimension
to the shortest dimension of a quadrilateral element.
 as the aspect ratio increases, the inaccuracy
of the solution increases.

## Large aspect ratio moderate aspect ratio good aspect ratio

2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
* Aspect Ratio

exact solution

FEA results

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30
ca f ot necr e P

AR

## Aspect Ratio, (AR) = longest dimension/shortest dimension

2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)

* Element shape
 An element yields best results if its shape is
compact and regular.

## • Elements with poor shapes tend to yield

poor results.
• in general try to:
1. Maintain aspect ratio as low as
possible (closest to 1)
2. Maintain the corner angles of
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)

* Element shape
Examples of elements with poor shape

## Very large and very

small corner angles

With Large and small angles

## Large aspect ratio

2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)

* Element shape
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)

Use of Symmetry

## Then we can either:

Model the problem with less number of elements.
Use a finer meshing with less labor and computational cost.
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
Use of Symmetry
Example on application of symmetry

-F F

## Dog bone specimen

2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
Use of Symmetry

## Modeling half of the flow over a circular pipe

2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
Use of Symmetry

Not only the
geometry,
the forces as well
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
•Mesh refinement
 Use a relatively fine discretization in regions where you expect
a high gradient of strains and/or stresses.

##  Regions to watch out for high stress gradients are:

• Near entrant corners or sharply curved edges.
• In the vicinity of concentrated (point) loads, concentrated
reactions, cracks and cutouts.

##  In the interior of structures with abrupt changes in thickness,

material properties or cross sectional areas.
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
•Mesh refinement

Examples.
2.3. Modeling Requirements
3. Meshing (Practical Considerations)
•Mesh refinement

Examples

## Refine mesh use near internal hole and sharp angle

2.3. Modeling Requirements

• Is the force applied to the whole body ? (Inertia,
gravity)
• What is the estimated magnitude of forces (and
direction)

100 N

2.3. Modeling Requirements
 In practical structural problems, distributed loads are
more common than concentrated (point) loads.
Distributed loads may be of surface or volume type.
 Distributed surface loads are associated with actions
such as wind or water pressure, snow weight on roofs, lift
in airplanes, live loads on bridges, and the like. They are
measured in force per unit area.
 Volume loads (called body forces in continuum
mechanics) are associated with own weight (gravity),
inertial, centrifugal, thermal, pre-stress or
electromagnetic effects. They are measured in force per
unit volume.
2.3. Modeling Requirements

Examples

## Structure deformation due to gravity (Volume load)

2.3. Modeling Requirements
5. Boundary conditions

## • Support locations and point of contacts.

• Types of support.
• Fully constraints or free to
translate/rotate in
certain direction?

• Friction?

boundaries?

## • Flow parameters at inlets and outlets.

2.3. Modeling Requirements
Numerical Method?
 The finite element method is a numerical method for
solving problems of engineering and mathematical
physics.
 In FEA, the continuum is divided into finite number of elements
and the governing equations are represented in matrix form.
 Method for solutions developed to solve complex mathematical
problems:
• Runge-Kutta, Gauss-Seidel, Galerkin, Rayleigh, Ritz, Forward
Difference, etc.
2. Global Stiffness Matrix

1. Physical problem
3. Governing Equations
 In obtaining the approximate solution, the continuum is
discretized into finite elements.
 Useful for problems with complicated geometries,
solutions can not be obtained.
Approximation?
 Finite element analysis is broadly defined as a group of
numerical methods for approximating the governing
equations of any continuous system.
 For a regular types bodies/surfaces (constant cross section,
cylinder, square, etc) , it might be possible to find closed-loop
analytical solution.
 For irregular types bodies/surfaces, the boundaries are irregular
and the analytical solution might not exist.
Discretize?
 In obtaining the approximate solution, the
continuum is discretized into finite elements.
 The structure/parts/components are divided into
finite number of elements.
 The selection of elements types are based on
many factors – geometry, processing power, types

1. Actual geometry & loading 2. Discretization (Meshing) 3. Solution (Von Mises Stress)
Discretize?
 The elements are interconnected at points common to
two or more elements (nodes or nodal points) and/or
boundary lines and/or surfaces.
 The transfer of load (force, displacement, heat flux, etc)
between elements occurred at the common nodes
between elements.

Node

Elements
Discretize?
The transfer of load (force, displacement, heat flux, etc) between
elements occurred at the common nodes between elements.
Primary Assumptions in
FEA
Typical Steps in FEA
Matrix Operation Review
Vectors & Matrix

Examples
3 x 1: vector 4 x 4: matrix

1 1 0 9 6
6 0
{u} = − 2
8 4
  [K] =  
2 1 6 3
3.2  
6 8 4 0
Matrix Definition
The elements of a matrix are defined by their row and their column
position:
 k11 k12 
[k] = 
k 21 k 22 
Note, the 1st subscript is the row position and the 2nd subscript is the
column position.
Therefore, k ij is the element in the ith row and the jth column.
Element Definition

## If the matrix elements are defined as:

B1,1=1, B1,2=3, B2,1=4, B2,2=5

## The matrix B is:

1 3
[ B] =  
4 5
Matrix Multiplication

## Matrices can be multiplied by another matrix, but only if the left-

hand matrix has the same number of columns as the right hand
matrix has rows.
A*B=C
1 4 3  7 12
A= 
5 2 6 B = 11 18
 9 10

 78 74 
C= 
111 136 
Identity Matrix

The product of a Matrix, A, and it’s inverse, A-1 is the identity matrix, I. Only
square matrices can be inverted.

3 5
4 5 A =2

2
−1
A=  − 1 2 
 2 3  

1 0 1 0
−1
A* A =  I = 
0 1  0 1 
 
Not all square matrices are invertible. A matrix has an inverse if and only if it
is nonsingular (its determinant is nonzero)
Announcement
Lecture & Lab
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Floor.
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