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Analysis

of
Discrete Systems

Jayadeep U. B.
M.E.D., NIT Calicut

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Introduction
What are Discrete Systems?
The systems, which can be considered as an assembly of
discrete elements, like trusses, electrical resistance networks,
assembly of springs etc., are called discrete systems.
Discrete systems depends on finite number of parameters, like
the displacements and forces at the joints in a truss, as against
a continuous variation of displacement in a continuous
system.
From analysis perspective, the significant difference between
a discrete system and a continuous system is that the behavior
of discrete systems is governed by algebraic equations
connecting the system parameters, while continuous systems
lead to differential equations.
FEM is a method for continuous systems. However, the
fundamental idea is to convert the D.E. to algebraic equations
Hence, we will learn the discrete system analysis first.
Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

First 1D Example Assembly of Springs


k(1)

k(2)
F3

The elements of a discrete system are directly obvious


Springs 1 & 2 above.
A set of discrete parameters (called System Variables) can be
easily identified the nodal displacements here.
Using the equation for springs in series:

F
F
F
u3 (1) (2)
k
k
K
k (1) k (2)
K (1)
k k (2)
Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Considering a general element (e), with nodes i & j and
nodal displacements & forces as shown below:
k(e)
uj

ui
fi(e)

fj(e)

Note: The directions shown are for the forces on the element
by the nodes force on the nodes by the element will have
opposite sign.
Therefore, we have:

fi (e) f j (e)
f i ( e ) k ( e ) (ui u j )
f j ( e ) k ( e ) (u j ui ) k ( e ) (ui u j )
Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Writing in Matrix form:

f i ( e)
k (e)
( e )
(e)
f

k ( e )
( e )
k

ui

u j

We can write for elements 1 & 2:

f1(1)
k (1)
(1)
(1)

k
f 2

f 2 (2)
k (2)
(2)
(2)

k
f
3

k (1) u1

k (1) u 2

k (2) u 2

(2)
k u 3

Consider the equilibrium of nodes 1, 2 & 3, with externally


applied nodal loads F1, F2 & F3:
f1(1)

F1
1
Lecture - 01

F2

f2(1)

f2(2)
2

f3(2)

F3
3

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Example contd.
Therefore, we can write for our problem:

F1 k (1) (u1 u2 )
F2 k (1) (u1 u2 ) k (2) (u2 u3 )
F3 k (2) (u2 u3 )
Writing in the matrix form:

k (1)
F1


(1)
F

k
2

F
0
3

f1(1)

F1
1
Lecture - 01

k (1)
k (1) k (2)
k (2)

k (2)
k (2)

u1

u2
u
3

F2

f2(1)

f2(2)
2

f3(2)

F3
3

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Writing in the matrix form gives the Global System:

k (1)

k (1)

(1)
(1)
(2)

k
k

(2)
0

K {u} { f }

0

k (2)
k (2)

u1

u 2
u 3

F1

F2
F
3
Secondary
Variables
Primary Variables

Is this system solvable?


The global stiffness matrix [K] is singular (Sum of first and
second row = -1 * third row) . Rank = 2.
The solution exists only if the Augmented Matrix also has
Rank = 2, i.e., F1 + F2 + F3 = 0.
We know that, F1 + F2 + F3 = 0, is the condition for global
equilibrium. Hence the solution exists.

Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
The Global System:

K {u} { f }
Only two independent equations Hence we can not
uniquely solve for three unknowns.
We can express u2 & u3 as u1 + (a function of applied loads
and stiffness) one rigid body motion.
In our problem, we have one primary variable and one
secondary variable at each node.
This duality of primary and secondary variables is true in all
problems, even when there are more than one primary
variable per node.
In other words, corresponding to each primary variable there
will be a secondary variable.
Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Applying the Boundary conditions (B.C.):

k (1)

(1)

k (1)
k (1) k (2)
k (2)

k (2)
k (2)

u1 0

2 ?
u ?
3

F1 ?

2 0

F
F

3
3

To solve the system, we can use the last two equations:

(k (1) k (2) )u2 k (2)u3 0


k (2)u2 k (2)u3 F3
On solving, we get:

k (1)u2 F3 u2

u3

Lecture - 01

k (2)

F3

k (1)

(1)
(2)
k

k
F k (2) F3 u
F3
3
(1)
3
(1) (2)
k

k k

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Matrix Operation for Applying the B.C.s:

k (1)

(1)
(2)
0
k

(2)
0

0

k (2)
k (2)

F1 k (1)u1
u1

(1)
u 2 F2 k u1
u 3
F3 0u 1

We need to solve the system:

F2 k (1)u 1
k (2) u 2

(2)
(2)
k u 3
k
F3

So, if the prescribed primary variable is zero, applying the


B.C.s is equivalent to deleting the rows & columns
corresponding to that primary & secondary variable.
k (1) k (2)

If the prescribed primary variable is NOT zero, then we have


to include its effect in the right side vector.
Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Other examples of Discrete 1D systems: 1) Electrical resistance
networks
Elements: Resistances
Primary variables: Voltages at Junctions
Secondary variables: Currents
Governing Equations: Ohms Law, Kirchhoffs Laws
2) Piping (Fluid Flow) Networks
Elements: Pipes or Conduits
Primary variables: Heads at junctions
Secondary variables: Flow rates
Governing Equations: Laminar or Turbulent flow relations
3) 1D Structural Systems (Springs, Links, columns with steps )
Lecture - 01

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Second 1D Example
Spring System again!!!:

4
3
Considering a general element (e) with nodes i & j:

k (e)

(e)

Elemental StiffnessMatrix
Lecture - 02

f i ( e )
k ( e ) u i
(e)
(e)
k u j
f j
Elemental Force Vector
Elemental Displacement Vector

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Writing in a general form:

kii ( e )
(e)
k ji

kij ( e ) u i

( e )
k jj u j

f i ( e )

f j ( e )

In our case:

kii ( e ) k jj ( e ) k ( e ) &
kij ( e ) k ji ( e ) k ( e )
What does kij(e) mean?

kii ( e )
(e)
k ji
Lecture - 02

kij ( e ) 0 fi ( e ) kij ( e)

(e)
( e )
(e)
k jj 1 f j k jj

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Consider element 1:

k11(1)

(1)
k
31

k13(1) u 1

k33(1) u 3

f 1(1)
(1)
f 3

Contribution of element 1 to the Global System:

k11(1)

0
k31(1)

0 k13(1) u 1 F1

0
0 u 2 F2
0 k33(1) u 3 F3

Add the contribution from element 2.

k11(1) k11(2 )

(2)
k
21

(1)

k
31

Lecture - 02

k12 (2)
k22 (2)
0

k13(1)

0
k33(1)

u 1

u 2
u
3

F1

F2
F
3

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Add the contribution from element 3.

k11(1) k11(2) k11(3)

(2)
(3)
k

k
21
21

(1)

k
31

k12 (2) k12 (3)


k22 (2) k22 (3)
0

k13(1)

0
k33(1)

u 1 F1

u 2 F2
u F
3 3

Add the contribution from element 4.


k11(1) k11(2) k11(3)

(2)
(3)
k

k
21
21

(1)

k
31

k12 (2) k12 (3)


k22(2) k22 (3) k22 (4)
k32 (4 )

Global Stiffness Matrix

k13(1)

k23(4)
k33(1) k33(4)

Global Displacement
-Vector

u 1 F1

u 2 F2
u F
3 3

Global Force
Vector

What does a 0 in the Global Stiffness Matrix mean?


Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
In our specific problem: Study the Stiffness matrix
k (1) k (2) k (3)

(2)
(3)

k (1)

k (2) k (3)
k (2) k (3) k (4)
k (4)

k (1) u 1 F1

k (4) u 2 F2
k (1) k (4) u 3 F3

Symmetric Matrix.
Sum of the elements in every row equals to zero. This implies
rigid body motion. Hence, it is true only if unit (or constant)
value for displacements in the global displacement vector
causes a rigid body motion.
Sum of the elements in every column equals to zero. This
implies equilibrium of a node. Note: This case corresponds to
unit displacement applied to one node and hence, the forces
developed external to the body should be in equilibrium.
Another important property of stiffness matrix in FEM is the
Sparse nature It is not obvious in this small system.
Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
Applying the B.C.s: In our problem one obvious method is 0
1
0 k (2) k (3) k (4)

0
k (4)

0
k (4)
k (1) k (4)

u1 * 0
u1

0
u 2
u

3
F

Let the data in our problem be:

k (1) /mm, k (2) /mm,


k (3) /mm, k (4) /mm & F 100 N

0
Substituting the values: 1 0
0 150 60


0 60 160

u1

u 2
u 3

0

0
100

Solving we get: u T 0 0.294 0.735


The reactions and elemental forces to be calculated from
elemental equations.
Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
As mentioned earlier, if the prescribed B.C. is not zero, its
contribution should be considered in right-side vector
(Subtract the product of prescribed B.C. and corresponding
column from the right-side vector).
The method above is not used in FE software due to the
difficulty in manipulating the terms of stiffness matrix,
especially for very large systems.
There are two generally used methods: Lagrange Multiplier
Method and Penalty Parameter (Function) Method.
The theoretical foundations of these methods will be
discussed along with Variational Calculus formulation. Here,
we shall see how to use these methods to enforce the B.C.
In the Lagrange Multiplier method, we introduce a new
primary variable: The Lagrange Multiplier.
Let u1 = u1* = 0 be the specified B.C. We add a new equation
to the system, corresponding to the prescribed B.C.
Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
The new system is:
k (1) k (2) k (3)

(2)
(3)

k (2) k (3)
k (2) k (3) k (4)

k (1)

k (4)

k (1)

(4)
k

k (1) k (4)

0

u 1

u 2
u 3

F1
F
2

F3
u1 *

In this case, the Lagrange Multiplier method can be thought


as equivalent to bringing the unknown reaction (F1) to the left
side and substituting the values of B.C.:
k (1) k (2) k (3)

k (2) k (3)

k (1)

k (2) k (3)
k (1)
1

k (2) k (3) k (4)


k (4)
0

k (4)
k (1) k (4)
0

Lecture - 02

0
0

0
u 1
u
0
2

u
F

3 F
3
F 1 u1* 0

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
The resulting system is unsymmetric. To retain the symmetry
of stiffness matrix, the unknown reaction is replaced by a new
variable, called the Lagrange Multiplier:
k (1) k (2) k (3)

(2)
(3)

k (1)

k (2) k (3)
k (2) k (3) k (4)
k (4)
0

k (1)
k (4)
k (1) k (4)
0

0
0

u 1
u
2

u 3

3 F

u1* 0

Examining the system, we can understand that Lagrange


Multiplier will evaluate to -1* the reaction at node 1.

Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
If we have multiple number of B.C., introduce same number
of new equations and Lagrange Multipliers. For example, in a
system, u1 and u3 correspond to prescribed B.C.:
k (1) k (2) k (3)

(2)
(3)

k (1)

Lecture - 02

k (2) k (3)
k (2) k (3) k (4)
k (4)
0
0

k (1)
k (4)
k (1) k (4)
0
1

1
0
0
0
0

0
1

0
0

u 1
u
2
u 3

1
3

0
F
2
0
u *
1
u3 *

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
In the Lagrange Multiplier method, the B.C. are exactly
satisfied (except for the other Numerical errors!).
The reactions (or the unknown secondary variable in general)
is obtained directly from the solution of the algebraic system.
However, commercial FE software do not normally use the
Lagrange Multiplier method due to:
Difficulty in changing the size of stiffness matrix
Increase in number of primary variables & size of system
Increase in Bandwidth of the stiffness matrix.

Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
In Penalty Method, the equation corresponding to the
unknown primary variable (u1 in this case) is replaced by the
equation:

(1)

k (2) k (3) u1 k (2) k (3) u2 k (1)u3 u1 *

If is a large number ( ), the above equation ensures


that the B.C. u1 = u1* is satisfied. The new system becomes:
(k (1) k (2) k (3) )

(2)
(3)

(1)

k (2) k (3)
k (2) k (3) k (4)
k (4)

k (1)

k (4)
k (1) k (4)

u 1 u1* 0

0
2

u
F
F

3
3

In practical situations, sufficient accuracy is obtained if, ,


which is known as Penalty Parameter, is a large number in
comparison with the other stiffness terms. In case of Lagrange
Multiplier method, the B.C. will be exactly satisfied.
Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

1D Examples contd.
The method can be easily extended to any number of B.C.s,
by replacing the equations corresponding to those variables.
In other words, we have to add a penalty parameter to the
diagonal term and replace the term in right-side vector by a
product of penalty parameter and prescribed value of B.C.
The penalty parameter can be same for all B.C.s (can be
different also!), while we must use different variables as
Lagrange Multipliers.
For accuracy, should be as large as possible. However, a
large value of can make the matrix ill-conditioned,
resulting in solution difficulties. This leads to some difficulty
in choosing a proper value for the penalty parameter.
The major advantage of using Penalty Method is that, it does
not introduce any new equations or variables, as in the case of
Lagrange Multiplier Method.
Lecture - 02

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Discrete Systems 2D Example


Analysis of a 2D truss:

Fy

3
Fx
Y

fj(e), uj
j

Considering a general element (e) with nodes


i & j:
(e)
u

f
1

A E
i
i
(e)

(e)
L 1 1 u j
f j
(e)

Lecture - 03

e
i

fi(e), ui

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


We can not directly assemble these elemental matrices, since
the axial directions of the elements are not matching.
There are two possibilities: The first one is to formulate the
elemental equations in the Global coordinate system itself.
This method is called the Direct Method. The elemental
equations should look like:

k11( e )
(e)
k21
k31( e )
(e)
k41

k12 ( e )
k22 ( e )
k32 ( e )
k42 ( e )

k13( e )
k23( e )
k33( e )
k43( e )

k14 ( e )

k24 ( e )
k34 ( e)
( e )
k44

u 1
v
1

u 2
v2

f1x ( e )

( e )
f1 y

(e)
f 2 x

2 y ( e )
f

2
(e)

1
Lecture - 03

u1 = 1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


For calculating elements of stiffness matrix, consider u1=1 &
no other dispts: (Assuming small deformation, i.e., = )

u1 cos u1c

(e)
(e)
(e)
A
E
A
E
A
E
(e)
f1 ( e ) ( e ) u1 cos ( e ) u1c
L
L
L
(e)
A
E 2
(e)
(e)
f1x f1 cos ( e ) c u1
L
(e)
A
E 2
(e)
k11 ( e ) c
L

(e)

u1 = 1

We get the first column of the elemental stiffness matrix:

Lecture - 03

c2

(e)
A E cs
L( e ) c 2

cs

0 0 0

0 0 0

0 0 0

0 0 0

u 1
v1

u 2
v2

f1x ( e )

( e )
f

1 y

(e)
f
2 x

y (e)
f
2

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


The complete elemental stiffness matrix:

f1x ( e )
c2
cs c 2 cs u 1

v
( e )
2
2
(e)
f1 y
s
cs s 1
A E cs
(e)

(e)
2
2
f 2 x
L c cs c
cs u 2

(e)
2
2

f
v

cs

s
cs
s

2
2y

2
(e)

u1 = 1

Home Work: Verify all the elements of the above stiffness


matrix.

Lecture - 03

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


In the second method, the elemental equations are formulated
in a convenient Local Coordinate System (can be different
for each element).
In our problem, we can orient the x-axis along the axis of an
element to get a convenient local coordinate system.
The elemental equations in this local coordinate system will
be:
f2, u2
AE 1 1 u1 ' f1 '

2

u
'
f
'

1
1
L
2 2
Note: For convenience, superscript (e)
is not shown in the eqns of this
1
section.
f1, u1
Lecture - 03

(e)

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


We have the relation between displacements in the local &
global coordinate systems:
)

u 1



u1 '
c s 0 0 v1

[


]
0 0 c s u 2
u2 '

v2

f1x
c
f
s
1 y

0
f 2 x

f 2 y
0
Lecture - 03

u1
v1
u2

v1
u

co

s(

u1

v2

u1

Transformation Matrix

0
0 f1 '
T f1 '
[ ]

c f 2 '
f2 '

f1y = f1 sin()

Similarly for the forces:

(
n
i
s

f1

f1x = f1 cos()

v1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


Therefore, we can write:

AE 1 1

L 1 1

u 1
v
u1 '
AE 1 1
1
[ ]

u2 '
L 1 1
u 2
v2

f1 '
AE T
[ ]
[ ]
L
f 2 '
T

Lecture - 03

1 1
1 1

u 1
v
1
[ ]
u 2
v2

f1 '

f2 '

f1x
f
1y

f2x
f2 y

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


Substituting:

c
s
AE
L 0

0
u 1
0 1 1 c s 0 0 v1

c 1 1 0 0 c s u 2

v2
s

f1x
f
1y

f2x
f2 y

f1x
c 2 cs u 1
f
v
2
cs s 1 1 y

2
c
cs u 2 f 2 x
2
cs
s v2 f 2 y
Home Work 1: Verify all elements of above stiffness matrix.
Home Work 2: Find the stiffness matrix, if the link element
is three-dimensional (Hint: Use Method of Transformations
& the direction cosines l, m & n)
c2
cs

s2
AE cs
L c 2 cs

cs

Lecture - 03

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


Some Comments on Computer Implementation:
In a program, it is generally difficult to identify the direction
of displacement or force.
The forces (or displacements) will be written as a single array,
irrespective of the directions. Hence, we can write:

kii ( e )
(e)
k ji
kki ( e )

(e)
k
li

kij ( e )
k jj ( e )

kik ( e )
k jk ( e )

kkj ( e )

kkk ( e )

klj ( e )

klk ( e )

kil ( e )
( e )
k jl
kkl ( e)
( e )
kll

u i
u
j

u k
u l

f i ( e )
( e )
f j

(e)
f k

f l ( e )

In other words, the x-displacement of node 2 is the 3rd element


in the displacement vector (array).

Lecture - 03

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


Assembly to get the Global System: Contribution from element 1
(Note: Element 1 connects nodes 1 & 2 i.e., global d.o.f. 1,2,3,4)

kii (1)

kij (1)

kik (1)

kil (1)

(1)
k
ji
kki (1)
(1)
kli

k jj (1)

k jk (1)

k jl (1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

kkk
klk (1)

kkl
kll (1)

Lecture - 03

kkj
klj (1)

0 0

0 0
0 0

0 0
0 0

0 0

u 1
u
2
u 3

u 4
u 5

u 6

F1
F
2

F5

F6

F3

F4

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


Assembly to get the Global System: Contribution from element 2
(Note: Element 2 connects nodes 1 & 3 i.e., global d.o.f. 1,2,5,6)
kii (1) kii (2)
(1)
(2)
k

k
ji
ji

kki (1)

kli (1)

kki (2)

kli (2)

Lecture - 03

kij (1) kij (2)


k jj (1) k jj (2)
kkj (1)
klj (1)
kkj (2)
klj (2)

kik (1)
k jk (1)
kkk (1)
klk (1)
0
0

kil (1)
k jl (1)
kkl (1)
kll (1)
0
0

kik (2)
k jk (2)
0
0
kkk (2)
klk (2)

kil (2)

k jl (2)
0

0
kkl (2)

(2)
kll

u 1
u
2
u 3

u 4
u 5

u 6

F1
F
2
F3

F4
F5

F6

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Analysis of 2D Truss contd.


Finally, add the Contribution from element 3 (Note: Element 3
connects nodes 2 & 3 i.e., the global d.o.f. 3,4,5,6).
kii (1) kii (2)
(1)
(2)
k ji k ji

kki (1)

kli (1)

kki (2)

kli (2)

Lecture - 03

kij (1) kij (2)


k jj (1) k jj (2)
kkj (1)
klj (1)
kkj (2)
klj (2)

kik (1)
k jk (1)
kkk (1) kii (3)
klk (1) k ji (3)
kki (3)
kli (3)

kil (1)
k jl (1)
kkl (1) kij (3)
kll (1) k jj (3)
kkj (3)
klj (3)

kik (2)
k jk (2)
kik (3)
k jk (3)
kkk (2) kkk (3)
klk (2) klk (3)

kil (2)

k jl (2)
kil (3)

k jl (3)
kkl (2) kkl (3)

kll (2) kll (3)

u 1
u
2
u 3

u 4
u 5

u 6

F1
F
2
F3

F4
F5

F6

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut

Concluding Remarks
In the discrete systems, the elements and nodes are easily
identified No Special Discretization procedure required.
The governing equations are the linear algebraic equations in
terms of system variables Directly Solvable.
Some people do not consider Discrete system analysis as part
of FEM, since there is no numerical approximation of the
distributions of primary variables.
In an introductory FEM course, the purposes served by
studying discrete system analysis are:
1. Terminology elemental & global stiffness matrix etc.
2. Concepts Elements, Nodes, Primary variables etc.
3. The Assembly Process Global & Local Coordinates,
Global & Local Node numbering.
4. Application of Boundary Conditions & Solution.
Lecture - 03