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# Introduction to Finite Element

Methods (Structural)

## Punit Arora (49th OCES, Mechanical )

RSD, BARC
Extn: 27139
punit@barc.gov.in
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Course content: (15-18 Lectures)
1. Analogy between heat conduction and bar structural problem.
2. Principle of minimization of potential energy: Single spring/ multiple spring model
3. Bar structure subjected to traction load, volumetric force, point load, initial thermal strain and
Truss structures
4. Euler-Bernaulli’s beam theory and its FE formulation, Timoshenko beam theory, Frame
structures
5. General Elasticity material matrix, general state of stress/ strain
6. 2D membrane structures: plane stress, plane strain and axisymmetric conditions
7. Different types of 2D elements, their shape functions, FE formulations
8. Convergence criterion, types of refinement
9. Iso-parametric, sub-parametric, super-parametric formulations
10. Ill-conditioning, generic comments on the shape of elements

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References:
1. Introduction to Finite element in Engineering by Chandrupatla and
Belagundu.
2. Introduction to Finite Element Methods by Abel and Desai.
3. Finite Element Methods with applications in Engineering by Prof. Desai,
Eldho, Shah.
4. Concepts and Applications of Finite Element Analyses by R.D. Cook
5. Advanced topics in Finite Element Analysis in Structures by M. Asghar Bhatti
6. NPTEL lectures on Finite Element Methods by Prof. R. Krishnakumar, IITM,
Lectures 14-Lecture24

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Marking Scheme: Total 65 Marks (15-18 Lectures)
1. Assignment(s): 5 marks (During the course)

## 2. Group Project: 10 Marks (First Week of January)

3. Exam: 50 Marks

TOTAL: 65 Marks

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Finite element methods

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FEM in nutshell: small Revision

## FEM is a numerical method (approximate method) to

solve the differential equations arising out of
mathematical modeling of Engg/Physical problems: Stress,
Thermal, Fluid etc.

Why FEM?
FEM is most widely used computer simulation method in
engineering, No geometric restrictions, Materials
properties may vary from one element to another,
Approximation is easily improved by grading mesh, Closely

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FEM in nutshell: small Revision

## FEM software packages are used by engineers

worldwide in all fields of engineering: Structural,
Thermal, Fluid (CFD, Acoustics, ...).

## Some of industries in which FEM used: Aerospace,

Automotive, Biomedical, Bridges & Buildings,
Electronics, Heavy Equipment & Machinery, Sporting
goods and nuclear applications

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FEM in nutshell: small Revision

## Applications of FEM in Nuclear engineering

Equilibrium problems: Analysis of nuclear pressure vessels and
in reactor components; fracture mechanics analysis
Eigen value problems: Natural frequencies and stability of
containment structures
Dynamic/ Transient problems: Response of reactor
temperature distribution in reactor component e.g. thermal
analysis of reactor structures
ANSYS, ABAQUS, COSMOS (FEA)
PATRAN, HYPERMESH (Pre/Post)
DYNA3D, LSDYNA (Impact)

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FEM in nutshell: small Revision

## Basic steps to FE Analysis

1) The domain of the problem is divided into small sub-domains
called finite elements. The collection of elements is called FE mesh.
2) Over each element, the physical quantity (e.g. temperature or
displacement) is approximated by functions (polynomial) –defined
in terms of the node values
3) Algebraic equations relating physical quantities at the nodes of
the elements are developed
4) The element equations are assembled using continuity and/or
balance of physical quantities
5) Apply B.C’s, Loads to solve the system of equations
6) Post process the results to get the derived quantities, stresses,
strains, flux etc.
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FEM in nutshell: small Revision

Basics
In element e,
u
ue(xe)=a0+a1*xe

ue(xe)=N1u1+N2u2
Use Galerkin method, Min.P.E etc
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
u2 e Get, Element level equations
[ke]{ue}={fe}

u1
4 5 Assemble all element equations to get
e global system of equations
[K]{U}={F}
1 2

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Analogy between heat
conduction and bar
structure

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Classification of Weighted Residual Methods:
PDE:
  T 
  k x   bT  Q Weighted
x  x  Residual Form
 ~
~ n ~  T ~
T ( x)  T ( x)   N i ( x)  Ti    k x   bT  Q  R   Wi ( x)  Rdx  0
i 1 x  x  

## Weighted Residual Methods:

1) Point Collocation Method
2) Sub-domain Method
3) Least Squares Method
4) Galerkin’s Method Primarily used in FE formulation
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Interpretation of Galerkin’s Methods:
Force equilibrium on ‘abcd’ q: uniformly distributed load per unit length

q. x d c

d c a b
P(x) P(x+x) x
x
a b

P( x  x)  qx  P( x)  0
0

 dP d 2
P 
 P( x)  x   x  2        qx  P( x)  0
2
 dx dx 
 x x 

d  du 
 EA  q  0 Similar to 1D steady state heat conduction equation
dx  dx 
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Interpretation of Galerkin’s Method:
PDE: q: uniformly distributed load per unit length

d c
d  du 
 EA    q  0 a b
dx  dx  x
x

Let u  u~( x)
e q

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

d  du~ 
 EA    q  R  Unbalance force
dx  dx  i j
(e)

## Weighted residual form:

 ~  R  0 :Unbalanced energy
u
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Galerkin’s Methods: Approximation on element (e)
q
i j
(e)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

 
u

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Let u~( x)  Ni N j   
i

u
 j
Weighted residual form:
ui 
 ~
u  R dx e
 N N  
 i j u j   R dx e
0

ui  0
  
u j  0
 Ni 
x e l e
0
     R dx   
x e 0 
Nj 0 15
Finite Element Disrcetization
1 2 3 e
x  x ej ~ 
 d  dT ( x)  ~ 

1 2 3 4 5 ---------- i j ------- n

 N i  dx  k x  dx   bT ( x)  Q dx  0
T
xi
x  xie    
xj
Formulations of assumed functions for 2 node elements:
~
T  ao  a1 x where xi  x  x j
~
Let , T  Ti @ x  xi
~
T  Tj @ x  x j

Ti  ao  a1 xi
T j  ao  a1 x j

T j  Ti T j  Ti
a1  ; ao  Ti   xi
x j  xi x j  xi 16
Finite Element Formulations over element (e)

Ti 
~

T  N iTi  N j T j  N i N j   
T j 
where,
xj  x x  xi dNi 1 dN j 1
Ni  ; Nj   e ; 
x j  xi x j  xi dx l dx le

Ni (x) Nj (x)

1.0 1.0

e
i j
Variation of Ni (x) and Nj (x)

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