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(1) Determining the Shape Functions

The first step is to obtain the shape function for the one-dimensional quadratic element with
three nodes. The quadratic bar element used in this assignment is as shown below:
ξ

ξ  1 ξ 0 ξ 1

selection 2

With shape functions, any field inside the element is presented as


u(ξ) = ΣNiui where i = 1,2,3 or the first second and third nodes.

At the nodes, the approximated function should be equal to its nodal value, that is:
u(-1) = u1 u(0) = u2 u(1) = u3

Since the element has three nodes, the shape function for the displacement at the nodes is
given by the quadratic polynomial with three coefficients c0 c1 and c2
:

N(x) = c0 + c1ξ + c2ξ2

The unknown equations can be determined from the following system of equations:
For ξ = -1, u1 = c0 + c1 + c2
1 1
For ξ = 0, u2 = c0 + 2c1 ξ + 4c2 ξ2
For ξ = 1, u3 = c0 + c2 ξ + c2 ξ2

Solving by substitution and elimination results in:

c0 = 0
c1 = -1/2
c2 = 1/2

These values can reintroduced into the original equation to obtain the shape functions:

N1 = -1/2 ξ(1- ξ)

N2 = 1- ξ2

N3 = 1/2 ξ(1+ ξ)

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(2) Development of the element matrices

The element stiffness Matrix is obtained by taking the first derivative of the shape functions:

𝑑𝑁1 𝑑𝑁2 𝑑𝑁3


Be = [ 𝑑 ξ ] which is = [−1 + 𝜉 −2𝜉 1 + 𝜉]
𝑑ξ 𝑑ξ

The stiffness matrix is a product of the transpose of Be and Be itself.

1 1
Se = 𝑙 ∫0 [Be]. [Be]T . EA 𝑑 ξ {U}
𝑖

−1 + 𝜉
1 1
Se = ∫ [−1
𝑙𝑖 0
+𝜉 −2𝜉 1 + 𝜉] . [ −𝜉 ]. EA 𝑑 ξ {U}
1+𝜉

From integration of this this relationship between the limits l = -1 and l = 1, a 3x3 matrix is
obtained. This is the stiffness matrix that is used in the calculations that follow.

7 −8 1
𝐸𝐴
Se = [−8 16 −8]
3𝑙
1 8 7

(3) Construction of column elements

In order to construct the element columns, the equations governing the behaviour of the
axially loaded bar will be used. The governing equations are:

 2u  x 
EA  qc  rx  0
u2
du  x  K
u  x  0  0 and 
dx EAc

The column matrices are obtained by integrating the matrix N and the distributed axial force
across the interval.

−1/2 ξ(1 − ξ)
𝑥+𝑙𝑙
∫𝑥 [ 1 − ξ2 ] (qc+rx) dx
1/2 ξ(1 + ξ)

This is done keeping in mind that x can be written in form of ξ as ξli+xi . Therefore the
integral is evaluated as a function of ξ from -1 to 1.

2
From this, the element columns are obtained as in the relationship below:

1 1
6
0 6
1 1
2 [ ] 2
∫−1 𝑞𝑐 𝑙𝑖 [ ]+ 𝑟𝑙𝑖 3 + 𝑟𝑥𝑖 𝑙𝑖 [3 ]
3
1 1 1
6 6 6

These can be rewritten as below.

1 0𝑙𝑖 + 𝑥𝑖
1 1 1
∫ 𝑞 𝑙 [ 4] + 6r𝑙𝑖 [2𝑙𝑖 + 4𝑥𝑖 ]
6 −1 𝑐 𝑖
1 𝑙𝑖 + 𝑥𝑖

The column matrices are then derived from the above relationships.

1
1
fe = 6 𝑞𝑐 𝑙𝑖 [4 ]
1
0𝑙𝑖 + 𝑥𝑖
1
ge = 6r𝑙𝑖 [2𝑙𝑖 + 4𝑥𝑖 ]
𝑙𝑖 + 𝑥𝑖

(4) Excel Spreadsheet


The excel spreadsheet utilizes the matrix obtained in step (2) above. This is the stiffness
matrix. The relationships in step three are also used to obtain the column elements f and g.
The two columns are summed up and added to the k column.

By using 5 elements with three nodes in each element, it is possible that the accuracy of the
estimation can be improved.

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Summation of Columns

f g k f+g+k
0.266666667 0 0 0.266667
1.066666667 0.672 0 1.738667
0.533333333 0.672 0 1.205333
1.066666667 2.016 0 3.082667
0.533333333 1.344 0= 1.877333
1.066666667 3.36 0 4.426667
0.533333333 2.016 0 2.549333
1.066666667 4.704 0 5.770667
0.533333333 2.688 0 3.221333
1.066666667 6.048 0 7.114667
0.266666667 1.68 15 16.94667

(5) Assembly of the combined matrices.


The next step is to combine the assembled stiffness matrices across the five elements of
which our bar is divided into. This means that there will be five jointed matrices. The
matrices share the displacement/stiffness at the last node of the preceding element and the
first node of the next element. In this way, they are summed up and result in a global matrix.
The global matrix has a band of figures at the diagonal while the rest are zeros.

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A global matrix is obtained, whereby the most extreme elements (at the nodes are shared
between two stiffness matrices). The matrix obtained through this process is shown in the
following page:

11.667 -13.333 1.6667 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


-13.333 26.667 -13.333 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1.6667 -13.333 23.333 -13.333 1.6667 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 -13.333 26.667 -13.333 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1.6667 -13.333 23.333 -13.333 1.6667 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 -13.333 26.667 -13.333 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 1.6667 -13.333 23.333 -13.333 1.6667 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 -13.333 26.667 -13.333 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 1.6667 -13.333 23.333 -13.333 1.6667
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -13.333 26.667 -13.333
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.6667 -13.333 11.667

The inverse of this matrix is obtained and is multiplied by the summation of the column
matrices.
However, the first row and the first column are eliminated because they result in the
displacement at node u1 whose value is known to be zero. The displacement at node u1 is
zero because it is restrained.

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Node point Matrix Inverse Column Displacement
u1 . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
u2 . 0.0875 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.738667 4.7716
u3 . 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 1.205333 9.4128
u4 . 0.1 0.2 0.2875 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 3.082667 13.8732
u5 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 X 1.877333 = 18.1024
u6 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4875 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 4.426667 22.05
u7 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 2.549333 25.6656
u8 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.6875 0.7 0.7 0.7 5.770667 28.8988
u9 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 3.221333 31.6992
u10 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8875 0.9 7.114667 34.0164
u11 . 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 16.94667 35.8

Determination of the forces at the nodes

The forces at the nodes are determined based on the analytical formula:
Fi  EAc  Be  u, 
T

Where Fi is the force at a point, E is the stiffness modulus and A is the cross section area.
[Be]T is the transpose of stiffness matrix for the element and {U} are the elemental
displacements as have been obtained above. These calculations are done in a spreadsheet and
the forces are obtained.

On the other hand, the true displacements and the true forces at the nodes are calculated by
the formula in the class notes. This is also done in a spreadsheet. The resulting values are put
in a table side by side for comparison.

This is shown below:

6
FEM EXACT
node mm Displacement force Displacement force
u1 0 0 -47.93333 46.19467 0 48.2
f1 u2 20 4.7716 1.7386667 46.19467 4.7716 47.148
u3 40 9.4128 46.194667 46.19467 9.4128 45.592
u3 40 9.4128 -44.98933 41.90667 9.4128 45.592
u4 60 13.8732 3.0826667 41.90667 13.8732 43.532
f2
u5 80 18.1024 41.906667 41.90667 18.1024 40.968
u6 80 18.1024 -40.02933 35.60267 18.1024 40.968
u6 100 22.05 4.4266667 35.60267 22.05 37.9
f3 u7 120 25.6656 35.602667 35.60267 25.6656 34.328
u7 120 25.6656 -33.05333 27.28267 25.6656 34.328
u8 140 28.8988 5.7706667 27.28267 28.8988 30.252
f4 u9 160 31.6992 27.282667 27.28267 31.6992 25.672
u9 160 31.6992 -24.06133 16.94667 31.6992 25.672
f5 u10 180 34.0164 7.1146667 16.94667 34.0164 20.588
u11 200 35.8 16.946667 16.94667 35.8 15

A plot of the exact forces/displacements against the FEM forces/displacements is made.

Graph of Nodal Displacements and Forces


60

Displacement (FEM)
50 Displacement (Exact)
Forces (FEM)
DISPLACMENT (MM) FORCE (N)

Forces (Exact)
40

30

20

10

0
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
DISTANCE (MM)

Conclusion

 Once the FEM solution has been obtained, it is critical to assess its accuracy. An
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accuracy study can be done by increasing the number of elements, or the discretization
of elements. This may result in complex calculations which require superior software
to carry out.
 As a numerical method, finite element analysis results are approximations of
theoretically exact solutions to the underlying equations that govern the physical
behaviour of a system. In reality, the continuum of a system has an infinite number of
degrees of freedom. The discretization of the continuum with a finite element mesh
results in a finite number of nodal degrees of freedom that approximates the solution
behaviour. Therefore further discretization may result in closer accuracy. It can be seen
that the values of the displacements are the same for the FEM method and the
displacement method.
 In the graph, the forces calculated via the FEM appear discrete (disjointed and stepped)
while on the other hand the exact forces are linear. This shows the accuracy of the FEM
forces and also indicates that the forces are only calculated at the nodes of discrete
elements.
 It can also be noted that the results of the analysis are the same for shape functions
obtained for a selection of ξ = 0, ½, 1, and ξ = -1, 0, 1 because the stiffness matrix
and the element matrices are the same in both cases.