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Finite Element Analysis of a Truss Frame

1. Develop and appraise knowledge and understanding of the mathematical principles necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply mathematical methods, tools and notations proficiently in the analysis and solution of engineering problems.

2. Demonstrate the ability to extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and apply its solution using computer based engineering tools when appropriate.

3. Appraise and understand the capabilities of computer based models for solving problems in engineering, and assess the limitations of particular cases.

4. Demonstrate engineering workshop and laboratory skills.

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1. Aim and Outcomes

The purpose of this coursework is to give you hands-on experience using professional finite element analysis (FEA) software. For this task you will be given a problem to:

1. Demonstrate the ability to extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and apply its solution using computer-based engineering tools when appropriate.
2. Appraise and understand the capabilities of computer-based models for solving problems in engineering, and assess the limitations of particular cases.Â

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This project will be formally introduced in lectures where the aims, objectives and assessment brief will be described and discussed. However, we strongly advise that you start the coursework now. It is important for you to attend all lectures and tutorials where you will be able to discuss and review your progress and seek feedback, advice and clarification.

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2. Assessment

For this coursework we would like you to construct a model of a truss frame using a Finite Element Anaylsis (FEA) package, analyse its behaviour and compare your results with theoretical analysis (i.e. hand calculations).

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Truss Frame

Figure 1 shows a truss frame. The frame consists of nine elements. All the elements have the same material properties and these are listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Truss Frame Properties

 Youngâ€™s Modulus, Â = 160 Poisson ratio, Â = 0.3 Yield stress, Â = 250 Diameter of circular profile, dCE of bar CE Â = 14 Diameter of circular profile, d of all other bars Â = 10 Length, See Figure 1

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Figure 1: Truss Frame

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The frame defined by points ABCDEF is supported by one roller and one fixed support and is loaded at point F with a concentrated force of 0.1kN as shown above.

You will need to do the following:

1. Construct an FEA model which allows you to investigate the behaviour of the truss. It is expected that your FEA model will allow you to calculate the following:
• X- and Y- displacements for all nodes;
• Forces for all nodes;
• Forces in all elements;
• Reaction forces at supports; and,
• Stress in all elements.
1. Construct the mathematical FEA equations {} = []{} for this system and solve them using MATLAB. It is expected that your model will allow you to calculate the displacements and forces at each of the nodes â€“ these should be compared with the results from your FEA model.
1. You will need to analyse the behaviour of your models and compare this with an appropriate theoretical method (e.g. hand calculations of static equilibrium). Show your equilibrium equation at Point E. Present results for element forces and stresses and compare these with the results from your FEA model.
2. Explain the structural significance of bar BE You can use any FEA software you wish. We strongly recommend that you use ABAQUS to construct your FEA model. We will be able to provide you with any queries you may have during the tutorials. Alternatively you can download a student copy for your own laptops via the ABAQUS website.