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Introduction

engineering problems, e.g., static/dynamic structural analysis, heat transfer and fluid

problems, as well as acoustic and electro-magnetic problems. Using ANSYS, a finite

element software, it is possible to model such engineering problems so that accurate

solutions can be obtained more efficiently and effectively. In this report, a two

dimensional plane problem of a bridge truss and a three dimensional space problem of

a bicycle frame are analysed and then solved numerically using ANSYS 11.0.

A simplified model of the West Gate Bride in Melbourne is as shown in Figure 1.0

below. Two forces act vertically downwards on Node 3 and Node 5. The reaction

force at Node 2 and stresses in Elements 1 and 6 are determined with hand calculation

method and then in the next section, they are compared with FEA.

84 m 84 m

1

320 kN 270 kN

1 3 80 m

2 5 4

2 25 0 44 0

R2 6 7 69

3 R6 5 8 4

R4

168 m 168 m

⇒ R2 = 25 kN

The free body diagram of the left side of the bride is shown in Figure 1.1 below.

1

Y 80m

T1 2

5

θ

6 T6 7

X

168m

R2 = 25kN

Figure 1.1: Free body diagram of the left side of the bridge

80

θ = arctan −1 ≈ 25 .463 °

168

The area for Links 1 and 2 is A1 whereas the area for Link 5, 6 and 7 is A2.

Taking sum of forces in the y direction, the force in Link 1, T1, is obtained.

∑F y = 0 = R2 + T1 sin( θ )

− R2 − 25000

⇒ T1 = = = −58149 N

sin( θ ) sin( 25 .463 °)

Taking sum of forces in the x direction, the force in Links 6 and 7, T6, is obtained.

∑F x = 0 = T6 + T1 cos( θ )

⇒T6 = −T1 cos( θ ) = 58149 × cos( 25 .463 °) = 52500 N

T1 − 58149

σ1 = = = −11 .630 MPa

A1 5 ×10 −3

T6 52500

σ6 = = = 3.088 MPa

A2 1.7 × 10 − 2

The results (refer to Appendices A and B) obtained from ANSYS are as follows:

Stress in Element 1 = − 0.11630 ×10 8 Pa

Stress in Element 6 = 0.30882 ×10 7 Pa

They are exactly the same as that obtained with the hand calculation method and

therefore, reliable to obtain further solutions for other analysis.

Plots providing stress analysis information were obtained from ANSYS to analysis

the structural integrity of the bridge (refer to Appendices C, D and E). These plots

ease the process of determining regions of high stress and large deformation so that

failures can be determined and prevented. ANSYS allows users to make large

volumes of calculations more efficiently and provides graphic depiction of stresses

experience in materials.

The hand calculations for the reaction force at Node 2 and the stresses in Elements 1

and 6 were expected to be the same as the solution obtained from ANSYS because a

more accurate angle was used in the hand calculations (as oppose to the rounded 25°)

thus significantly reducing the final error.

Several assumptions were made to obtain these results. Firstly, it was assumed that

the trusses were made of steel with a modulus of elasticity of 200GPa and that it was

homogeneous. Secondly, Elements 1-4 were assumed to have a cross sectional areas

of 5000mm2 whereas Elements 5-9 were assumed to have a cross sectional areas of

17000mm2.

• Conclusion

The solutions to the effects of loads on a bridge were obtainable using ANSYS and

through comparing with hand calculations, it was proven to be accurate and reliable.

Furthermore, graphical plots including maximum stress and displacement regions

were obtained for more comprehensive analysis of the bridge structure; they ease the

processes of determining the most likely points of failure thus significantly improving

the efficiency of the analysis.

2. Beams: Bicycle Space Fame

• Verification Model

1N

100mm

Taking into account the frame’s body weight and the load at the pedals, the force at

Node 3 = 735.75 N and the force at Node 4 = 270 N.

2

735.75N

1

3

6

4

270N

5

Figure 2.1: Free body diagram of bicycle frame

σ YT

σ allow =

nT

σ YT 50 ×10 6

⇒ nT = = ≈ 7.376

σ allow 6.779 × 10 6

• Discussion

The verification model was useful in helping provide an insight as to how beams are

treated in the ANSYS program where a 3D coordinate system is used here instead of a

2D system as the bridge truss above. It also showed how bending moments may be

calculated when beams are used. This model made the analysis of the bicycle frame

later much simpler since the basics were provided. In addition, it allows for

comparison of results to be made to make sure that the correct analysis type, units and

scale factors were obtained.

Assumptions were made to simplify analysis. The assumptions made are that the

joints and materials were perfect, no external forces were acting on the frame, forces

act in one direction only, the frame was static, the pedalling force was in the

downward direction at node 4 without taking into account the actual pedal, and the

pedalling force was constant throughout.

• Conclusion

FEA method.

From the calculation of the safety coefficient, this returns a more than

acceptable value for the bicycle frame. However, due to the many assumptions made,

this bicycle model might not be ideal should all the other forces be taken into account.

To provide a more reliable frame design, the calculations should be made for forces at

node 3 that may not be in the downward direction, which will impart more bending

moments and also stresses in the structure around node 3. Also, the pedalling force

can be made into a time function with a pedal included. The implementation of a

pedal will increase the load at node 4 at certain times. This will give a more accurate

answer for the safety coefficient and ensure that the bicycle frame is able to

successfully withstand the load it is subjected to. Also, this provides the chance to

reduce materials use or change the design for economical benefits and a more artistic

approach without going below the accepted safety factor since there are fewer

assumptions made in this case. However, it is not known yet if ANSYS supports loads

as a function of time.

From Appendix B-3, it is seen that the maximum stress occurs at node 1. A

different material or a larger cross-sectional area may be used here to improve the

static strength. Also, it is noted that the maximum bending moment occurs at nodes 1,

3, 4, 5 and 6. Strengthening the material or adjusting the dimensions of the frame may

be done to prevent failure at these points and hence improve overall static strength.

LOAD STEP= 1 SUBSTEP= 1

TIME= 1.0000 LOAD CASE= 0

NODE FX FY

2 25000.

4 -0.14175E+06 0.56500E+06

6 0.14175E+06

TOTAL VALUES

VALUE 0.0000 0.59000E+06

STAT CURRENT

ELEM SAXL

1 -0.11630E+08

2 0.92800E+08

3 -0.33235E+08

4 0.78300E+08

5 0.16023E-09

6 0.30882E+07

7 -0.16676E+08

8 -0.83382E+07

9 0.83382E+07

MINIMUM VALUES

ELEM 3

VALUE -0.33235E+08

MAXIMUM VALUES

ELEM 2

VALUE 0.92800E+08

Appendix C: Deformation/Displacement

Appendix D: Deflection (Nodal Solution)

Appendix E: Axial Stress (Element Solution)

Appendix F: Deformed Frame

Appendix G: Deflection (Nodal Solution)

Appendix H: Stress in Frame (Element Solution)

Appendix I: Bending Moment (Line Stress)

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