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Introduction

## Finite element analysis (FEA) is a numerical method to solve a variety of mechanical

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.

## • Analytical Hand Calculations

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

## ∑M 1 = 0 = (320 ×84 ) − ( 270 ×84 ) − ( R2 ×168 )

⇒ 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

## The angle theta is obtained as follows:

 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.

## A1 = 5 ×10 −3 m 2 A2 = 1.7 ×10 −2 m 2

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

## Therefore, ultimately, the stresses in Link 1 and Link6 are as follows:

T1 − 58149
σ1 = = = −11 .630 MPa
A1 5 ×10 −3

T6 52500
σ6 = = = 3.088 MPa
A2 1.7 × 10 − 2

## • Comparison with FEA

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

## Reaction force at Node 2 = 25000 N

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.

## • Discussion of Results and Assumptions

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

## The yield stress, σ y = 50 MPa

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

## Therefore, the safety coefficient is as follows:

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

## It is undoubtedly more efficient to gain accurate results to complex problems using

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.

## THE FOLLOWING X,Y,Z SOLUTIONS ARE IN THE GLOBAL COORDINATE SYSTEM

NODE FX FY
2 25000.
4 -0.14175E+06 0.56500E+06
6 0.14175E+06

TOTAL VALUES
VALUE 0.0000 0.59000E+06

## ***** POST1 ELEMENT TABLE LISTING *****

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)