Determination of design resistance by finite element analysis

Benthem, A van (2015) Determination of design resistance by finite element analysis.

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Abstract:Within NEDCON it is common practice to perform tests to determine design values and optimize new designs. For simple cases finite element analyses are already used, but in this internship the possibilities of using more finite element analyses especially for more complex constructions are investigated. First the available software is checked for an existing connector in intermediate floors. In total the results of three software packages are reviewed, SIMULIA Abaqus, SolidWorks Simulation and Dlubal RFEM. The first two especially use solid elements while the latter focuses on shell and beam elements. It turns out that for the requested analyses for NEDCON solid elements are required. Further investigation on the application of finite element analyses is done by implementing calculations in the design process of a new connector. At first a relatively light loaded connector is analyzed with finite elements and compared to tests. The calculation results are conservative with respect to the test results, but show only a slight deviation. As the analysis gives a good prediction, some changes in shape and thickness are virtually tested. With an adjustment of the thickness the connector becomes strong enough. A more heavily loaded connector is checked out too, for this case a simple connector does not give a high enough failure load. Therefore multiple adjusted designs are virtually tested, leading to the most cost-effective connector. Using finite elements the chosen design is further optimized in shape, whereafter this design is tested. The test results are very close to the finite element results, so with new insights the connector is further optimized in thickness. All virtual and real life tests were performed on intermediate floors covered with chipboard, however in certain projects floors are covered with grids too. This leads to different boundary conditions, which should be checked out. A first attempt is made to overcome these changed conditions by adding an extra simple connector and this gives promising results. However more research should be done on this topic before drawing final conclusions. During this internship it turned out that finite element calculations can help optimize the design process in a great sense. In this case research was done on an intermediate floor, but in the future finite element analyses can be used for all sorts of detailed constructions in the (pre)design phase.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
Nedcon, the Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
Keywords:Finite element analysis, Test verification, Design optimization
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