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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2010 - 2011

Module Title Numerical Methods and Finite Element Analysis
Module Code MM524
School School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr Bryan Mac DonaldOffice NumberS380
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module introduces more advanced finite element analysis concept to engineering students who are already familiar with the application of the finite element method. The focus of this module is on advanced concepts such as non-linear materials and dynamic analyses. A theoretical understanding of 2D and 3D elements is covered and students are required to demonstrate that they can confidently formulate problems using these elements. Practical case studies are used to illustrate advanced analyses involving non-linear materials, contact, dynamic loads etc. Students are required to carry out a project which involves using advanced modeling methods in order to arrive at a solution. A choice of either a bio-engineering or a metal forming project is available.

Learning Outcomes

1. Apply the theoretical foundation of the finite element method to the solution of more advanced engineering stress problems.
2. Be able to formulate and solve a finite element analysis for simple 2D and 3D stress analysis problems.
3. Use commercially available FE software to solve advanced non-linear stress analysis problems.
4. Critically assess the results and accuracy from a FE analysis.
5. Be able to appropriately apply advanced concepts such as sub-modelling, sub-structuring, contact algorithms, multipoint constraints etc in a FE analysis.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Laboratory361 x 3 hour studio session per week learning to use/apply FEA software
Lecture363 x 1 hour formal lectures per week
Directed learning12Homework assignment/investigation
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 185

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Review of Basic FEA
Infinitesimal strain (i.e. Linear) FEA and its inherent assumptions and limitations. Review of the minimum potential energy method. Overview of the FE procedure.

Elements & Shape Functions
2-D beam elements, Axisymmetric elements, 2D plane stress and plane strain elements, Shell Elements, 3D solid elements

Material Models
Non-linear elastic models, Inelastic material models, elasto-plastic material models, effect of strain rate, visco-elastic models, specialized models – concrete, composites, shape memory etc.

Modeling & Meshing
Review of basic modeling procedures, introduction to sub-modeling and sub-structuring, use of coordinate systems to simplify modeling, procedures to ensure a quality mesh, advanced mesh convergence issues.

Boundary Conditions & Loads
Non linear loads and boundary conditions, contact problems, dynamic loads, multipoint constraints and coupled node sets.

Solution of the Problem
Practical and theoretical overview of linear and non-linear structural solutions: static, modal, harmonic, transient etc. Introduction to the explicit method of solution.

Post Processing & Validation
Overview of different methods for presentation/analysis of results, model verification and validation.

Case Studies
All of the above are illustrated with the assistance of case studies carried out during laboratory sessions and via project work using ANSYS FE software. Case studies from research work and engineering journals are also introduced.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment40% Examination Weight60%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Bryan, J Mac Donald,: 2007, Practical Stress Analysis with Finite Elements, 10, Glasnevin Publishing, Ireland, 978-0955578106
  • M. J. Fagan: 1992, Finite element analysis, Prentice-Hall, England, 978-0582022478
  • Saeed Moaveni: 2008, Finite Element Analysis Theory and Application with ANSYS: Theory and Applications with ANSYS, 3rd, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 978-0132416511
Other Resources

771, Website, University of Alberta, 0, Online Ansys Tutorials from the University of Alberta, http://www.mece.ualberta.ca/Tutorials/ansys/,
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