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Finite element-rod elements what is the pde

  1. Jul 19, 2006 #1
    case 1)in finite element analysis of structures using simple rod elements we do the stiffness matrix and then find the displacements from loads and constraints

    case 2)finite element method is a technique for solving partial differential equations. In the case1 what is the partial differential equation and what it looks like?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2006 #2


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    ?? The partial differential equation depends on exactly what the problem is. There are many different "structures" that will give different differential equations.
  4. Jul 19, 2006 #3
    i have an example. There are three rods of different cross sectional areas
    A1,A2,A3. with lengths L1,L2,L3 connected in series. What will be the pde
    which when tried to solve by fem will give the stiffness matrix and force,displacements
  5. Jul 19, 2006 #4
    For your simple 1D rod example, the simple relationship for Hooke's Law will provide the governing equation you require.

    Stress = E* strain (from d(stress)/dx = 0)

    You can then build the finite element equations from that point. Reference to any reasonably simple FEM text book will assist you to solve those fundamentals.
  6. Jul 19, 2006 #5


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    If you've your FE equations, you can interpret FE as an application of Galerkin's method and work your way backward to the PDE with a suitable application of Gauss' theorem, integration by parts etc. Kind of like deriving BEM.
  7. Jul 20, 2006 #6


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    In most cases of structural analysis FEM, the differential equation is the equation of virtual work. Or, you can apply an energetic approach and derive potential energy equations.
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