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Thin plate deflection formula

  1. Sep 29, 2008 #1
    Hi. I have been doing some FEA modelling with solid works and am trying to calculate my deflection for a point load at the centre of a clamped periphery (not simply supported) circular thin plate. I need to calculate the theoretical values to make sure that my FEA is correct

    The formula I have found is this :

    for r not = to 0

    w= deflection
    W= load in N
    a= fixed max radius (m)
    r = variable radius (m)

    D=flexual rigidity = Eh^3/(1-v^2)
    E=Young's modulus (Pa)
    h=plate thickness (m)
    v=poissons ratio

    When I plug my relevent data into the formula I get stuck because i am using a point load at the centre....therefore my r=0...I cannot find the formula for when the load is at the centre. Can anyone please help?

    I have been having no trouble doing this with a distruited load (pressure) but it's the point load that I have been having trouble with.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2008 #2


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    Science Advisor

    You will get a problem using concentrated analytic loadings with erroneously high answers. Roark says in Chapter 11: Flat Plates, Section 1: Common Case:

    So, the application of a concentrated loading physically is erroneous. You can try to apply the loading in your FEA as a concentrated surface loading over a finite area. Then use the formula given to get an equivalent radius, thereby which you can get the stresses and deflections.

    For uniform loading over a very small central circular area of radius r0, those are Roark cases 16 and 17 depending on the boundary conditions. I can supply those if you would like. I think you have case 17 though (edges fixed rather than simply supported). In that case, the maximum deflection at r=0 is:

    [tex] y_{max} = \frac{ -W a^2}{16 \pi D} [/tex]


    [tex] W = q \pi r^2_0 [/tex]

    q being the "pressure", and a being the radius of the flat plate.
  4. Sep 29, 2008 #3
    thanks for that minger. That solves my problem. :)
  5. Sep 30, 2008 #4


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    Glad I could help.
  6. Feb 20, 2010 #5

    Where did you find that formula you first were trying? Could you give me a reference, as I am doing analysis on a microplate and am only finding things for calculating the nodal frequencies.

    That could really be useful, although seems to only give the deflection for one state.
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