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Alternate Approach In Analyzing Structures Utilizing Labview

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Instructional Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.154.1 - 9.154.17

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Paper Authors

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Shahnam Navaee

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2615

Alternate Approach in Analyzing Structures Utilizing LabVIEW

Shahnam Navaee Georgia Southern University


In the presented paper a new approach for investigating the behavior of structures subjected to loads is proposed. In this unconventional and interesting method of analysis, classical theoretical methods in analyzing structures are formulated using the programming features of LabVIEW to yield the desired output. The LabVIEW software tool is primarily developed by National Instruments, Inc. to aid the investigators in controlling laboratory instrumentations and in acquiring experimental data. Aside from the main utility of LabVIEW related to data acquisition and instrumentation, this tool can also be used as a great programming and computing tool to obtain the solution to many engineering related problems. In the presented paper, LabVIEW solutions for analyzing a statically determinate beam and a statically indeterminate frame are included. These examples illustrate the power, utility, and the manner in which the features available in this software tool can effectively be employed to solve structural analysis problems. The presented examples also demonstrate how program inputs such as beam and loading parameters can conveniently be altered using a variety of visual controls in LabVIEW to obtain the needed results in any desired format. These results, for example, could be the variation of shear force, and bending moment, or the distribution of slope, and deflection along the length of structural members. The faculty teaching courses in structural analysis can effectively use these developed programs while lecturing in classroom to quickly generate different scenarios to further enhance the students’ understanding of the course topics. The LabVIEW software also contains a collection of powerful tools that enables the user to import other files such as spreadsheets and MATLAB script files into the LabVIEW environment. This is one of the most attractive and useful features of LabVIEW. In several recent publications by the author other approaches for analyzing structures employing the MATLAB and EXCEL software tools were discussed. The presented paper also illustrates how LabVIEW can effectively be employed to further enhance the functionality and effectiveness of these developed files in analyzing structures.

I. Introduction

The submitted paper focuses on exploring various capabilities and useful programming features of LabVIEW related to solving structural analysis problems. The paper further illustrates the manner in which some of the tools in this software can be employed to further enhance the teaching effectiveness of the instructor and elevate student learning.

The powerful and attractive programming feature of LabVIEW software is relatively easy to use, and this tool offers a number of valuable capabilities that are unavailable in other programming environments. A relatively long list of some of the more important features of this software tool is included and discussed in another publication by the author2. A few of the most important advantages of LabVIEW are discussed below. Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Navaee, S. (2004, June), Alternate Approach In Analyzing Structures Utilizing Labview Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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