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Use Of Fea In An Introductory Strength Of Materials Course

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.602.1 - 3.602.6

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Ronald D. Earley

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

Session 3648

Use of FEA in an Introductory Strength of Materials Course

Ronald D. Earley Miami University

Abstract The new generation of PC-based computer aided engineering software is relatively easy to learn and use. Most have robust graphics user interfaces and adequate CAD modules that greatly enhance the teaching and learning process. These facts coupled with product availability, relatively low cost, and reliability make them a convenient tool to be included within the curriculum of many introductory engineering technology courses.

This paper describes how one such computer program in the area of structural finite element modeling and analysis may be included within an introductory course in strength of materials. The software is used to solve one and two-dimensional structural problems. Students enrolled in this course acquire sufficient knowledge within the field of finite element related stress analysis to proceed on to more challenging experiences in other courses or industry.

Nomenclature A0 - Cross-section area of tension member d - Nodal deflection E - Modulus of elasticity F - Global nodal force f - local nodal force L0 - Original length of tension member P - External tension axial force load u - deflection in the local x direction v - deflection in the local y direction δ - Axial deformation of tension member σ - Normal stress θ - Orientation angle of truss element measured w/r to the x-axis

Introduction The method of finite element analysis may be introduced into the curriculum of an associate degree mechanical engineering technology program. The use of a commercially available, windows-based, FEA computer package could complement other computer software typically used in most engineering technology programs. The NINTENDO factor would thus be reinforced and perhaps additional interest generated. An existing academic program was used as a model to help describe the pedagogical approach taken within this paper. It contains a sequence of courses that are vital to the success of this approach by providing students with the necessary background to gain basic working knowledge of the analysis method. These courses should introduce the following general topics: engineering materials, statics, strength of materials, and machine design. Materials testing such as tension, impact, shear, and fatigue are introduced within the engineering materials course. The

Earley, R. D. (1998, June), Use Of Fea In An Introductory Strength Of Materials Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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