Nov 30, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ME 460 - Finite Element Methods

3 lecture hours 2 lab hours 4 credits
Course Description
This course serves as an introduction to finite element analysis (FEA) for structural and steady-state thermal problems. In the lecture portion of the course, finite element equations are developed for several element types from equilibrium and energy approaches and used to solve simple problems. In the laboratory portion, students use a commercial, general-purpose finite element computer program to solve more complex problems and learn several guidelines for use of FEA in practice. A project introduces the use of FEA in the iterative design process. (prereq: ME 3005 )
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Understand steps involved in FEA analysis
  • Understand how finite element equations are developed from both equilibrium and energy methods
  • Solve simple FE problems by hand
  • Understand why certain element types are used for different types of analyses
  • Be familiar with the use of a commercial general-purpose FEA package
  • Understand how FEA can be used in the design process

Prerequisites by Topic
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Statics
  • Integral and differential calculus

Course Topics
  • Overview of method
  • Overview of commercial software
  • Review of matrix methods
  • Spring elements
  • Truss elements
  • Potential energy approach
  • Beam element
  • Constant strain triangle element
  • Heat transfer application
  • Interpretation of results & mesh design
  • Discussion of symmetry and boundary conditions
  • Advanced element formulations

Laboratory Topics
  • Introduction to FE program (with simple 1-D truss element)
  • Stress concentration in a plate with a hole
  • 3-D truss analysis
  • 1D cubic beam bending of a frame analysis
  • Plane stress analysis with two-dimensional continuum elements
  • Plate analysis
  • Mesh design & refinement
  • 2D steady-state heat transfer, thermal analysis and/or torsion
  • Solid modeling input to FE commercial software
  • Design project

Dr. Nebojsa Sebastijanovic

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