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AAE55800 - Finite Element Methods in Aerospace Structures

Fall 2014

Days/Time: MWF / 1:30-2:20 pm
Credit Hours: 3

Learning Objective:
To introduce the theory behind finite element calculations of stress, strain and deformation in structures and materials, and to describe the role of a commercial finite element package in structural analysis and design. Students will understand the relationship between shape functions, constitutive behavior, mesh, and loading to the assembled element stiffness matrices. Criteria for engineering judgment required to assess the appropriateness of the choice of a finite element model for a particular structure will also be provided.

Introduction to the use of advanced finite element methods in the calculation of deformation, strain, and stress in aerospace structures. Topics include 1-D, 2-D, axisymmetric, and 3-D elements, isoparametric element formulation, convergence, treatment of boundary conditions and constraints. Emphasis is on the theoretical knowledge of the finite element method. Applied experience is gained by solution of aerospace structural analysis problems through use of a commercial package.

Topics Covered:
Fall 2014 Syllabus
Intro - Background and Applications of Finite Elements (Ch. 1 - Textbook)
2. Direct Approach for Discrete Systems - One Dimensional Problems (Ch. 2)
3. Direct Approach for Discrete Systems - Two Dimension and Three Dimensional Problems (Ch. 2)
4. Finite element formulation for beams (Ch. 10 - Textbook)
5. Formulation: Strong and Weak Forms in one dimensional problems (Ch. 3 - Textbook)
6. Intro to ABAQUS (Ch.11 - Textbook)
7. Approximation of Trial Solutions, Weight Functions and Gauss Quadrature (Ch. 4 - Textbook)
8. Finite Element Formulation for One-Dimension Problems and Error Analyses (Ch. 5 - Textbook)
9. Formulation: Strong and Weak Forms in two dimensional problems (Ch. 6, 7 - Textbook)
10. Finite Element Formulation for two dimensional problems: Linear Elasticity (Ch. 8 - Textbook)
11. Error, estimation, and convergence (Ch. 8 - Textbook)
12. Three dimensional Finite element analyses (Ch. 7, 9 - Textbook))
13. Plate and shell bending problems (Class lecture - no textbook coverage)
14. Dynamics using the finite element method (if time permits: class lecture - no textbook coverage)
15. Special Topics: Fracture, Bending (plates and shells), dynamics, non-linear material models (If time permits: class lecture - no textbook coverage).

Mechanics of materials and structural analysis, linear algebra, matrix mathematics, or consent of instructor. The course needs heavy experience in matrix algebra and MATLAB programming. First 4 assignments require heavy MATLAB programming.

Applied/Theory: 50/50

Web Address:

Web Content:
In Blackboard: Syllabus, grades, lecture notes, homework assignments, solutions, and quizzes plus link to course website.

Weekly assignments; will be accepted via email to tomar@purdue.edu or Blackboard. Performance in course will be measured by homeworks, exams and final project.

Required - Final term project will include use of commercial finite element analysis software to solve complex, real-world oriented problems and is to be related to your job or research interests.

There will be two (2) midterm exams, and one final project (See "Projects" below for details).

Required-- A First Course in Finite Elements [Paperback] by Jacob Fish and Ted Belytschko. Wiley 2012 Edition, ISBN: 978-0470035801. Disclaimer: Please visit the Listing of Textbooks by College or School for the most up-to-date textbook information.

Computer Requirements:
ProEd minimum computer requirements; access to PC-platform computer and internet connection. Matlab (available to registered students via Purdue Software Remote - https://goremote.ics.purdue.edu). Finite element software, preferably ABAQUS. Student have a choice of their software to be used in this course. However, instructor prefers ABAQUS. In-class training sessions will focus on ABAQUS and ANSYS. Students will also have access to a trial ABAQUS copy with the text book. Otherwise procurement of software is the responsibility of the student.

ProEd Minimum Requirements:

Tuition & Fees: view

Other Requirements:
ABAQUS student version

Vikas Tomar
Purdue University
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering
701 W. Stadium Ave
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2045
Instructor HomePage