Engineering analysis and design software
Academic / research use

Case Studies and Links to Academic Papers

LUSAS Academic is used by universities, research institutes and teaching colleges worldwide for all types of finite element analysis.

These case studies provide a number of illustrative uses of the software with the most recently added article at the top.

Field measurement and simulation of the dynamic response of a railway viaduct

  • Mehrdad Bisadi, a PhD researcher at the University of Auckland, is using LUSAS to investigate the accuracy and reliability of the impact factors used to design and assess New Zealand rail bridges. The objective has been to fine-tune a LUSAS Bridge model prior to carrying out numerical modelling of the dynamic response of the viaduct for different train dynamic characteristics. A weigh-in-motion system measured the train characteristics during field monitoring. The measured data was then used to define the train configurations in the LUSAS software. Interactive Modal Dynamics analysis with LUSAS computed the dynamic response of the viaduct during train crossings. A comparison between the measured and simulated results showed that the LUSAS model accurately predicts observed displacements.

A Strategy for Teaching Finite Element Analysis to Undergraduate Students (414k)

  • The analytical power and design flexibility offered by the Finite Element Method (FEM) can be all too readily masked from the first time user by its apparent complexity. The steep learning curve can appear daunting when the method is first encountered, and FEM needs to be sensitively introduced, with carefully graded examples if students are not to be put off the subject completely.  In this paper the author describes a strategy which he believes enables students to experience for themselves how beneficial FEM can be, whilst at the same time, warns them of the pitfalls and potential dangers.

Finite Element Analysis of Structural Steelwork Beam to Column Bolted Connections (423k)

  • A combination of simple fabrication techniques and speedy site erection have made bolted endplates one of the most popular methods of connecting members in structural steelwork frames. Although simple in their use, bolted endplates are extremely complex in their analysis and behaviour. This paper reports on a Steel Construction Institute funded PhD research program which uses a combination of full scale testing and materially non-linear three dimensional finite element analyses (FEA) in order to investigate extended end plate beam-to-column connections.

See also the LUSAS Civil & Structural case study Beam / Column Moment Connection Research

Finite Element Analysis of Impact Damaged Honeycomb Sandwich Panels (515k)

  • Due to high stiffness and strength to weight ratios, composite sandwich is used increasingly in aerospace applications. The main drawback of sandwich structure is its low resistance to impact damage and the extent to which the strength of the structure is reduced under compressive loading. In this study, it is proposed that a continuum damage model is used to model crushing due to impact. The model describes the compressive behaviour of honeycombs made from materials that are prone to elastic buckling. The material behaviour in compression is described by a combination of three constitutive models namely elastic, continuum damage and inelastic strain accumulation. The model has been interfaced with LUSAS and is used to model “soft” impacts onto minimum gauge Nomex™ sandwich. The materials and dimensions are typical of sandwich panels found in commercial aircraft. Results from the LUSAS analysis are compared to experimental data and are found to compare well.

Some example links to published academic papers citing LUSAS

pdficonsmall.gif (153 bytes) Observations on the grillage analysis of slabs

The results of the analyses of three slabs using the grillage analogy (with various methods for approximating the equivalent grillage members properties) and finite element analysis are compared with theoretical solutions, where available. The examples demonstrate some of the disadvantages of using the grillage analogy for analysing slabs which can lead to erroneous results. It is concluded that the use of finite element analysis is preferred and that the use of the grillage method should be avoided.

pdficonsmall.gif (153 bytes) Compliant Blades for Wind Turbines

This paper details an aeroelastic study of compliant blades used in the passive power control of horizontal-axis wind turbines. By designing the blades using fibre-reinforced composite materials, coupling between bending and torsion can be incorporated. The present work investigates the capability of a 50 kW constant speed wind turbine to automatically shed power in gusts by feathering the blades, i.e. twisting them towards the relative wind vector thus reducing the angle of attack, whilst bending away from the wind.

pdficonsmall.gif (153 bytes) The Stability of Plywood Webs of Box-girder Beams

Critical loads and other buckling information for plywood webs are presented. The results were produced by LUSAS analyses in which the plywood was modelled as a layered composite material with each layer being given appropriate linear elastic orthotropic properties. Stability analyses were performed by allocating a small initial curvature to the web panels and applying incremental loads giving geometric non-linearities. Results are presented for various combinations in plane bending and in plane shear. For situations were bending actions predominate it is suggested that the face grain of the plywood should be horizontal but for locations were shear actions are significant there may be advantages in ensuring that the face grain is vertical. The results suggest that current design rules are not conservative.

pdficonsmall.gif (153 bytes) Integrity Assessment of Large Dams NW-IALAD

A study using the finite element program LUSAS (LUSAS, 2002) to analyse the response of a concrete gravity dam subjected to the hydrostatic loads and uplift pressures. The CIGB/ICOLD (1999) benchmark dam is chosen for this analysis. Linsbauer and Bhattacharjee (1999) have also adopted the same concrete dam in their studies on the effect of uplift pressure on dam safety...

pdficonsmall.gif (153 bytes) Finite Element Modelling of Moisture Absorption in Single Fibre Reinforced Composite Systems

LUSAS has been used to model the effects of moisture absorption in single fibre reinforced epoxy-matrix composite systems. The composite geometries are based on the previous experimental investigation by Bannister and consist of a single fibre embedded in a diffusion slab (DS), and a single fibre protruding from opposite ends of a slab (DFPO). The FE work produced axial fibre strain profiles consistent with both previous and current experimental work. The DS composite produced a conventional shear lag profile, and the DFPO composite produced a more complicated profile with pronounced maxima near the fibre ends.

pdficonsmall.gif (153 bytes) The Influence of Construction Technology on the Mechanics of Masonry Railway Bridges

Technological details of masonry arch bridges are of great importance to the mechanical response of the structure. Internal spandrels, hollowing in piers and abutments, backfill type and material, vault thickness and its effective shape contribute to modify the structural performance of these bridges. When a mechanical model for a masonry bridge is formulated, specifically if it is a FEM model, not all of the technological details can and need to be represented, but some should not be neglected in order to retain some important features of the structural response. In this paper, an example of an in-service 18-span railway viaduct is studied by means of FEM models in order to take into account the role of those details and to give an estimate of their structural effect. In particular, it is shown how the misjudgement of the presence of some bridge element and of their structural contribution can lead to over- or underestimate the natural frequencies of the bridge, leading to significant errors in identification procedures.

Performing online searches for academic and commercial papers citing LUSAS

  • By entering lusas paper filetype:pdf into Google (or other search engines) many published papers citing LUSAS can be seen.

  • By adding more keywords such as steel or concrete or bridge or soil you can isolate particular applications.

  • A keyword search of +lusas +paper +steel +bridge filetype:pdf would only list papers with a steel bridge ‘flavour'

  • Using the + symbol in front of a keyword only gives results with those keywords present and helps return results containing lusas and not words such as lucas for instance.

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