# Browsing by Subject "Finite Element"

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Item An assessment of least squares finite element models with applications to problems in heat transfer and solid mechanics(Texas A&M University, 2008-10-10) Pratt, Brittan SheldonShow more Research is performed to assess the viability of applying the least squares model to one-dimensional heat transfer and Euler-Bernoulli Beam Theory problems. Least squares models were developed for both the full and mixed forms of the governing one-dimensional heat transfer equation along weak form Galerkin models. Both least squares and weak form Galerkin models were developed for the first order and second order versions of the Euler-Bernoulli beams. Several numerical examples were presented for the heat transfer and Euler- Bernoulli beam theory. The examples for heat transfer included: a differential equation having the same form as the governing equation, heat transfer in a fin, heat transfer in a bar and axisymmetric heat transfer in a long cylinder. These problems were solved using both least squares models, and the full form weak form Galerkin model. With all four examples the weak form Galerkin model and the full form least squares model produced accurate results for the primary variables. To obtain accurate results with the mixed form least squares model it is necessary to use at least a quadratic polynominal. The least squares models with the appropriate approximation functions yielde more accurate results for the secondary variables than the weak form Galerkin. The examples presented for the beam problem include: a cantilever beam with linearly varying distributed load along the beam and a point load at the end, a simply supported beam with a point load in the middle, and a beam fixed on both ends with a distributed load varying cubically. The first two examples were solved using the least squares model based on the second order equation and a weak form Galerkin model based on the full form of the equation. The third problem was solved with the least squares model based on the second order equation. Both the least squares model and the Galerkin model calculated accurate results for the primary variables, while the least squares model was more accurate on the secondary variables. In general, the least-squares finite element models yield more acurate results for gradients of the solution than the traditional weak form Galkerkin finite element models. Extension of the present assessment to multi-dimensional problems and nonlinear provelms is awaiting attention.Show more Item Analysis of smart functionally graded materials using an improved third order shear deformation theory(2009-06-02) Aliaga Salazar, James WilsonShow more Smart materials are very important because of their potential applications in the biomedical, petroleum and aerospace industries. They can be used to build systems and structures that self-monitor to function and adapt to new operating conditions. In this study, we are mainly interested in developing a computational framework for the analysis of plate structures comprised of composite or functionally graded materials (FGM) with embedded or surface mounted piezoelectric sensors/actuators. These systems are characterized by thermo-electro-mechanical coupling, and therefore their understanding through theoretical models, numerical simulations, and physical experiments is fundamental for the design of such systems. Thus, the objective of this study was to perform a numerical study of smart material plate structures using a refined plate theory that is both accurate and computationally economical. To achieve this objective, an improved version of the Reddy third-order shear deformation theory of plates was formulated and its finite element model was developed. The theory and finite element model was evaluated in the context of static and dynamic responses without and with actuators. In the static part, the performance of the developed finite element model is compared with that of the existing models in determining the displacement and stress fields for composite laminates and FGM plates under mechanical and/or thermal loads. In the dynamic case, coupled and uncoupled electro-thermo-mechanical analysis were performed to see the difference in the evolution of the mechanical, electrical and thermal fields with time. Finally, to test how well the developed theory and finite element model simulates the smart structural system, two different control strategies were employed: the negative velocity feedback control and the Least Quadratic Regulator (LQR) control. It is found that the refined plate theory provides results that are in good agreement with the those of the 3-D layerwise theory of Reddy. The present theory and finite element model enables one to obtain very accurate response of most composite and FGM plate structures with considerably less computational resources.Show more Item Multiscale approach for modeling hot mix asphalt(Texas A&M University, 2005-08-29) Dessouky, Samer HassanShow more Hot mix asphalt (HMA) is a granular composite material stabilized by the presence of asphalt binder. The behavior of HMA is highly influenced by the microstructure distribution in terms of the different particle sizes present in the mix, the directional distribution of particles, the distribution of voids, and the nucleation and propagation of cracks. Conventional continuum modeling of HMA lacks the ability to explicitly account for the effect of microstructure distribution features. This study presents the development of elastic and visco-plastic models that account for important aspects of the microstructure distribution in modeling the macroscopic behavior of HMA. In the first part of this study, an approach is developed to introduce a length scale to the elasticity constitutive relationship in order to capture the influence of particle sizes on HMA response. The model is implemented in finite element (FE) analysis and used to analyze the microstructure response and predict the macroscopic properties of HMA. Each point in the microstructure is assigned effective local properties which are calculated using an analytical micromechanical model that captures the influence of percent of particles on the microscopic response of HMA. The moving window technique and autocorrelation function are used to determine the microstructure characteristic length scales that are usedin strain gradient elasticity. A number of asphalt mixes with different aggregate types and size distributions are analyzed in this paper. In the second part of this study, an elasto-visco-plastic continuum model is developed to predict HMA response and performance. The model incorporates a Drucker- Prager yield surface that is modified to capture the influence of stress path direction on the material response. Parameters that reflect the directional distribution of aggregates and damage density in the microstructure are included in the model. The elasto-visco-plastic model is converted into a numerical formulation and is implemented in FE analysis using a user-defined material subroutine (UMAT). A fully implicit algorithm in time-step control is used to enhance the efficiency of the FE analysis. The FE model used in this study simulates experimental data and pavement section.Show more Item Orthogonal Polynomial Approximation in Higher Dimensions: Applications in Astrodynamics(2013-08-05) Bani Younes, Ahmad H.Show more We propose novel methods to utilize orthogonal polynomial approximation in higher dimension spaces, which enable us to modify classical differential equation solvers to perform high precision, long-term orbit propagation. These methods have immediate application to efficient propagation of catalogs of Resident Space Objects (RSOs) and improved accounting for the uncertainty in the ephemeris of these objects. More fundamentally, the methodology promises to be of broad utility in solving initial and two point boundary value problems from a wide class of mathematical representations of problems arising in engineering, optimal control, physical sciences and applied mathematics. We unify and extend classical results from function approximation theory and consider their utility in astrodynamics. Least square approximation, using the classical Chebyshev polynomials as basis functions, is reviewed for discrete samples of the to-be-approximated function. We extend the orthogonal approximation ideas to n-dimensions in a novel way, through the use of array algebra and Kronecker operations. Approximation of test functions illustrates the resulting algorithms and provides insight into the errors of approximation, as well as the associated errors arising when the approximations are differentiated or integrated. Two sets of applications are considered that are challenges in astrodynamics. The first application addresses local approximation of high degree and order geopotential models, replacing the global spherical harmonic series by a family of locally precise orthogonal polynomial approximations for efficient computation. A method is introduced which adapts the approximation degree radially, compatible with the truth that the highest degree approximations (to ensure maximum acceleration error < 10^?9ms^?2, globally) are required near the Earths surface, whereas lower degree approximations are required as radius increases. We show that a four order of magnitude speedup is feasible, with both speed and storage efficiency op- timized using radial adaptation. The second class of problems addressed includes orbit propagation and solution of associated boundary value problems. The successive Chebyshev-Picard path approximation method is shown well-suited to solving these problems with over an order of magnitude speedup relative to known methods. Furthermore, the approach is parallel-structured so that it is suited for parallel implementation and further speedups. Used in conjunction with orthogonal Finite Element Model (FEM) gravity approximations, the Chebyshev-Picard path approximation enables truly revolutionary speedups in orbit propagation without accuracy loss.Show more