VES App Note #9
ME’scope Application Note #9 Calculating the Modes of a Beam INTRODUCTION
CREATING THE MODEL
NOTE: The steps in this Application Note can be duplicated using any Package that includes the VES-5000 SDM or VES-8000 Experimental FEA option. In this application note, a finite element model (FEM) of a beam is constructed, and its FEA modes are calculated. Then, one end of the beam is fixed and its cantilever beam modes are calculated. Finally, these results are compared with the modal frequencies of a continuous beam derived from classical closed form equations.
Since the dynamic equations for a FEA Bar require only its two end-points, we will start by defining the location of the element end Points on the centerline of the beam. Then each FEA Bar between a pair of end points will be defined by specifying its cross sectional area and material properties. This will complete the dynamic model needed to calculate the beam modes. BUILDING THE BEAM CENTERLINE
Open the App Note 09-Calculating the Modes of a Beam Project from the ME’copeVES\Application Notes folder.
Execute File | New | Structure to open a new (empty) Structure window. Enter “Free-Free Beam” in the dialog box that opens, and click on OK.
To set up the units for the beam model,
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Structure Options.
On the Units tab, choose the appropriate Mass, Force, and Length units, and click on OK.
Figure 1. Beam Model with FEA Bars Attached. The figure above shows the beam model. The beam is 20 inches long and has a 1 inch square cross-section. It will be modeled using five FEA bar finite elements called FEA Bars in ME’scope. NOTE: An FEA Bar is a beam finite element with a fixed cross-section. Each FEA Bar is defined by its two end-points, material properties, and cross-sectional area properties. At each end-point, an FEA Bar imposes translational, rotational and inertia constraints on other elements attached to the same Points. In Figure 1, additional Points, Lines and Surfaces are added to create a 3D beam model. However, only the six numbered centerline Points are required to model the dynamic properties of the beam using the FEA Bars.
To begin drawing the structure model,
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Drawing Assistant.
The Drawing Assistant tabs will be displayed.
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Figure 3. Centerline along the Global X-axis.
Figure 1. Choosing a Line Substructure.
On the Substructure tab, double click on the Editable Line substructure.
A Line substructure will be added to the Structure window and additional Drawing Assistant tabs will be displayed.
FEA BAR PROPERTIES To define each FEA Bar, its cross sectional area properties and material properties must be specified.
On the Dimensions tab, make the following entries: Length (in) = 20 Points = 6
Figure 4. Rectangular Cross-Section of FEA Bars
Figure 2. Centerline with Mid-Points. The Line substructure will be redrawn with six points and a length of 20 units along the Y-axis. Next, the centerline of the beam will be changed to lie along the X-axis instead of the Y-axis.
On the Position tab, verify that 45 Degrees and Global are selected in the Rotate section. Press the down Z button twice, to rotate the Line by 90 degrees about the Global Z-axis.
An FEA Bar cross-section is described by its area and four area moments. The area moments (Ixx, Iyy, Ixy and J) are computed with respect to the local cross section axes shown in Figure 4. The cross section properties of a rectangular cross section are: h
Area dA b dx h dy bh h
b3h y dA h y dy 12 b 2
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I yy x 2 dA b x 2 dx h
bh 3 12
b2 I xy xydA x ydy dx 0 h b 2 2 h
J x 2 y 2 dA I zz I xx I yy
ADDING AN ORIENTATION POINT
All of the FEA Bars will have the same dimensions (width b = 1 inch and height h = 1 inch). Therefore: Area = (1) x (1) = 1 in2 Ixx = (1/12) x (1)3 x (1) = 0.08333 in4 Iyy = (1/2) x (1) x (1)3 = 0.0833 in4 Ixy = 0.0 in4 J = 0.0833 + 0.0833 = 0.1666 in4
Execute FEA | FEA Properties in the STR: Free-Free Beam window. Click on the Bars tab. Execute Edit | Add to add a new property to the tab. Enter the properties into the spreadsheet, as shown below.
Before attaching the five FEA Bar elements between the six centerline Points, one more point must be added to the model to complete the cross section definition. This point is called the cross section orientation point. It is needed to define the “up axis” of the cross section of each FEA Bar. Each FEA Bar requires an orientation point that lies in the same plane as, but not in line with the FEA Bar end-points. Since the FEA Bars will all lie on the same line, a single orientation point can be used by all five FEA Bars. The orientation point will be located at coordinates X=10, Y=5 & Z=0 units To add the orientation point:
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Object List | Points. Right click in the graphics area again, and execute Add Objects. Click in the drawing area to the right of the centerline as shown in Figure 5.
This will add a Point to the model and also add a row to the Points spreadsheet.
Right click in the graphics area again, and execute Add Object again to terminate the Add Points operation.
FEA Bar Material Properties Each FEA Bar also requires Three material properties. These are the Modulus of Elasticity (Young’s Modulus), Poisson’s Ratio and its material Density. Assuming that the beam is made from 6061-T6 aluminum, it will have the following properties: Modulus of Elasticity = 9.9x106 lbf/in2 Poissons Ratio = 0.33 Density = 0.098 lbm/in3
Execute FEA | FEA Materials in the STR: Free-Free Beam window. Enter the three properties for aluminum above into the spreadsheet, as shown below.
Figure 5. Adding an Orientation Point.
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In the Points spreadsheet, edit the coordinate entries for the new (row 7) Point to:
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X coord = 10
Y coord = 5
X coord = 0
Enter “Orientation Point” in the Label field of the new Point.
To hide this Point so it will no longer be displayed,
Drag the vertical blue bar to the left to expose the FEA Bars spreadsheet. Double click on the FEA Properties column heading, and select Bar 1 from the list in the dialog box that opens.9.9e6 Double click on the Orient Point column heading, and enter “7” into the dialog box that opens.
To add the FEA Bars to the centerline Substructure,
Click on the Visible cell for the orientation point, changing its entry to No.
To add this Point to the centerline Substructure,
Make sure that Point 7 is selected. Execute Draw | SubStructure | Add Selected Objects to Substructure in STR: Free-Free Beam. Select the Editable Line in the dialog box that opens, and click on Add To.
This completes the definition of the orientation point.
Make sure that the five FEA Bars are selected. Execute Draw | SubStructure | Add Selected Objects to Substructure in STR: Free-Free Beam. Select the Editable Line in the dialog box that opens, and click on Add To.
CALCULATING THE FREE-FREE MODES Now that the FEA beam has been completely defined, its free-free modes can be calculated.
Next, the 5 FEA Bars will be added to the model between the 6 centerline Points.
NOTE: All modes depend on the boundary conditions on a structure. Free-free modes reflect a condition where there are no constraining boundary conditions at both ends of the beam.
ADDING THE FEA BARS
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Object List | FEA Bars. Right click in the graphics area, and execute Add Objects. Click near the Point at the end of the Line, and then near the Point adjacent to it to add the first FEA Bar element between these two Points. Keep clicking down the centerline to add all five FEA Bars, as shown in Figure 6. Right click in the graphics area again, and execute Add Objects to terminate the Add FEA Bars operation.
Execute FEA | Calculate FEA Modes in the STR: Free-Free Beam window. Click on Yes in the dialog box that opens, enter parameters into the next dialog box, as shown below, and click on OK.
After the modes have been calculated,
Click on the New File button in the dialog that opens, and enter “free-free modes” into the next dialog box.
A new Shape Table window will open listing the free-free modes of the beam, as shown in Figure 7. Figure 6. FEA Bars Added to the Centerline. Properties & Orientation Point The final two steps needed to define the FEA model are to assign the FEA Properties and the Orientation Point to the 5 FEA Bars.
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Figure 8. Adding an Editable Cube to the Model.
Width = 1
Figure 7. Free-free Modes.
Points = 2
Notice that the first five modes have essentially zero frequencies. These are the rigid body modes of the free-free beam. The first flexible body mode is at 453 Hz. Notice also that all of the modes have 0% damping since the FEA model contains no damping.
Height = 1 Points = 2 Length = 20 Points = 6
ANIMATING THE FREE-FREE MODE SHAPES
Right click in the spreadsheet area of SHP: Free-Free Modes, and execute Tools | Create Animation Equations. Select STR: Free-Free Beam in the dialog box that opens, and click through the remaining dialog boxes. Right click in the spreadsheet area of SHP: Free-Free Modes, and execute Tools | Animate Shapes.
As you click on each Shape button in SHP: Free-Free Modes to animate its shape, notice the following,
On the Dimensions tab, make the following entries:
On the Position tab, make the following Local Origin entries: X=0 Y=0 Z=0
The completed Cube substructure should now surround the centerline, as shown in Figure 9.
Shapes 1 through 5 have rigid body mode shapes. Shape pairs 6 & 7, 8 & 9, 10 & 11, 12 & 13 are all pairs of repeated roots. That is, each pair has the same frequency but a different mode shape. Shapes 14 through 18 are longitudinal mode shapes
BUILDING A 3D BEAM MODEL To improve the realism of the structure model, another Substructure will be added to the structure model to turn it into a 3D model.
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Drawing Assistant. In the list on the Substructure tab, double-click on the Editable Cube substructure to add it to the structure model, as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 9. Completed Cube Substructure. ANIMATION WITH INTERPOLATION
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Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Animation Equations | Create Interpolated.
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Click through the dialog boxes that open, enter “1” into the next dialog box, as shown below, and click on OK.
CANTEILEVER BEAM To create a cantilever beam structure, the free-free beam structure will first be copied into another Structure window.
This will assign the motion of each Point on the centerline to the Points in each cross section of the Editable Cube Substructure.
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Free-Free Beam, and execute Animate Shapes.
Make sure all Substructures are un-selected in the STR: Free-Free Beam window Execute Edit | Copy Objects to File Click on the New File button in the dialog box that opens, enter “Cantilever Beam” into the next dialog box, and click on OK.
A new Structure window will open with a copy of the beam model in it. To make a cantilever beam model more realistic, a vertical ground plane will be added to the fixed end of the beam:
The 3D beam model should now display the shapes from SHP: free-free modes in animation.
Right click in the graphics area of STR: Cantilever Beam, and execute Drawing Assistant. In the list on the Substructure tab, double-click on the Editable Plate substructure to add it to the structure model. On the Dimensions tab enter: Width = 4 Points = 2 Height = 4 Points = 2
On the Position tab enter the Local Origin (in): X=0 Y=0 Z=0
Figure 11. Cantilever Beam Structure. CALCULATING THE CANTILEVER MODES
Figure 10. First Three Free-Free Mode Shapes.
To model a cantilever beam, one end of the free-free beam must be fixed so that it cannot translate or rotate. This is equivalent to clamping the beam to a rigid foundation.
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Right click in the graphics area of STR: Cantilever Beam, and execute Object List | Points. Hold down Ctrl, and click near the Point on the centerline closest to the ground plane to select it. Right click in the graphics area of STR: Cantilever Beam, and execute Animation Equations | Fix DOFs Click on No in the following dialog box that opens
After the cantilever modes have been calculated,
Click on the New File button in the dialog that opens, and enter “cantilever modes” into the next dialog box.
A new Shape Table window will open listing the cantilever modes of the beam, sown in Figure 12.
Make the selections in the following dialog box, and click on OK.
Figure 12. Cantilever Modes. ANIMATING THE CANTLEVER MODE SHAPES To display the modes of the cantilever beam in animation: The final dialog box will report that all 6 DOFs of the selected centerline end-Point have been fixed. Now the model is read for calculating the cantilever modes.
Execute FEA | Calculate FEA Modes in the STR: Cantilever Beam window. Click on Yes in the dialog box that opens, enter parameters into the next dialog box as shown below, and click on OK.
Right click in the spreadsheet area of SHP: Cantilever Modes, and execute Tools | Create Animation Equations. Select STR: Cantilver Beam in the dialog box that opens, and click through the remaining dialog boxes. Right click in the spreadsheet area of SHP: Free-Free Modes, and execute Tools | Animate Shapes.
As you click on each Shape button in SHP: Cantilever Modes to animate its shape, notice the following,
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Shapes pairs 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7 & 8, 10 & 11 are all pairs of repeated roots. That is, each pair has the same frequency but a different mode shape. Shapes 9 is the first longitudinal mode shape Shapes 12 through 15 are all longitudinal mode shapes
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Equation (6) was used to calculate the frequencies of the first three modes of both free-free and cantilever beams. These are compared with the ME’scope results below.
2 free-free 3 free-free st
Table 1. FEA versus Analytical Frequencies. CONCLUSIONS Notice in Table 1 that the FEA modal frequencies are lower, in all cases, than the analytical frequencies. This is because the analytical formula is for a continuous beam, whereas the continuous beams were modeled (approximated) in ME’scope using only five FEA Bar elements. Figure 14 shows how rapidly the first three FEA modal frequencies will converge toward the analytic answers when more FEA Bar elements are used.
Figure 13. First Three Cantilever Mode Shapes. FEA versus ANALYTICAL FREQUENCIES The reference textbook Formulas for Natural Frequency and Mode Shape, Robert D. Blevins, 1979, page 108, contains formulas for the modal frequencies of continuous beams. The modal frequencies of both free-free and cantilever beams can be determined with the following formula.
i2 EI f i 2 2 L m
fi = modal frequency of mode (j), in Hz. L = length of the beam i = 4.730, 7.853, 10.996
i = 1, 2, 3 (free-free beam)
i = 1.875, 4.694, 7.855
i = 1, 2, 3 (cantilever beam)
Figure 14. FEA Modal Frequency Errors versus Number of Bar Elements.
E = modulus of elasticity (9.9xE6) I = cross sectional inertia (0.0833) m = mass per unit length = (density)(area) = (0.098) / (386.4 lbf-sec2/in/lbm)
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