Perform a simple FEA simulation using the SOLIDWORKS software. Design the geometry of a solid body and apply the material, appropriate boundary conditions, and external loads in order to calculate the maximal strain in the body. Compare the result with the analytical solution.
Let’s consider a cantilever beam with the following loading:
The cross-section is assumed to be a simple rectangle with a 150 mm height and 50 mm width.
Then, the first step will be to create the cross-sectional area in the arbitrarily selected sketch:
It should be noted that the 1 m (or 1000 mm) of free length needs to be separated from the whole surface for the load application.
As for the boundary conditions, the left side of the beam should be fixed and the right span of 1 m should be loaded by the distributed load of 4 kN/m.
A standard mesh will be built there. Since the geometry is very simple, there is no need for a small mesh size.
As can be seen, the maximal displacement is:
The deflection of the end can be calculated as:
As can be seen, the calculated value equals 28 mm. Thus, the FEA provided the exact solution compared to the analytical analysis. However, a real-life experiment could provide a different value, since the real-life beam has non-homogenous properties and non-linear behavior.
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