Hierarchical Strategy for Rapid Finite Element Analysis
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A new methodology is introduced where the natural hierarchical character of model descriptions and simulation results are exploited to expedite analysis of problems. The philosophy and the different concepts involved are illustrated by implementing the strategy to solve some sample problems. The work resulted in a mix of mechanics, hierarchical data structures and software interfaces that form a rapid analysis environment. This can be very advantageous for cases where a sequence of analyses is required because of safety concerns or cost. When designing a structure, it is common to make numerous modifications to the model. In such cases, the ability to use data from different models within the same analysis environment becomes a major advantage. The proposed system's forte is its hierarchical framework that allows models to communicate with each other and share information with one another. This makes it ideal for global/local analyses where solutions from a global model are used to derive the boundary conditions for the local model. The system was used to conduct a micro mechanical analysis on unidirectional composites that have a nonuniform spatial distribution of the fibers. The hierarchical strategy is not tied to any specific methodology and can be adapted to solve problems using different technologies. This allows the strategy to be used across multiple length scales and governing equations. Copyright 2004 by John Whitcomb. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.