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Semester 1

Structural Analysis 3 (CIVE09036)


Civil Engineering





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Students need a prior understanding of structural mechanics and/or mechanics of materials at a level equivalent to Structural Mechanics 2A.

Course Summary

This course introduces the classical methods of analysis for statically indeterminate structures, especially structures comprising line elements, namely beam, truss and frame structures. It firstly extends from earlier structural mechanics knowledge on deflection of beams to the general analysis of deflections in statically determinate structures, with an emphasis on the method of virtual work. This is followed by the analysis of indeterminate structures using the force method (flexibility method); analysis of indeterminate structures using the displacement method, including the slope-deflection method and moment distribution method. It then proceeds to the matrix stiffness method for structural analysis using the direct stiffness approach, and the general aspects of structural modelling and computer analysis. The course provides a comprehensive cover of the fundamental principles, analysis techniques and practical skills that are required in modern structural analysis applications. Students will also develop a deep appreciation of the interlinks between different methods of structural analysis.

Course Description

Topic 1 Course Introduction: From members and sections to structures; Fundamental structural analysis principles and indeterminacy; Analysis of deflections in determinate structures using Energy Methods - Principle of work and energy, method of virtual work and applications; Beam deflections by discontinuity functions (Macaulay brackets). Topic 2 Analysis of statically indeterminate structures by the force method: Concept of force method; Maxwell's theorem of reciprocal displacements; Application of virtual work method (or a suitable alternative method) to calculate displacements and flexibility coefficients in the primary structure; Matrix flexibility equations and solution. Basic matrix algebra and matrix operations. Topic 3 Displacement method of analysis (I): Displacement method of analysis - general procedures; Slope-Deflection equations and application on beams and frames (No Sidesway and with Sidesway). Topic 4 Displacement method of analysis (II): Moment distribution; General principles and definitions; Moment distribution for beams; Stiffness-factor modifications; Moment distribution for frames - No Sidesway; Moment Distribution for Frames - Sidesway.Topic 5 Direct stiffness method (I) - Beams: Fundamentals of the stiffness method; Beam-member stiffness matrix; Assembling of stiffness matrix; Member loads; Matrix solutions.Topic 6 Direct stiffness method (II) -Trusses: Local and Global axis systems; Truss member stiffness matrix; Displacement and force transformation matrices; Member global stiffness matrix; Assembling of truss stiffness matrix; Matrix solutions.Topic 7 Direct stiffness method (III) -Frames: Frame-member stiffness matrix; displacement and force transformation matrices; Frame-member global stiffness matrix; Assembling of frame stiffness matrix; Matrix solutions. Unit displacement approach to formulation of stiffness matrices and example applications. Further discussion of DOFs.Topic 8 Structural modelling and computer analysis:General structural modelling; Modelling a structure and its members; Loads and load combinations; General Application of a structural analysis computer program; Verification and interpretation of results; Limitation of linear elastic analysis and what's next. Briefing of computer labs.Summary and revision .Computer labs: Software practice and computer analysis project.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 80%, Coursework 20%, Practical Exam 0%

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