This course will explore the functionality, strength and reliability of mechanical components, products or devices and how they are controlled by the deformations or loads imposed on them. Deformations are caused by the (external) loads, giving rise to stresses within the material. These phenomena have already been explored in principle in the prerequisite course ENGMATE101 – Structures and Properties for different materials. Now we are extending it to take the influence of shape into account as well and we will include all three dimensions. For this purpose, an introduction of the necessary mathematics (linear algebra) will be included.
Whenever deformations and rotations remain small and reversible (elastic), whereby no energy is dissipated in the material, we may solve problems analytically. But modelling of both simple or more complex situations is inevitably a three-dimensional problem. Strains and stresses therefore have to be characterized in a 3D-space, whereby the efficient use of vectors and tensors is indispensable. You will also be introduced to appropriate solution techniques for the system of partial differential equations that arises: the finite element method (FEM), which is widely used in mechanics. The course will introduce the working principles of Finite Element Modelling (FEM) and apply the concepts using commercially available software. We will discuss the application and limitations of design evaluation through FEA.