Web under local loads – Nonlinear FEA
The more complex a problem is, and the higher the accuracy needed, the more it makes sense to employ Nonlinear FEA. Will it make sense to use it in solving local web loads? Let’s find out!8 February 2021
The topic of linear and nonlinear buckling is one of the most searched FEA topics. It is understandable since a lack of knowledge about the difference in both approaches can lead to great overestimation of model capacity and following real-life instability failure. In this post, I will discuss the difference with a shell example.
I think this debate is popular because performing a nonlinear buckling analysis requires far more knowledge and sometimes even better software than linear buckling. This leads to a situation where sometimes linear buckling is the only solution that can be applied (i.e. when license costs are a limitation) and questions arise whether the accuracy of such algorithm is sufficient. This does not mean of course, that nonlinear buckling is simply better since it requires far more computing time to perform the design. In general, I see the difference between the two as follows:
LBA: Linear Buckling – Positives:
LBA: Linear Buckling – Negatives:
GNA: Nonlinear Buckling – Positives:
GNA: Nonlinear Buckling – Negatives:
As you can see, I consider the nonlinear buckling analysis to be a more difficult, and time-consuming analysis that gives better results. If you are interested in Linear Buckling I wrote about it here. Basic concepts of geometric nonlinearity are described here.
In the previous part of the course, I have performed an LBA (linear buckling) analysis and checked the optimal mesh size for the task. The outcome I have received is summarised in the picture below.
Please note the distinctive shell deformation after instability failure at load 36.55kN/m.
To perform a nonlinear buckling analysis I used an arc-length method (in this case modified Riks Algorithm). I used the stability path method of determining model capacity, as well as geometry after failure.
It is possible to read from this stability path that critical load in the case of nonlinear analysis is 30.6kN/m which is 16% smaller than the outcome from LBA. Also, the deformed shape of the shell after collapse differs greatly from that obtained with LBA.
As shown in the above example difference between linear and nonlinear buckling is important. In simple problems difference in critical load between those two is around 15% (as in the presented example). From my experience, I would say that the more complex problem, the higher difference in outcomes between those two analyzes is. I think that the highest difference I have obtained was around 100% – I will try to find such a problem and post an example in the blog. It is also important to notice that LBA does not predict the shape of the instability well (especially in shells). This is important not only as information about collapse region – sometimes scaled LBA deformation is used as imperfections, and this may lead to falsified results.
I would say that the biggest drawback for linear buckling is the inability to incorporate nonlinear material behavior into this procedure. This is often a very important aspect of analysis and will be discussed later on.
Today there will be no clip showing how I did things in Femap: Next week I will discuss parameters of the nonlinear analysis I have used, and then show how to implement it. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it
Have a nice week!
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