Frame Analysis Program
For my 3rd year dissertation project I created a program for simple frame analysis. The program, bluntly titled “2D Frame Analysis by Antony Dewar” is capable of elastic frame analysis for user created frame structures. You can add nodes of varying types by their coordinates and create members between nodes. You can then add forces to nodes or distributed along members. Once you run the frame analysis you can view the shear force, axial force and bending moment diagrams, as well as the reaction forces. All the data from the frame analysis is saved in a notepad file, which includes the member forces at each end of the member, nodal displacements, the local and the global stiffness matrices.
The software was written with C# using Visual Studio 2010. It can be run on any Windows PC with the .NET Framework 4. It utilises the direct stiffness method, which equates the displacements of nodes to the forces applied to them. Stiffness coefficients for members of frame structures are known, and can be determined by the member’s properties; they are the displacement required to induce a unit of force. By considering all nodes, forces and members in the global system, the stiffness of the entire structure can be expressed as a single matrix. The global displacements can be calculated by equating all unknown displacements and all known forces to find equilibrium (solving the simultaneous equations). The global displacements are then converted to local member axes to calculate the end member forces for each member.
The target audience of the program is students, so consequently I’ve tried to make it as simple to use as possible, with as much structural customisation as I could include. For a more in depth description of what the Frame Analysis program is capable of, consult the user guide linked to on this page.