Structural analysis is the process of performing calculations to help determine the effects of different internal forces and types of loads on a particular structure, or building. Structural analysis is an important component for structural engineers as it helps them to fully understand the specific load paths and the impacts that the different types of loads have on their engineering design.
Importance of Structural Analysis
The structural analysis allows designers or engineers to make sure that a structure, or a piece of equipment, is safe for use under the estimated loads that the structure is expected to withstand. Structural analysis is performed prior to the design stage, and it provides the internal forces and stresses that will be evaluated during the design and code checking. The process will typically account for the materials used, applied loads, and geometry of the structure or object.
The Types of Structural Analysis
Several different types of structural analysis can be done to accommodate the specific project requirements. The following methods are how structural analysis can be performed:
Simple hand calculations provide an extremely fast and simple option to evaluate the different effects of simple forces on simple structures. A possible scenario would be to calculate the bending moment forces on a horizontal beam. These simple calculations are a standard practice often seen in the civil engineering sector. It is suitable for engineers who prefer not to spend an extended period of time designing, but would like to still determine the rough forces that a beam will be exposed to due to applied loads.
Finite Element Analysis
Finite Element Analysis is a much more complicated numerical method that can help engineers to solve complex problems with various variable inputs like applied loads, boundary conditions, and support types. Finite Element Analysis may be more complex but it is much more accurate as compared to hand calculations. This method requires the structure to be broken up into smaller sections to be individually evaluated to obtain a more accurate estimate of the solution. This may be a time-consuming process that may also pose various issues to implement and execute. It is common for a Finite Element Analysis model to involve matrices from thousands of entries which most definitely cannot be done through human calculations.
Structural Analysis and Design Software
A structural analysis and design software performs an accurate set of calculations without all the complex procedures. The software enables engineers to evaluate the effects of moments, point loads, and distributed loads on a design or structure. This method offers unmatched results and is the most common analysis to evaluate a structure with low calculation time and high precision. Some of the common drawbacks of many standard software include the software being too costly or inaccessible. However, with ASDIP structural software, we strive to fully eradicate such disadvantages to deliver to you an affordable structural analysis and design option that can easily be accessed on any Windows operating system.
The ASDIP structural engineering program offers an array of different modules that cater to the specific needs of the variety of civil and structural engineering fields. The software comes with a user-friendly graphical user interface that is simple to use for time-saving designing and calculations.