Structural Software for Education

In: Science

Submitted By z953ss
Words 3990
Pages 16
1.0 Introduction
In this era of information technology, civil engineers rely heavily on software to perform their design tasks. Unfortunately, most commercial structural analysis packages are closed-source, which means that the operations that the program performs cannot be inspected by the user.
Moreover, such software packages are invariably very pricey, and, hence, are generally not affordable for students and smaller engineering firms.
The objective of this design project was to design a structural analysis program that would be free of charge and available to all. This computer program was to be open source and well commented, so that its users could comprehend the operations performed in the analysis of a given structure.
To accomplish these objectives, the generalized stiffness method of structural analysis was implemented into a computer algorithm. This algorithm, called “TrussT Structural Analysis”, is a collection of visual basic modules embedded in a Microsoft Excel document using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). This design report outlines the theory behind TrussT Structural
Analysis, as well as the methods by which that theory was implemented into computer algorithms. The first two sections of this report present the theory of the generalized stiffness method of structural analysis and its implementation into a computer algorithm. The following sections present the procedures by which the stiffness method was modified to incorporate the analysis of structure with special characteristics such as member applied loads, member releases or support settlements. A computer implementation of the Euler method of analysis is described to account for the geometric non-linearity of structures. Finally, algorithms that can generate member force diagrams and moment diagrams are presented.
2.0 Generalized Stiffness Method
The term stiffness…...

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