The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 94 (2016) > Issue 3 > What is your structural model not telling you?
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What is your structural model not telling you?

Finite-element analysis involves inherent approximations and numerical errors. In addition to these, the increasing size of structural models and the use of automated workfl ows for creating them can lead to hidden user errors in these models. In order for an engineer to have confidence in the analysis results, it is necessary to be aware of how these errors manifest themselves in models, what impact they have on analysis results and, most importantly, how they can be detected. We present novel numerical techniques that the analyst can use to “debug” their models and verify the accuracy of their analysis results. These techniques have been implemented in software and have been successfully used by practising engineers working on real life projects.

Author(s): R. Kannan, S. Hendry and C. Kaethner (all Arup)