No.17. Dynamics

Structural dynamics is the study of how structures respond to loads that vary rapidly with time. Examples range from footfall forces on footbridges and office floors, to severe environmental loads such as earthquakes and extreme winds. The key phenomenon which causes problems is resonance, whereby large amplifications of motion occur when the frequency (i.e. oscillation rate) of a load coincides with the natural frequency of the loaded structure.

This introduction to the subject, focusing on linear elastic structures, explains how to calculate or estimate the key dynamic properties of simple structures, and outlines the principles used by finite element programs in analysing the dynamics of more complex structures.

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