5: General Stress Analysis
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The results presented in earlier modules for trusses, beams, and other simple shapes provide much of the information needed in design of load-bearing structures. However, materials and structural engineers routinely need to estimate stresses and deflections in geometrically more irregular articles. This is the function of stress analysis, by which we mean the collection of theoretical and experimental techniques that goes beyond the direct-analysis approach used up to now. This is a career field in its own right, and these modules will limit themselves to outlining only a few of its principal features.
Thumbnail: Example results of Finite Element Analysis computational simulation of a generic superelastic nitinol stent. Open Stent Design, developed by Confluent Medical Technologies (formerly Nitinol Devices and Components, NDC). Analysis by Karthikeyan Senthilnathan, Abaqus Standard from DS Simulia. OSS-Crimp-FEA-08. (CC BY 2.0 Generic; Craig Bonsignore via Flickr)