Eigenvalues of the Stiffness Matrix

Students are exposed to eigenvalues and eigenvectors a few times through their structural engineering education. After the math department's obligatory treatment to sophomores with definitions, characteristic polynomials, and toy matrices, two to three years pass before students see eigenanalysis again as first year graduate students: Structural dynamics - find natural modes of vibration of a … Continue reading Eigenvalues of the Stiffness Matrix

Rigid Diaphragm for 2D Models

The rigidDiaphragm command allows you to constrain the motion of multiple secondary nodes to the motion of a primary node, e.g., when simulating rigid floor diaphragms in 3D structural models. But what if you want to enforce rigid diaphragm constraints for a 2D model, e.g., as shown below? Prior to PR #764, you would have … Continue reading Rigid Diaphragm for 2D Models

Verifying Will Never Be Easy

A previous post compared the natural periods computed by OpenSees for a relatively simple one-story, one-bay, elastic frame to published ETABS results. Many easy to make modeling choices (mass distribution, rigid joint offsets, relative stiffness, etc.) led to "incorrect" periods. The "correct" modeling choices gave periods from OpenSees that were very close to ETABS--close enough … Continue reading Verifying Will Never Be Easy

The Stiffness Matrix Isn’t Everything

After several deliveries of graduate level courses in linear and nonlinear structural analysis, I have started to think that we over-emphasize the stiffness matrix in linear structural analysis. And this emphasis can lead to conceptual difficulties in nonlinear structural analysis. The steps to a linear analysis are presented as: Form the stiffness matrix Form the … Continue reading The Stiffness Matrix Isn’t Everything

Trying to Get a Reaction

OpenSees does not compute reactions automatically because this can be a time consuming process--OpenSees assembles reactions over all nodes in a model, not just over the nodes that are constrained. When performing response history analysis, assembling reactions is likely not something you want or need to do at every time step. You probably just want … Continue reading Trying to Get a Reaction