Nonlinear Elements, Elastic Sections

There's very little reason to use the elasticBeamColumn element in OpenSees. Using nonlinear elements, particularly the forceBeamColumn element, with elastic sections is just as good, if not better for many reasons. Not only do force-based elements with elastic sections make the transition to material nonlinearity easy, they also facilitate debugging your model. Another reason I … Continue reading Nonlinear Elements, Elastic Sections

Load Patterns and Time Series

In nonlinear structural analysis, loads add together, just not their effects. So, the total mechanical load applied to a structural model can be expressed as the sum of time-varying load vectors. $latex {\bf P}(t)={\displaystyle \sum_{i=1}^N} \lambda_i(t){\bf P}_{ref,i}$ Each load vector is the product of a time-varying scalar function, $latex \lambda(t)$, and a non-time-varying reference load … Continue reading Load Patterns and Time Series

Sensitivity Training

Sensitivity of structural response with respect to modeling parameters provides search directions for gradient-based algorithms in reliability analysis, optimization, and system identification. In addition to these applications, stand-alone sensitivity analysis gives useful information about the effect of parameters on the structural response. There are three methods to compute response sensitivity for nonlinear, path-dependent analysis of … Continue reading Sensitivity Training

Hysteretic Pinching Parameters

I receive a lot of questions about the pinching parameters for the HystereticMaterial in OpenSees. Despite the best of intentions, one-off responses to these queries often went unanswered. But now, with the blog, a one-off response has staying power. So, here goes. The HystereticMaterial dates back to the G3 days. Along with Steel01 and Concrete01, … Continue reading Hysteretic Pinching Parameters

Every Ending Is a New Beginning

Simulation of structural response to sequential hazards, e.g., fire following earthquake or tsunami following earthquake, is something OpenSees can handle. But suppose you want to look at different tsunami scenarios after a single earthquake. Tsunami loading occurs over a few seconds where the preceding earthquake lasted a minute or two. Do you want to repeat … Continue reading Every Ending Is a New Beginning

When a Deal Breaker Is Not a Deal Breaker

We often place too much emphasis on obtaining mathematically exact solutions for structural models. While it's important to obtain exact solutions, e.g., for element development and comparing softwares, it's not always necessary and definitely not always a deal breaker. The important thing is to know whether or not an exact solution is possible and the … Continue reading When a Deal Breaker Is Not a Deal Breaker

Uniaxial Multi-Tool

UniaxialMaterial models are the work horses of OpenSees. Originally developed for the truss element, these models have proliferated thanks to fiber section models. However, because they are simply scalar functions, UniaxialMaterial models can be used in several other contexts. The calling function knows the context, not the UniaxialMaterial model--it only provides an output for a … Continue reading Uniaxial Multi-Tool

OpenSees Fire v2.0

OpenSees modules for thermal loading and thermo-mechanical behavior were developed by Usmani et al in the early 2010s. This was the first foray for OpenSees outside its earthquake engineering comfort zone and highlighted the benefits of an open, collaborative software framework--an opportunity for the research community to share modeling methodologies, develop new applications, and ensure … Continue reading OpenSees Fire v2.0

A Little Secret About OpenSees Tcl

Putting load and fiber commands inside braces {} preceded by pattern and section commands, respectively, was a conscious choice in the early days of G3/OpenSees. The intent was to enforce the same scoping rules that Tcl uses for procedures, loops, and conditional statements; however, the braces and scoping were totally unnecessary. We scrapped the scoping … Continue reading A Little Secret About OpenSees Tcl