Wendelin H. Mueller

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science / Civil Engineering


Systems Science

Physical Description

3, x, 256 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Structural analysis (Engineering) -- Computer programs, Finite element method -- Computer programs, Lattice dynamics




In an attempt to achieve more efficient designs, the technological frontier is pushed further and further. Every year science probes for a better understanding of natural phenomena, discovering new and improved methods to perform the same task more efficiently and with better results. One of the new technologies is the nonlinear analysis of structural systems using inelastic post-buckling member performance. Inelastic post-buckling member performance is defined as the constitutive relationship between axial load and displacement after the ultimate member capacity has been exceeded. A nonlinear analysis is able to predict the failure behavior of a structural system under ultimate loads more accurately than the traditionally used linear elastic analysis. Consequently, designs can be improved and become more efficient, which reduces the realization cost of a project. An improved nonlinear analysis solution algorithm has been developed, that allows the analyst to perform a nonlinear analysis using post-buckling member performances faster than previously possible. Furthermore, the original post-buckling member performance database was expanded using results obtained from physical member compression tests. Based on the experimental results, new post-buckling member performance model curves were developed to be used together with the improved nonlinear solution algorithm. In addition, a program was developed that allows the analyst to perform a valid nonlinear analysis using a finite element program (LIMIT). The program combines a numerical pre-processor, and input and output data evaluation modules based on human expertise together with the LIMIT analysis package. Extensive on-line help facilities together with graphical pre- and post-processors were also integrated into the program. The resulting analysis package essentially combines all of the necessary components required to perform a nonlinear analysis using post-buckling member performances into one complete analysis package.


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