School of Civil Engineering

Project 1. Hencky Bar-net Model for Analysis of Skew Plates

Supervisor:             Prof. C.M. Wang 

Beams, columns, arches, rectangular plates and circular plates have been successfully modelled by the Hencky Bar-Chain (for beams, columns and arches) or the Hencky Bar-Net (for plates) model (HBM for brevity). HBM comprises rigid bars connected by frictionless hinges with elastic rotational springs (and a system of torsional springs in the cells for plates). In the treatment of the above-mentioned structures, HBM is found to be mathematically equivalent to the central first order finite difference method (FDM for brevity). So HBM may be regarded as the physical structural model behind the FDM.

As an emerging discrete structural model, HBM has shown its advantages over other numerical methods in some problems. For example, in the optimization of beams, columns and arches, the HBM allows one to obtain optimality conditions in the form of recursive analytical expressions which can be easily solved for thousands of segments; thereby furnishing a smooth optimal variation of the cross-sectional area along the structural member for maximum buckling capacity or for maximum fundamental frequency of vibration. Owing to the discrete properties of HBM, it is also a suitable model for nano-scale structures which are currently a very hot research topic in mechanics.

The purpose of this research project is to further develop the Hencky bar-net model (HBM) for the bending, buckling and vibration analyses of skew plates.

This project will be mainly accomplished by coding MATLAB/Python programmes. Knowledge of structural mechanics is necessary. The student will acquire a deep understanding on plate theory and skills on MATLAB/Python coding after this project.

Project Duration  - The project will run as a year-long thesis commencing in either semester 1, 2018 (CIVL4580) or semester2, 2018 (CIVL4582).