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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 75
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and Z. Bittnar
Paper 4

Development of Matrix Method Based Structural Analysis Toolbox in Matlab

Y. Arfiadi+ and M.N.S. Hadi*

+Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Atma Jaya Yogyakarta University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
*Faculty of Engineering, University of Wollongong, Australia

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
Y. Arfiadi, M.N.S. Hadi, "Development of Matrix Method Based Structural Analysis Toolbox in Matlab", in B.H.V. Topping, Z. Bittnar, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Computational Structures Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 4, 2002. doi:10.4203/ccp.75.4
Keywords: computer programs, educational program, educational purpose, matrix methods, Matlab.

The development in the computer has become very useful to civil engineering community. Due to its development nowadays many structural analysis programs have been developed in practice. Among them are SAP, STRAND, ETABS, NASTRAN and STAADIII. To use those programs what we need is just to follow its manual to prepare the data. After preparing the data, the program can be run and the result can be obtained. This process has made the one who does not understand the background of analysis might run the program. Since usually the computation process has been automated in the programs, therefore, it is very difficult to one who does not understand the background of the analysis to verify the result.

In the university, there is a dilemma in teaching direct stiffness method of structural analysis. In one hand the use of computer should be emphasized to the students. But, if the student is introduced only on how to operate the available commercial software, then the students just perform as an operator who `just click the mouse and press the enter key'. This condition of course has no beneficial aspect. On the other hand, due to the wide acceptance of the direct stiffness matrix method, it will be very difficult to teach direct stiffness method without the use of computer, since it consists of the tiresome calculations. Therefore, there should be a way to cope with this problem.

Wilson has developed a series of CAL programs for teaching structural analysis by using the matrix method. With this program the user has to be involved with the process of analysis. This condition makes the program suitable for an academic purpose. But, the tight format of the data makes the program to be tiresome. In parallel to Wilson and Shim and Kanok-Nukulchai have developed a series of AIT (Analysis Interpretive Treatise) programs to be used in teaching structural analysis. Similar to CAL, these programs are also uncomfortable to use due to a strict format in inputting the data.

Considering the drawback of the available programs for teaching structural analysis so far, it is important to develop a program that can be used easily for academic purpose. The objective is to make an interface between academic and commercial purpose software. Fortunately, through MATLAB medium such a purpose could be accomplished conveniently. The subprograms according to the stiffness matrix method were developed through MATLAB. It is expected that by using this program the users will get involved in each step of calculation so that it will increase their confidence during the analysis process. In using this program the user might use the developed function easily; but, the steps in structural analysis and model interpretation should be decided by the user as shown in the full paper. This condition makes the developed function very suitable for the educational purpose, and might be used for teaching matrix method of structural analysis conveniently. Moreover, this program can be used also for practical purpose similar to the available commercial software.

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