G&D Computing has announced the launch of Strand7 Release 2.3, an Australian-developed general purpose, fully featured, finite element analysis system.
This release signifies a major expansion in what was already a diverse range of features. The new features appeal to both structural and mechanical engineers.
The release includes enhancements in areas such as load generation, results enveloping and graphing, and also introduces new elements and increased solver capability, amongst many other new features.
Strand7 can now automatically generate quasi-static seismic loads allowing earthquake analysis to be performed in accordance with codes such as AS1170.4 or Eurocode EC8. This provides the user with yet another method of earthquake analysis within the Strand7 system.
The load patch is one of the major new features in this release. The load patch is a new type of plate element that has no property attributes and is used solely for transferring loads distributed over an area to beams connected around the perimeter of the load patch.
An example of this would be the transfer of wind loads to the side of a building or live loads on a floor slab.
The load patch converts the area load into an equivalent line load on the beam. This greatly simplifies the application of loads to a complex array of beams; changing the load on a single plate automatically changes the load on the perimeter beams.
A function is even included to automatically generate the load patch element from a complex network of interconnected beams.
Release 2.3 also sees the introduction of non-structural mass. This allows designers to model live and non-structural dead loads as actual mass rather than applied loads. This mass can be varied across different loadcases. Being a mass attribute allows their automatic inclusion in all of the dynamic solvers.
This is a new and very powerful addition to the Strand7 element library. It is used for modelling a string or cable passing through any number of pulleys or connected points. The string is allowed to freely slide through the pulleys allowing very complex nonlinear situations to be modelled.