Structural analysis is a most exciting field of activity, but it is only a support activity in the field of structural design. Analysis is a main part of the formulation and the solution of any design problem, and it often must be repeated many times during the design process. The analysis process helps to identify improved designs with respect to performance and cost.
Referring to behavior under working loads, the objective of the analysis of a given structure is to determine the internal forces, stresses and displacements under application of the given loading conditions. In order to evaluate the response of the structure it is necessary to establish an analytical model, which represents the structural behavior under application of the loadings. An acceptable model must describe the physical behavior of the structure adequately, and yet be simple to analyze. That is, the basic assumptions of the analysis will ensure that the model represents the problem under consideration and that the idealizations and approximations used result in a simplified solution. This latter property is essential particularly in the design of complex or large systems.
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