Plastic Models for Structural Analysis: Facts and Fallacies

by Ronald L. Bannister, Manager; Westinghouse Electric Corp., STGD, Lester, Pa.,
Ish K. Aneja, (M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Westinghouse Electric Corp., STGD, Lester, Pa.,
Kazuhiro Shiraki, Manager; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 5, Pg. 915-926

Document Type: Journal Paper


Laboratory and field measurements have shown that scale plastic models can be used to measure static deflections and stress levels natural frequencies, response levels, mode shapes and the effect of terminating impedance of complex structures before they are built. Tests on a realistic model enable a designer to achieve an optimum design before construction of the full-size structure. Model accuracy requires a dedication to understanding and controlling the variables which can alter the results. Poor model workmanship, misunderstood material properties, improper instrumentation, or inadequate experimental techniques may invalidate a complete testing program, not just alter the expected model accuracy.

Subject Headings: Model accuracy | Material properties | Plastics | Structural models | Plastic analysis | Scale models | Statics (mechanics) | Structural deflection

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