Finite Element Method
There are several ways to analyse a structure:
Analytical structural analysis
Analytical results are aquired by utilizing theory to solve a certain problem.
Analytical results are in themselves exact solutions, but often there has to be done
simplifications to be able to solve a problem anaytically, and then the results
may deviate from the correct ones. Correct modelling of the
problem is the keyword here, and it requires good knowledge of how the structural components
work and interact. For theory about different structural components, see the section about
The Matrix method
The matrix method is an analytical method, but its importance is worth an extra close look.
It has similarities with numerical methods such as the Finite Element Method in the way
it uses matrices to solve big linear systems, but the theory is analytical. The matrix
method is utilized in the analysis of frameworks and other truss and beam structures.
Numerical methods - The Finite Element Method
Numerical methods are developed for analysis of structures that are to complex to
solve analytical. The most important her is the Finite Element Method (FEM).