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Structural Mechanics

Solve linear static, transient, modal analysis, and frequency response problems

In this workflow, you can only specify and store parameters belonging to structural analysis. To store all physical parameters for structural, thermal, and electromagnetic analyses, and for ease of switching between analyses types, use Unified Modeling. For help migrating your existing code to the unified finite element workflow, see Migration from Domain-Specific to Unified Workflow.

With structural analysis, you can predict how components behave under loading, vibration, and other physical effects. This helps you design robust mechanical components by validating designs through simulation and reducing the need for physical testing.

The toolbox lets you perform linear static analysis, transient analysis, modal analysis, and frequency response analysis. A typical programmatic workflow for solving a structural problem includes these steps:

  • Create a special structural analysis container for a solid (3-D), plane stress, or plane strain model.

  • Define 2-D or 3-D geometry and mesh it.

  • Assign structural properties of the material, such as Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, and mass density.

  • Specify a damping model and its values for a dynamic problem.

  • Specify gravitational acceleration as a body load.

  • Specify boundary loads and constraints.

  • Specify initial displacement and velocity for a dynamic problem.

  • Solve the problem and plot results, such as displacement, velocity, acceleration, stress, strain, von Mises stress, principal stress and strain.

  • Approximate dynamic characteristics of a structural model by using reduced order modeling (ROM).

von Mises stress plot in color


expand all

createpdeCreate model
structuralPropertiesAssign structural properties of material for structural model
structuralDampingSpecify damping parameters for transient or frequency response structural model
structuralBodyLoadSpecify body load for structural model
structuralBoundaryLoadSpecify boundary loads for structural model
structuralBC Specify boundary conditions for structural model
structuralICSet initial conditions for a transient structural model
structuralSEInterfaceSpecify structural superelement interface for component mode synthesis (Since R2019b)
solveSolve structural analysis, heat transfer, or electromagnetic analysis problem
assembleFEMatricesAssemble finite element matrices
reduceReduce structural or thermal model (Since R2019b)
reconstructSolutionRecover full-model transient solution from reduced-order model (ROM) (Since R2019b)
linearizeLinearize structural or thermal model (Since R2021b)
linearizeInputSpecify inputs to linearized model (Since R2021b)
linearizeOutputSpecify outputs of linearized model (Since R2021b)
evaluateStressEvaluate stress for dynamic structural analysis problem
evaluateStrainEvaluate strain for dynamic structural analysis problem
evaluateVonMisesStressEvaluate von Mises stress for dynamic structural analysis problem
evaluateReactionEvaluate reaction forces on boundary
evaluatePrincipalStressEvaluate principal stress at nodal locations
evaluatePrincipalStrainEvaluate principal strain at nodal locations
interpolateDisplacementInterpolate displacement at arbitrary spatial locations
interpolateVelocityInterpolate velocity at arbitrary spatial locations for all time or frequency steps for dynamic structural model
interpolateAccelerationInterpolate acceleration at arbitrary spatial locations for all time or frequency steps for dynamic structural model
interpolateStressInterpolate stress at arbitrary spatial locations
interpolateStrainInterpolate strain at arbitrary spatial locations
interpolateVonMisesStressInterpolate von Mises stress at arbitrary spatial locations
pdeplotPlot solution or mesh for 2-D problem
pdeplot3DPlot solution or surface mesh for 3-D problem
pdegplotPlot PDE geometry
pdemeshPlot PDE mesh
pdevizCreate and plot PDE visualization object (Since R2021a)
findStructuralPropertiesFind structural material properties assigned to geometric region
findStructuralDampingFind damping model assigned to structural dynamics model
findStructuralBCFind structural boundary conditions and boundary loads assigned to geometric region
findStructuralICFind initial displacement and velocity assigned to geometric region
findBodyLoadFind body load assigned to geometric region

Live Editor Tasks

Visualize PDE ResultsCreate and explore visualizations of PDE results in the Live Editor (Since R2022b)


StructuralModelStructural model object
ReducedStructuralModelReduced-order structural model results (Since R2019b)
StaticStructuralResultsStatic structural solution and derived quantities
TransientStructuralResultsTransient structural solution and derived quantities
ModalStructuralResultsModal structural solution
FrequencyStructuralResultsFrequency response structural solution and derived quantities (Since R2019b)


StructuralMaterialAssignment PropertiesStructural material property assignments
StructuralDampingAssignment PropertiesDamping assignment for a structural analysis model
StructuralSEIAssignment PropertiesSuperelement interface assignment for structural model (Since R2019b)
BodyLoadAssignment PropertiesBody load assignments
StructuralBC Properties Boundary condition or boundary load for structural analysis model
GeometricStructuralICs PropertiesInitial displacement and velocity over a region
NodalStructuralICs Properties Initial displacement and velocity at mesh nodes
PDESolverOptions PropertiesAlgorithm options for solvers
PDEVisualization PropertiesPDE visualization of mesh and nodal results (Since R2021a)


Structural Analysis Workflow

General PDE Workflow

Structural Mechanics Equations