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research-article

AUTOMATED FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF TREE BRANCHES

[+] Author and Article Information
Zahra Shahbazi

Mechanical Engineering Department Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 10463
zahra.shahbazi@manhattan.edu

Devon Keane

Mechanical Engineering Department Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 10463
dkeane01@manhattan.edu

Domenick Avanzi

Mechanical Engineering Department Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 10463
davanzi01@manhattan.edu

Lance Evans

Biology Department Laboratory of Plant Morphogenesis Manhattan College Riverdale, NY 10463
lance.evans@manhattan.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036556 History: Received August 28, 2016; Revised April 17, 2017

Abstract

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been one of the successful tools in studying mechanical behavior of biological materials. There are many instances where creating FE models requires extensive time and effort. Such instances include finite element analysis of tree branches with complex geometries and varying mechanical properties. Once a FE model of a tree branch is created, the model is not applicable to another branch and all the modeling steps must be repeated for each new branch with a different geometry and, in some cases, material. In this paper, we describe a new and novel program “Immediate-TREE”, and its associated Guided User Interface (GUI). This program provides researchers a fast and efficient tool to create finite element analysis of a large variety of tree branches. Immediate-TREE automates creating finite element models with the use of computer generated Python files. Immediate-TREE uses tree branch data (geometry, mechanical and material properties) and generates Python files. Files were then run in finite element analysis software (Abaqus) to complete the analysis. Immediate-TREE is approximately 240 times faster than creating the same model directly in the FEA software (Abaqus). This new process can be used with a large variety of biological applications including analyses of bones, teeth as well as none biological materials.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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