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Direct Linkage of the VAST Finite Element Code to the DSA Database

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MARTEC Limited Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada

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The general-purpose finite element code VAST, which was developed and maintained by Martec Limited over the past three decades under sponsorship from DRDC Atlantic, has been adopted as the finite element solver engine in several ship structural analysis programs, including the STRUC code developed at DRDC Atlantic. The execution of the VAST program required a set of ASCII input data files and the calculated element stresses were stored in a binary file, named Prefix.V53. In order to assist model generation and stress post-processing, a GUI system, named Trident FEA, has been developed by Martec Limited based on the DSA database. Because a direct linkage between the VAST program and the DSA database was not yet established, all the VAST input data files must be created by Trident or STRUC using information stored in the DSA database and the stress results generated by VAST must be transferred back to the DSA database for plotting. These IO-intensive, time consuming operations had to be carried out in an interactive mode, causing a serious efficiency problem for large finite element models with many load cases. In this contract, a direct linkage of the VAST program to the DSA database was developed. This direct VAST-DSA link provided not only a pre-processing capability for extracting all input information required for VAST executions directly from the DSA database files, but also a post-processing capability to automatically write computed element stresses and element internal forces to the appropriate stress files in DSA database. The most significant advantage of this direct VAST-DSA link was that it integrated the most time consuming parts of the pre- and post-processing operations into the VAST execution, which was normally conducted in batch mode. This direct link between VAST and the DSA database was verified extensively using a large number of test cases covering all the commonly used element types and analysis options supported by the DSA database.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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