Lab Report for the FEA Part

For this part of the course (regarding the FEA), students will be asked to perform one lab report.

  • This lab report is home work and consists of
    • a simple experiment,
    • an analytical calculation and
    • a FE simulation of the experiment.
  • You may work together in groups of two or max. three students to have more fun.
  • For the simulation part you can either download and install ANSYS Student Version on your own computer or use the kiz Ansys installations on the different hardware options.  If nothing of such would work for you, you may use the ANSYS installations in our "MAC Pool", then please ask somebody from the UZWR to open the door for you.
  • Results should be presented in one written report (PDF) for each group.
  • Reports should be sent by e-mail to the lecturers.
  • Please include the e-mail addresses of all other members of the group in CC.

Due date: see the page above.

Detailed instructions

Perform the beam bending experiment

You have to find a beam-like object that you can load in bending with a known (measurable) force to such an extent that you are able to measure the max. deflection easily. Examples:

  • Take a thin flexible ruler preloaded by the weight of an empty plastic cup or bottle. Then increase loading by filling the cup with water. Measure the additional deflection resulting from the weight of the water.  You may determine the weight of the water just by measuring its volume.
  • Another possibility is to go to a tools and hardware store (e.g. “Bauhaus”, “Praktiker”) and find a beam and load it with your own body weight.  You may also find tools in the store to measure the deflection, the length and the cross sectional size of the beam.  If you perform the experiment inside the store without breaking anything, you probably won’t have to buy anything …
  • You may load the beam in 3-point or 4-point bending or as a cantilever or somehow  in a more complex bending case.
  • Find out the elastic properties of the beam's material (Internet).
  • Take some photos of your experiment.

Perform the Analytical Solution

Formulars of the beam's deflection w(x) for special bending load cases can be found in the internet (e.g. SimpleBeamTheory).  Calculate one or two deflections w(x1), w(x2) at distinguished locations in order to compare that values with the experiment and the simulation.

Perform the Simulation

Create a FE model representing to your experimental beam and simulate your bending experiment.  Make sure to choose appropriate boundary conditions fitting to the support conditions of your individual experiment and an adequately fine FE mesh.

Write the Report

The lab report should consist of the following parts/chapters:

  • A title page containing names (surname in capitals), matriculation numbers and e-mail addresses of all group members.
  • Introduction: A few general sentences about the project.
  • Experiment:  Brief description of the experiment together with a photo or drawing.
  • Analytical Calculations showing the used formulars and theire references.
  • Simulation: Very brief description of the model containing geometry, mesh, material properties and theire references, load&boundary conditions as well as it's simulation results (displacements).  Text and some Ansys screen shots.
  • Results: Summary of the results in form of a table including the different displacement results.
  • Discussion: Compare and discuss your results and methods.  Give possible reasons for differences and errors and potential improvements.


Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Simon
Executive Manager
Helmholtzstraße 20
Room 1.44 (access via 1.41)
89081 Ulm

Phone +49 (0)731 50-31700
Fax +49 (0)731 50-31709