Application of the Finite Element Method to the Design of Disc Type Wheels

  • C.W. Woo

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


In this thesis the analysis and the design of axisymmetric
disc wheels are studied from a new approach using the finite
element method. The triangular plane element and the triangular
ring element are used in the finite element idealisations of disc

General purpose computer programmes have been developed and
the programmes reduce the analysis of complex two-dimensional and
axisymmetric problems to routine data preparation, which involves
the specification of the geometrical and elastic properties of the
structure and certain boundary conditions. The two-dimensional
programme can analyse any plane stress or plane strain elastic
problems. The axisymmetric programmes can analyse any axisymmetric
elastic problems with axisymmetric and/or non-axisymmetric loadings.

The method of idealisation and the interpretation of the
finite element results have been studied in detail with problems of
known solutions. Disc wheels under various loading conditions have
been analysed using both the plane stress and the axisymmetric idealisations.
Some of the results are compared with those obtained by
the photoelastic method, and good agreement is observed.

The utilisation of material in disc wheels is examined by
means of a parametric survey of various wheel geometries; a study
of the results of this survey has allowed the development of a
design optimisation procedure for this type of wheel.
Date of Award1971
Original languageEnglish


  • finite element method
  • design
  • disc type wheels

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