Nonlinear structural behavior may be associated with either geometric or material response, each described as follows:

Linear vs. nonlinear analysis

Nonlinear analysis methods are best applied when either geometric or material nonlinearity is considered during structural modeling and analysis. If only elastic material behavior is considered, linear analysis methods should suffice, though P-Delta formulation may still be applied. Linear and nonlinear methods may be static or dynamic. A few of the traditional analysis methods, and the relations between their attributes, are presented in Figure 1:


Figure 1 - Analysis methods

Each of these analysis methods has benefits and limitations. An overview of each method is as follows:

Analysis objective

Engineers may use any of these analysis methods to:

  • Bob the "Linear vs. nonlinear analysis" and "Analysis objective" portions of this article should probably be in a separate article. What do you think?


Capacity Design

Nonlinear modeling and analysis is fundamental to Capacity Design.