The Inertial Ellipsoid

Introduction

The practising engineer might find it useful, particularly when dealing with skeletal structural models, beams, plates, point masses etc, to be able to visualise the inertial properties of his/her structure. For a three-dimensional structure the ellipsoid provides an opportunity to satisfy this desire.

When working with complicated FE models it is rather easy to make a mistake in the modelling and for this not to be picked up unless scrupulous checking is undertaken. Visualisation techniques such as the inertial ellipsoid presented above make this task easier and reduces the likelihood that mistakes will pass through to the final results.

Angus Ramsay