Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Zamani, Nader


Dynamic Analysis Case Studies, Modal Calculation, Modal Superposition Technique, RBE2, Rigid Spring Virtual Part, Rigid Virtual Part




In this thesis, the concept of “Virtual Part” as implemented in Catia v5 is studied in detail with the intention of developing a knowledge base for their functionalities and limitations. The origin of Virtual Part can be traced back to the RBE elements (rigid Bar Elements) implemented in NASTRAN in the early 1960s. The focus of the thesis however is to explore the response/applicability of Catia in linear dynamic problems. Since, linear dynamics is based on the concept of modal superposition, a significant part of the research is to investigate the behavior of Virtual Parts and their role in modal analysis. On this note, numerous case studies dealing with Virtual Parts in frequency calculations of a simple geometry, under standard and common loading conditions and restraints are looked at. The calculated frequencies are either compared with the theoretical expressions available in the literature, or full three-dimensional FEA calculations in the software. Two practical problems using the knowledge developed in the early part of the thesis are also considered. As indicated earlier, the primary goal of the research was to develop guidelines for using the concept of Virtual Parts which can dramatically reduce the computational resources and at the same time not compromise the accuracy of the results substantially.