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How to apply a known total load on beam structure?

Question asked by Andrew Lee on Mar 9, 2013
Latest reply on Mar 10, 2013 by Jerry Steiger

I'm currently designing the frame of a vehicle right now. One of the things that I want to analyze is how the entire frame structure will react when the vehicle is fully loaded (total load).

I basically want to apply a total load on a set of beams shown below, which is acting as the structure for the floor. A "plate" which is the floor panel is not shown.

I first tried to just apply forces on each of the beams, but I obviously do not know the force on each beam. Each is also not the same length. I only know the total force.

What I want to do is add a plate which will act as the floor and remain rigid, while the beams below will obviously deform. What I thought would be great is to apply a total force on a plate that is coincident to all of the beams, but I don't think there's a way to do this.

I had already tried to model a plate, which I had assigned as a shell, that is coincident to the beams. I then used a contact set to bond the surface/shell and the beams together. The result was that the surface basically deformed like a piece of sheetmetal over the beams (think melting), which is not what I want.

Any help will be highly appreciated.