To perform engineering analyses in the most cost-effective manner, engineers must eliminate noncritical design items from a detailed analysis program and concentrate on the marginal and critical design items. This paper shows an approach to accomplishing this objective through the use of a rapid single-degree-of-freedom analysis. Part I develops equations for determining dynamic stresses on structural items modeled as simple beams and presents a nondimensional method for determining the equivalent spring rate of a variable-stiffness beam. Part II presents a step-by-step example that provides the deflection, equivalent stiffness, frequency, and dynamic stress on two different beam configurations with their predicted times-to-failure. In addition, the deflection and frequency results from a finite-element-model analysis of two tapered brackets are compared with the results from the nondimensional variable stiffness beam method developed previously.

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