Astronomical Computing

Return to Home

"Plate" -- Finite Element Analysis Program for Plate Bending

Written by Toshimi Taki
September 9, 2004


"Plate" is a program of plate bending analysis by Finite Element Method (FEM for short). The program calculates deformation of a flat plate with arbitrary shape subjected to out-of-plane loads (lateral pressure and lateral concentrated forces). It runs on IBM-PC compatible machines.

The program was developed by Toshimi Taki in order to analyze deformation of astronomical telescope mirrors installed in various cell designs. A prototype program was used to write the article titled "Mirror Support: 3 or 9 Points?" in Sky & Telescope, September 1994, p.84. The prototype is applicable only to thin plate in which thickness of the plate is very thin. The error becomes larger when it is applied to thick plate.

This new version of the program "Plate" has been developed in order to analyze thick plate. It is based on "theory of plate bending with transverse shear deformation". It was used for "More Thoughts on Mirror-Cell Design," Sky & Telescope, April 1996, pp.75-77. I provided the source code to Professor David Lewis of Tronto University and he developed the popular mirror cell optimization program "Plop" based on "Plate".

Now, I decided to provide "Plate" with its source code open to the public. You can use or modify the program and the source code freely.

Click here to download "".


Finite element analysis requires technical knowledge to use. Knowledge of structural mechanics is a must. If you are not familiar with structural mechanics, I recommend you to learn it before use "Plate".

Return to Home