A Tool Kit to Analyse Data Series --
A Dynamic Analysis Tool Kit --

Note: in the following description not all features discussed are available in the trial or freeware version of the program, as the free version is an early release of DynaTool.


DynaTool is a windows application designed to ease the processing of time and frequency series. The basis of the application is the processing of input and output for the dynamic analysis of structures and equipment; however, many of the tools are applicable to other domains. The program was originally written to process data associated with seismic analysis, of structures and equipment; however, it has now been used in other fields including analysis of explosion testing results and impact analysis.

The basic idea is to group together simple tools for the pre and post processing of data for time and frequency domain engineering analysis. Most of the tools offered will exist in other packages or in personal tool kits. However, DynaTool combines these into a Microsoft Windows environment to allow inter operation. Therefore, time histories from the seismic analysis of a structure can be used to produce response spectra, power spectral density functions, or can be integrated and differentiated between acceleration, velocity and displacement records. DynaTool will allow mathematical processing between stored time and frequency series arrays.

DynaTool has been written using the Microsoft Visual C++ which not only has the advantage of making the program compatible with Microsoft Windows but it also means that the program is modular in nature thus allowing new analysis modules too be added at a later date. The use of C++ also allows the program to manage its memory demands, acquiring and releasing memory as it is required.

Program Structure

DynaTool is an object oriented program and each data array is defined as an object. The objects store both the X and Y data for the array. The X data can be fixed interval, in this case the program automatically stores only the starting value and the increment reducing memory usage for large data sets. The arrays can also be complex arrays, although this is an internal feature and is not accessed directly by the user.

In addition to the data for the array the objects store the array name and other data particularly cross references. For special data types such as response spectra the array object holds the spectral damping.

In all cases if the user deletes an array or loads new data to the array, the memory manager releases the data storage memory to reduce the demand on system resources.

Data Plotting

DynaTool plots data in the form of charts. At present the axes can be either linear or log with both user defined or automatic scaling. Primarily for the plotting of response spectra, a tripartite plot capability is being developed, allowing the one chart to represent displacement, velocity and acceleration. The user has control over the formatting of all aspects of the chart including:

  • Lines
  • Axes
  • Grid Lines
  • Borders

Plots can be saved to disc as bitmap (.bmp) files or printed directly to a printer.

Accel.gif (9142 bytes)
Displ.gif (5815 bytes)

Time-histories are stored with an attribute identifying the motion type, and this attribute is maintained as the record is integrated or differentiated. This ensures that whenever the time-history is processed it is handled in the appropriate manner. For instance, it is not necessary to force a time-history to an acceleration record before generating a response spectrum, this is handled internally.

Velo.gif (7526 bytes)

The independent "X" data can be either a uniform increment or variable. However, if a uniformly varying X data set is input in full then the data is retained.

Resp.gif (5255 bytes)

Time-History Generation
DynaTool will generate time-histories from target response spectra; designed principally for the generation of seismic time-histories, the method will have validity in other fields. Generated time-histories can have a random phase angle assigned to the frequency components of the generated record to allow suites of records to be generated. Using tools within DynaTool time-histories can be tested for their cross-correlation coefficient; their response spectra can be tested against the rules for ASCE 4 compliance.

The time-history generator allows time-histories to be created with different frequency content, from a basic set of frequencies to frequency rich records. Allied with the improved response spectrum generation within DynaTool a good spectrum match is possible.

It is possible to generate special purpose time-histories, such as those representing long period ground motion where the frequency content is restricted to low frequency bands, typically less than 0.5Hz.

Response Spectra
Resp.gif (5255 bytes)

Response Spectrum Generator
The response spectrum generator will generate displacement, velocity and/or acceleration spectra from displacement, velocity of acceleration time histories. Providing the user maintains the motion type assignments on the time-histories (normally set when a time-history is read in or when generated), then the generator will convert between motions internally. Once generated spectra can be changed to other motion types by using integration and differentiation routines. The response spectrum generator will also work with equal and unequal time-intervals, although unequal intervals require more processing.

Enveloping, Smoothing and Broadening
DynaTool has tools that will combine spectra by enveloping or averaging a set of spectra. After the desired processing is completed the resulting spectrum can be peak broadened. The peak broadening tool will also either envelope or average a group of spectra before carrying out the broadening. The peak broadening algorithm examines the spectrum using log-log scanning and interpolation. Smoothing of the spectrum is a natural outcome from the broadening process.

The broadening process can be extended to reduce the peak of the spectrum. Peak reduction truncates the peak of the spectrum, it does not scale the whole spectrum down.

Data Manipulation Tools

DynaTool includes a host of general purpose routines to help analyse and present data arrays. Where the manipulation of arrays results in a new array based on more than one input array the X values do not have to be the same. DynaTool interpolates between values to fill in missing values. Alternatively, it is possible to use the X array from one of the input arrays, or indeed any other filled array as the X variable for the output array.

Tools include:

  • Load data from a file or two files:
    • X and Y data from the same file;
    • X and Y data from separate files;
    • Only X or Y data from file;
    • Various incrementing X data sets from predefined series; and
    • Y data generated from X data using preset formulae.
  • Copy arrays
  • Fourier transforms to and from time and frequency domains
  • Power spectral density with various smoothing windows, including ASCE 4
  • Data smoothing
  • Data filtering
  • Cross-correlation factor calculation
  • Calculator function to perform algebraic actions between arrays
  • And more...
Trial Version
DynaTool and Help

This full version of DynaTool , v.4.3.0,  is a complete working copy with no disabled features. Help is context sensitive.  Evaluation and full licenced options are presented in the install package.  A licence key is required for the evaluation.

Click here to download DynaTool. The file "DynaTool-4.3.0.zip" has size 6,104,453 bytes.

Note - this file includes the help file.

Help File

Download the DynaTool help file which gives a good explanation of the program capability. In addition to the user manual, the help data base has entries for the program description, theory, verification, BUG LIST, program history and proposed developments. At the present time some sections, such as the theory section, which is empty, are incomplete. The user manual, history and release notes sections are complete. This file will be updated on a regular basis and will gradually fill the gaps.

Click here to download The DynaTool Help File. The file DynaTool Help.exe is a self extracting zip, size 123,586 bytes.

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2013 CREA Consultants Ltd, High Peak, UK
Last Updated 12 Sep 2013