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The Different Types of Finite Element Analysis

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Finite Element Analysis & Modeling | Element

In today’s technologically advanced world, Finite Element Analysis is an indispensable tool for many companies in different industries. From manufacturing to research and development (R&D), FEA helps businesses in many different aspects. This blog post will explain what FEA is and go over the different types of FEA. 

Understanding FEA: What it is and How it Works

Finite Element Analysis, or FEA, is a mathematical technique where a mathematical model of a physical product is represented in the form of an equation. In other words, it translates complicated equations into simple visualizations that allow for easier understanding and more effective design decisions. It resolves problems by determining the force, displacement, stresses, and strains of a finite system over time.

Finite Element Analysis is a great way of making better designs for your company in a variety of industries. It’s often difficult to know about damage and stress points in a design, especially if it hasn’t been made yet. With FEA, you can test these stress points and get useful data on the actual shape and form of your product before investing in expensive products or processes. This can save millions of dollars in the long run by eliminating costly issues before they arise, like cracked frames or leaks in  plastic parts.

How Does FEA Benefit Businesses 

The equation-based representation allows businesses to determine any potential problems with the design of their product. With the help of FEA, businesses can determine how their product will respond to different stimuli or react in different real-life situations. The method is widely used by structural engineers, industrial designers, physicists, chemists and materials scientists.

It saves time and resources because it’s easier to analyze functional designs before creating the actual products. Construction companies, aerospace industries and many other businesses rely on FEA to determine any potential weaknesses or structural issues with their models. It also allows businesses to analyze their models for any safety concerns.

Different Types of FEA

We mentioned earlier that there are different types of analyses, each suited for different situations. Let’s have a look at some of these types that are widely used in different industries. 

Static Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

A static finite element analysis is ideal for analyzing structural systems where there are no moving parts and the same geometry is not reused every time. This type of analysis will provide you with loads, strains, and stress distributions that are directly related to your design. The only drawback to this type of analysis is that the calculations will be computationally expensive. However, this issue can be resolved by using a pre-developed code or by performing multiple analyses on the same geometry with different material properties.

Dynamic Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

A dynamic finite element analysis is useful for analyzing systems that have moving parts, but are not being repeatedly used over a large time period. This type of analysis will provide you with loads, strains, and stress distributions that do not directly align with the geometry of your problem as no materials are reused in the analysis. This also makes the calculations relatively inexpensive since you only need to perform one calculation for every time the part is being used in your design. Dynamic finite element analyses are ideal for calculating stress concentrations or applied loads at joints where the geometry does not readily repeat itself.

Hybrid Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

A hybrid finite element analysis is ideal for analyzing systems that are undergoing simultaneous loads or motions over time. This type of analysis will provide you with loads, strains, and stress distributions that are directly related to your geometry and the applied loads. However, it will also calculate stresses at locations where the geometry does not repeat itself. 

This gives you information about how stress concentrations may change based on different times as well as different locations in the system. A drawback of this type of analysis is that if there is more than one material in your system, then it may take longer to perform multiple analyses for each.

Linear Static Analysis 

This is an FEA simulation that calculates forces in a structure versus time, providing knowledge for the required input for a Dynamic Analysis. Ideal for static analysis, light material loading, and sensitivity studies. Linear Static Analysis will be done during the design process to determine whether or not your structure will support its intended use load(s). It is also used to determine whether some parts may need additional supports to carry their loads, etc.

Linear Dynamic Analysis 

This type of FEA analyses calculates the maximum forces in a structure versus time to determine if the structure is capable of meeting deflection, vibration, acceleration, and noise requirements. Ideal for vibration analysis and dynamic structural design.

Multi-Body Dynamic Analysis  

This simulation tool calculates the overall 3D effect of multiple moving objects or systems interacting with other objects or systems. Common examples include ships in a convoy; cranes connected by an overhead crane rail system; and mechanical equipment exposed to the vibrations of nearby mining equipment. It’s Ideal for simulations where several objects and/or systems are reliant upon each other’s performance.

Outsource Mechanical Engineering Design Services in Grass Valley

Whether you want to benefit from FEA, 3D printing or any other engineering design services, you can reach out to Connekt. LLC. Their experienced team of mechanical design engineers can help you with your products. Their team has over 35 years of experience in engineering design services like Finite Element Analysis, rapid prototyping, plastic injection molding and much more.