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finite element analysis interview questions

1 Define: finite element method.

ans A numerical technique for finding approximate solutions of partial differential equations (PDE) as
well as of integral equations.
computational technique for determining the distribution of stresses in engineering structures under
2 Finite element method is an approximate method (true/false). Also justify your answer.
3 What are approximating functions?
4 What are field variables?
5 Name at least four FEA popular packages.
ans Abaqus: Franco-American software from SIMULIA,by Dassault ystemes
ALGOR Incorporated
ANSA: Adv. CAE pre-processing software 4 complete model build up.
6 Define: i. node ii. Element.
7 Briefly explain the application of FEA for a stress analysis with an element.
8 Compare between FEM and classical methods.
9 Compare between FEM and FDM.
10 When there are several FEA packages are available in that any need to study this method.
11 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of FEA.
12 Explain the concept of FEM briefly and outline the procedure.
13 Write the equation of equilibrium in plane stress condition.
14 Draw a typical three dimensional element and indicate state of stress in their positive signs.
15 Derive the equation of equilibrium in case of a two dimensional stress system.
16 State and explain generalized hooks law.
17 Explain the term plane stress.
A state of stress in which two of the principal stresses are always parallel to a given plane and are
constant in the normal direction.
18 Explain the term plane strain.
A deformation of a body in which the displacements of all points in the body are parallel to a given
plane, and the values of these displacements do not depend on the distance perpendicular to the plane.
19 Distinguish between plane stress and plane strain.
20 When do you select plane stress / plane strain approximation?
ANS Plane strain and Plane stress are two simplification structural models for the modeling of 3D
problems, in which:
- Plane strain modelling: strain in Z-direction is neglectible
- Plane stress modelling: stress in Z-direction is neglectible
For a beam, plane stress is normally used, assuming that the stress in Z-direction can be neglected;
otherwise 3D modelling is advisable.
With reference to the element types, for 2D models, quadrilateral elements with quadratic interpolation
is recommended.
For 3D models, brick solid elements with quadratic interpolation is recommended.
21 Write the constitutive equation for the plane stress and plane strain problems.
22 Write the standard form of finite element equation.
23 Draw bar element and write the stiffness matrix.
24 Define DOF.
Minimum no of parameters required to define an entity completely in space
25 Draw a plane truss element and indicate the truss element.
26 What are natural coordinates?
27 Define: local coordinates.
28 Write the stiffness matrix for the plane truss element.
29 Explain the use of element connectivity table.
30 State the purpose of element connectivity table.

1.what is moment ?
Ans: m=f*x
2.relation in pure bending case
3.if u want to calculate stress do u want material properties???
Ans: in simple cases like beam problems we don't want material property to calculate the stress
. the complex problems like other than beam problems,moment m can be calculated from the relation
m=eid^2y/dx^2,we can not able to calculate the moment at any point by the applied force for complex
4.what are nonlinear fem methods?
Ans:nonlinear geometry,material,contact. if the stiffness changes by geometry it is the non linear
geometry. if the stiffness changes by material it is the non linear material case. if the stiffness changes
due to the contact it is nonlinear contact case.

5.what is nonlinear geometry case??
Ans: if the force applied continuously for example wind turbine blades by the application of wind loads
the deformation is high,in that case we must not ignore the higher order terms in strain-deflection
relation strain=dy/dx+d^2y/dx^2+d^3y/dx^3+---- considering higher order terms are nonlinear geometry
case. these higher order terms are called as green's function.
6.what are the theories of failures??
Ans: 1.max normal stress2.max shear stress3.vonmisses----etc
7.why u consider vonmisses stress theory only?
Ans:there is a limitations on max normal stress and max shear stress theories---etc. The vonmisses stress
theory is derived from energy formulation so it is suitable for all cases and the stresses developed in the
real time environment is near to the vonmisses stress.
1.prrove that m=ei d^2y/dx^2
2. what is the constituency relation ship???
the relation ship between stress starin in 3 dimensional
3.what is the slope of stress strain curve after exceeding proportionality limit??
Ans: tagential modulus is the slope of the curve in the plastic region of stress strain curve
MSC NASTRAN,plate are having How many degress of freedom ??/
Ans: shell is having 6 degrees of freedom 3- translational 3 rotational degress of freedom
Plate is having 2 rotational 1- traslation degrees of freedm
solid is having 3 traslational degress pf freedom
2.what is the shape function??
Ans: read the definition from any text book

4. how can you solve a cantilever beam problem in fea software
Ans: cantilever beam problem can be solved in 3 ways
1. By using beam element having 3 rotational 3 translational degress of freedom-- we will give geometric
dimensions in the form as moment of inertia I
2. By using shell element---mesh with shell elements and give the thickness in the direction
then solve it for analysis
3.By using solid element --mesh with solid elements and apply the boundary conditions.. solve for
Q).5. in which method u will get good results from the above 3??
Ans:1. By using beam method we can get exact results but this is valid only for beam structures, not
valid for complex structures.
2. in the case of irregular sections, complex strcutures the shell element method is the best method
because it allows 6 degress of freedom
3. using solid elements we can get results but the results are not correct. because it allows only 3
degress of freedom.
Q) the case of shell element procedur how the stress is calculated??
Ans:in the finite element formulation the stress is calculated throught out the thickness at a node point
.i.e integration from -t/2 to t/2 it will calculate

Mechanics - Strength of Materials - Stress - Strain Curve
o Stress Strain Curve

1. What is true strain & engineering strain?
a. Engineering strain is ratio of change in length to the original length.
True strain is defined as the natural logarithm of instantaneous length to original length.

2. What is the area under stress-strain curve?
a. Strain energy per unit volume

3. How many constants are required to describe stress strain relationship for a linear elastic isotropic
a. Two Youngs modulus and Poissons ratio.

4. What is yield point?
a. The stress at which plastic deformation starts is called as yield point
Posted by Ramickey at 8:03 PM


1. What is a simple harmonic motion?
a. The periodic motion of a body in which acceleration is always directly proportional to the displacement
and acts in the opposite direction

2. If mass of the bob of simple pendulum is doubled; what will be the change in its time period?
a. It will remain same. Time period of simple pendulum is independent of mass.

3. Newtons Second law gives F = Mass * Acceleration. Can we apply this to a system where is mass is
a. Yes. Newtons second law states that force exerted on a particle is equal to the rate of change of linear
momentum with respect to time. Hence we can apply it for the cases where mass is not constant.

4. Newtons Second law gives F = M * a in translation. What will be the equivalent equation in rotational
a. Torque (T) = Inertia ( I ) x Angular acceleration ( )

5. What will be the Kinetic energy of a rolling body?
a. Rolling is a combination of translation and rotational motion. Hence,

KE = * M V2 + * I 2
= Translational KE + Rotational KE

6. What is angle of repose?
a. Angle of inclination of the surface at which the object placed on surface overcomes the static friction
and just begins to slide. Numerically, it is equal to the angle of static friction.

7. What is radius of gyration?
a. It is the distance between axis of rotation and a point at which whole mass of the body is supposed to
be concentrated so as to give same mass moment of inertia about axis of rotation.

8. What is inertia force?
a. As per Newtons first law of motion; inertia is the tendency of the body to maintain its state of rest or
uniform motion unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. The force required to alter this state
of body is inertia force.

FEA Question 4
Is stress dependant on material?
My answer
NO stress is not dependent on material,its only depends on force per unit area.

FEA Question 5
What is Hookes law? Write down the formula.
stress by strain=e

FEA Question 6
When a bar (fixed at one end) is acted upon by a force, how do you determine the elongation?
A) Deflection can be found by pl^3/3ei ( simple maclay method)

Define finite element method
A numerical technique for finding approximate solutions of partial differential equations (PDE) as well as
of integral equations. Or .Computational technique for determining the distribution of stresses in
engineering structures under load.