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FEA Projects FEA Projects FEA Projects FEA Projects
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Major Steps in an FEA Project Major Steps in an FEA Project
1. 1. Address the initial questions: Address the initial questions:
a. a. Do I really need the FEA? Do I really need the FEA?
b. b. Can I use the previous test results or previous Can I use the previous test results or previous
FEA results? FEA results? FEA results? FEA results?
c. c. Is this a standard design, so no analysis is Is this a standard design, so no analysis is
necessary? necessary?
d. d. Are loads, restraints (constraints) and material Are loads, restraints (constraints) and material
properties known well enough to make FEA properties known well enough to make FEA
worthwhile? worthwhile?
e. e. Would a simplified analytical model be Would a simplified analytical model be
sufficient? sufficient?
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f. f. Does my customer demand FEA? Does my customer demand FEA?
g. g. What shall I do with the results of FEA? What shall I do with the results of FEA?
h. h. Do I have enough time to implement the Do I have enough time to implement the
results of the FEA? results of the FEA?
i. i. Should the analysis be done in Should the analysis be done in--house, or house, or
should it be contracted out? should it be contracted out?
j. j. How quickly do I need to produce results? How quickly do I need to produce results? j. j. How quickly do I need to produce results? How quickly do I need to produce results?
k. k. Do I have enough time and resources in Do I have enough time and resources in--house house
to do a completed FEA before design to do a completed FEA before design
decisions must be made decisions must be made
l. l. Is in Is in--house expertise available? house expertise available?
m. m. Is my FEA software what my customer wants Is my FEA software what my customer wants
me to use? me to use?
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2. 2. Establish the scope of analysis: Establish the scope of analysis:
a. a. Is it a standard analysis of a new product from Is it a standard analysis of a new product from
an established product line? an established product line?
b. b. Is it the last check of a production Is it the last check of a production--ready new ready new
design before final testing? design before final testing?
c. c. Is it a quick check of a design in progress to Is it a quick check of a design in progress to
assist the designer? assist the designer? assist the designer? assist the designer?
d. d. Is it an aid to an R&D project? Is it an aid to an R&D project?
e. e. Is it a conceptual analysis to support a design Is it a conceptual analysis to support a design
at an early stage of development? at an early stage of development?
f. f. Is it the simplified analysis to help in making a Is it the simplified analysis to help in making a
design decision? design decision?
g. g. What are the estimated number of modal What are the estimated number of modal
iterations, load cases, etc? iterations, load cases, etc?
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3. 3. Establish a cost Establish a cost--effective modeling effective modeling
approach and define the mathematical approach and define the mathematical
model accordingly. model accordingly.
4. 4. Create an FE model and solve it. Meshing Create an FE model and solve it. Meshing
and solution are largely automated steps and solution are largely automated steps
but still require input, which depending on but still require input, which depending on
the software used, may include: the software used, may include: the software used, may include: the software used, may include:
a. a. Element type(s) to be used Element type(s) to be used
b. b. Default element size and size tolerance Default element size and size tolerance
c. c. Definition of mesh controls Definition of mesh controls
d. d. Type of mesher to be used Type of mesher to be used
e. e. Type of solver to be used Type of solver to be used
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5. 5. Evaluate the results. Evaluate the results.
a. a. Study the overall mode of deformations and animate Study the overall mode of deformations and animate
deflection to verify restraints definition. deflection to verify restraints definition.
b. b. Check for rigid body modes Check for rigid body modes
c. c. Check overall stress levels (order of magnitude) using Check overall stress levels (order of magnitude) using
analytical methods to verify applied loads analytical methods to verify applied loads
d. d. Check reactions using free Check reactions using free--body diagrams body diagrams
e. e. Review discretization errors Review discretization errors e. e. Review discretization errors Review discretization errors
f. f. Analyze stress concentrations and mesh ability to Analyze stress concentrations and mesh ability to
model them properly. model them properly.
g. g. Review the results in difficult Review the results in difficult--to to--model locations such model locations such
thin walls and high stress gradients. thin walls and high stress gradients.
h. h. Investigate the impact of element distortions on the Investigate the impact of element distortions on the
data of interest. data of interest.
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6. 6. Analyze the results. Analyze the results.
a. a. Present deformation results Present deformation results
b. b. Present modal frequencies and associated Present modal frequencies and associated
modes of vibration modes of vibration
c. c. Present stress results and correspond factors Present stress results and correspond factors
of safety of safety
d. d. Consider modifications to the analyzed Consider modifications to the analyzed d. d. Consider modifications to the analyzed Consider modifications to the analyzed
structure to eliminate excessive stresses and structure to eliminate excessive stresses and
to improve material utilization and to improve material utilization and
manufacturability manufacturability
e. e. Discuss results and repeat iterations until the Discuss results and repeat iterations until the
acceptable solution is found acceptable solution is found
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FEA Report FEA Report
Reports should be self explanatory and Reports should be self explanatory and
should contain all information necessary should contain all information necessary
to analyze the results and to recreate the to analyze the results and to recreate the
results. results. results. results.
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The following are major components of a typical The following are major components of a typical
FEA report and its contents: FEA report and its contents:
Executive summary Executive summary
Objective of the project, part number, project Objective of the project, part number, project
number, essential assumption, results and number, essential assumption, results and
conclusions, software used including software conclusions, software used including software
release, information on where the project release, information on where the project
backup is stored. backup is stored. backup is stored. backup is stored.
Introduction Introduction
Describe the problem. Why did it require FEA? Describe the problem. Why did it require FEA?
What kind of FEA was used (e.g static, contact What kind of FEA was used (e.g static, contact
stress, vibration analysis?) What were the data stress, vibration analysis?) What were the data
of interest? of interest?
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Load and Restraints Load and Restraints
Describe the loads and restraints, inlcude load Describe the loads and restraints, inlcude load
diagram (eg FBD) discuss any simplifications diagram (eg FBD) discuss any simplifications
and assumptions. and assumptions.
Model Geometry Model Geometry
Describe the model geometry and how it was Describe the model geometry and how it was
created (e.g from CAD geometry in integrated created (e.g from CAD geometry in integrated created (e.g from CAD geometry in integrated created (e.g from CAD geometry in integrated
CAD CAD--FEA software, from CAD through an FEA software, from CAD through an
interface, created in FEA software); describe interface, created in FEA software); describe
and justify any geometry cleanup, defeaturing and justify any geometry cleanup, defeaturing
and idealization, justify the modeling approach and idealization, justify the modeling approach
(eg solids, shells, beams) (eg solids, shells, beams)
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Mesh Mesh
Describe the type of element, global element size, Describe the type of element, global element size,
any mesh control applied, number of elements, any mesh control applied, number of elements,
number of degrees of freedom, type of number of degrees of freedom, type of
automesher used and type of solver used,. automesher used and type of solver used,.
Justify why this mesh is adequate to model the Justify why this mesh is adequate to model the
data of interest. data of interest.
Analysis of Results Analysis of Results
Present the displacement and stress results, Present the displacement and stress results,
including plots and animations. Justify the stress including plots and animations. Justify the stress
measure used to present results (eg maximum measure used to present results (eg maximum
principle stress, von Mises stress, maximum principle stress, von Mises stress, maximum
shear stress). Discuss errors in the results, and shear stress). Discuss errors in the results, and
present applicable safety factors considering present applicable safety factors considering
analysis errors. Discuss the applicability of the analysis errors. Discuss the applicability of the
safety factor in use. safety factor in use.
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Conclusions Conclusions
Make recommendations to the requester regarding Make recommendations to the requester regarding
structural integrity, necessary modifications and structural integrity, necessary modifications and
further study that might be needed. Recommend further study that might be needed. Recommend
a testing procedure (eg strain a testing procedure (eg strain--gauge test, fatigue gauge test, fatigue
life test). Make recommendation on future life test). Make recommendation on future
similar designs. similar designs. similar designs. similar designs.