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FEA Report Guidelines

(V 3.1)

The Australian Maritime College is an institute of the University of Tasmania

JEE350 Finite Element Analysis

The purpose of this section is to provide a concise summary of the reports essential information.
The abstract will often identify the reason for the analysis, and highlight major findings,
conclusions and recommendations arising from your analysis.

TOC, Nomenclature, List of figures and Tables

Trying to find a particular heading and/or plot/table within a long document can be a very
frustrating task. It is therefore necessary for you to include a table of contents and lists of figures
and tables in your report. Please, take advantage of MS Word automatic TOC, List of Figures and
tables generation tools! A list of equations is NOT required.

Give a short but concise introduction to the physical problem you are trying to solve. Describe the
real structure (not your FE model), its purpose. Discuss briefly the design requirements that you
need to meet, i.e. the reason why you want to perform a finite element analysis on it. Technical
drawings, sketches and/or digital pictures of the physical body must be included in this section.

Description of the Solid Model

If you used a solid model to generate the mesh of your FE model you must describe how it. Did
you create the model in ANSYS or in a third party CAD program? Dont forget to specify which
unit system you adopted for the analysis! What were your assumptions and simplifications? Did
you discard small features such as fillets and chamfers? Did you reduce the size of your model by
taking advantage of symmetry/axis-symmetry? Did you model the entire structure or just parts of it
(localized region)?

Specify the mechanical properties of the materials used in your model, and, if used, the real
constants and section properties. This is obviously the right spot to place technical
drawings/renders and descriptive plots of your solid model. Make sure that you DO NOT write
this section as a tutorial: i.e. do not write: I opened Rhino/Inventor, I clicked on create line,

Description of the FE model

Describe the FE model(s) build to analyse your problem. This should be the first time you mention
terms such as: elements, nodes, degrees of freedom, etc. Describe what element type you are using
and why. What type of analysis do you plan to do? Which loads did you include, which ones did
you neglect and why? How many degrees of freedom does each node have? How many degrees of
freedom does your model have? How many elements? What are the boundary conditions (loads
and supports)? This is obviously the right spot to place descriptive plots of:

The finite element model mesh.

The finite element model mesh + boundary conditions

Again DO NOT write this section as a tutorial handout: i.e. do not write: I opened ANSYS, I
clicked on pre-processor, etc.

JEE350 Finite Element Analysis

Analysis and results


Here you must show and discuss the results of your finite element analysis. The exact nature of
this section depends very much on your specific problem; however you must pinpoint all critical
areas of your structure and discuss the most likely modes of failure. Are you designing for
strength, stiffness, stability or a combination of these? Make sure that the write-up of this section
is aligned with what you say in the introduction, e.g. if you say in the introduction that you are
performing the analysis because you are concerned with the stiffness of the structure make sure
that you analyse the deformations.

Contour plots of stress, strain, or displacements are great for 2D and 3D problems. Plots of the
deformed structure will show how the structure is deflecting. Plots of stress distribution along a
path can be used to visualize stress concentrations. Remember to specify the unit of the results you
are showing in the caption of each plot.

Lists and tables of numerical results are excellent to show exact results. However, you must limit
their use to specific and interesting zones of your model. DO NOT list all the results for ALL the
nodes of your model: USE COMMON SENSE!!!

Here you should summarize what you have learned from the analysis of your FE model. Did the
results turn out as you expected them? If not, why? What recommendations will you be making or
which decisions will you be taken based on your analysis?

Imagine someone has paid you big money to get some answers for the problem he/she asked you
to analyse and so he/she expects you to summarize your findings such that they are straight
forward and clearly point out what needs to be done.

Model verification & convergence study

This section, normally contained within the appendix, should include simplified hand or numerical
calculations, which will allow you to verify your FE model. For example, if you are analysing the
stresses and deformation of a high aspect ratio airplane wing, you could take a simple cantilever
beam model with a point load to see if the finite element results yield deflection and stress in the
same range. Results do not necessarily have to match exactly.

A graph of nodal results (displacements and stresses) versus element size/number must be
presented to show the accuracy of your model. Choose a representative node i.e. a node where
displacements and stresses are large. In some cases (e.g. were singularities are present) you may
also use images of element versus nodal stress results to visually demonstrate the convergence of
your results in zones of high stress gradient.

JEE350 Finite Element Analysis

Report style and format

In addition to sections described above, the report shall include an abstract, table of contents,
nomenclature list, list of figures and list of tables (Tip: use MSWord tools to generate these lists
automatically). The final document must follow the following style requirements:

Font Colour: BLACK (no exceptions!)

Heading (all) font type: Cambria

Heading 1 font size: 16pt, bold

Heading 2 font size: 14pt, bold

Heading 3 font size: 14pt, italic

Heading (all) alignment: left

Heading Numbering: three levels (i.e. 1, 1.1, 1.1.1)1

Paragraph font type: Times New Roman

Paragraph font size: 12pt

Paragraph alignment: justified

Caption font type: Times New Roman

Caption font size: 10pt, bold

Caption alignment: centred (above tables and below figures)

Caption numbering: one level (i.e. 1)

Table data font type: Calibri

Table data font size: 8pt

Table data alignment: Right

Reference Style: APA 6th Edition (Tip: Use Endnote)

Page numbering: bottom right corner

All equations shall be right-numbered (Tip: Use Mathtype)

Abstract, TOC and List of Figures & Tables headings shall not be numbered

JEE350 Finite Element Analysis
All tables and figures shall be properly numbered and referenced (Tip: use MSWord

Units system: MPA variation of SI.

Remember to write using passive voice and to keep the formatting of your document simple.
Remember that you are an engineer, not a graphic designer! Funky graphics and font types do not
keep ships afloat!

Only pictures should be presented in colour. Captured images shall have a white background
(PlotCtrls>Style>Colors>Reverse Video). Remember to include an appropriate description
(caption) for each one of them.

You should remember that less is more, a picture says more than a thousand words and that clarity
goes over everything. However, keep in mind that a picture without words explaining it is

DO NOT use technical words or concepts that you are not comfortable with. Make sure that if you
have doubts you discuss them with your classmates, tutor and lecturer first.

Always ask yourself which parts of the analysis are vital for the understanding of your work and
therefore have to be included, and which ones can be left out. And please, PLEASE read your
report after finishing one more time as the person who receives it, not the one who wrote it!

Most importantly, dont leave it till the last week, as this project will take time!