FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS (FEA)
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computerised method for predicting how a product reacts to real-world forces, such as, vibration, heat, fluid flow, and other physical effects. Finite element analysis shows whether a product will break, wear out, or work the way it was designed. It is called analysis, however in the product development process, it is used to predict what is going to happen when the product is used.
Element Analysis (EA) works by breaking down a real object into a large number (thousands to hundreds of thousands) of finite elements, such as little cubes. Mathematical equations help predict the behaviour of each element. A computer then adds up all the individual behaviours to predict the behaviour of the actual object.
Finite element analysis helps predict the behaviour of products affected by many physical effects, including:
- Mechanical stress
- Mechanical vibration
- Heat transfer
- Fluid flow
- Plastic injection moulding
At OZ-Tac Engineering we have a Registered Professional Engineer (RPEQ) on site at our office in Gympie Queensland, giving us capabilities to provide FEA testing as part of our design service.
The FEA method is comprised of three stages: –
- Pre-processing. The engineer develops a finite element mesh of the geometry and applies material properties, boundary conditions and loads.
- Solution: The program derives equations from the model and solves the displacements, strains and stresses within the design.
- Post-processing: At this stage the engineer obtains results which help to check the validity of the solution. A variety of reporting tools can be used to illustrate the behaviour of the analysis model. The results are interpreted and areas of concerns are discussed, with updates to the design as required.
The Benefits and Application of FEA
FEA is particularly suitable for: –
- Structural/mechanical engineering design
- Product development
- Manufacturing processes
- Improving the efficiency of existing designs
- Failure analysis investigations
FEA provides engineering information (Stress/strain, deformation, natural frequencies, etc…) about a component which cannot be obtained by using traditional analysis methods. It is possible to generate a simulation of any design concept and to determine its real-world behaviour under almost any imaginable environments, therefore allowing the concept to be refined prior to the creation of drawings. In turn this creates a lower cost for our customers as less investment is required and changes are inexpensive. Once a model has been developed the analysis helps in evaluating the feasibility of the new design as well as trouble shooting failed designs already in the market and finding solutions without the need to prototype, thus saving time and money.