An Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (FEA) - Femto Engineering

What is FEA?

Get an impression of the usage and possibilities of FEA.

Simulating reality

Finite Elements Analysis (FEA) is a method for solving complex mechanical problems using the power of modern computers. Choosing sound boundary conditions and loads, the engineer is able to simulate reality whatever the situation or complexity. The mechanical behavior of products and constructions can be analyzed and optimized without the necessity of prototyping. Direct results are profits with respect to time and cost in the design phase. It also adds to the reliability of your product.


The use of elements

The basic principle of the finite element method is the creation of a computer model which is built up from a finite number of elements. The elements all have a mathematical defined relationship between force and displacement. This relationship of each element can be used to estimate the stiffness distribution of the whole structure. By applying a matrix solution technique, the response of the entire structure to the prescribed loads and boundary conditions can be determined.

Basic types of analyses

The most common FEA type is the linear elastic analysis. This assumes that the structure behaves elastically, the stresses are linearly proportional to forces, the strains are small and the deformation has no effect on the behavior of the structure. Often this is a good approximation to how the structure behaves in reality, but in some cases these statements don’t fit the reality sufficiently. When this occurs the problem changes from a linear to a non-linear problem. Non-linearity can arise due to material behavior and/or geometric behavior. In practical terms a non-linear analysis is more time consuming and requires more input data.

Should you be interested in reading more about the difference between linear and nonlinear analyses, we recommend you to read: In FEA, what is linear and nonlinear analysis. 

We hope you found this article to be both informative and useful. Should you have any questions or do you want to know more about Femto Engineering’s FEA projects, please contact us.

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April 6, 2017
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