Practical Introduction to FEA
An opportunity to ensure that your organization gets
maximum benefit from using FEA
3-Day Training Course : Introduction to FEA Analysis
FEA has become widely used and universally accepted in many industry sectors. FEA is a powerful technique, able to produce solutions to challenging structural analysis problems. The technology and computational efficiency of the method, together with the rapid increases in computer processing power means that today the scope and size of simulations far exceeds the capabilities of even a few years ago.
However for those engineers embarking on FEA, or companies adopting the technique to improve designs or achieve certification of new products, there is a steep learning curve to overcome.
There are a bewildering array of element types, solution types, meshing methods and pre-post processing options that have to be faced. This is before we get down to the engineering physics behind the problem, with associated classic traps and errors. What is needed is guidance via a thorough but practical assessment of the method and how to use it in the real world.
NAFEMS, the only vendor neutral, not-for-profit organization with the aim of promoting the effective and reliable use of FEA, addresses this requirement by providing this three day example-driven, practical course.
Students are shown the background to the FEA methodology, via simple real examples with a minimum of theory. The strength and weaknesses of the various FEA techniques are shown and discussed. Practical considerations of loadings, boundary conditions and structural details are shown by numerous examples.
The assessment, validation and interpretation of FEA results are vital for delivering safe, effective products. A process is shown which provides confidence in the results and aims to provide conservative, reliable and qualified results. The attendees join in the activity of building this process themselves and come away with an embryo Procedural Check List
Interaction is encouraged throughout the course. Real world examples are given at every stage, drawn from the Tutors wide practical experience. Questions are very welcome, as this is one of the key aspects of making this a unique experience for each attendee. Attendee project examples can often be incorporated into the class as time permits, to benefit all. Role playing situations include the class acting as a syndicate to evaluate a Design Failure, critical assessment of an FE Report and the continuous evolution of the Check List.
The course is completely code independent, attendees are welcome to bring laptops to take notes, but they are not required.
A full set of printed and bound notes will be issued to every attendee.
Who Should Attend?
This course is aimed at practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite element techniques to their particular problems in the most effective manner. The material that is presented is independent of any particular software package, making it ideally suited to current and potential users of all commercial finite element software systems. This course is a must for all engineers aiming to use FEA as a reliable predictive tool for thermal, stiffness and stress analysis.
Companies moving into FEA technology to improve product designs or assess prototype failures or speed the design process will benefit from sending key engineers to this course. If you have sufficient engineers then a tailor made course may be more suitable. NAFEMS can then work closely with you to cater for your specific industry sector or analysis type.
The course is open to both members and non-members of NAFEMS.
Background to FEA
- Origins of FEA , leading to today’s process
- Emphasis on limitations of a displacement solution
- The route from CAD to Mesh to Solver to Results
- A simple case study – a plate with a hole
- The Analysis Input file
- Simple Element stiffness matrices
- Grid Points , Degrees Of Freedom (DOFs)
Over view of Element Types
- 1d elements
- 2d elements
- 3d elements
- Solid 3D elements: Hex versus Tets, the trade off
- Types of meshing and meshing issues
- I-beam example spanning element types
Making healthy models
- Mis-matched DOF’S and other issues
- Element distortions – effect on accuracy
- Convergence checking
- Solver and Preprocessor checking
- Post processor checking and the dangers of smoothing
- Stress concentrations and stress singularities
- Window cutout example
- Building an Analysis Process ‘Cheat Sheet’ Part 1
- Constraint methods
- Real world boundary conditions
- Poisons effect
- Minimum support 321 method
- Case Study – bracket analysis
- Linear Contact methods – new technology to supplement constraints
- Distributed load, Point Loading
- Real world loading versus FEA
- Bearing load methods
- Nonlinear implications
- Centrifugal and Inertial Loading
- Unit load cases for better understanding
- Case Study – tanker body under cornering and accident loading
Multi Point Constraints (MPCs)
- What are they and why use them?
- Different terminologies and usage
- Soft and rigid load and constraint distribution
Making Life simpler
- Anti-symmetry and Axi-symmetry
- Sector Symmetry
- Plane Stress
- Plane strain
- Comparing 1d, 2d, 3d modeling case study of a pressure vessel
Understanding the objective of the analysis
- Clear view of scope of problem – how do we tackle it
- Resource and timescale factors
- FEA Analysis objectives – reservoir case study
- Class exercise develop an analysis strategy
Looking at CAD geometry
- Why not use 20 million elements
- Trade offs
- The reality of CAD models
- Manual methods of meshing
- Building an Analysis Process ‘Cheat Sheet’ Part 2
- Anticipate the load paths
- Free body Diagrams
- Force Balance
- Review of Stress and Load fundamentals
- Revisiting the I-Beam, comparing theory with FEA
Checking the answers
- Ways of checking the results
- What type of stress do I use?
- Review of fundamentals
- Post Processing and More Checking
- Other Checks
- Class Exercise – review an FE report
Other Topics (dependent on requirements)
- Introduction to Non-linear Analysis
- Introduction to Dynamics and Normal Modes Analysis
- Introduction to Composite Analysis
- Review of the Class exercise – developed Analysis Process ‘Cheat Sheet’
Tony Abbey has created and taught a wide range of FEA based training classes over the past 15 years. He has developed a reputation for providing the student with an experience that is full of insight gained from his extensive experience, but which also challenges and motivates. Tony has been working with FEA for over 30 years, both in Industry and for FEA software providers in the UK and the US. He currently runs his own FEA consultancy company and works very closely with NAFEMS to develop its training role.
His informal and interactive presentation style allows the key concepts to be taught in a manner which involves participants fully in the course material.
Tony presents papers at NAFEMS and other conferences on a regular basis and has been involved with NAFEMS since its formation.
Shakeel Chaudry has been using finite element techniques in structural engineering applications for over 15 years. As a Principal Engineer within a FEA consultancy firm, he has been exposed to a broad range of industries using statics, dynamics and heat transfer analyses to obtain solutions to engineering problems.
During this period, Shakeel has developed and presented training courses in the application of the finite element method to all levels of engineers. From general introductory courses through to specific software based training.
With a background in aerospace engineering, Shakeel has been involved in a number of projects assessing the behaviour of structures manufactured from composite materials. Maintaining high standards in quality and presentation have been important throughout his career.
Gino Duffett has over 30 years of experience in CAE software creation, training and industrial implementation and usage on an international level in various sectors, mostly automotive and renewable energy. Currently a Technical CAE Manager focussing on simulation driven design and automatic optimization.
Over his career Gino has taught numerical modelling up to university level, developed commercial courses and provided training for software users and Masters programmes on aspects such as metal forming, simulation process methodologies and optimization and has provided courses at Business schools on ERP and multi-cultural management.
Events - Cancellation Policy
Please note NAFEMS cancellation policy for all events is as follows:-
- Cancellation up to 3 weeks before the event date: free of charge;
- Cancellation up to 1 week before the event date: 75% of registration fee non-refundable;
- Cancellation up to 1 week before the event date: all seminar credits non-refundable; (if applicable )
- No show at the event: 100% of registration fee non-refundable;
NAFEMS will discuss the possibility of transferring to an alternative event/course, however an administration charge will be applicable.
This policy is subject to change.