Practical Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
An opportunity to ensure that your organization gets
maximum benefit from using FEA
3-Day Training Course : Introduction to FEA Analysis
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.
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
The course offers excellent guidance on how to assess and plan the task of carrying out a structural analysis using FEA. A clear understanding of the objectives of each analysis is vital and a road map for achieving this is presented. A review of the tradeoff between available resource and analysis methodology is given.
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.
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’
PSE Competencies addressed by this training course
|FEAkn1||List the various steps in the analysis/simulation process.|
|FEAkn2||Define the meaning of degree of freedom.|
|FEAkn3||List the nodal degrees of freedom and the associated force actions for common beam, 2D solid, 2D axisymmetric, 3D solid and shell elements, for the Displacement FEM.|
|FEAkn8||List the requirements for an axisymmetric analysis to be valid.|
|FEAkn9||List the degrees of freedom to be constrained on a symmetric boundary.|
|FEAkn11||Sketch problems showing the various form of symmetry.|
|FEAkn12||List the advantages of using symmetry.|
|FEAkn14||List the possible advantages of applying material properties, loads and boundary conditions to underlying geometry rather than to finite element entities.|
|FEAkn15||List 2 common solvers for large sets of simultaneous equations.|
|FENkn16||List the various forms of element distortion.|
|FEAkn17||List the various element types commonly used in the analysis of components within your organisation.|
|FEAco1||Describe the sources of error inherent in finite element analysis, in general terms.|
|FEAco2||Discuss checks that may be used post-solution to check for the presence of inaccuracy.|
|FEAco4||Explain the meaning of convergence, including h and p types.|
|FEAco5||Discuss the difficulties that can arise in using a CAD model as the basis for carrying out analysis and simulation.|
|FEAco6||Discuss the need for a consistent set of units in any analysis and illustrate possible pitfalls.|
|FEAco7||Explain why strains and stresses are generally less accurate than displacements for any given mesh of elements, using the Displacement FEM.|
|FEAco11||Discuss the finite element / spring analogy.|
|FEAco12||Outline a common method employed to solve the large sets of sparse symmetric common in FEA.|
|FEAco13||Explain how the structural stiffness matrix is assembled from the individual element matrices.|
|FEAco14||Discuss the nature of the structural stiffness matrix.|
|FEAco18||Explain the term Isoparametric Element.|
|FEAco24||Discuss the relationship between shape function and strain/stress prediction for simple 2D linear and parabolic elements.|
|FEAco26||Discuss the significance of computer memory to solution elapse time for large models.|
|FEAco27||Explain how unwanted cracks can be produced in 2D and 3D solid meshes and describe which plot type is useful in detecting these.|
|FEAco28||Explain why element distortion generally results in poorer results.|
|FEAco29||Discuss the term Flying Structure or Insufficiently Constrained Structure.|
|FEAco30||Explain why stress averaging is not appropriate at junctions between elements of different thickness.|
|FEAco31||Explain why most finite elements do not represent a circular boundary exactly and highlight how this approximation manifests itself.|
|FEAco35||Discuss the terms Validation and Verification and highlight their importance.|
|FEAco40||Explain the rationale behind the use of 1-D, 2-D and 3-D elements used in the analysis of components within your organisation.|
|FEAap1||Employ an analysis system for the determination of stresses and strains in small displacement, linear elastic problems.|
|FEAap2||Demonstrate effective use of available results presentation facilities.|
|FEAap3||Illustrate the approximate nature of finite element analysis, through examples chosen from your industry sector.|
|FEAap4||Illustrate the various steps in the Displacement Finite Element Method from assumed displacement polynomial to determination of stresses.|
|FEAap5||Illustrate possible applications of 0D, 1D, 2D and 3D elements in your industry sector.|
|FEAap7||Employ symmetric boundary conditions effectively.|
|FEAap10||Illustrate various physical situations which will result in a Stress Singularity and explain why it is not appropriate to use finite element results at such locations directly.|
|FEAap12||Employ a range of post-solution checks to determine the integrity of FEA results.|
|FEAan1||Analyse the results from small displacement, linear static analyses and determine whether they satisfy inherent assumption|
|FEAan2||Compare the results from small displacement, linear elastic analyses with allowable values and comment on findings.|
|FEAev2||Assess the significance of neglecting any feature or detail in any idealisation.|
Interested in this Course?
Please contact Jo Davenport if you would like to know more about this course and the next scheduled public session.
View the NAFEMS Professional Simulation Engineer competence statements addressed by this training course.
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.