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The Use of Finite Element Analysis In the Design Process

This document is aimed at students and practising engineers who are keen to utilise a computational technique like the finite element (FE) method in the design process. It has been assumed that the reader has some basic knowledge of the FE method.

These are two basic approaches to the design of engineering components and structures; design by rule and design by analysis. In the design by rule approach; rules and limitation set by design standard are adhered to. The design by analysis approach requires either analytical or computational effort to predict stress levels and this is where the Finite Element method is often used. In the introductory section, the reader is made aware of the problem in using Finite Element analysis in conjunction with design codes. If no relevant design code is available, the engineer may have to rely entirely on Finite Element Analysis and engineering judgement to substantiate the design. In section 2 the main aspects of the design of the mechanical systems are covered, followed in section 3 by a review of design by analysis which also various aspects of Finite Element practise and assessment of a design.

The basic principles used in design codes are covered in section 4 and, through an example, it illustrated how the methodology and nomenclature of old design codes are different from those used in numerical techniques like the Finite Element method. Since Finite Element analysis can produce a lot of detailed stress information, it is important to appreciate the importance of various classes of stresses. The standard classification used in design codes is explained in sections 4 and 5. The numerical procedures used to post-process stress analysis results are discussed in section 6. Finally, a number of examples from various engineering disciplines are presented in section 7 to illustrate how FE analysis is used to meet the design objectives.




Mechanical Design

  • Design Process
  • Some Aspects of Finite Element process
  • Design Assessment

Principles used in the design codes

  • Finite Element analysis techniques Vs Design Codes
  • Classification of stresses in design codes
  • Distinction between primary and secondary stress

Understanding Stress Concentration

Procedure to assess numerical results

Finite Element in Engineering Design

  • Finite Element in design
  • Finite Element in ship building
  • Finite Element in crane/lifting appliances design

When design by Finite Element goes wrong

The future



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N.K. Prinja

First Published - November 2000

Softback, 62 Pages