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Basic Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

NAFEMS e-Learning Course  

one 2-hour session per week


Ideal for design engineers wanting to learn more about
the basics of FEA


Course Process and Details 

This course is completely code independent. No software is required.

Each topic in the class is treated as a building block and is presented using an overview of the physics and theory involved. The math is kept simple and the emphasis is on practical examples from real life to illustrate the topic. The mapping to Finite Element analysis techniques is shown with numerous workshops. The tutor will be running analysis interactively and involving the students in the process via Q and A periods during each session, follow up emails and a Course Bulletin Board

Full notes are provided for the students, together with personal passwords for e-learning backup material, bulletin board access, etc.

Students will join the audio portion of the meetings by utilizing the VoIP (i.e. headset connected to the computer via headphone and microphone jacks) or by calling into a standard toll line. If you are interested in additional pricing to call-in using a toll-free line, please send an email to: e-learning @ nafems.org .


Who Should Attend?

This course is aimed at engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite element techniques to static linear analysis in the most effective manner. Ideally a student should have some experience of FEA analysis, but this is not essential. 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 Finite Element Analysis as a reliable predictive tool for structural analysis.

E-learning classes are ideal for companies with a group of engineers requiring training. E-learning classes can be provided to suit your needs and timescale. Contact us to discuss your requirements.


Course Program

Note: This is a four-week course. Each session represents one 2-hour session each week (Note: Sessions may last for 2.5-3 hours, including the Q&A sessions.) Recordings of each session are made available to course attendees in the event they are unable to participate in one or more of the live meetings, or if they wish to review the material following each session.

Session 1 

Background to Finite Element Analysis   

  • 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 bracket
  • Simple Element stiffness matrices described
  • •Grid Points , Degrees Of Freedom (DOFs) 

Overview 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


Session 2 

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
  • Bracket lightening hole example

Constraints

  • Constraint methods
  • Real world boundary conditions 
  • Poisons effect 
  • Case Study – bracket analysis
  • Linear Contact methods – new technology to supplement constraints 

Loading Types 

  • 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

Session 3 

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 

  • Symmetry
  • 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 –case study

Looking at Computer Aided Design geometry 

  • Why not use 20 million elements 
  • Trade offs
  • De-featuring
  • The reality of CAD models
  • Manual methods of meshing

Session 4 

Engineering Assessment

  • 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 

Brief Overview of Other Topics

  • Buckling 
  • Introduction to Non-linear Analysis
  • Introduction to Dynamics and Normal Modes Analysis
  • Introduction to Composite Analysis

Session 5 

  • Details TBC


 

Feedback from former e-Learning students:

"This course did everything right. From organization to presentation to interaction, this is a good model for what online training should be."  B.T.

"Tony's command over the subject and excellent teaching skills made this course worthwhile." G.K.

"Super! Doesn't get better than this. Good idea to start having e-Learning courses." R.P.

"I'm really happy not to pay a big fraction of my annual training budget to airlines and hotels. A BIG plus to e-learning." V.G.


Special Note(s):

Telephony surcharges may apply for attendees who are located outside of North America, South America and Europe. These surcharges are related to individuals who join the audio portion of the web-meeting by calling in to the provided toll/toll-free teleconferencing lines. We have made a VoIP option available so anyone attending the class can join using a headset (headphones w/ microphone) connected to the computer. There is no associated surcharge to utilize the VoIP option, and is actually encouraged to ensure NAFEMS is able to keep the e-Learning course fees as low as possible. Please send an email to the e-Learning coordinator (e-learning @ nafems.org ) to determine if these surcharges may apply to your specific case. 

Just as with a live face-to-face training course, each registration only covers one person. If you plan to register a large group (10+), please send an email to e-learning @ nafems.org in advance for group discounts.




Upcoming Presentations

 

No upcoming presentations, or do these dates not work for you? Complete the form below, and we'll notify you when this course is next available.






Course Tutor:
Tony Abbey 

Tony Abbey - NAFEMS Tutor


Read Tony Abbey's bio on the NAFEMS tutors page