FEA is a computerised method for forecasting how a product reacts to real-world forces. In particular, vibration, heat, fluid flow and also other physical effects. In addition, FEA outlines whether a product will break, wear out or work the way it was designed.
Element analysis works by breaking down a real object into many finite elements. Mathematical equations help predict the behaviour of each element. A computer then adds up all the individual behaviours to predict the behaviour of the actual object.
Finite element analysis helps predict the behaviour of products affected by many physical effects, including:
- Mechanical stress
- Mechanical vibration
- Heat transfer
- Fluid flow
- Plastic injection moulding
What are the benefits of FEA?
Increased accuracy – Initially, products were sketched, prototypes were developed and manufactured. Then, during testing it was found that key restrictions were possibly overlooked. The use of FEA now requires the designer to create and maintain a ‘recipe’ of all material parameters for those in use. With this, the designer can model all physical stresses on a part, even those that might be overlooked on initial designs. FEA enables an immediate increase in material accuracy when designing a product, showing how all physical stresses may affect the design.
Enhanced design – FEA allows designers to better determine how stresses within one piece will affect the materials in another separate, but connected, piece.
Better insight into critical design parameters – The ability to model the interior, as well as the exterior of a design is one of the most valued benefits of FEA. By determining how critical factors affect the entire structure and why failures might occur is a huge advantage to a designer.
Virtual prototyping – FEA simulators help remove multiple repetitions of initial prototyping. By initially simulating the system in FEA software, the designer can model different designs and materials in hours, versus the days or weeks of hard prototyping.
More efficient and less costly design cycle – FEA simulations don’t require design repetitions, thus they are longer dependent upon machine shop and manufacturing schedules. Therefore, each new design can be virtually tested in hours, instead of waiting days or weeks for a hard copy to be tested.
Increased productivity, and increased revenue – FEA software allows for better quality products in a shorter design cycle. It also allows for less waste of material and time.
We hope this article has covered the answers to your most important questions regarding FEA. If you require any more information, contact us today for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or to speak to a member of our team call us on +44 (0) 2890 271 001.
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