What Is The Purpose Of FEA Analysis?

Technology Blog

Finite element analysis is a computerized process that's commonly used to project how different materials and systems will respond to real-world stresses on both long and short time scales. Many companies rely on third-party FEA services provider to help them address concerns about engineering issues, mathematical problems, the performance of computer or transportation networks, or the flow of liquids and gases.

In other words, the argument for FEA analysis largely centers on systems that could fail catastrophically and kill people, destroy property, or cause financial harm. This method of analysis deserves a closer look so let's dig in.

What the Heck Is a Finite Element?

A finite element is not a real-world element, oddly enough. Instead, the element in question is mathematically finite when an analyst simulates it in a computer model. Generally, finite elements are used in virtual spaces to assess how different materials, fluids, or gases will perform.

Suppose you wanted to see how air would flow within an office building. An analyst would create a 3-D mesh object to represent the structure and assess how air might flow into and out of different spaces. Using statistical methods that relate to what we know about both the hard materials and the way air moves, the analyst employs a massive amount of computational power to repeatedly simulate what would happen.

The Underlying Mathematics

Most forms of FEA are grounded in differential calculus to simulate dynamic systems. An analyst creates a 2-D or 3-D model of whatever is being assessed. The mesh of the model is subdivided into domains, and individual domains are called finite elements.

Computing power is necessary to perform the calculations in a reasonable timeframe. Likewise, the software allows analysts to try to control for potential errors and look at variations. When all of the simulations are completed, statistical methods are used to assess and present the results.

Applications of FEA Analysis

Especially in the era of modern materials, it might be a shorter list to discuss what isn't a potential case for using FEA analysis. Looking at the previous example, you may want to analyze airflow to address air quality concerns, fire hazards, what would happen during a chemical spill, or how an airborne pathogen might move through an indoor space. Similarly, FEA is often utilized to look at how bridges and buildings collapse, which materials are safest for use in cars, the performance of magnetic shielding, and even how computer networks might back up with traffic.

To learn more information, reach out to FEA services near you.


29 September 2020

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