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Finite Element Stress Analysis


What is Stress Analysis?  Stress analysis is used to ensure that a given component is able to achieve its expected life when subjected to in-service loadings. In most instances loads are repeated many times leading to the terminology- durability and fatigue strength, the latter being a property of the chosen material.

 

Stress calculations, traditionally made by hand using standard accepted formulae, require material property data, geometric shape and applied loadings.

 

Where design projects become complex in both geometric shape and combinations of loading, use of Finite-Element Analysis can be a cost effective route to provide product designs, which are fully refined for both material and in-service performance.

 

FEA consists of a computerised model of the component geometry to which service loads may be applied along with relevant material property data.

 

Mathematically, the structure to be analysed is sub-divided into a mesh of finite sized elements of simple shape. Using simple polynomial shape functions within each element, the displacement of the element’s nodes can be determined under the applied loading conditions. Once these are known element stresses and strains are calculated.

 

Results may be presented in many formats, the most popular being full colour contour plots of stresses, strains, deflections etc.

 

These plots, particular stress/strain, can be of particular interest to the ultimate Casting Process Engineer. Plots showing ‘stress hot-spots’ location indicate where integrity of the casting is of particular importance thereby acting as a component ‘Quality Map’ to the foundryman.

FEA Mesh

 

FEA Model