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Introduction to FEA Method

Part of any root-cause vibration study should include a solution that addresses the problems identified by the study. Solutions for vibration problems involving the excitation of a natural frequency (resonance) are frequently difficult to obtain based solely upon experimental data. Although an intuitive interpretation of the experimental data may suggest stiffening a component of a machine, the details and the effectiveness of a modification could be difficult to access. Furthermore, in many cases it is difficult to determine the effect of a modification on other natural frequencies that may not currently be a problem, but could become one after implementation of the modification.

The finite element method is a numerical technique that can be used to obtain an approximation of the modal parameters (natural frequencies and mode shapes) of complex structural-mechanical systems. A finite element model is typically much more detailed than an experimental model (operating deflection shape or experimental modal analysis). Finite element models contain thousands of degrees-of-freedom versus an experimental model that usually include hundreds of degrees-of-freedom or less. The half-symmetry finite element model of an autogenous grinding mill included in Figure 1 contained over 100,000 degrees-of-freedom. Because of this level of refinement, a finite element model provides the vibration analysts with an unparalleled approach at evaluating the effect of even the finest details of any mechanical design on the structural dynamic characteristics thereof.

The finite element method focuses on calculating the behavior and response of a continuum consisting of an infinite number of points. In a continuum problem, a field variable such as displacement or velocity contains an infinite number of possible values, since it is a function of each point in the continuum. The task of solving the continuum problem is simplified using a the finite element representation that divides the continuum into a finite number of subdivisions called elements. The elements are connected at nodal points into a mesh or finite element model.

The stiffness and inertial properties of each individual element is defined by a mathematical displacement or interpolation function (linear, quadratic, etc.), the elastic material properties (Modulus of Elasticity, Poisson ratio, and material density), the size of the element and its connectivity and relationship to all other elements in the model. The assemblage of all elements produces an estimation of the stiffness and inertial properties of any complex structural-mechanical system.

It is important to realize that the finite element method is an approximate numerical technique.”


what is finite element analysis

 

 Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a way to use calculations on how different elements might affect structural or mechane design. This analysis is key to taking designs from the planning and testing stage to the buildout of structures and machines. Using different methods allows the measurement of different types of elements, from fluids to wind to vibrations and more.

HOW IS FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS USED?

Using FEA can earn structural and mechanical validation across multiple industries. In some cases, mechanical certification depends on proof of completed FEA.

Finite Element Analysis is critical for: Certifying load capacity for lifting cranes, Fatigue analysis for machines and machine parts, Platform supports, Brake or rotor lifetime certification, Forensic analysis and validation, Pressure vessel analysis, Airport bridges, Machine design, Testing during FEA includes different types of analysis.

ENGINEERING SEISMIC CALCULATIONS

Not only does the structure need to be sound, but the location of the structure has to be sturdy. Siesmic analysis helps you understand your structure’s performance different ground frequencies and vibrations.

LINEAR STATIC ANALYSIS

With this form of FEA, we analyze a scaled model based on proportions. If a structure is sound on a small scale, applying linear proportions to the full-scale structure should create the same scenarios.

MODAL ANALYSIS

All objects vibrate at a frequency. You can’t see the vibrations, but everything vibrates. When you add more objects or outside factors, such as speed or wind, vibrations can increase or conflict. Modal Analysis applies different forced vibrations to structures. These disruptive vibrations affect your structure in different ways. The analysis allows you to make adjustments for vibrations in the design stage.

THERMAL ENGINEERING ANALYSIS

Cold and heat also affect the structural design. With thermal engineering analysis, we look at variances in temperature and how it impacts your structure.

FLUID DYNAMIC CALCULATIONS

In the oil and gas industry, it’s important to study how fluids behave while in motion. The density and flow of oil or gas can have a structural impact. You can make changes to your structure’s design after understanding the potential impact of your product through a pipeline.

SOLVING STRESS PROBLEMS

All structures endure stress. Using finite element analysis helps you build structures to withstand potential stress from multiple elements. Using your company’s insight, our team pulls loads. Then we test performance against constraints and other stressors. We are often able to validate customer designs. And we help our customers adjust designs to take care of negative results. We have decades of mechanical engineering experience across various industries, including oil and gas, airline, manufacturing, and construction. Contact us for a detailed estimated of your mechanical design needs.


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