Do you need to know math behind FEA?

By |November 30th, 2017|FEA: Basics, • Linear Analysis, • Nonlinear Analysis, FEA: Intermediate, FEA Topics:, Art of Engineering|

Recently I asked a lot of my subscribers what they think is the most difficult thing in FEA. While "interpreting results" or "too much theory in materials" appeared quite often, I also got several answers like: My biggest obstacle is actually understanding the mathematical concept behind it. Although I am really interested in the application [...]

FEA results verification with hand calculations: stability

By |October 19th, 2017|FEA: Basics, FEA: Intermediate, • Post Processing, FEA Topics:|

Last time I described 5 steps to FEA results verification. Among those steps were FEA results verification with hand calculations. I figured it makes sense to expand on this idea. Especially since Luke asked me about something on this topic via email. Luke asks: How is the eigenvalue calculated, can this be done longhand? Can [...]

Nonlinear supports in FEA: Gap Elements (NX Nastran) [Q&A #2]

By |September 12th, 2017|FEA: Intermediate, • Boundary Conditions, • Contact, FEA Topics:, Q&A, FEMAP|

Recently I got a great question from Ardalan (thanks for writing mate!) about defining nonlinear supports in FEA. I think he does a better job of defining the problem: First how to constraint an entity with in tolerance rather than completely fixing it? i.e. how to define a certain range of motion for an entity [...]

Buckling length in sway and non-sway structures

By |August 31st, 2017|• Structural Steel, • Stability, FEA: Intermediate, FEA Topics:, • Linear Buckling, Structural Design Topics:|

One of the few difficult things about buckling lengths is, that you need to know if your structure is a "sway" structure or a "non-sway" structure. Commonly the simple check is made with displacements, but unfortunately, it may lead to serious mistakes! Why should you care about sway and non-sway system Firstly, I want to [...]

Changing active forces for enforced deformations and vice versa

By |May 23rd, 2017|FEA: Basics, FEA: Intermediate, • Boundary Conditions, FEA Topics:|

I have seen many mistakes where people wrongly changed enforced deformations with active forces. In some cases, this is a simple task, which gives beginners the feeling that they can always do it easily. This, in turn, leads to various mistakes in analysis. I think it is worth discussing this, to point out common mistakes [...]

Solve issues with nonlinear analysis convergence!

By |May 16th, 2017|• Nonlinear Analysis, FEA: Intermediate, FEA: Advanced, FEA Topics:|

Lately, I got several emails with questions about nonlinear analysis convergence. There are a lot of reasons why your analysis could not converge. One of them is a wrong loads/increment strategy which I call "steering". Take a look at what are the possible options and what are the positive/negative aspects of each approach. Steering have [...]

Finite Element Analysis workflow

By |May 2nd, 2017|FEA: Basics, • Linear Analysis, • Meshing, • Boundary Conditions, • Post Processing, FEA Topics:, RFEM, FEMAP|

When I first started working with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) I had a huge problem in understanding what to do. I had a basic engineering knowledge but I simply did not understand what was the order of the steps. Suddenly the software had many "modules" and each was screaming at me that some data is [...]