Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a method of predicting reactions to forces. It is a way of nondestructive testing or forensic testing, depending on the circumstances.
FEA works by breaking down the object into smaller elements, thousands, or hundreds of thousands for larger sized objects. Then it applies a huge amount of processing power to run that model through all sorts of stress scenarios, identifying areas of weakness or potential failure.
This is useful both before and after production. Before an object goes into production, FEA can find the potential areas of failure and the design can be optimized before it goes into the field. After production, FEA can be used as a part of preventative maintenance to verify component life span when additional loading is introduced to the system.
FEA is a money saving technology that allows the simulation of real world forces without their recreation. It can identify problems before thousands of dollars have been committed to production. Or it can predict a failure without having to run other pieces through punishing forces to recreate the circumstances that caused the initial failure.
FEA can quickly resolve a failure case by identifying exactly what piece failed in what way, taking insurance or legal cases to quick resolution with relatively low costs. For example, Allan R. Nelson Engineering was asked to review a design after it had failed in the field. Based on the design alone, we were able to identify the failure that had occurred in the field and recommend a resolution for our client.
Not all FEA models are created equal. The experience and education of the operator is a key detail in creating the right model. It is important to find a certified engineer with years of experience in FEA for your analysis. So when you need FEA work, call Allan R. Nelson Engineering and we can assist you with the skill you need.