FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSES

WHAT IS FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS?


The physical behaviour of simple structures can often be described by means of analytical mathematical equations. However, most real applications are everything but simple. For those more complex cases, the engineers at Code usually apply Finite Element Analyses (FEA), also known as Finite Element Method (FEM). FEA is a numerical method for solving several problems of engineering and physics. Our specific fields of knowledge are structural mechanics - both statics and dynamics - and heat transfer problems.
 

HOW DOES FEA WORK?


Based on a CAD-drawing of parts or assemblies, FE-models can be generated by subdividing the original geometry into a finite number of interconnected pieces, the so-called Finite Elements. This approach allows to model arbitrary structures with complex shapes.

Finally, the numerical methods are applied on a computer to determine the solution to boundary value problems. Those are derived by defining the boundary conditions and external loads of a physical problem.
 

WHEN DO WE USE FEA OR FEM?

 
At Code Product Solutions we work according to the CAE-driven design approach. Performing FEAs follows our philosophy that simulations add the biggest value when they are applied in the very early beginning of the product development process. Therefore, our engineers apply FEA at multiple times during the development of a product such as in feasibility studies performed at the early beginning of a project or in advanced assessments somewhat later in the development.
 
Want to learn more about the software we use? Click here.

 

Virtual Prototyping

The usage of FEA allows our engineers to gain insights in the behaviour of structural components or whole assemblies. Typically, the structural performance of parts is assessed regarding stresses or strains. Alternatively, the deformation behaviour constraint by applied boundary conditions and loads can be investigated. Dependent on each project, those assessments can add value in several stages of the product development process. This can be in an early development phase when first hardware prototypes do not exist yet or it can be applied to make improvements after the first production round is on the market.

Material Modelling

The accuracy of any FEA is related to the quality of the material models describing the material behaviour. Dependent on both the materials and the nature of the problem, different complex material models must be calibrated and applied. Our simulation experts built up vast knowledge in selecting most suited material model for each specific purpose. Typical models capture the non-linear material behaviour of plastics or the anisotropic stiffness and strength of composites. Advanced models additionally cover time- and rate-dependent material properties such as viscoelasticity or strain rate dependency of polymers.

Proven Accuracy

To ensure that the gap between simulation and reality is as small as possible, the Code engineers validate their models continuously. This is done by comparing simulation results with experiments and if necessary, models are improved according to this information. This generates confidence and it brings the quality of our simulations to an even higher level, creating the best conditions for future projects.

Advanced Impact Modelling

Many safety related applications require to assess how they behave after loads exceed the integrity limits. Next to an accurate prediction of material failure, proper modelling of interactions of parts is key. Our simulation experts are very experienced in modelling complex applications undergoing crash loadings, such as car child seats. This allows optimising the integrity of those products. But our engineers can even go further and include whole dummy-models into the models allowing to evaluate and optimise dummy-accelerations. Dependent on the problem, we apply either FE- or Multibody dummies.

Integrated Simulations

The behaviour of materials can be influenced by the applied production process. In case of fibre-filled thermoplastics, the orientation of the fibres is influenced by the flow during injection moulding. Therefore, the material behaviour turns anisotropic and varies locally. Hence, linking process simulations and mechanical simulations can increase the accuracy of predictive engineering significantly. These integrated simulations are especially valuable when an elevated level of confidence is required, such as in assessing the integrity of a component in a final stage of the development process.

THE ADDED VALUE OF FEA

Once an FE-model is built, design or material changes can be studied easily. This allows to conduct various kinds of design assessments or evaluations of multiple load cases. Using FEA, the number of required costly hardware prototypes can be reduced significantly, saving time and money. It is possible to gain more insights from FEA than from doing multiple trial and error hardware tests with prototypes. 
 
A detailed overview of all FEA services offered by Code Product Solutions is shown below.

APPLICATIONS

Structural analyses
  • Static analyses
    • Stiffness & strength assessments (linear, non-linear, isotropic, anisotropic)
    • Modal analyses / eigenfrequency extraction
       
  • Dynamic analyses (implicit & explicit)
    • Impact/crash simulation
    • Vibratinos in the time domain
       
  • Fatigue assessments (metals & plastics)
  • Integrated simulations (coupling of process- and structural analyses)
  • Structural optimisations

Thermal analyses (steady state & transient)
  • Thermal conduction
  • Heat transfer

Material modelling
  • Material cards (isotropic, anisotropic, linear/non-linear, rate-in/dependent)
  • Composite modelling
  • User defined material behaviour

Want to learn more about the software we use? Click here.


 

THE BENEFITS OF FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSES

  • Modelling of complex structures
  • Simulating of complex material behaviour
  • Modelling of interacting parts
  • Gaining of deeper knowledge of the product
  • Better insight into critical design parameters
  • Fewer hardware prototypes

INQUIRIES?

Interested to learn more about our way of working?

CONTACT PAUL HABETS

Are you facing a challenge in the development of your product? Looking for a partner to enforce your knowledge in one or more of our FEA expertise areas? Please give us a call. We are looking forward to talking with you.

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