Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a useful engineering design tool that can help provide insight as to how a part will behave in real world scenarios. This can include performing structural analysis, thermal studies, and a host of other physical domains such as fluid dynamics. By leveraging this tool along with real world testing and validation it is possible to create highly optimized designs and achieve better levels of safety and reliability.
Simulations that that Tamarisk is able to assist with include - stress (linear, non-linear, buckling), fatigue, vibration, thermal, and fluid flow. FEA is an integral part of the Tamarisk Product Development process because it is key in material choice and design.
It is important to understand also that while FEA can have huge benefits, it is important to understand its limitations (knowing where this line stands is often the hallmark of a seasoned analyst). One such limitation is that FEA is not a substitute for real world testing and should always be checked against empirical data. In some domains this comes in the form of industry standards, in other situations it can come from similar, existing designs. Where this does not exist we highly recommend all FEA is validated with some real world data.
Why FEA is important:
Running FEA can provide more granular insight compared to hand calcs and certain types of testing. This allows designers to hyper-focus their design efforts on certain areas of a product.
With modern post-processing tools it very easy to spot problem areas or vulnerabilities in a design. Running a detailed FEA produces a detailed visualization of a product or part - marking exactly if and what the shortcoming of the material or design was. This enables our engineers to redesign that part or find a new material that better fits the real world use.
FEA can be highly useful for certain time-dependent simulations, such as crash simulations, in which deformations in one area depend on deformation in another area.
Modeling. FEM allows for easier modeling of complex geometrical and irregular shapes. Because the designer is able to model both the interior and exterior, he or she can determine how critical factors might affect the entire structure and why failures might occur.
Adaptability. FEM can be adapted to meet certain specifications for accuracy in order to decrease the need for physical prototypes in the design process. Creating multiple iterations of initial prototypes is usually a costly and timely process. Instead of spending weeks on hard prototyping, the designer can model different designs and materials in hours via software.