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Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or Finite Element Method (FEM) is referring to a numerical mathematical technique to simulate or replicate some physical tests in a virtual environment through engineering software. Nowadays, FEA is widely used in the mechanical engineering field because it saves money and time since lesser physical prototypes are needed and it also able to produce a better and safe product by identity the potential risk.
Initially, FEA was developed with the purpose to solve structural mechanics problems in civil or aerospace engineering. With the improvement of computer processing speed, nowadays FEA simulation has become capable enough for engineers to simulate complex engineering situations as well as real-world situations.
Firstly, the FEA simulation will convert a 3D model into several mathematical points as known as mesh. This mesh containing a high number of small elements that make up the overall shape. Then all these elements will be fitted with mathematical formulae. After meshing, calculations started for every element with a defined boundary condition. Then all the calculated results are combined to make up the overall result for the structure.
The static structural analysis normally uses to analysis any physical static structure and its components that undergo several loadings. It can determine the displacements of beams, stresses, or strain caused by different loadings. The results from this analysis are used to justify the fitness of structures under specific loadings.
Thermal analysis considering the mechanical properties of material into the calculation and predict the temperature distributions of an object with thermal loading. There are 3 different heat transfer mechanisms consider during the simulation which are conduction, convection, and radiation.
Explicit Dynamics is used to simulate the condition of a given system at a different time from the current time. This is very useful to predict the response of materials to short periods of severe loading. The example of such situation is explosion/penetration, bird strike, impacts or factures.
In short, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a useful tool for the engineer to deal with complex engineering problems and provide a good mechanical behavior prediction through a series of simulations. With the aids of Finite Element Analysis, it enables the engineer to integrate CAD solutions during the design phase and shorten the total time required for the final market released product.