Finite Element Model Validation and Mesh Refinement

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a powerful technique to support modern engineering practice. Some examples of tasks where FEA can play an important role are

  • Test new design approaches
    Innovation is enhanced when you can quickly test new approaches with out having to build a prototype. Have confidence in your design.
  • Modify an existing design
    Does it need to be larger, stronger, lighter, perform new functions or work under new conditions? Test modifications on the computer first.
  • Solve manufacturing problems
    Insight into your manufacturing process can lead to real improvements. FEA can model many aspects of a manufacturing process. Assembly stresses, mold flow, and forming processes can all be modeled.
  • Verify design safety
    FEA is a proven way to avoid expensive failures. An FEA model can be economically tested over a wide variety of possible scenarios. You have more confidence that you are not compromising safety while making the most economical design choices.

The results obtained with FEA are strongly depending on the experience and judgment of the engineers involved in the analysis of the problem and definition of a simulation model. The increasing reliance on simulation results in all areas of engineering requires that no analysis should be undertaken without validation and (if necessary) refinement of the models.

Model validation should be part of every modern engineering analysis quality assurance procedure (ref. ISO 9001). FE model validation is the verification that idealization premises and analysis conclusions are valid. Many parameters in a finite element analysis are uncertain. This will inevitably account for some differences in the behavior of the real structure and results of the analysis.

FEMtools Correlation Analysis is used to correlate reference data with analysis results and to analyze differences. Uncertain parameters are identified and their importance in the analysis assessed.

FEMtools Model Updating is used for running what-if scenarios (sensitivity analysis) and can be applied to improve the quality of the model.

By reading and analyzing results coming from FEA and test, a dedicated working environment like FEMtools is required to support the engineer in a process that is knowledge-based and decision-based.