Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Do you want to know the strength of your design? Will it pass a required load test? Will it have the required service life? Is it flexible or rigid enough? Can it be made lighter while still maintaining the required strength?  Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can help you answer these questions without producing costly physical prototypes?

What is FEA?

FEA is a computer simulation method used to predict the response of a Three Dimensional (3D) Computer Aided Design (CAD) part or product, to forces, pressures, impacts, heat loads, vibrations or deflections. Results of the simulations show colour plots on the surfaces and inside the parts and the movement of the parts. Depending on the type of simulation performed, the results can show the Safety Factor of the design, Stress levels, Strain, elastic deflections, natural frequencies, or temperature profile. 

These results can be used by Engineers to determine if a design will resist permanent deformation or fracture, deflect within acceptable limits, resist buckling, avoid frequency induced wobbles, or dissipate heat adequately. 

E3K and FEA

The award winning team at E3K have Finite Element Analysis (FEA) specialists with over 20 years of experience using FEA as part of the engineering design process. E3K can efficiently evaluate your design using professional FEA software on our in-house 32 core high performance computer. The experienced professional engineers at E3K have a proven track record of delivering top quality results for clients, saving time and development costs for them.

E3K not only perform analysis for clients, but have the skill and expertise to interpret the results and optimise designs based on criteria such as weight saving, strength and stiffness, flexibility, noise reduction, cooling performance, and fatigue life.

E3K Finite Element Analysis Services:

  • FEA  can be used to simulate load tests from standards to predict if your design will pass the tests in an Australian or International Standard.
  • If your design does not pass the Standard Tests, E3K can improve your design and simulate the Standard Tests again until the new design passes the Standard.
  • FEA  can be used to determine which parts of your design are not taking load.
  • E3K Engineers can use this information to reduce the weight of components by removing unnecessary material from areas of the design. 
  • FEA  can be used to determine how many loading cycles your design will withstand. This is then used to calculate the fatigue or design life in years or months.
  • If your design life is shorter than you want, E3K can improve your design and until the new design achieves your desired life.
  • FEA can be used to apply pressure loads, such as from gasses in pressure vessels or vacuum chambers, or fluids in tanks or machinery.
  • E3K Engineers can use the results of pressure simulations to predict the weak points in a design and then improve the design to better resist pressures.
  • Snap fits and living hinges in plastic parts require the plastic to bend significantly without breaking. 
  • For these simulations, instead of apply loads and predicting the bending, the bending or deformed shape is applied to the model and the results of the  simulation can be used to determine if the part is flexible enough to bend without breaking.
  • If a structure is exposed to vibrations at its Natural frequency, it causes the structure to resonate. This is great if your structure is a guitar string, but not so good for a bridge. There was a case when wind at the natural frequency of a bridge caused the bridge to shake itself to pieces. 
  • E3K Engineers can use the results of frequency analysis to make sure your design does not have any natural frequencies near those to which it will be exposed. 
  • FEA can be used to simulate the flow of heat through parts or groups of parts. 
  • This is particularly useful when designing heat sinks for electronics or insulation systems.
  • FEA can be used to simulate dropping a product, impact between two parts or even vehicle crashes.
  • E3K Engineers can use the results of these simulations to improve the impact or crash resistance of designs. 
  • FEA  can be used in Failure Analysis to determine the loading that caused failure of a part or product. 
  • This is very useful to help determine if the failure was the result of overloading, a manufacturing fault, or insufficient design strength.

Finite Element Analysis Projects

SAG Mill Independent Design Review

E3K performed an independent design review of a new replacement SAG Mill for a Copper and Gold mine in Papua New Guinea. The review included FEA analysis of the new design and meetings with the design team in the USA.

Screw Pile FEA

As part of a design and weld specification review, E3K engineers performed Finite Element Analysis on a 3D model of the screw pile to simulate the loads on the pile as it is screwed into the ground.

Smart Lock Performance Improvement

E3K were asked to solve a problem with the performance of a smart locking device. As part of the investigation, E3K performed a contact Finite Element Analysis on the whole assembly to see how the components interacted when under load. The analysis was performed on E3K’s in house 32 core high performance computer.

Sit/Stand Height Adjustable Desk

E3K designed a new height adjustable desk for use in both sitting and standing modes. As part of the design process E3K engineers used FEA and advanced motion simulation to predict the performance of the desk when subject to Australian Standards tests.

Explosion Proof Chamber

E3K engineers used andvanced Finite Element Analysis to test and improve the design of an explosion proof chamber. A number of design iterations and analysis were performed to optimise the design shape whilst still fitting within the design envelope.

Australian Standard test simulations for waste water tank

E3K performed a number of FEA simulations on the first product using the award-winning Joinlox® system, a waste water tank for Biolytix. The analysis performed by E3K helped optimise the design of the Joinlox® system and predict the behaviour of the joints and the whole tank under Australian Standard test scenarios.

Crusher Feeder Repair

E3K engineers project managed the repair of a crusher feeder. As part of the project, FEA was performed on the hydraulic ram connection lugs and on specially designed lifting platforms to enable the crusher feeder to be lifted whilst it was pushed back into the correct position.

Steel Reinforced Concrete Tank

E3K engineers project managed the repair of a steel reinforced concrete tank in South East Asia. As part of the project, FEA was performed on the tank in the damaged condition, and the original installed condition, to give an indication of the changes in stresses within the tank caused by the damage to the tank.

Australian Standard Pressure Vessel Simulations

E3K performed a number of FEA simulations on the bore of hydraulic rams. Based on the initial simulations, E3K engineers were able to recommend improvements to the design to lower the stresses to acceptable levels. FEA simulations of the new design were shown to pass the strength requirements of Australian Standard AS 1210.

More Examples of FEA Performed by E3K

  • Static and dynamic analysis of magnesium torque converter housing for Ford
  • Detailed design and analysis of a novel internal combustion engine
  • Hydraulic bolt tensioners for US and EU Nuclear Power Industry
  • Audit of hydraulic actuator for aircraft emergency generator
  • Francis Turbine for New Zealand Hydroelectric projects
  • Design of aircraft tie down fitting for Brisbane Airport
  • Ocean Power Turbine design for injection moulding
  • Server tower earthquake rating simulations
  • Helicopter crash failure analysis
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