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Finite element analysis software

Introduction : Finite element analysis (FEA) is a widely-employed computerized method ,as

an alternative to testing for predicting how a product reacts to real-world forces, vibration, heat,
fluid flow, and other physical effects. Finite element analysis shows whether a product will break,
wear out, or work the way it was designed. It is called analysis, but in the product development
process, it is used to predict what is going to happen when the product is used. The technique is
based on the premise that an approximate solution to any complex engineering problem can be
reached by subdividing the structure/component into smaller more manageable (finite) elements.
Mathematical equations help predict the behavior of each element. A computer then adds up all
the individual behaviors to predict the behavior of the actual object.

Mathematical Background: A typical work out of the method involves dividing the
domain of the problem into a collection of subdomains, with each subdomain represented by a set
of element equations to the original problem, making up for the first step, followed by
systematically recombining all sets of element equations into a global system of equations for the
final calculation comprising the second step . The global system of equations has known solution
techniques, and can be calculated from the initial values of the original problem to obtain a
numerical answer.

I. In the first step above, the element equations are simple equations that locally approximate
the original complex equations to be studied, where the original equations are often partial
differential equations (PDE). To explain the approximation in this process, FEM is
commonly introduced as a special case of Galerkin method. The process, in mathematical
language, is to construct an integral of the inner product of the residual and the weight
functions and set the integral to zero. In simple terms, it is a procedure that minimizes the
error of approximation by fitting trial functions into the PDE. The residual is the error
caused by the trial functions, and the weight functions are polynomial approximation
functions that project the residual. The process eliminates all the spatial derivatives from
the PDE, thus approximating the PDE locally with

a set of algebraic equations for steady state problems,

a set of ordinary differential equations for transient problems.

These equation sets are the element equations. They are linear if the underlying PDE is linear, and
vice versa. Algebraic equation sets that arise in the steady state problems are solved using
numerical linear algebra methods, while ordinary differential equation sets that arise in the
transient problems are solved by numerical integration using standard techniques such as Euler's
method or the Runge-Kutta method.
II. Then a global system of equations is generated from the element equations through a
transformation of coordinates from the subdomains' local nodes to the domain's global
nodes. This spatial transformation includes appropriate orientation adjustments as applied
in relation to the reference coordinate system. The process is often carried out by FEM
software using coordinate data generated from the subdomains.

Practical Significance: FEM is best understood from its practical application, known as
finite element analysis (FEA). FEA as applied in engineering is a computational tool for
performing engineering analysis. It includes the use of mesh generation techniques for dividing a
complex problem into small elements, as well as the use of software program coded with FEM
algorithm. In applying FEA, the complex problem is usually a physical system with the underlying
physics such as the Euler-Bernoulli beam equation, the heat equation, or the Navier-Stokes
equations expressed in either PDE or integral equations, while the divided small elements of the
complex problem represent different areas in the physical system.

The mother company : Autodesk Simulation family of products delivers a

comprehensive set of finite element analysis and simulation software tools that are easy to
integrate into each phase of the product development process.

Arenas of application: From mechanical stress, vibration, and motion to computational

fluid dynamics, plastic injection molding to heat transfer, electrostatics and multiphysics, finite
element analysis and simulation software from Autodesk provides a fast, accurate, and innovative
approach in solving most challenging design problems.

In Automotive sector: In the automotive industry area the use of finite element method
(FEM) is today almost mandatory, because the customers requests are every day more several in
terms of structural integrity, safety and durability of cars. Based on this is necessary development
criteria of design using the FEM. FEM can be use in all system and subsystem of car like Body,
Chassis and Powertrain.

I. Crash Analysis

The crash analysis of automotive vehicles structures has a high priority in vehicle design.
A vehicle crash is a dynamic phenomenon featuring a complex interaction between
structural and inertial forces the crash analyses focuses on the evaluation of nonlinear
response of automobile subjected to collision. The plastic deformation of ductile metal
structures involved in a collision has a long been recognized as an excellent mechanism for
energy absorption. By appropriate design, vehicle structures can serve as economical and
efficient impact -attenuation to help protector occupants in a collision. There are, in
general, two kinds of complexities encountered in the development of a plastic analysis for
automotive vehicles structures, namely nonlinear material properties and nonlinearties
arising from large deformations. Among the nonlinear material properties resulting from
the plastic flow of metal, the strain rate effect on the yield stress, or viscoplasticity, plays
an important role. In the case of mild steel, which is widely used in the automobile the
energy absorption of the structure is significantly increased. Additionally, large plastic
deformations usually occurs as a direct result of the intense multi-axial loadings. Despite
these complexities, considerable progress in the advancement of analytical methods in the
area of crash analysis of automotive vehicle has been made during recent years.

a) Convergence Criteria- The convergence test is an important factor that affects accuracy
and overall efficiency in nonlinear finite element analysis. Out the balance forces and
changes in displacements should vanish upon convergence in an iterative process. In order
to ensure accurate and consistent convergence multiple criteria with errors, measured in
terms of displacements, loads and the energy should be combined. It is the error functions
and the convergence tolerance that characterize the criteria. Tolerances should be realistic
for the solution scheme to be efficient in search of the best workable combinations of error
functions and tolerances for a wide class of structural problems.

b) Crash Analysis Procedure-The crash analysis procedure involve at we have geometry

from, concept car and test from a similar family car. The next steps are creating the model
part by part using criteria for each part. Assembling the model using library for dummy
and impactor, followed by establishing which test will be to used to simulate frontal crash,
rear impact and the roof crush. For each test is a criterion that the analyst looking for.
Then simulate the car-test simulation in the concept car to discover the behavior from hard
points of car and check if the direction assumed is good or not. Then adopt a crash curve
form of a similar family car where therell be loads and finally experimental results that we
will go to compare with theoretical results.

II. Durability(Determination of Spectrum of Loads )

In service, the vehicle components are in most cases subjected to variable loads. The structures
represent more or less complicated elastic systems, time-varying operational loads can excite their
natural modes. Therefore, the response , which is in the form of a stress-time history at a point of
the structure, that is far enough from the point of load introduction , may show differences with
regard to amplitudes as well as to frequencies compared with the corresponding load-time history.
This means that a stress-time history contains both the effects of external loadings and the
response of the structure to these loadings

.To determine the design load spectra, different procedures can be used. But for all of them,
services measurements are needed -either to determine the data for different operational loading
conditions or oven also the customer usage.The strategy to obtain the spectrum is as follows:-

a) The measurements are carried out with a vehicle prepared with sensors by a test driver over preliminary chosen road
b) The measurements are carried out with a vehicle prepared with sensors use by different drivers over road segments
c) The measurements are carried out with a vehicle prepared with sensors use by different drivers on different road
d) The measurements are carried out with a vehicle prepared with sensors use by a test driver who is following customers
during their usage
III. Noise Vibration and Harshness Concerns ( NVH )

Any noise and/or vibration problem has an excitation ( input) source, a transmission path,
and a responding system. Major NVH excitation sources are its engine, wheels and tires,
accessories, road irregularities and the wind. These noise and vibration problem
disturbances enter the passenger compartment through the suspension, the powertrain, and
the body structure subsystems, often undergoing amplification during their journey.
Though the "noise" that one "hears" is always airborne ( reaches the ear through the
medium of air ), depending on the paths that the vibrational energy takes before reaching
the ear, the noise is classified as air-borne or structure-borne. If the vibration source
excites the air, then the results is structure-borne noise. On the other hand, if vibrating
source directly excites the air, then the result is air-borne noise

The final manifestation of NVH problems in automobiles typically occurs in the steering
column and seat as tactile vibration, at the driver's and passenger's ears as noise, and at
the rear view mirror as visual vibration. Above of 150 Hz, tactile vibrations are
insignificant. Below 400 Hz interior noise is predominantly due to structure-borne
mechanisms, and the above 400 Hz, airborne noise tends to dominate.The customer
experience of NVH involves two factors, the vehicle operating condition, such as braking
and subjective aspects, such as squeal. The term "NVH aspect" describe a specific
subjective concern such as shake or boom as it under a specific operating condition.3-D
acoustic cavity finite element model can be developed using standard structural solid
elements with material properties altered according to the standard structural analogy that
relates structural displacement to acoustic pressure and the material stresses to the
derivatives of acoustic pressure.

IV. Brake Modelling :

Brake design and simulation aims to avoid failure under thermal or structural loading. The
challenges start with material modeling; the makeup and properties of a typical brake pad
are complex, and may be subject to quite significant variation across production batches. A
stochastic approach to modeling is increasingly important in automotive analysis, and this
is a typical example. Understanding the implication of extremes and compensating for them
avoids the odd rogue system with its accompanying reliability and warranty issues.

Other brake analysis targets dynamic interaction causing brake squeal, judder and groan.
Dynamic analysis of brake squeal traditionally used complex eigenvalue analysis, using a
stationary disk on an isolated axle. Simulation now includes rotating disks and caliper
action in the context of full vehicle response. Multi-body dynamics using rigid body
simulation of the vehicle is linked to the flexible body dynamics of the brake system.
Further inputs, such as an anti-lock braking system (ABS), can be included through the
high-level system modeling approach.Simulation of brake heating and cooling now
typically includes thermal and CFD analysis of rotating, rather than simplified stationary
V. Engine and Powertrain

Other vital areas to simulate include the engine and powertrain components. Each
demands its own variety of disciplines to fully understand the real-world physics and
hence, how to simulate and improve design. For example, the engine is a complex assembly
of static and moving parts that are taking in air and fuel, producing exhaust products and
delivering power to the transmission. Overall dynamic and thermal modeling of the
response of the engine is important.

In addition, detailed assessment is required in many areas such as the stresses within the
piston, cylinder head and valves during each power cycle. This involves a multi-discipline
approach involving thermal, combustion, structural and fluid dynamics interactions. An
initial analysis of engine components such as the piston and connecting rod may take
frozen positions with pressure and inertia forces in a pseudo-static balance. More
sophisticated, full transient analysis can add dynamic and thermal effects.

Predicting dynamic interaction is a key requirement in many systems throughout the engine
and powertrain. The transmission of power through torque converters, etc., requires
careful attention to avoid damaging dynamic magnification or resonant frequency
excitation. The exhaust system must be designed so that inadvertent dynamic coupling
between engine block and body mounting does not create unpleasant vibrations.

Advantages :

Several modern FEM packages include specific components such as thermal,

electromagnetic, fluid, and structural working environments. In a structural simulation,
FEM helps tremendously in producing stiffness and strength visualizations and also in
minimizing weight, materials, and costs.FEM allows detailed visualization of where
structures bend or twist, and indicates the distribution of stresses and displacements.
FEM software provides a wide range of simulation options for controlling the complexity
of both modeling and analysis of a system. Similarly, the desired level of accuracy required
and associated computational time requirements can be managed simultaneously to
address most engineering applications. The introduction of FEM has substantially
decreased the time to take products from concept to the production line. It is primarily
through improved initial prototype designs using FEM that testing and development have
been accelerated.
FEM allows entire designs to be constructed, refined, and optimized before the design is
manufactured. This powerful design tool has significantly improved both the standard of
engineering designs and the methodology of the design process in many industrial
applications. FEA has also been proposed to use in stochastic modeling for numerically
solving probability models.

Conclusion : In summary, benefits of FEM include increased accuracy, enhanced design and
better insight into critical design parameters, virtual prototyping, fewer hardware prototypes, a
faster and less expensive design cycle, increased productivity, and increased revenue.