Finite element method (FEM)

The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a numeric method used for solving complex problems in structural mechanics but is also used in fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and other areas.

In structural mechanics, a continuous structure is divided into a large number of elements connected at discrete points called nodes. The state for each element is fully described by the state of the nodes confining the element. This implies that the state of the whole structure is described by the state of all participating nodes. Thus, an infinite number of calculations transforms into a discrete number of problems that are suitable for numerical solution methods.

SSPA uses FEM software in numerous applications, and the software is closely connected to one of our CAD-systems. This enables the problem free transition from a structure in the CAD-system to the process of defining the problem in the FEM.

Examples of areas where our knowledge and tools are used are:

  • Optimisation of structures with regards to weight, cost, or other user-defined criteria. This makes it possible to compare different solutions at an early stage in the design process
  • Verify various constructions so that stress levels and displacements are within stated limits and to investigate the structure for hotspots that might be avoided by altering the geometric shape of the investigated structure
  • Static and dynamic strength analysis for complex structures
  • Analysis of a structure’s natural frequencies
  • Propeller design