FEA Service (Finite Element Analysis)
An FEA service analysis is a great way to check your designs and product performance before moving ahead with tooling. I utilize SOLIDWORKS Simulation tool as a regular part of my design process. Finite Element Analysis allows me to calculate component displacements, strains, and stresses under internal and external loads. Although predominantly used for metal components, we’ve found unique ways to use FEA tools and data. On hollow plastic parts, they are used to predict outcomes and test geometry under a variety of scenarios.
For more complex and critical parts and assemblies, Greg uses an engineer who used to teach FEA at a college level. He understands rotational molded parts as well. They work together to make sure the part will be able to handle the loads it will be exposed to. Our FEA service will analyze the part non-linearly for plastic and generate plots showing hot spots of stress in red (bad). When the blue color is seen, it means low stresses (good). Our FEA service can also take into account creep if that is something that has to be looked at. We know the full properties of any resin are very hard to attain, therefore we don’t use the full ratings. This makes for conservative reports from our FEA service.
The software you use for an FEA Service is important. SolidWorks is great, but my engineer uses another software to do his FEA. He uses FEMAP to pre- and post-process and uses NX NASTRAN Advanced Non-Linear (Adina) to solve. Got it? Me neither, but the results are awesome!
Blue-Reed has worked on many projects. Load capacities have been verified and designs revised where necessary if they weren’t quite up to snuff. We have tested 550 gal. IBC/Skid Assemblies that were to be tested for DOT certification. There have been 250 gal.totes that needed to be stacked 3 high for long periods of time in warehouses, so creep needed to be taken into account. Using FEA Analysis has helped us make several projects successful.