Design Optimization With FEA

Design Optimization with FEA

Design optimization is one of the largest advantages of finite element analysis (FEA). Though gaining a strong understanding of the performance of your product with FEA you can reduce material, prevent stress concentrations, remove bottlenecks, and attain desirable performance attributes.


Design Optimization Example

Initial Design
Initial Design

Step 1 | Simplify the Model

In order to start with analysis you want to simplify your model to only what is essential for your analysis. Removing everything except for the structure and any components that you need to use for defining your analysis.

Step 2 | Add the Boundary Conditions

Once a model is simplified its time to define loads, constraints, and contacts. Using engineering judgment, determine what the best constraints are that resembles reality.

Step 3 | Generate the Mesh

Initial Mesh

Depending upon how complex your model is and how long it takes to generate a mesh you can start with the automated mesh or start by defining local mesh rules.

Step 4 | Refine the Mesh

Refined Mesh

Once you have your initial mesh generated, use local mesh controls to optimize the mesh to obtain a strong result. Rounded surfaces, tight angles, and other geometries where stress concentrations can occur should typically have a smaller mesh element defined than the rest of the body. Once the mesh is optimized, run the model.

Step 5 | Analyze Results

Initial FEA Results

Once your results have been generated its time to analyze the performance. Start by setting the color contour bar to have a max that matches equal to the materials yielding stress or another controlling stress value. While analyzing the design look for locations where the geometry can be more efficient. For instance, you can start by removing sharp corners from your design where stress concentrations occur. You can then build up locations where high stress occurs and remove material that is under low stress. Understand however that stresses occur due the entire geometry, so removing material in one location may increase stress in another location.

Step 6 | Optimize the Design

Optimized FEA Results

Once the design is optimized, it will have stress maximums approaching or even hitting yielding or another control stress value and locations that are under low stress where the material has been minimized. There are of course other design considerations such as usability that should also be considered with optimizing the design of a product.

Learn more about FEA

The above example referenced using and applying FEA which can easily encompass anywhere between an entire semester at college or a career.


Design Optimization Applications

  • Stress analysis optimization or a structure
  • Product design optimization for performance
  • Flow optimization with CFD
  • Composite Optimization

Optimize Your Products

ASR is a mechanical engineering firm that specializes in advanced design and analysis. If you have a problem that can benefit from FEA or CFD then contact us today to speak to one of our experienced engineers or for a free quote.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.