Complicated systems and structures don’t always have to require complicated analysis to determine fitness-for-service (FFS) or damages. FEA is a routinely utilized methodology that can save operators time and is often more economically advantageous. This method is more efficient than hand calculations and can be especially effective in predicting the effects of stress, damage caused by contact between parts, fatigue and fractures, vibration fatigue, and damage due to fire or heat transfer. It could also be paired with other damage assessment programs to streamline evaluations and potentially reduce the number of full-scale validation tests required.
In the energy industry, finite element analysis is the method of choice for optimizing new designs, verifying the fitness of existing facilities, and evaluating new concepts. In addition, it has been used extensively for accident reconstruction and forensic investigations.
The appendices of API RP 579-1 / ASME FFS-1 cover finite element analysis as it relates to calculating the impact of damage mechanisms and includes equations for determining maximum allowable working pressure, thickness, and stress in components.
Where computerized models generally provide more efficient and accurate analysis, they are not without their own capacity for miscalculations. Errors can occur during data entry, the properties of materials can be undetectable, and geometrical features may be missed by automated programs. Unfortunately, there is no inherently flawless program, digital or manual. Therefore, it is even more valuable to have experienced and committed experts who can anticipate and prevent errors and ensure calculations are made precisely.
Stress Engineering Services is a leading provider of finite element analysis services to industries worldwide. Our reputation is accredited to the extensive industry experience of our engineers and their ability to expertly apply this sophisticated analysis tool to achieve reliable solutions.
In addition to FEA, we provide solid mechanics evaluations of stress, strain, displacement, and capacity; fatigue assessments; dynamic simulations; fluid dynamics simulations; and heat transfer assessments. While we utilize state-of-the-art software and programs to produce advanced modeling and simulations for our analyses projects, it is our renowned service and problem-solving reputation throughout the industry that our client’s value most.
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