We want to help you. 👋

Send a request.

🔒 All uploads are secure and confidential.

Maximum file size 10MB.
Upload failed. Maximum file size is 10 MB.
We'll get in touch with you.
Oops! Something went wrong.

FEM and FEA, what exactly are they? 📐

FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and FEM (Finite Element Method) are calculation models for all forms of strength calculations and thermal calculations. FEA is used for the simulation of physical phenomena, FEM is the method to achieve this.

FEA uses the FEM method to calculate, simulate, calculate and estimate how an object reacts under various circumstances and physical influences.

The simulations show, for example, how a tank expands and deforms when pressure is too high, how an oil rig moves out in the North Sea, where to place lifting lugs on a steel structure to ensure safe lifting without destroying the structures.

Computer modeling and calculation of different steel structures

It is a numerical technique that cuts the structure of an object into millions of parts, or elements, and then connects the elements to points called nodes. FEM creates a set of algebraic equations that engineers and other designers use to perform analysis.

How it works in practice

Imagine you are an aerospace engineer and have a brilliant idea for a type of design, but you don't know the sizes, shapes and materials to use for maximum power with minimum fuel consumption. Nor do you know what the thermal and mechanical stresses are under all possible operating conditions, and because the design is completely new - you also have no data to look back on.

What are you doing? ⚙️

One way would be to build a prototype and test it. If the prototype doesn't get the performance or fuel consumption you hoped for, or if the device fails, fine-tune the design and try again.

The problem with this approach is that it's extremely expensive and time-consuming, and if your prototype blows itself up, it's hard to determine exactly how it failed.

There is a better way. Build a computer model of your prototype and simulate how it behaves in different settings. Tweaking the design is a matter of changing some numerical parameters, and if it breaks, you can find out exactly how it failed. And if an explosion occurs, no one will be hit by flying prototype shrapnel.

Computer modeling of air flows in, among other things, ducts

Of course, computer modeling and simulation are not just "plug and play". You need equations and not least technical and theoretical understanding. How does the material used in the parts expand as the temperature rises? How does it affect the shapes of the various parts? How does that in turn affect the airflow around the parts? And so on.

These are important questions that should be answered before production.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

FEA is used to tackle three main problems:

  • Static: For example, structural analysis of different parts of a frame or unit, when a certain load is applied without movement. Knowing which parts are subject to the greatest stress, it tells engineers which parts need to be the strongest
  • Dynamic: Useful when the forces applied to the system change over time, for example heat flow or fluid through a pipe system
  • Modal: Useful for analyzing the effect of vibration on a system
Calculation of beam

FEM analysis

FEM analysis ( Finite Element Method ) is used for computer simulations of both simple and complex structures and assemblies. The method divides complex systems into simple parts with known and understood properties. The information is moved from part to part and the method simulates what happens when all the properties of a system are put together.

Torsion in software

FEM is often used for strength calculations and calculation of deformations in constructions. You will also be able to uncover vulnerabilities in a design, so that you avoid pitfalls before production.

How do we use it in practice?

At Nordic Steel, we use the FEM method to reduce the number of physical prototypes, tests, experiments and optimize components in the design phase. This allows us to develop even better and safer products at a faster pace for our customers.

Optimizing the production process can also lead to higher utilization rates in the boards. This contributes to cost savings, faster production time and a more sustainable product.

Benefits of FEM analysis

One of the main advantages of FEM analysis is that it provides an accurate and precise solution for complex structures and systems. This method is also flexible and can be adapted to different types of loads, materials, and geometries.

FEM also provides the opportunity to analyze structures in different states, for example under dynamic loads or deformations. In addition, FEM can be used to simulate and test structures before they are built, which can save both time and costs in the design process.

Another advantage of FEM is that it can be combined with other analyses, such as structural analytical methods, to provide an even more accurate solution.

Software used for FEM analysis

There are a number of different software programs used in connection with FEM. Some of the most popular programs include ANSYS, ABAQUS, COMSOL, SolidWorks, and LS-DYNA.

These programs provide the opportunity to model, analyze and simulate structures and systems using FEM.

We also contribute with

  • Optimization of deliveries, both within sheet metal and large complex constructions for all industries
  • Calculation and dimensioning
  • Design of components and equipment
  • Development of new prototypes
  • Solves complex technical challenges
  • Preparation of fabrication basis
  • Technical drawing
  • Final documentation

Send request

Projects we've done.

Curious about what we can deliver? Send us a request and get an offer.

We will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible. If you need help urgently, we recommend that you contact us by phone regardless of opening hours.
Mathias Hult
Head of Marketing
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong.