Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Image credit:  Jonathan Lin

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can be an extremely powerful tool for design and optimization of ship structures . . . if you get it right.  FEA allows us to analyze any array of complex structures.  That freedom brings new designs and reduced structure weight.  We don’t simplify the structure just to make the math easier.  Structures get designed for performance, like you expect from high value engineering.

FEA allows us to explore a nearly limitless range of structural design options.

  • Foundation design for large equipment
  • Global structural strength
  • Loading of unique cargo and deck strength
  • Thermal expansion checks
  • Design of unique structural shapes
  • Design of critical weld joints
  • Weight reduction of large beam segments
  • Fatigue analysis for vessel life extension
  • Composite materials design
  • Forensic engineering
  • So much more . . .

At DMS, we prove the accuracy of our FEA.  We perform independent FEA validation studies.  This compares FEA models to known real world experiments.  The result is quantifiable accuracy of our FEA modeling capabilities.  Because quality results depend less on the tool than on the person who uses it.

For your actual project, we also perform mesh independence studies on each FEA model, further confirming the accuracy.  With DMS, you gain absolute confidence that the computer predictions match reality.

FEA Validation Studies

DMS proves our accuracy.  View some of our completed FEA validation studies.

Point Load on Hemisphere Membrane

DMS completed an FEA validation study of point loads on a hemisphere membrane.  Final results showed a 0.40% margin of error!

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Cantilever Twisting Beam

DMS completed an FEA validation study of a cantilever twisting beam. Final results showed a 1.60% margin of error, very low! 

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Uniform Pressure on Plate

DMS completed an FEA validation study of uniform pressure loaded on a plate.  Final results showed a low 1.50% margin of error!

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Pressure Vessel - Internal Pressure

DMS completed an FEA validation study of a pressure vessel subjected to internal pressure.  Final results showed an impressively low 0.30% margin of error.

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Want to Learn More?

We are happy to discuss your next project.  We can customize each project to meet your exact goals.

We also offer free general project plans to help prepare for your next round of quotes.

At DMS, we are dedicated to your success.

Relevant Ship Science Articles

Six Ways to Break the Ship

Why are ship structures so labor intensive to design? Engineers need to anticipate multiple methods of failure, which makes a lot of work. The trick of efficient structural analysis focuses on recognizing which methods of failure are likely in each scenario. This article reveals six major methods of structural failure, with examples of common applications. Because it will be the failure mode you didn’t consider that ultimately leads to catastrophe.

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Improve Engineering Value

We all want to feel good about paying for engineering analysis. Sometimes the best answer drives us to maximize value, rather than minimize cost. In those cases, you do better to go beyond basic safety and search for enhancements. Today we discuss four engineering tasks where you can maximize your value. Extract every last drop of knowledge from your engineering project.

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Video: Selecting the Right Hullform

Monohull, catamaran, trimaran . . . so many choices. Which hullform to pick? Can we draw upon any science to guide our choices, or we beg Lady Luck to guide us? This article provides a rational and design map for selecting hullforms applicable to any type of mission. This organized approach allows us to see past the limitations of historic examples and consider new alternatives.

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Six Tip to Improve Your FEA

An experienced engineer doesn’t have some magic button to deliver great FEA. Masters of FEA trade-craft hoard many little tricks and nuggets of wisdom to deliver better FEA. These tricks yield better ways to detect human errors and ensure model reliability. Or methods to deliver faster results. Today we share six nuggets of wisdom for better FEA.

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