MDA logo MDA text

About Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

  • FEA is a numerical simulation tool used to predict structural response to given loading/testing conditions, optimize product design, determine structural strength, deformation, temperature, weak areas, and etc.
  • The intent of a FEA is to determine potential design issues and allow for design/process changes before the prototype stage thereby improving strength, safety, reliability, and reducing costs due to testing and last minute product changes
  • FEA provides virtual product performance testing on the CAD model. Like physical testing on a prototype or real product, FEA may find potential design issues and help determine design direction in very early stages of the product development cycle
  • In many applications, analytical solutions may not be possible and FEA may be the only practical way to analyze the design
Benefits of FEA
  • Assist in make data-driven design decisions
  • Incorporation during the design phase will aid in selecting the best design for a given application
  • Streamline and decrease the product development cycle
  • Can be used at any phase during the product life cycle to pinpoint anomalies and quantify performance
  • Provide a platform to continuously upgrade and develop an optimum product
  • Can be interfaced with optimization and probabilistic design algorithms to generate a robust design problem statement
  • Reduce raw materials costs
  • Improve the efficiency of existing designs
  • Structural optimization to decrease material and manufacturing costs
  • Decrease or eliminate prototype testing costs
  • Provide understanding of structural behavior to eliminate uncertainty
  • Use of FEA derived internal and boundary forces to specify interfacing parts and/or vendor purchased components
  • Discover what caused a product to fail and implement a cost effective solution
  • Show proof of concept in a proposal or pitch
  • Optimize products for performance or cost
Value MDA Provides Through FEA

MDA’s talented analysts apply experienced assumptions together with accurate loads, boundary conditions, and material properties to your finite element model. You do not need to understand FEA to follow the results. But, if you are a guru, you will be very comfortable with the information provided. Once constructed, the computer model becomes a valuable tool for future product optimization, new applications, and understanding field performance results. FEA models are a valuable investment that can be used for the lifetime of a product.

A finite element model is only as good as the assumptions, geometry accuracy, boundary conditions, load characterization, and material property assignments used in its development. Our experienced analysts produce advanced CAD and FEA integrated meshes and then apply precise loads and boundary conditions. Our validity checks include mesh convergence studies, constraint and load review, and hand calculations with free body diagrams providing confidence in our solutions. Click here to view an example of an analysis report we provide.

Our FEA Capabilities
  • Linear
  • Static stress & deflection
  • Dynamic stress & deflection
  • Critical buckling load
  • Nonlinear
  • Thermal
  • Topology optimization
  • Size optimization
  • Geometric
  • Material
  • Contact
  • Postbuckling (Riks)
  • Mechanical event simulation
  • Dynamic stress & deflection
  • Dynamic
  • Modal analysis
  • Frequency response
  • Time response
  • Response spectrum
  • Random vibration
  • Transient stress
  • Explicit & implicit
  • Drop and direct impact events
  • Rotor dynamics
  • Shock and seismic
  • Power train vibration analysis
  • Fatigue life & durability
  • Multi-body & kinematic analyses
Other Services

Learn more about our wide range of design, analytical, and programming services.

Made in the USA – Finite element models are built, run, analyzed, and reports written in our offices by MDA’s US-based analysts. For data security, we do not use cloud services. Rather, your data is secured within MDA’s firewall protected intranet.