Getting a department or company's first FEA program up and running takes more than just learning the software. It calls for training users and establishing a process that lets designers get maximum benefit from the software.
A Brief FEA Glossary
These terms are most often encountered in a discussion of FEA results.Static -- loads of a fixed magnitude or those that change so slowly with time they can be treated as constant.
Dynamic -- loads that vary with time.
Linear -- all portions of the model, geometry, materials, and boundary conditions must behave linearly.
Nonlinear -- one or more portions of the model that behave in a nonlinear fashion.
Steady state -- analysis results valid for long term, usually some period after an initial transient period.
Transient -- results in a period of change.
Multiphysics -- a single analysis simultaneously encompassing more than one physical phenomena. Loading could include any combination of structural, thermal, fluid, electrostatic, and electromagnetic phenomena.
Structural -- analyses that finds model displacements and resultant stresses.
Thermal -- finds temperature profiles and heat fluxes.
Fluidic -- finds velocity flows and pressure distributions.
Electrostatic -- finds voltage potentials.
Electromagnetic -- finds magnetic fields.
Solver -- a math engine or collection of algorithms that solves the force, geometry stiffness, and displacement matrices in a structural problem.
Preprocessor -- an FEA software module used to create geometry, apply loads, boundary conditions, and check input data.
Postprocessor -- an FEA software module used to view analysis results and check output data.