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Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Structural Composite Designs utilizes NASTRAN Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to simulate a structural component or assembly. A model is generated and analyzed to understand the performance under various loads and boundary conditions before a costly prototype is built for testing. This in turn will save costs by eliminating the need for multiple prototypes.

Finite Element Analysis 

Finite Element Process

The Finite Element Method (FEM) involves subdividing a structure into smaller, more manageable (finite) elements and defining material properties, boundary conditions and loads. A pre-processor is used to perform such a task by generating a visual model (drawing). The model is then translated into mathematical equations and downloaded to a solver that computes the final solutions. These mathematical solutions are then translated to a post-processor to give a visual interpretation of the structures behavior superimposed on the model.

The software package FEMAP is utilized by Structural Composite Designs to generate a structure by creating a model (pre-processor). Alternativly, an existing CAD drawing can be imported into FEMAP and analyzed. Having performed the analysis, FEMAP can then be used to review the final results by superimposing the behavior on the model (post-processor).

Structural Composite Designs utilizes NASTRAN (NASA STRuctural ANalysis) for Windows®, an internationally recognized, state-of-the-art, computer-aided engineering tool, to administer mathematical solutions (solver).


FEA has been used by various industries to assist in optimizing new designs by predicting, via computer simulation, the behavior of structures under various field conditions. These various industries include transportation (aerospace, automotive, marine, etc), medical, consumer products, electrical, hydraulic, and civil engineering. The results of the analysis are used to verify the performance and to improve and optimize the design. Hence, this analysis tool is a crucial component of the design phase.

Considerable amounts of time and money (prototype material and labor factors) in the development of a structure can be saved by implementing this numerical simulation technique. This step is ideally introduced during the early stages of the design allowing validation and performance without a prototype.

Apart from exceptional FEA expertise, Structural Composite Designs also provides fundamental analytical analysis computations for designs that do not require finite element models. These include:

  • Static analysis
  • Solid mechanics