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  • South Eastern Applied Materials

    Research Centre

    Using Finite Element Analysis

    In Industrial Research

  • Presentation Outline

    Introduction to SEAM

    Cost of Design and Development

    Finite Element Analysis Introduction

    Various Application Examples

    Some typical case studies.

  • Who we are.... SEAM is a materials science and engineering research centre, which acts both in

    industrial and academic spheres, with the aim of bridging the gap between

    academia and industry.

    SEAM aims to be highly customer focused; serving a wide range of industrial

    sectors in the south eastern region and throughout Ireland.

    SEAMs goal lies in becoming an integral part of the R & D activities of

    multinational companies based in Ireland, as well as aiding Small-Medium Sized

    Enterprises in their transition from a purely manufacturing base into the realm of

    research and development.

    SEAM will have a strong research focus and develop independent research

    initiatives which have a strong commercial focus.


  • Industrial Sectors Served


    Broad range of Industrial sectors

    served with a high degree of

    expertise in the Precision

    Engineering and Medical Device


    SEAMs guiding ethic is to provide

    companies in Ireland with the edge

    required to be successful.

    Serves over 85 different clients

    across the country.

    SEAM is highly proficient in

    obtaining funding for industrial

    collaborations and development


    SEAM is skilled in the arts of failure

    analysis and product design

    optimisation for industry.

  • Specialist Technologies Provided


    X-ray Micro-tomographyMicro-sectional

    AnalysisSurface Roughness

    AnalysisFinite Element


    Tensile and

    Material TestingSEM Inspection Development of Custom

    Solutions for IndustryFailure Analysis

  • 6

    Since its launch in 2009 SEAMs

    client base has grown from

    strength to strength.

    Clients include SMEs, indigenous

    companies, as well as large


    SEAM provides access to cutting

    edge equipment and expertise to

    these clients.

    The fact that we are based within

    the country makes it very easy for

    customers to approach and

    discuss projects, results, and

    obtain advice from SEAM. This

    point has added to the popularity

    of SEAM as a supplier of industry


    We are always ready to help!


  • Product Development Costs

  • Product Development Costs Overview


    Money +

    Money -

    Profit Line

    FEA Driven

    Development Conventional


  • The Ideal Development Path




    Prototype It works!


    This is the ideal design pathway but it can have inherent costs:

    Greater likelihood that components are over designed.

    Extra cost through unnecessary material use.

    Overdesign may hide fatigue failures from standard test


    In the real world things are rarely this easy!

  • A More Likely Development Path

    Prototype fails.


    This is a











    Establish source

    of failure

  • A Virtual Design RouteBuild prototype

    and test


    design using

    CAD tools

    Build and test

    virtual prototype

    Idea!Assess results

    This yields a design with the following advantages:

    Overall better design.

    Higher quality and reliability.

    Much more cost effective development.

    Safer when branching into new areas.


    and optimise

    This is a much

    more cost

    effective route!

  • The Cost of Design Failure

    Failures in service are often due to

    a combination of forces.

    Forces that the prototype testing

    was unable to effectively analyse.

    Such failures are very costly in

    terms of financial cost but also of

    loss of customer faith.

    Tacoma Narrows Bridge failureImage courtesy of Bettmann / Corbis

  • What is finite element analysis, FEA? The Finite Element Method is a

    numerical technique for finding the

    solutions to partial differential

    equations and integral equations.

    It is simpler to say it divides a system

    or component into discrete points,

    applies known boundary conditions,

    material data, and calculates the

    system response.

    It allows the detailed modelling of

    complex systems and components

    with a greatly reduced need for


    Image Courtesy of Siemens Femap

  • Rocker Component Example


    Model development Stress analysisImages courtesy of engineering by design

  • Courtesy Virginia Military Institute.

    Artery after Stent Inflation

    Biomedical Areas of Application

    Inhaler Airways AnalysisImage Courtesy of Anne de Boer, University of Groningen

    Impact analysis

    Stress Analysis of Tablet CompactionWu et al 2005

  • Structural FEA

    Above images courtesy of

    Paul Nylander

    Gasket compression analysis

    Nonlinear buckling of a stiffened vesselAbove images courtesy of ANSYS

    Compression of a rubber component

    Stress analysis of Meshing gears

  • Thermal

    Thermal distribution in a heat sinkImage courtesy of neisoftware

    Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics Mechanical AnalysisThermal Distribution in a circuit Board Image courtesy of Vectis

    Thermal Distribution in a Cylinder head

    Image Courtesy of BorgWarner Turbo & Emission Systems

    Thermal Distribution in an manifold

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics

    Images courtesy of ANSYS and Conventor

    Fluid flow through a

    cardiovascular valve

    Air flow in an electronics module

    Fluid flow in a

    microfluidic device

    Mixing of fuel and air

    in a engine cylinder

  • Application Examples

    Fatigue Analysis of Pump Housing.

  • Determining the life cycle of a pump housing using FEA

    Pump from a chemical processing plant, designed to run with an internal pressure

    range of 2-7 Mpa. This resulted in a stress concentration in a support rib that could

    lead to failure in fatigue. Pump is made from 316L stainless steel

  • Case 01 Pressure 2-7 MPa

    Original Design and Estimated Fatigue LifeCase 02 Pressure 1.5-4 MPa

  • Estimated Fatigue Life for Original and Optimised


    In order to increase the service life of the pump without sourcing a new one the system

    pressures were reduced leading to a marked increase in service life. Mohammad et al., Fatigue Life for Type 316L Stainless Steel under Cyclic Loading, Advanced Materials Research Vol. 701 (2013) pp 77-81

  • Conclusions

    Design can be a costly business!

    Finite element analysis is a powerful design tool.

    It facilitates design optimisation at an economic cost.

    It also provides enhanced reliability and quality in products.

  • Questions?

    Flow field around an F1 car. Image courtesy of Voxdale.

  • South Eastern Applied Materials Research CentreApplied Technology Building

    Waterford Institute of Technology



    Dr. Ramesh Raghavendra

    Centre Manager

    Ph: 051-845648

    Fax: 051-302452



    Eoghan ODonoghue

    Development and Research Engineer

    Ph: 051-845649