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How do I select the type of elements in FEA?

2 Answers

Deivamoorthy B, CAE Engineer

Updated Sep 2, 2017
Selecting the Elements in FEA is mainly Based on

1.Geometry Size, shape,

2.Type of Analysis

3. Finally Time Contrain for the Project.

Based On Geomerty Size and Shape you can Select 1D, 2-D, 3D.

1-Dimensional Elements:

Represented as a Line, Cross section Area, Shape needs to be Specified.

E.x: Truss, Beam, Bar, Pipe

2-Dimensional Elements:

Represented as Plane planar Element, thickness needs to be Specified

.E.x: Quad, Tria, R-Tria Elements

Based On Application of 2D Elements

i)Plane Stress Element

ii) Plane strain Element

iii) Plate Element

iv) Membarane Element

v) Thin Shell Elements (Widely Used for 2d Structral analysis)

vi) Axis Symmetric solid Element

3-Dimensonal Elements:

Solid Elements are Used Respresent the Geometry model.

E.x: Tetra, Penta, Hexa Elements

Based On Type of analysis

Static & Durability analysis - Hexa, Quad Elements are Preferred

Crash analysis - Constant Element size needs to be maintained with min 5

-10 % of Tria elements.

Mold Flow Analysis - Triangular Elements Are Preferred

Thermal analysis - Tria, Tetra Elements are preferred.

Based on Time Availability

If your Project has Time contrain, Tria Elements are preferred over Quad
Elements. (Create Finite Element Model With Tria Elements for 2d, for 3D
Use Tetra Elements over Hexa/Brick Elements)

Second Order elements (CST - Contant Strain Traiangle, Tetra) will be Used
Instead of First order Elements in Time Constained Strutral analysis

Beacause there is no major diffrence in Quad with 4 nodes (Linear Quad -

which is first order) Tria - 6 node Element.

Which will save Lots of time in Finite Element Modelling Which is Called as
Meshing or Discretization.

It is Also Applicable for 3d Linear Hexa Element Over which has 8 nodes
Parabolic Tetra which has 10 nodes in Second Order.

Please Mention your Physical problem to Suggest the suitable Element

Type. it is Also suitable for all preprocessing


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Unimetry Technology, Team Lead at Unimetry Technology

Answered May 16, 2017 · Author has 53 answers and 23.2k answer views
Type of Mesh/element depends on what type of part/component you are
going to mesh and what kind of analysis you have to do.

1D Mesh - For Steel structure, frame's and other supporting structures

made of I-Beam,Channel,Angle,Pipe, Rod etc.Hypermesh has inbuilt
library for above mentioned standard sections.

1D mesh is also being used for defining joints like weld joint, bolt
connection etc.

2D Mesh- Mostly used for Sheet metal components meshing. Quad

elements should be preferred first. But it is not viable for every component.
Use mixed type(Quad+Tria) elements for 2D meshing.Try to keep Trial
elements below 5%.

3D Mesh- Four type of Elements ( Tetra, Penta, Hex/Brick, Pyramid.

3D meshing is used for Forged / Casted & other machined components.

Mostly tetra elements are used for meshing purposes because it is easy
method. Hypermesh have two options for tetra meshing .First is completely
automesh(just seclect the enclosed volume or solid and hypermesh create
the tetramesh) and second is semiautomatic(first create boundary 2D mesh
and create 3D Tetra mesh).

Brick/hex elements are ideal meshing elements but it takes to much time to
mesh parts or components.

So for simple geometry, hex elements is generally used.

many other practices are being used in industry.

For more details design, modelling and simulation related query.Reach us

at our website - Unimetry.Happy reading!!!