Single-Course English 10 ECTS

Introduction to Finite Element Analysis

Overall Course Objectives

Basic assessments with concerning strength, stress, weight, vibration, fatigue, and life-cycle of various parts of machinery, shell- and beam-like structures, medico-devices (Life-science), biomechanical components, etc. all require modern computer-based simulations (Industry 4.0). Furthermore, for setting up digital twins with the purpose of optimization, green solutions and societal impact with increased health it is necessary to be able to perform reliable numerical analyses (UN goals).

The course gives the student an understanding of the basic theoretical background for such numerical assessments by finite element analyses (FEA). Using a commercial finite element program the student will be able to conduct analyses in 2D and 3D. It is emphasized that the student obtains an understanding of the possibilities and restrictions associated with the application of commercial finite element programs.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply a commercial finite element program.
  • Develop own text-based input-files for finite element analysis in a commerical program.
  • Choose one or more suitable element types for a specific finite element analysis.
  • Account for characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of various element types.
  • Apply finite element models with varying levels of detail to determine both global and local response.
  • Simplify mechanical and structural systems and their loadings so that the response of these systems can be determined by the use of the finite element method within given demands to precision and calculation time (CPU-time).
  • Apply the stiffness method for analytical calculation.
  • Verify finite element calculations by simple hand calculations.
  • Evaluate the quality of the achieved results based on theoretical insight into the influence of mesh and element behavior as well as load and boundary conditions.
  • Account for the assumptions connected with the choice of a specific finite element model.
  • Account for various types of finite element methods for static as well as dynamic analyses.
  • Report results from finite element analyses structured, adequate, concise and clear, and have a critical approach to these results.

Course Content

The course is given partly as theoretical lectures and partly as computer exercises using ANSYS Mechanical APDL (Ansys Parametric Design Language). The stiffness method is taken as a starting point to introduce the Finite Element Method (FEM). Topics related to the choice of element types, mesh development, equation solving, introducing boundary conditions, and result presentation are in focus. The exercises guide the student through the main steps of building the analysis model, creating meshes, applying boundary conditions, solution and result presentation for a range of problems. The course prepares the students to conduct finite element analyses through the development of own text-based APDL input-files for ANSYS Mechanical APDL. During the three weeks period in January a larger project work is performed.

Recommended prerequisites

02631/62646/41502/41534, Comprehensive knowledge is expected within general stress and strain states (41502/41534 or similar) as well as good computer programming background (02631/62646 or similar experience).

Teaching Method

Lectures, exercises with tutorials and own text-based input-files (APDL) as well as project work. The project work are performed in groups of three persons. For the reports students have to declare which parts of the work each group member is responsible for.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks


DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 41812
Course type Bachelor

15.000,00 DKK