Finite Element Method

A numerical method which is used to calculate displacements or stresses in structures or components subjected to external and internal loads. It can also be used to evaluate natural frequencies and mode shapes of complex structures. The structure has to be idealised in terms of simple elements such as beams, plates or shells. The equations which results have to be solved by a computer (except for very simple structures) and a variety of finite element programs specialising both in linear and non-linear fields are commercially available.

See also: Boundary Element Method, Guyan Reduction (Static Condensation), Statistical Energy Analysis.

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Subjects: Mechanical Engineering