Durability analysis software solves vibration fatigue

The latest durability analysis software enables designers to calculate dynamic stresses in forged or cast parts in order to optimise FE models. Dean Palmer reports

Software has been developed that supports modal FEA results and enables designers to calculate dynamic stresses in machined cast and forged components and can even handle vibration fatigue for sheet metal parts.

Sheffield-based software developer Safe Technology's latest version of fe-safe, v5.1, launched at the end of last year, has no limit to the size of the FEA files imported and so large models with file sizes greater than 2.4GB can now be analysed. There are also interfaces to Abaqus and Ansys software, so analysis times can be minimised.

New features in v5.1 include modal super-impositioning; multi-axial fatigue analysis from strain gauges for analysis of measured data; virtual strain and stress gauge outputs from FEA models for correlation with measurements; a faster, more reliable Abaqus.fil interface and faster read-in time for Abaqus bulk data imports; and a faster, more reliable Ansys interface means designers can export Ansys results without the initial stress results. Also included in v5.1 is a 'new contour plots' feature, so maximum stress can be calculated at each node during fatigue analysis.

On the add-on side, there's now a very neat 'rotate' function for axi-symmetric models which now supports half models and full models. And designers can also choose to purchase the 'TMF' module for thermo-mechanical fatigue analysis or the 'Turbolife' add-on for creep fatigue interaction and thermo-mechanical fatigue.

Metaldyne International, who makes wheel-end components and sub-assemblies for the automotive industry, recently used fe-safe for an accelerated fatigue test on one of its suspension components, with significant cracks identified after 41,000 miles. Fe-safe predicted 27,000 miles to crack initiation at the same locations and all potential crack sites were identified correctly. Safe Technology told Eureka that this high correlation with test data "gives designers the confidence to optimise the component using computer-based FEA and fatigue analysis, before testing the final prototype".

Tom Shelley

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