Our primary tool for analysing components is Ansys Mechanical. We also have Autodesk’s Nastran software that makes iterations in the design very quick to check before going further. Our team is capable to analyse very complex geometry with multiple connections, joints, welded penetrations.
Recent work examples include:
· Detailed bolted connections FE to investigate slippage and contact stress at critical locations;
· Casting design of a hydraulic clamp unit;
· Detailed bearing and housing analyses for a tidal developer using non linear methods and principles developed by bearing manufacturers;
· Spaceframe FE to investigate extreme event yield margins;
· Detailed fillet weld modelling to investigate fatigue of secondary steel on a offshore structure.
We use a range of tools to validate and check the FE in all instances. We also closely follow DNV (and other) FE guidelines such as the non-linear guide DNVGL-RP-C208, but we also lean heavily on the experience of senior engineers within the team, as all problems are invariably different, and require a slightly different approach. This is why we love what we do!
We have a great deal of experience of using sub-modelling technique in Ansys, where a very fine mesh can be used in a fraction of the global model, where the solve is very quick to carry out, but you do not have to run the global model again -which can be time-consuming.
We also have been using the topology optimisation technique within Ansys to optimise a geometry to refine the shape, reduce cost, and make a very efficient slender structure. Caution must always be used when using this technique though, as the output can only be as good as the input, however we have demonstrated on more than one occasion that our in-house procedure of using the tool can reduce mass, reduce stress, and help generate a very efficient casting design.