Finite Element Analysis
Reference work entry
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is based on the Finite Element Method (FEM). The FEM is a mathematical method which transforms an analytically difficult to solve or unsolvable problem described by a variational formulation or by a system of differential equations into an algebraic problem. The under consideration overall system structure is replaced by a calculation model that divides the structure into a number of small subdivisions (finite elements). If the mechanical problem is described by a differential equation, the equation must be transformed into a variational formulation. The unknown and the variational function are then approximated by a simple interpolation polynomial. By determining that the coefficients of the variational function can take every possible value, an algebraic system of equations is obtained, with which the coefficients of the interpolation function for the unknown can be...
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