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Correlate FEA and Strain Data for Accurate Load Measurements

By DE Editors

fe-safe/True-Load Introductions

Safe Technology will present an online webinar to introduce fe-safe/True-Load to engineers. The event will take place tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 16 2012, at 4 p.m. GMT (11 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. PST). Click here for registration details.

Additionally, a free introductory seminar will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in Sheffield, UK. Registration details are available here.

Safe Technology Ltd. (Sheffield, UK) has announced fe-safe/True-Load, an extension of its fe-safe durability analysis software for finite element (FE) models that solves for in-situ load measurements. It was designed for predicting fatigue life and managing components undergoing environmental loads in such applications as chassis, suspensions, and frames in ground vehicle applications, landing gear and wing components, and parts used in wind- and wave-power generation systems. fe-safe/True-Load was developed in partnership with Wolf Star Technologies (Milwaukee, WI), an FEA consultancy with expertise in loading calculation and FEA model correlation.

A plug-in for Abaqus from Dassault Systemes’ SIMULIA brand, fe-safe/True-Load enables the management of complex loads over an entire loading event by coupling an FEA model and results with measured strain data. With fe-safe/True-Load, says the company, engineers can predict fatigue life when little data on loading profiles is available. Additionally, it is said to be of help to engineers who currently run advanced testing programs but seek improved accuracy and reduced testing costs.

FEA strain measurement
Examples of measured and FEA strain comparisons. Images courtesy of Wolf Star Technologies.

Safe Technology explains that fe-safe/True-Load serves engineers by turning complex components into multi-channel load cells. Working with FE models, it optimizes the location of strain gauges on a component. It then uses real-world data obtained from strain measurement in the field to calculate the time histories of individual applied loads. These loading histories, further explains the company, can be used for laboratory testing or applied as loads in what the company calls a “fatigue from FEA” analysis.

Finite Element Analysis
A still image from an fe-safe/True-Load animation of full field results
extrapolated from strain measurements. Image courtesy of Wolf Star Technologies.

To determine ideal strain gauge locations and orientations for optimal load-sensitivity independence, fe-safe/True-Load transforms complicated structures into load transducers using results from user-defined unit loading and/or mode shapes. It determines strain gauge placements for maximum load sensitivity, and users can modify these suggested strain gauge locations interactively with its True-Load/Pre-Test capability. Feedback on load transducer effectiveness is said to be immediate.

fe-safe/True-Load requires data “from a handful of strain gauges” to understand the structural response of the entire structure under load. The company reports that fe-safe/True-Load offers in-situ load calculation with typical strain gauge correlation to within 2% of measured values. The True-Load/Post-Test functionality produces multi-channel data files, load definition files (LDF), and fe-safe macros. Safe Technology says that, with fe-safe/True-Load, complex structures can go from strain gauge measurement to accurate FEA fatigue results in a matter of minutes.

fe-safe
Example of fe-safe/True-Load gauges. Image courtesy of Wolf Star Technologies.

fe-safe/True-Load requires Abaqus CAE software as well as Abaqus models and results; fe-safe durability software; and strain gauge measurements in digital format. It is available directly from Safe Technology, its network of resellers, and from Wolf Star Technologies. For further details, visit Safe Technology online.

Download the fe-safe/True-Load brochure.

Download the white paper “Experimental Correlation of an N-Dimensional Load Transducer Augmented by Finite Element Analysis.”

Access the Safe Technology training and webinar calendar.

See why DE’s editors selected fe-safe/True-Load from Safe Technology as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About DE Editors

DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Desktop Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@deskeng.com.