CAD-embedded simulation tools don’t provide analysis capabilities that are broad enough to simulate the real-life, complex engineering problems that you are faced with. Standalone, legacy Unix-based solutions that have been available in the market for a long time are showing signs of neglect, and are long overdue for replacement. Femap provides powerful and deep analysis capabilities in a modern, highly customizable and intuitive framework that is continually updated to keep up with the latest simulation technology. Implementing Femap can help improve overall productivity and simulation accuracy, as well as reduce turnaround times.
Fatigue analysis for the rest of us
"Femap’s API enabled efficient integration of stress analysis and fatigue life prediction"Durability by design
FatigueWizard Ltd. was launched in 1996 to provide the engineering community with a better option for evaluating fatigue life. Traditionally, fatigue analysis software has been very expensive and difficult to use, restricting it to the province of “fatigue gurus,” even though fatigue failures are a serious design concern.
“With the widespread use of FEA it is rare now to see static failures due to instant overload,” explains Julian Holt, FatigueWizard co-founder. “It is more likely that failure will occur because of repeated loading over time. Estimates vary, but it is accepted that between 60 to 90 percent of engineering failures now occur because of some form of fatigue failure.”
Holt, along with FatigueWizard cofounder Mark Swindell, have performed finite element analysis (FEA) and durability analysis for more than 30 years. Being “fatigue gurus” themselves, Holt and Swindell decided to expand the accessibility of fatigue analysis by creating software that the average engineer could use to perform sophisticated and accurate fatigue life predictions. “Our aim is to remove the misunderstanding that fatigue life calculation is the privilege of the few,” Holt adds. “We believe that it should be and can be carried out by any CAE engineer.”
Integrated with Femap
The FatigueWizard program launches from within Femap (users see a button on the Femap screen that says “FatigueWizard”). The Femap data is converted to FatigueWizard data, the fatigue analysis runs, and the results are converted back to Femap and displayed on the Femap screen. All this back-and-forth between the two programs is transparent to the user, of course. Integrating FatigueWizard with Femap was a straight-forward endeavor, says Holt, thanks to Femap’s application programming interface (API). “Femap has a good API. It’s easy to use,” he notes.
Not for specialists only
One of the most important requirements in the on-going development of FatigueWizard is that it is intuitive to use. “What we want is for someone who is skilled at standard linear static analysis to be able to use FatigueWizard without any training. It has to be totally intuitive,” says Holt. Another requirement is a reasonable price. “We want FatigueWizard to be affordable for the one-man consultancy,” he adds.
In this respect, the integration with Femap is a nice fit, since ease of use and affordability are also characteristics of the Femap program. In fact, these are two of the main reasons why Holt and Swindell use Femap on the consulting side of their business. “After switching to Femap we realized we were able to work faster,” Holt says. “One of our main clients also switched to Femap and has noticed the same thing. They tell us Femap paid for itself in just six months by letting them get more work done in a given period of time.”
As a software developer, one of the things Holt appreciates about Femap is the development team behind the program. “It’s like with us and FatigueWizard,” he explains. “Femap is obviously written by people who know and use FEA.With some other systems, you get the feeling the developers are software people who’ve done a little FEA. Femap’s developers really know the field.
“I’ve been doing FEA for 20 years and have used all the high-end programs,” Holt concludes,“Femap is brilliant. It’s a very high-end system and very cost-competitive considering what it can do.”