Finite Element Method I FEM

Specialists for Simulations and Calculations

FE simulation not only makes the development process much faster and more efficient, it also significantly improves product quality.

If you do not have your own simulation department or would like to outsource particularly large and complex CAE projects for capacity reasons, we can support you as an engineering office specializing in simulation across the entire process chain or by taking on individual tasks. We will also be happy to advise you on the development and establishment of your own simulation processes.

IMPROVED
PRODUCT QUALITY

 

  • Virtual functional testing
  • Virtual strength analysis
  • Fast evaluation of different variants

LOWER
COSTS

 

  • Early detection of vulnerabilities
  • Fewer and more targeted trials
  • Material saving

 

BETTER
COMPETITIVENESS

 

  • Simulation as a driver of innovation
  • Shorter development times
  • Optimized products

What makes us specialists in the field of FEM simulations?

Simulation is our craft. At the time of the founding of our engineering office back in 1971, Wölfel was one of the pioneers in Germany in simulations with the finite element method. Due to the variety of customers and industries for which we have carried out simulation projects since then, we have a quick grasp of all tasks which we may be confronted with. Particularly complex simulations are our specialty, and our focus is on these highly demanding tasks. Whether virtual crash tests, contact problems or NVH analyses, with our experience of almost 50 years and more than 800 projects annually, we help you to drastically shorten product development times, almost completely save costs for prototypes and identify new potentials. 

We exclusively use highly professional software such as SIMULIA Abaqus, ANSYS or Femap/Nastran as well as a powerful IT structure. This enables us to guarantee accurate and reliable results in a short period of time. Thanks to the versatility of our company, we can also carry out measurements to validate the virtual results in addition to the simulations.

Optimization and Evaluation of Components to Increase Efficiency and Extend Service Life

In the development and optimization of components, the aim is on the one hand an economical design and production, and on the other hand the most efficient use possible in the subsequent application.

Structural mechanics therefore simulates how solids behave and change under static, dynamic and thermal loads. Potential weak points can thus be identified and eliminated during development by means of a strength and stress analysis. In addition, the geometry can be optimized with a view to more efficient component utilization and the service life can be predicted for the load and operating scenarios that occur.

The simulation process is usually divided into three steps:

Our service portfolio in the field of structural mechanics:

  • Linear analyses for strength and stress analysis
  • Operational stability and reliability
  • Geometrically non-linear analyses (strong deformations)
  • Material non linearities/ plasticities and evaluation of material behavior
  • Non-linear contact behavior
  • Lifetime evaluation on the basis of the calculated stresses and the existing load collectives

Optimization and Evaluation of Components under Dynamic Loading

Forces acting on a component during application can have a negative effect on its functionality, productivity and service life. Therefore, the behavior of a component under load is usually analyzed during the design phase. 

Dynamic loads are often particularly critical because they change over time, for example with respect to their direction of action or intensity. In addition, operation close to one’s own resonance can lead to a considerable increase in loads. Based on the results of a vibration analysis, both the component and the operating range can be optimized in this respect.

Our service portfolio in the field of dynamics & vibration:

The aim of modal analysis is to identify critical operating areas and to optimize the component by adapting the structure (e.g. stiffening, increasing damping).

Method: Calculation and analysis of modal parameters (e.g. natural frequency, modal mass and damping) to evaluate and optimize the dynamic properties.

 

 

The aim of the operating vibration and frequency response analysis is to optimize the operating parameters (e.g. speed, run-up) in order to reduce the load on the component. In addition, vibration optimization can lead to better product quality and a longer service life.

Method: Calculation and analysis of component vibrations under typical load scenarios 

Typical Analyses: Steady-state, transient analysis, shock analysis, stationary/harmonic calculation

Component Optimization – The Path to the Best Possible Product in the Shortest Possible Time

Product innovations should be light, safe, comfortable, efficient and durable. At the same time, lead times are becoming shorter and shorter. Not only are the demands on the product itself increasing, but also on the development process.

The early use of optimization techniques makes the product more efficient on the one hand, while at the same time reducing the number of complex prototype tests and significantly shortening the development time on the other. In principle, a distinction is made between parameter and topology optimization.

The basis for successful optimization is the definition and prioritization of goals that are as precise as possible, for example with regard to weight, material costs and safety. Using powerful FE solvers, various design variants can then be virtually created, tested, compared and further developed until the product meets the requirements defined at the outset. 

The advantages of optimization techniques at a glance:

  • Improved overall product performance
  • Shorter development time
  • Early recognition of problem areas
  • Cost savings due to low number of physical prototypes
  • Longer-lasting and lighter components and products
  • Discovering new design possibilities

Virtual Crash Tests Save Money and Time

A car collides with an obstacle. Even if such an image is the first to come to mind when you hear the word crash, highly dynamic processes are no longer only of great importance in the automotive industry, but also, for example, in construction or mechanical engineering. A crash is a special case of dynamic loading: An extremely high force acts on a component or component group for a generally very short period of time. This is why we speak of short-term dynamics.

In this area, there is often a conflict between safety and cost savings – the end product must also withstand extreme loads, such as a violent impact, while at the same time being as light as possible and causing the lowest possible material costs. 

Tests with physical prototypes are usually particularly expensive in short-term dynamics and can take a lot of time. With the help of FE simulation, the dynamic behavior of the components involved can be analyzed cost-effectively, quickly and very accurately in a large number of virtual tests. Based on the results, the components can be optimized with regard to their geometry and material. Further typical tasks are contact analysis and optimization of operating parameters.

In this area, we use SIMULIA Abaqus Explicit, the ideal software for the calculation of such processes that take place in the shortest possible time.

Noise, Vibration, Harshness (NVH) – Effectively Reduce Unwanted Vibrations and Noise

Machines cause vibrations and noise – usually undesirable, but often unavoidable. These emissions are often referred to as NVH – Noise, Vibration Harshness – and can become a problem not only in terms of worker protection legislation, but also in terms of product quality and machine life. NVH is becoming more and more relevant as a result of the constant quest for greater efficiency and the associated higher workload.

With the help of numerical simulation, the vibroacoustic behavior can be precisely analyzed and improved on the basis of structure-borne noise, i.e. structural vibrations. Compared to tests with physical prototypes, not only time and costs can be saved, but also more accurate results can be achieved and more variants tested. Based on the results, effective vibration and noise minimization measures can then be developed. 

  • Identification of the sound radiating components
  • Evaluation of model variants for design optimization
  • Examination and interpretation of mitigation measures, and
  • Optimization of the operating behavior

Basically, NVH is relevant in almost all industries. Typical fields of application for simulations in this area are drive technology and mechanical engineering. As an illustrative example, tonalities, i.e. individual frequencies that can be heard as tones within a sound, are particularly problematic in wind energy. These are penalized with a surcharge on the total sound power level and thus often lead to yield losses. 

 

Our service portfolio in the field of acoustics using the example of a wind turbine:

  • Elastic modelling of the components involved
  • Simulation of structure-borne noise and radiation behavior
  • Subsequent simulation of the airborne sound by modelling and calculation of the air elements
  • Extrapolation to reference point and evaluation of the influences on the total sound level

Key Technology Lightweight Construction – CFRP and GFRP Enable Strong, Robust and Above All Lightweight Components

In times in which energy efficiency and sustainable use of resources are a central theme in product development, lightweight construction and thus the use of fiber composites such as CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and GFRP (glass fiber reinforced plastic) is becoming increasingly important. It’s because these high-tech materials are versatile, robust, easy to process and above all one thing: lightweight.

Lightweight construction – some even speak of it as a design philosophy – makes it possible to significantly reduce the amount of material used and thus also the costs. Starting with the production, less resources are required. Even later in their service life, the products consume less energy and cause fewer emissions. Nevertheless, this design method also brings challenges with it.

Existing products often have to be rethought from scratch, because many design specifications can only be realized using modern materials such as CFRP and GFRP. In contrast to conventional materials, their component properties can be influenced by a targeted symmetrical or asymmetrical layer structure. The product quality can be increased by deliberately changing the product properties.

Accordingly, lightweight construction starts at the product development stage and leads to a change in the entire value chain. In order to be able to use CFRP and GFRP efficiently, numerous variants must usually be tested under a wide range of load conditions.

 

Our Service Portfolio in the field of CFRP/GFRP

To keep development costs as low as possible, we use FE simulation. Using virtual prototypes, for example, component strength and material usage can be cost-effectively optimized.

The advantages of CFRP and GFRP – including the low dead weight, high strength and rigidity, high dynamic load capacity and robustness as well as excellent fatigue strength – can be optimally exploited by integrating the following FE simulations into the product development process:

  • Static strength analyses
  • Dynamic strength analyses
  • Variant calculation for optimum layer structure
  • Service life and damage

 

We support you either by taking over individual tasks or by covering the entire process chain. We also advise you on questions of optimal alignment, layer structure or strength.

Through a wide variety of lightweight design concepts and the versatility of fiber composites, we can therefore help you to optimally adapt components to the corresponding requirements and applications. In doing so, we build not only on the experience of more than 45 years of numerical simulation, but also on the knowledge gained from various research-related projects in which we have been involved in recent years.

In this area we work with the high-end simulation solution SIMULIA Abaqus von Dassault Systèmes.

Magnetic Field & Heat Field Transmission

FE Simulation can be used flexibly and can improve products and components in various industries. Our service portfolio also includes the following tasks: 

 

  • Design and optimization of electrodynamic actuators and machines
    • Calculation of electromagnetic parameters and determination of electrodynamic or electromagnetic forces
  • Coupled simulation with temperature and structural mechanics
  • Calculations of variations for parameter studies and optimizations

Based on the results of the FEM simulation, designers can realize the optimal actuator performance, taking into account the boundary conditions and performance specifications.

 

With FEM simulation, the influence of temperature can be very efficiently simulated and evaluated for thermally stressed components. The resulting component loads can be analyzed by a subsequent structure calculation.

In the context of heat field calculations, the heat transfer and heat conduction are also efficiently calculated and the suitability for a specific application is determined and optimized.

  • Linear and non-linear analyses with temperature, convection and radiation boundary conditions
  • Stationary and transient simulations
  • Transfer of the calculated temperature fields to determine the thermal expansions and thermal stresses

PLEASE CONTACT ME PERSONALLY

________

I am happy to support you with numerical and multi-body simulations and advise you on the development, optimization and automation of your simulation processes.

Dr.-Ing. Manuel Eckstein – Wölfel-Gruppe

Dr.-Ing. Manuel Eckstein
CAE Dienstleistung

+49 931 49708290
eckstein@woelfel.de
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