FEM simulation in design

Benjamin Schett
01. February 2021

KELLER for Pressure Measurement Technology's design department is confronted with new challenges every day due to technological progress worldwide (e.g. pressure measurement in the deep sea, highly dynamic applications, use at extreme temperatures). In order to meet these requirements, complex components in the field of mechanics are simulated using FEM software.

FEM simulation is based on the finite element method. A designed component, e.g. a transducer housing, is divided into smaller elements, which during the software calculations, are later accumulated into a total system.  Once all boundary conditions are set (e.g. bearing, pressure), the entire housing measurements are calculated and simulated.  For illustration purposes, the component is split into different colours.  For example, if stress is present, red/yellow areas depict highly stressed areas and blue/green areas lesser stressed areas. Based on the results, possible mechanical weak points can be detected and optimised early in the design stage.

Depending on the application, a transducer must be able to withstand several million pressure pulses. In order to guarantee such a load, the transducer must be subjected to an endurance test, which can take several months depending on the requirements. Optimisation with FEM can reduce the number of prototypes and thus reduce costs and additional developmental effort considerably. Additionally, by using the software, the internal product knowledge is expanded, and leads to constant improvements in KELLER products. 

The simulation also makes it possible to better understand the behaviour of a component in load conditions and are as close to reality as possible, which means that the increasing customer demands can be implemented in the best possible way with newly innovative and creative solutions.

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