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Extending the lifetime with Finite Element Analysis

Extending the lifetime of dredge components

FEA

Dredge Yard’s dredge components and equipment are designed using Finite Element Analysis in order to optimize the design and ensure low stress forces in the material. In this way the life time of the equipment is increased and the cost price is reduced.

By the late 70’s, FEA – Finite Element Analysis was limited owned by the aeronautics, defence, nuclear and automotive industries. Later, due to a impressive increase in computing power and a drop in the cost of computers, FEA was technologically advance to a very high accuracy. Nowadays, the computers have the capability to give precise results for all type of parameters.

FEA – Finite Element Analysis is one of the most dominant numerical methods used to check how the structure will react to certain loading conditions. Theoretically speaking, FEA is using a system of points called nodes that together create a grid called mesh. The mesh contains the material and structural properties that shows how the structure will react to certain loading conditions. Depending on the stress levels anticipated of a particular area, the nodes are assigned at a certain density all over the material. Generally a higher node density will be found in the areas that will receive large amounts of stress. The areas that will receive little or no stress it will usually have a lower node density. So, FEM provide detailed visualization of where structures twist or bend and gives precise indications of the distribution of stresses and displacements.

Testing

Dredge Yard related: ’’All our components are tested in Finite Element Analysis as one part after that all parts are assembled and tested under pressure and maximum movements. Worst cases scenarios are simulated and peak loads are applied. After analysis, the design might be reviewed couple of time to find out the most optimal shape and lowest stress in material. For wear parts, a Finite Element Analysis is run for worn out parts as well allowing our engineers to design the dredging components for the longest life time by adding material where necessary.’’

In summary, FEA’s benefits include enlarged accuracy, intensified design and enhanced perception into critical design parameters, virtual prototyping, amplified productivity and increased revenue.