FEA for Material Selection – Ensuring a High Performance Product Design
Posted by Bhaumik Dave on September 26th, 2014
Material selection is one of the crucial aspects of a product design. It defines the look as well as the performance of a product. Material of a product has a major share in defining the attributes such as durability, robustness and glamour quotient.
Several factors like material costs, the manufacturability of material, chemical properties, physical and mechanical attributes etc are taken into consideration. Design engineers use FEA tools to conduct simulations and analyze how a particular material behaves under certain stress and loading conditions. Often when a design under performs, designers analyze its material performance and replace it to bring the product back from its decline phase.
Material selection is an evolved process. The right class of materials is chosen for a product and materials from this group are simulated and validated using FEA. With each level of analysis, the search is narrowed down and finally a single material or a mix match of two or more materials is finalized.
Material Selection Depends on:
Functional Requirements of a Product: Often the material used in a product has specific functionality, like conducting heat, electricity, ability to endure certain amount of load etc. Material selection is done based on these requirements.
Design Objective: Why are you designing a product? A phone glass is designed with the main objective of being strong enough to endure free falls and other wear. Additionally it should also be apt for displaying the cell phone contents with clarity. As a result, the glass material is chosen with these objectives in mind.The gorilla glass and the latest sapphire glass for the iPhone are examples of constant efforts towards achieving these objectives.
Design Constraints: Additionally engineers also have to consider certain design constrains. For example dimensions of a product, the cost of a product and so on. Lets again cite the example of iPhone, the sapphire glass is a viable option for the iPhone. But for low range or mid range mobile devices, is it a viable business strategy to use such expensive glass?
Hence selecting the right material for a product, not only improves its performance, but also helps businesses earn better profit margins. This is the reason why more and more companies are outsourcing finite element analysis services. FEA experts help companies design products that drive their sales higher, affect the bottom line and hence help their business grow.
May be you like to read more about : FEA Analysis Services: For Better Designs and Increased Productivity