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Nafems has announced a four-week online training course dedicated to non-linear analysis, set to be held on 24 March to 14 April with one two-hour session per week.

The course is aimed at practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite element techniques to non-linear analysis Many problems facing designers and engineers are non-linear in nature.

The response of a structure can not be simply assessed using linear assumptions.

Non-linear behaviour can take many forms and can be confusing to the newcomer.

All physical systems in the real world are inherently non-linear in nature.

One of the most difficult tasks facing an engineer is to decide whether a non-linear analysis is really needed and, if so, what degree of non-linearity should be applied.

Looking at a bolt heavily loaded in an attachment fitting, it may be that the change in stiffness and load distribution path are critical in evaluating peak stress levels.

Perhaps the assembly is in an overload condition and we need to check that plastic growth is stable and there is no ultimate failure – bent but not broken.

A flange on a connector arm may be under compressive load, but also sees heavy bending.

We need to assess the resistance to buckling with deflection-dependent loading paths and possible plastic behaviour.

Whatever the nature of the challenge, this objective of this course is to break down the non-linear problem into clearly defined steps, give an overview of the physics involved and show how to successfully implement practical solutions using finite element analysis (FEA).

The course is code independent and no software is required.

The e-learning course runs over a four-week period, with a single two-hour session per week.

Each topic in the class is treated as a building block and is presented using an overview of the physics and theory involved.

The mathematics is kept simple and the emphasis is on practical examples from real life to illustrate the topic.

The mapping to FEA techniques is shown with numerous workshops.

The tutor will be running analysis interactively and involving the students in the process via QandA periods during each session, follow-up e-mails and a course bulletin board.

Students are shown the various approximation methods and how to judge which are acceptable and appropriate for solving a range of practical problems.

Practical considerations of types of non-linearity, solutions available, elements to use and structural details are shown by numerous examples.

Of equal importance is the assessment and interpretation of results.

This starts with ensuring a building-block linear solution is feasible and accurate.

Once this stage is completed, the degree of non-linearity complexity is gradually increased until an effective simulation of the real-world event is developed.

Hints and tips are shown for a range of different non-linear analysis types.

Interaction is encouraged throughout the course.

Students are welcome to send in problems from industry and these will be discussed as time permits.

Full notes are provided for students, together with personal passwords for e-learning back-up material, bulletin board access, and so on.

The course is aimed at practicing engineers who wish to learn more about how to apply finite element techniques to non-linear analysis in the most effective manner.

Ideally a student should have some experience of FEA analysis, but this is not essential.

The material that is presented is independent of any particular software package, making it suited to current and potential users of all commercial finite element software systems.

Engineers rely on computer modelling and simulation methods and tools as vital components of the product development process. As these methods develop at an ever-increasing pace, the need for an independent, international authority on the use of this technology has never been more apparent. NAFEMS is the only worldwide independent association dedicated to this technology.

Companies from numerous industries and every part of the globe have invested heavily in engineering technologies such as FEA and CFD.

But –

How do they ensure they get the best return from their investment?

How do they develop and enhance their capabilities?

How do they know they are using the technology in the most effective way?

NAFEMS is uniquely placed to help answer these questions.

NAFEMS is a vendor neutral, not-for-profit membership association of more than 950 companies from all over the world. Members range from major corporations such as Boeing through mid-sized organizations such as JCB, to small-scale engineering consultants.

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