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A Study on the Finite Element Method: an Essential Tool for Engineering Analysis

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Wadzani Samuel Gadzama, Nonyelu Helen Uzoamaka, Lilian Nneka Ejike-Uguwu and Okwudiba Ifeanyi Nwachukwu

The method of finite element is a numerical technique that solves or at least approximates enough to a system of differential equations related with a physical or engineering problem. This study looked into the usefulness of the finite element method as a gainful tool for engineering analysis; it equally seeks to widen the horizon of analysts on the use of this useful analytical tool. The FEM provides a standard process for converting governing energy principles or governing differential equations in to a system of matrix equations to be solved for an approximate solution. For linear problems such solutions can be very accurate and quickly obtained. Having obtained an approximate solution, the FEM provides additional standard procedures for follow up calculations (postā€processing), such as determining the integral of the solution, or its derivatives at various points in the shape. When the FEM is applied to a specific field of analysis (like stress analysis, thermal analysis, or vibration analysis) it is often referred to as finite element analysis (FEA). FEA is the most common tool for stress and structural analysis.

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