Suitability Analysis

Product simulation to confirm the suitability of a design

One of the main advantages of using the latest design technology is the ability to simulate real world scenarios that a virtual design would be subjected to. Simulations are carried out to minimise development time and to optimize and confirm the suitability of a design before any manufacturing takes place. All large manufacturers carry out this procedure within their own design function.On conclusion of a simulation, reports can be issued which validate the design. These are useful for third party approval.

After 3D modelling and using our powerful simulation software we validate suitability and optimize designs by running the appropriate simulations. These include:

1. Fluid Flow Analysis (CFD)

Fluid flow analysis simulation using Solidworks
This snapshot is taken from an analysis of fluid flow through a partially closed check valve (the same item is shown in the pressure test example). The coloured balls represent the flow trajectories. The colour change indicates a change in state of the fluid as it flows through the internal cavity. As the colours shift from blue to red they indicate an increase in velocity, temperature or pressure, whichever parameter has been selected.

The valve body and cover have been made transparent for  illustration.

This example was used to determine if the effect of a flow reversal (and subsequent closure of the valve disc) would detrimentally add to the nominal service pressure in the valve and cause premature failure.

In this particular case the pressure increase was found to be within acceptable limits. Nevertheless the information was beneficial in providing the confidence to progress to manufacture of this expensive item.


2. Pressure Simulation (FEA)


This example is of a 30 in. cast steel, swing arm check valve assembly (bolts omitted for clarity). The main body casting weighs 7.05 tonnes and the cover casting weighs 1.8 tonnes. Together they represent a significant cost both in materials and pattern manufacture.
The valve is subject to an internal pressure of 350 psi.

The displacements shown in the example are greatly exaggerated for illustration.

Our client needed to be sure that the design would be capable of safely withstanding repeated applications of this pressure whilst minimising material content. This information was needed before production of the castings, as mistakes later would have proved very costly to correct.

The simulation shows the maximum principal stress under pressure to be 90.5 N/mm², shortcomings were found initially and the appropriate modifications were carried out. A report was issued based on the modified version to substantiate the findings.


3. Load Testing (FEA)


This example of a bolted connection (bolts omitted for clarity) shows a support bracket bolted to two 12mm thick welded tabs attached to a steel tube with a 9.53mm wall thickness. The tabs are positioned at an angle of 32º to each other (each one is 16º from the tube axis).

The tie rod has a one time test load of 9 tonnes applied axially to it.

The displacements shown in the example are greatly exaggerated for illustration.

Our client needed to understand the effects of this load on the tube itself, the shearing force at the 4 x M16 bolted connections and the suitability of the pressed bracket.

The simulation was able to accurately predict this information, shortcomings were found initially and the appropriate modifications were carried out. A report was issued based on the modified version to substantiate the findings.