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The Importance of Stress Analysis in Mechanical & Structural Engineering | Trevilla Engineering

The Importance of Stress Analysis in Mechanical & Structural Engineering

Performing mechanical and structural inspections on different projects is essential to prevent component failure. Mechanical Engineers inspect structures using a range of tools and techniques, which identify the different forces and stresses that may be acting on each part of the assembly. Pinpointing such areas allows the engineer to deal with them accordingly. To carry out a detailed stress analysis, the Finite Element Method (FEM) or finite element analysis (FEA) is used. Also, structural integrity can be verified through fatigue analysis, accelerated durability testing, and FEM using a high-functioning computing system. In this article we will explore the basics of stress analysis and why it is vital in mechanical and structural engineering.

The Basics of Stress Analysis

Every component in a mechanical or structural system, is loaded in some way due to applied forces or motion. The response and resistance of the component to these loads will be determined by its mechanical qualities. In engineering, stress can be simply explained as the force of resistance offered by a body against deformation per unit area. Mathematically, P =F/A, where P is the stress, F is the internal resisting force, and A is the cross-sectional area. On the other hand, Strain is defined as the ratio of change in length to the original length when a body is subjected to an external force (Strain= change in length/the original length). Generally, stress-strain analysis is a primary responsibility for Mechanical and Structural Engineers as they are involved in the design of machines and structures of various sizes, such as mechanical parts and systems, machine tools, buildings, plants and many more. Stress analysis is also used in the maintenance of these structures as well as the investigation of structural breakdowns. To carry out stress analysis, the geometrical description of the structure, the properties of the materials used for its pieces, how the parts are linked, and the boundary forces that are predicted to be applied to the structure are to be clearly defined. The results and output data from the analysis is usually a quantitative description of how the applied forces vary throughout the structure, resulting in stresses, strains, and deflections of the total structure as well as each individual component. Stress analysis is frequently used as a tool rather than the main goal, though its ultimate goal is designing components and systems that can sustain a particular load while meeting some optimality requirement.

Importance of Stress Analysis and why it matters

Preventing Mechanical Failures

There are many reasons why structural failures occur, but often these are caused by poor or inadequate stress analysis. Mechanical and Structural Engineers are well-versed in FEM and other stress analysis techniques. They provide load conditions, tensile stress and shear stress using high-functioning computing systems. They also create mathematical models, 3d models, and a visible distribution of stress on component parts and assemblies. In this way, a part of the assembly lacking the ability to withstand the expected stress can be identified and rectified, thereby preventing failure across the whole structure. It may sound quite simple as we describe stress analysis as if it were a straightforward process. However, it is much more complicated and a much lengthier procedure than it may sound. Established in 2011, Trevilla Engineering performs non-contact 3D inspection and scanning services. Our engineers inspect your assemblies and parts using handheld scanners.  This state-of-the-art method is quicker, more efficient, and precise than other modern engineering inspection procedures.

Adding Value in Mechanical Design

Mechanical Engineers can add value during mechanical design by performing stress analysis of the structure, component, or machine before it is completed. Stress analysis leads to a better product or part, building confidence and trust. Stress analysis can result in a better product in terms of design and better stress withstanding capabilities. Adding value to a product is sometimes referred to as value engineering. Material selection is also vital to ensuring the durability of a product. Mechanical Engineers have a great deal of knowledge in materials and some metallurgy parts, their disabilities, elasticities, toughness, and strengths. As such, Mechanical Engineers can help select the best materials, components, structures, and vessels for your projects.

Loss Prevention and Safety Factors 

Safety is crucial in every industry, sector, or company. Stress analysis is essential to preventing accidents and incidents involving the failure of critical infrastructure. Similarly, poor vibration analysis, stress analysis, and mechanical inspections might lead your plants or machines to collapse, causing injuries or even fatalities. As a result, it is critical to analyse stresses to determine the maximum allowable normal and shear stresses occurring on the element. This will make it possible for Engineers to comprehend the likely failure mechanism of the materials and then lay down rules to prevent it. You need to follow the instructions of relevant professionals and follow all the safety procedures and precautions when on-site or in the field. Mechanical inspections and other prerequisites are required to genuinely make a site safe. Stress analysis can check the integrity of a vessel, machine, or component. This type of essential stress analysis checks how much load a structure can hold per unit area. Proper stress analysis can prevent material and capital losses. Conclusion Since the introduction of technology, performing stress analysis on parts and equipment has become much simpler. Fortunately, today we have high-performing computer systems that help us do most mathematics, calculations, and engineering simulations. For stress analysis and FEM, software like Ansys and Autodesk are widely used. Apart from software and computer systems, physical techniques and machines are also used for initial and final inspections. Equipped with the latest equipment, Trevilla Engineering has proven to be one of the most respected companies in the inspection and risk analysis sector. Access to modern technology has made our experts capable and adept in the areas of manufacturing, design and mechanical inspection procedures.