Many structures in plant engineering are characterized as thinwalled. The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a common method used to assess the performance of such thin structures. Creating a FEM model of a thin structure involves midsurfacing models and meshing with shell elements. However, the process for creating FEM models is time consuming often requiring hours and days. The use of MSC Apex can help produce midsurface models significantly faster than with other traditional CAE pre/post processors. In addition to FEM creation, MSC Apex can be used to perform strength analysis.
Power plant sites consist of numerous built up structures, each of which must be designed for positive margins of safety. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a common numerical method used for determining and improving the strength and dynamic performance of such structures. With an increasing need to find optimal power plant structural designs, the most efficient FEA workflows are critical. This case study discusses methods to expedite the FEA process, namely: rapid construction of Finite Element meshes from geometry and leveraging FEA technology to quickly connect hundreds of structural members.