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Courtroom FEA: FEA = Finite Element Analysis
 by: Steve Roensch




As a product liability professional, it is important that you know what Finite Element Analysis (FEA) can do for you. If you don't, your adversary might. Whether you serve plaintiffs, defendants or both, you're probably already familiar with FEA.

Simply put, if a loss, injury or death is due to something bending or breaking, FEA can help explain the failure.

An experienced FEA expert can determine the stresses and displacements in the failed part. When compared to industry standards, earlier designs and competitive designs, this often identifies the cause of failure, and hence the responsible party.

As in any field, your choice of an expert is important in making your case. It's not unusual for an inexperienced FEA analyst to generate incorrect results; this is both a warning to the wise and a strategy for dealing with the other side's expert.

FEA results lend themselves to color plots and animations, making conveying the key concepts to the jury much easier.

About The Author

Steve Roensch is a mechanical engineering consultant with more than 20 years of professional experience. He has analyzed hundreds of product designs and has served as an expert witness across many industries, including giving depositions and court testimony. Learn more about mechanical engineer expert witness services at: http://www.FiniteElement.com.

This article was posted on January 03, 2006

 


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