How Multiple Industries Utilize FEM and FEA


The finite element method (FEM) is essentially very complex math used by engineers to reduce the number of prototypes and virtual experiments necessary to create a successful design. In previous posts, we discussed the advantages of the finite element method (FEM) and finite element analysis (FEA). Together, FEM and FEA are used to predict the structural behavior and integrity of a design.

Specialized finite element analysis software emerged in the 1970s. Now, it is common to find virtual testing integrated into the product development cycle. The global simulation software market size reached US$11.08 billion in 2020. It’s expected to grow 17.5% by 2028 while the specific FEA software market is anticipated to grow nearly 9% over the same period. 

Key factors to support this expected market revenue growth across several industries include the increasing need to reduce manufacturing costs, as well as the need to investigate critical situations without actual risks. Simulation software for problem solving and decision making will be important at almost every stage of manufacturing, including product design, testing, and market launch, to mitigate potential challenges and boost financial returns. These are just a few of the ways that various industries utilize FEM and FEA.

Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry is facing problems due to a significant increase in manufacturing costs, rapid demand fluctuations, and excessive equipment investment. Consequently, the industry is faced with the challenge of simultaneously achieving eco-friendly, high-quality, and low-cost products. To meet these demands, organizations are making an effort to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing process using FEM to predict various variables such as die alignment, material size deviation, and working temperature.

Energy Industry

Currently, rethinking energy transport is essential due to its broader applications for different energy systems. The study of heat and mass transportation has received remarkable consideration by physicists, engineers, and mathematicians. Researchers are looking at how to boost thermal transportation by mixing the nanoparticles in the base fluid mixture. Utilizing FEA, they are working to find numerical and graphical outcomes related to velocity and temperature versus various parameters. The present developments are applicable in automobile coolants, as well as the dynamics in fuel and the production of solar energy.

Rail Industry

In designing for passenger rail vehicle safety, one of the most challenging tasks for design engineers in the rail industry is predicting material durability. Numerical simulation is a convenient solution for prediction challenges, but a model’s predictions strongly depend on the availability—and accuracy—of material and assembly data. Advanced adhesive properties can provide designers with a robust data package to address modeling challenges through complex calculation methods or FEA. For multiple passenger rail interior and exterior applications, 3M has characterized three of its structural adhesive technologies to meet data requirements for two safety classes. 

Commercial FEA Software

Ansys Mechanical recently became one of the first commercial finite element analysis (FEA) programs supporting  AMD Instinct™ accelerators, which are the newest data center graphics processing units (GPUs). The accelerators are designed to provide exceptional performance for data centers and supercomputers to help solve the world’s most complex problems. 

“Today’s large, complex engineering challenges require quick, predictively accurate simulations that scale,” said Brad McCredie, corporate vice president at AMD. The collaboration between Ansys and AMD will enable a notable speed boost for applications, which will allow researchers to run complex structural simulations in order to drive higher quality, more efficient designs for cars, planes, and a range of other products.

Discover the Finite Element Method (FEM)

Learn one of the most powerful numerical approaches available to engineers. Finite Element Method for Photonics, a five-course program, covers the fundamental principles of FEM while providing participants with insight into the method. 

Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist today to learn how to get access to this program for your organization.

Interested in access for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network (ILN)



3M. (17 August 2022). Designing for passenger rail vehicles safety and durability. Railway Gazette International. 

Ansys. (24 August 2022). Ansys and AMD Collaborate to Speed Simulation of Large Structural Mechanical Models Up to 6x Faster. Cision PR Newswire.

Brush, Kate. (Accessed 30 August 2022). DEFINITION: finite element analysis (FEA). TechTarget. 

Emergen Research. (10 August 2022). Global Simulation Software Market Is Expected to Grow Steadily At CAGR Of 17.5% In The Forecast Period Of 2021-2028. EIN Newswires. 

Ho Seo, Young. (2 August 2022). Development of smart cold forging die life cycle management system based on real-time forging load monitoring. Scientific Reports. 

Infinium Global Research. (July 2022). Finite Element Analysis [FEA] Software Market: Global Industry Analysis, Trends, Market Size, and Forecasts up to 2028. Research and Markets.

Sohail, M., Nazir, U., El-Zahar, E.R. et al. (5 August 2022). Galerkin finite element analysis for the augmentation in thermal transport of ternary-hybrid nanoparticles by engaging non-Fourier’s law. Scientific Reports.

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