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Advanced materials

Validation using finite element analysis

Modelling to enhance experimental measurements

Finite element analysis (FEA) modelling is used within research projects across much of NPL. Our FEA capabilities are used to:

  • design new equipment and test pieces
  • gain a deeper understanding of the physical processes that occur during experiments
  • test assumptions made about equipment or material behaviour
  • investigate sensitivity of experimental results to environmental and geometric parameters
  • estimate unknown physical parameters by matching model results to measured data.

Some examples of this research include:

We have experience in using multi-physics, multi-scale, and in some case multi-package, approaches to solve challenging scientific problems. Recent relevant work includes:

  • coupling stress analysis and magnetic modelling for use of the geomagnetic field as a structural integrity sensor
  • using a dual scale approach to model fluid flow in a porous membrane to support development of a device to calibrate MRI scanners
  • using a thermal heat flow model to improve cooling of electricity substations, to ensure our electricity network can meet future demands ensuring a reliable electricity supply for the future

In addition to our FE capabilities, we have experience with finite difference, finite volume and boundary element techniques. We also have an ongoing interest in emerging techniques such as meshless methods, the extended finite element method and the Lattice Boltzmann method.

Finite element analysis

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Lead researcher

Louise Crocker

Senior Research Scientist

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