Finite Element Analysis can help you overcome your engineering challenges in structural and mechanical design, as well as assist in the assessment of existing structures and products.

Leveraging advanced finite element analysis (FEA) to accurately predict the behaviour of designed or existing structures/products is a core of HERA’s simulation activity.

We have a proven record of using FEA technology in applied structural research and consulting for over twenty years.

We serve the metals industry needs, where our primary focus is on steel and other metals. But, we also have experience analysing concrete, timber, gypsum, magnesium, thermal insulations, shape memory alloys and other materials.

Our team has a proven track record that allows us to solve a range of engineering problems and complex models using our in-house high end engineering workstations running Abaqus/CAE/Standard/Explicit software.

This means that we can provide implicit and explicit numerical analyses and realistic simulations efficiently, accurately and to the highest standard, while adhering to stringent best practice guidelines recommended by NAFEMS.


We have experience analysising the following types of problems and applications:

  • How to generate your innovation projects and new products and services
  • linear perturbation (static, eigenfrequency-vibrations, buckling);
  • non-linear static and dynamic stress/displacement analysis (seismic, buckling, thermal loading, quasi-static analysis, transient, impact, assessment of existing structures);
  • non-linear stress analysis for the simulation of manufacturing processes such as metal forming;
  • simulation of contact amongst multiple parts in a complex model;
  • analyses of a welded and/or bolted connections, including monitoring the history of bolt forces;
  • sub-modelling to study a local part of a larger model;
  • steel and reinforced concrete buildings, columns, frames, and floors;
  • steady state (a detailed and accurate R-value calculation) and transient heat transfer analysis;
  • assessment of the influence of imperfections in erected steel structures;
  • composite reinforced concrete and steel structures in fire (sequentially coupled thermal stress analyses); and more.

Frequently asked questions

What is FEA?

Widely accepted in most engineering disciplines, FEA is often an alternative to experimental testing set out in many standards.  It uses a computer based numerical method of simulating and analysing the behaviour of structures, components and other, under a variety of conditions.

The technique is based on the idea that a solution to any complex engineering problem can be reached by subdividing the geometry into smaller more manageable “finite” elements.  Validation (where possible) is then achieved by comparing the results with measured test data or values obtained by other independent means.

Why can FEA boost your hand calculation methods?

Where analytical solutions don’t exist, the finite element model is analysed with an inherently greater precision than possible when using conventional hand calculations and approximations. This is because the actual shape, loads, constraints and material properties can be specified with much greater accuracy.

Finite element simulations of different models and physical events are also generally performed easier and faster than experimental testing.

What is the process for carrying out FEA?

Put simply, FEA has three key stages:

  1. Pre-processing: the geometry of the parts is received from a client or developed in-house. Material properties, sections (such as the beam, truss, shell, membrane or solid), boundary conditions, loads, interactions, constraints, etc are then applied to the geometry or mesh. The linear or non-linear analysis procedures are also set at this stage, which describes what is happening to the structure (i.e., assembly from many parts) in chronological order.
  2. Solution: solving the engineering problem is significantly influenced by its size, complexity, available hardware resources and other metrics. Implicit and/or explicit solvers are used depending on the type of problem and analysis procedures specified. The time required to obtain the solution can vary from minutes to weeks or even more. That’s why a tailored, smart FEA approach is required, which is often obtained through years of experience. Detailed data checking is carried out prior to submitting the FEA job to “run”.
  3. Post-processing: this begins with checking the solution and extracting the results. This could be the deformed/buckled shape at different levels of loading, or change in boundary conditions; contour plots of displacement, velocity, acceleration, stress, strain, contact pressure, temperature, freebody forces, eigenfrequency and eigenmode – just to name a few.

Abaqus/CAE, Abaqus/Standard (implicit solver), Abaqus/Explicit and Abaqus/Viewer are used respectively for those three stages here at HERA, and a detailed or concise report is issued as a record of this work.

When can FEA help your project?

Can your structure withstand all working loads or accidents safely? How does it behave in a fire? Will permanent deformations, buckling or uncontrollable vibrations occur under certain conditions? Can you reduce the material content or find alternative and less expensive material used?

If you have any complicated structural questions or uncertainty in your project, often FEA is the answer.

Most of the time we use FEA in structural engineering design, product development, manufacturing process, improving the performance of existing products and failure analysis investigations. Armed with FEA there are many ways that we can contribute.

What are the limitations of FEA?

Like any numerical method, the solution produced by FEA contains a certain amount of error. This can be dependent on the software capabilities for realistic simulation, type, size, meshing and accuracy of the model used – and of course the analyst carrying out the simulation and evaluating the results.

Case studies

Overview of Finite Element Analysis for applied research, engineering and art applications

This webinar explaining what is involved in carrying out successful simulations – by providing an overview of solving structural, mechanical, fire engineering and thermal problems.

If you’d like to find out more about Nandor and his expertise, as well as reports and publications he has contributed to, click here.


Manager Structural Systems


Senior Structural Engineer


Finite Element Analyst, Structural Systems