Experimental Validation of Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Examples of a sample, test fixture, and simulation results.

Fabricate, test, and analyze real components that are subjected to external loading to see how well they compare to finite element models.

Project description

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a commonly used tool to simulate the behavior of parts and components that are subjected to various types of loading. However, the accuracy of FEA is often limited by how closely the real physical component can be modeled in the simulation environment. Experimental validation allows for a comparison between the actual behavior and the simulated behavior of a part or component.

For this project, students will fabricate parts in the Engineering Machine Shop and test the parts in the Materials Lab. The measured behavior of the parts will be compared to the results generated by a commercial simulation software (e.g. SOLIDWORKS, ANSYS). Students will utilize sensors and electronics to measure forces, displacements, and strain. They will also be required to analyze and present data in meaningful ways.

Project outcome

Experimental and simulated results will be compiled in a written report at the end of the work. Students will be encouraged to present their work at local conferences and poster competitions.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About a semester (3-5 months)
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic Credit
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Project mentor

Jason Armstrong

Associate Professor of Teaching

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Phone: (716) 645-3541

Email: jna4@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering