Steve Roensch, President of Roensch & Associates and metallurgy expert witness, discusses Finite Element Analysis:
Many legal professionals are exposed to Finite Element Analysis (FEA) in the courtroom and hire metallurgists to study failures across many industries..Finite element analysis is regularly applied to a vast array of products when something bending or breaking is an issue. FEA is applied to many types of problems, such as temperatures in consumer electronics, airflow around aircraft, and magnetic fields in electric motors. By far the most common application is structural FEA — determining how a solid body responds to various forces.
Having a fundamental understanding of how the method works can help an attorney (i) recognize when FEA can strengthen a case, (ii) choose a capable expert and (iii) develop meaningful challenges to the opposition’s expert. As discussed in the last issue of Courtroom FEA, if a loss, injury or death is due to something bending or breaking, FEA can help identify the cause of failure and hence the responsible party.
Next from Steve Roensch: But how does it work?