Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Engineering Services

Finite Element Analysis

Pi Engineering’s team has extensive experience in finite element analysis (FEA). The majority of our FEA projects involve pipe supports, heat transfer, and vessel nozzles, pressure vessel design, vessel supports, lifting lugs, piping components such as tees and bends, however, our skill set and expertise allows us to apply this method to other components as well.

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Pipe Support FEA

Pipe support design is a critical component of piping systems. Supports are required in some case to restrict movement and in others to allow it, depending on the characteristics and requirements of the piping system. Pipe supports support, guide, and anchor the piping.

Pi Engineering’s FEA experience includes analysis of trunnions, staunchions, shoes, guides, anchors, bare pipe on steel, buried supports at pipeline risers, and base supports.

Equipment Nozzle FEA

Nozzles on equipment such as pressure vessels and tanks are subject to internal pressure, temperature, and external loading from piping. FEA can be used to verify stresses in the nozzles comply with applicable codes such as ASME VIII Division 2 Part 5 or API 650.

Beyond Oil and Gas

Our FEA modeling processes, software tools, and experiences lends itself well to additional industries, including: solar thermal, manufacturing, mining, petrochemical, nuclear, power generation, pulp and paper, transportation, product development, product design, food processing, and more.

Contact us today, or download our information package to learn more about our finite element analysis (FEA) services.

Example: Pipeline Anchor Design With Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

This is a pipeline anchor designed for a High Pressure Steam Distribution service.

FEA per ASME Section 8, Division 2 Part 5 Design by Analysis Limit Load methods were used to establish code compliance (CSA Z662). This reduced material and fabrication costs significantly while also resulting in a stronger design. The figure below illustrates a typical stress plot obtained from the finite element analysis (FEA) model.


The figure below illustrates the point of plastic collapse of a pipe support using FEA. By plotting the support displacement verse the applied load the point of plastic collapse can be observed which occurs once the load reaches a critical value and the resulting displacement increases exponentially signifying support failure. The limit load or failure is predicted when the material reaches gross plastic collapse.  In FEA this occurs when the analysis loses equilibrium (does not solve) due to plasticity across a section.  A non-linear elastic-plastic material model is used with the yield strength set to 1.5 x the allowable stress. Pipe-Support-Limit-Load-by-Displacement