Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a computer-based tool allowing engineers to simulate a variety of physical interactions related to the application of structural, thermal, acoustic, and aerodynamic loads. FEA is traditionally used to size structural members found in airplane wings, bridges, buildings, and automotive bodies. It is becoming more commonly applied to consumer products from mobile phones to bicycle frames, thanks in part to the reduced cost of the necessary computing power and ever-improving software. FEA is also critical to the accurate and effective structural analysis of composite materials, due to their highly anisotropic properties. Using FEA to optimize and validate designs can dramatically reduce costs and timelines, and result in lighter-weight, stronger, more reliable products.

CADProduct Design

Leveraging FEA and extensive experience with various materials and process technologies, Adherend Innovations can offer support with some of the most critical areas of product design. Computer aided design (CAD) tools are used to capture design intent for usability, manufacturability, and performance metrics including safety, reliability, and cost. In the case of composite materials, the term "black aluminum" is often used to describe products that don't maximize the material characteristics and manufacturing processes of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). With over a decade of experience in the composites industries from aerospace to consumer products including electronics and sporting goods, Adherend Innovations can offer deep insight into product design with composite materials.


Adherend Innovations uses Abaqus/CAE from Dassault Systems for all FEA work. Abaqus maintains industry-leading composites modeling capability, used extensively by Boeing on projects including the 787 Dreamliner. Abaqus is also know for a robust explicit solver, preferred by companies like Apple to simulate highly dynamic events such as the fall of an iPad from a desk. Predictable and accurate FEA is critical to maximizing product performance and reducing development lifecycle. Multi-core simulations can be run in-house to reduce runtime and increase the number of design of experiments for the ultimate in optimized designs.

Computer Aided Design (CAD) allows faster iteration, easier technical communication, more complex designs, and the ability to go straight to manufacturing using computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines. Modern CAD packages have immense capability for modeling 3D shapes with complex surfaces. Product lifecycle managers (PLM) packages allow engineers to more easily contribute to and manage massive assemblies. For design projects, Siemens NX was chosen due to powerful parametric and asynchronous modeling techniques. NX provides the ultimate in design freedom and stability. Parasolids and other neutral format CAD files can be used to interact with other FEA and CAD packages.

We can also can also assist in the physical testing of material coupons, components, or product assemblies. Depending on your testing needs, we are able to identify the most capable facility having worked with a number of test houses over the years. Whether the project requires ASTM standard methods or custom design fixtures and protocols, we can assist in the execution of environmental, static, dynamic, or fatigue testing to validate your product. While modern CAD and FEA packages can produce complex designs with predictable behavior, testing is a critical component of the product design process. In some industries, aerospace for example, physical testing is the only method to legally certify a product for sale.