Using Catia to Record the Results of Foot Pedal Analysis

Task: using Catia, record the results of foot pedal analysis in terms of the maximum displacement and the maximum von Mises stress in a table and comment on the results. The run time of the parabolic elements with element size of 0.1 could be substantial depending on the type of processor used.

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The foot pedal shown below is made of steel with Young modulus 30E+6 psi and Poisson ratio 0.3. The pedal is loaded with a normal force of 100 lb along the edge shown. The other end of the pedal is clamped. The geometrical dimensions are provided at the bottom of the page where all the dimensions are in inches.

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The above tables reveal an extremely important fact about finite element analysis. Making a single run and accepting the results at face value is a serious mistake. Note that for linear elements, as the mesh is refined, there is a significant change in both displacement and von Mises stress. The user should not accept either value as being correct and must refine the mesh further. The refinement should reach a point at which the difference with the previous mesh is not deemed to be significant to the user. This process is referred to as a mesh convergence study. Keep in mind that the refinement need not be uniform throughout the part. One should perform the refinement in the critical areas only. It is clear that parabolic elements are superior in accuracy to the linear element. Furthermore, note that displacements in FEA are more accurate than stresses. The reason is that the stresses are obtained by differentiating the displacement, a process which magnifies the error.

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