How do I learn FEA effectively

MSC Software Corporation


In order to better predict product behavior, engineers perform not only linear but also non-linear analyzes. Nonlinear analysis is significantly more complicated than linear analysis and is typically not available in other FEA solvers. The non-linear functions of MSC Nastran enable engineers to:

  • Extend the usefulness of linear FE models by reusing the same FE model for nonlinear analysis
  • Perform a system-level analysis by examining the behavior of contact parts and the associated load transfer
  • Avoiding interference between adjacent components in assemblies
  • Use simple contact body definitions for systems that have many components
  • Chain analysis disciplines for multiple event simulations
  • Simulation of very dynamic events
  • Investigate the interaction between the structure and the surrounding medium using FSI technology
  • Coupling of analyzes in which thermal and structural results influence each other
  • Demonstrate the properties of many nonlinear materials
  • Advanced first layer failure analysis of advanced composites through progressive layer failure analysis of composite laminates

In order to continuously reduce the weight of building structures, MSC Nastran offers numerous functions that provide insights into the complex behavior of composite structures. With MSC Nastran, engineers have the following options:

  • Simulation of preliminary drafts and executed constructions in the static and dynamic analysis areas
  • Powerful modeling with a collection of finite elements specifically designed for modern composites
  • Reduce sub-component testing by predicting damage trajectories within composite laminates with MSC Nastran's delamination capabilities
  • Improving the damage tolerance properties of your composite structures by performing not only first layer failure analyzes, but progressive layer failure analyzes
  • Reduce weight while improving engineering performance with the help of built-in tools that allow optimization of multiple constructions and in different analytical disciplines
  • Investigate the complex behavior of composite structures subject to rapid loads


 For the modeling and analysis of extensive systems with regard to vibrations, MSC Nastran is the most efficient solution currently available. The most important functions offer engineers the following options:
  • Selection from a wide range of eigenvalue extractors and efficient determination of the normal modes of undamped and damped structures
  • Checking the structural behavior caused by frequency and short-term loads
  • Monitoring the load paths or energy flows in a structure with Transfer Path Analysis (TPA)
  • Use of Automated Component Mode Synthesis for the rapid solution of extensive dynamics and acoustics problems
  • Understanding of unbalanced systems, determining the system stability, recognizing an impending product failure and calculating safe operating ranges for structures with the dynamics of rotating components
  • Convenient exchange of design models and protection of proprietary information through the use of external super elements
  • Performing an indoor and outdoor acoustic analysis with functions such as influencing factor analysis, analysis of trimmed materials, element sensitivities, weakly coupled acoustics, etc.

MSC Nastran is making rapid progress and utilizing the latest developments and hardware components from high-performance computers. MSC Nastran offers the following options:

  • Fast results in extensive modal analyzes and NVH studies with the Automated Component Modal Synthesis
  • Build simulations faster by incorporating GPU hardware into high-performance computing resources
  • Use of the latest parallel processing methods of multiprocessor systems in small to large clusters
  • Efficient analysis of important structural sections with automated super elements



Developing products with optimal performance is a goal that every engineer pursues. However, achieving this goal is not easy when there are several design variables, conditions, and goals to consider. With numerous optimization functions that actively search for the best design within a given design space, MSC Nastran helps to achieve this goal. MSC Nastran is used for the following purposes:

  • Simultaneous optimization of several designs in several analysis areas with the optimization of several models
  • Determine efficient material distributions for critical load paths without concessions in terms of strength and stiffness with the shape and topology optimization of MSC Nastran
  • Improving the performance of corrugated sheets with topography optimization
  • Determination of the best thickness distribution for thin building structures with the topometry / free dimension optimization from MSC Nastran
  • Combining the optimization functions of MSC Nastran and effectively reducing the weight of composite laminates



Only in exceptional cases does a structure have to meet the design criteria of just one discipline. To achieve an effective design, several factors, and often several disciplines, must be considered. In the case of several disciplines, it can be a linear static analysis and a frequency behavior study in simple cases, but in complex cases it can be stresses from a multi-body dynamics analysis as part of a safety study for motor vehicles. A multi-discipline analysis can also include an implicit nonlinear analysis of a pre-stressed structure and a subsequent impact study with explicit analysis, which may be followed by an implicit analysis of residual stresses.

Analysts often have to use several incompatible tools to solve these various design issues. MSC Nastran integrates and meshes all of these disciplines in one environment so that engineers can accurately represent the behavior of the structures they have created.


Product development teams need to review and optimize designs that are exposed to various events, such as: B. thermal or flow loads. You need to understand how the temperature profile or the thermal state affect the behavior of the structure, how vehicle decorations affect cabin acoustics, or how stresses or deformations caused by flow affect the behavior of a system.

Since MSC Nastran supports a chained, non-coupled or coupled process, you can take into account the influence of several physical parameters in your designs as required. Thanks to the scalability of MSC Nastran, you can also carry out examinations of entire structures without sacrificing accuracy. Typical examples of multiphysics scenarios include:

  • Analysis of screeching brakes
  • Liquid-filled bottles
  • Aquaplaning
  • Brake heating
  • Plastic heating during deep drawing
The integrated MSC solution for linear and non-linear calculations simplifies the reuse of models, which saves us a lot of preparation time. In addition, we can use standard formats for exchanging body model data when working with other departments or with suppliers.
Sylvain Calmels, Manager PSA Peugeot Citro├źn


Students can test MSC Nastran with the MSC Student Edition without obligation: Register now and download the free license