Finite Element Analysis

When it is necessary to understand complex structural behavior, SGH can help clients by performing finite element analyses.  The finite element method (FEM) allows for the calculation of strains, stresses, and deflections of structures and components by dividing the structure into many small elements and assembling them for analysis.  SGH performs static, dynamic, stability, time dependent, and thermal analyses to determine strains, stresses, and deflections of complex structures including nonlinear effects. 


SGH is able to evaluate the nonlinear structural response and performance resulting from large deformations due to loads, or nonlinear characteristics of materials, or both large deformations and nonlinear material characteristics acting concurrently. 

We utilize specialized engineering programs for analysis and design of structures and components.  SGH employs a wide range of computer programs, including ABAQUS, ANSYS, NASTRAN, LS-DYNA, SASSI, GT Strudl, and SAP2000, as well as numerous other proprietary software programs.  We routinely apply state-of-the-art methods of analysis to solve engineering problems and to support the design of new structures.

Our areas of expertise include, among others, structural optimization and performance analysis of precision structures, analysis and design of buried structures, fluid/structure interaction analysis, dynamic response analysis of storage tanks, large strain and cracking analysis of reinforced concrete structures, and thermal and moisture migration analysis for building enclosure systems and components.  Some of our projects include the following:

  • Blast response analysis of a prestressed cylindrical water storage tank   (LS-DYNA)
  • Surface accuracy analysis during structural design and optimization of a large diameter radio astronomy antenna (NASTRAN)
  • Structural analysis of strains in a buried pipelines due to impact of a falling weight (ABAQUS)
  • Creep buckling analysis of reinforced concrete domes over storage tanks due to earthquake accelerations (ABAQUS)
  • Viscoplastic material models and creep-rupture simulation of polymer-modified asphalts (ABAQUS)
  • Cyclic large strain analysis of reinforced concrete slab/column test article and comparison with test results (ABAQUS)

SGH’s experience also includes development of finite element and calculation procedures for inclusion in commercially available finite element programs.