FEA Of Thermoplastics

FEA OF THERMOPLASITCS

Through the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software packages such as ANSYS Mechanical, Ettol has the capabilities to efficiently and more realistically assess the structural response of liquid storage systems.

TASK:

  • To design and engineer a battery cell which stores several tonnes of electrolytic liquid within the confinements of a 10-foot shipping container.
  • Structural assessment due to environmental, lifting and transport loadings.
  • The structure of the battery cell consisted of the steel shipping container outer shell in addition to two large high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tanks of which stored the electrolytic liquid required for the operation of the battery. The basis of the battery cell is pictured below.

APPROACH:

  • Ettol was provided with a conceptual 3D model of this battery cell.
  • ANSYS Spaceclaim was used to efficiently and accurately prepare the model for FEA by use of powerful tools such as the Midsurface tool, Extend tool and the Shared Topology functions.
  • The prepared model was then exported to ANSYS Mechanical – the bi-directional compatibility between ANSYS Spaceclaim and ANSYS Mechanical allows for continuous exchange between the 3D Geometry Model and the FEA model.
  • The Material Database provided by ANSYS Suite was used to load the appropriate material and modify various structural properties where required.
  • The use of ANSYS Mechanical’s non-linear contact capabilities was adopted in order to assess the cell accurately.
  • Result outputs could then be assessed against relevant standards such as ASME standard for HDPE and AS4100 standards for Steel.
  • Once the design was of adequate strength and stiffness, ANSYS Spaceclaim enabled the final 3D model to be exported into various formats for the Client to use for manufacturing, without the need for the time-consuming task of drafting and detailing.

OUTCOME:

  • The overall cost is reduced by optimising the strengths and weaknesses of various materials at different locations in order to find the most effective arrangement. For example, the thickness of the HDPE material was reduced in areas where Steel strengthening was able to be incorporated, ultimately generating savings in material costs.
  • Timeliness is achieved by predicting the behaviour and structural response of the product at an earlier stage, reducing trial and error times, and therefore, reducing the overall product development time.

Ultimately, the use of high-end FEA software such as ANSYS with well trained talent allow obscure and unique structures to be accurately analysed in order to produce feasible, lightweight and high-quality end products for use in industries such as the battery technology market.

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