I told my boss I wasn't happy the simulation method we were using was accurate and he directed me to CadTek to get their advice. Their advice supported my concerns but apparently they have previously directed us to conduct FEA in the way I think is inaccurate. I have been "volunteered" by my boss to research the different FEA practices to find a suitable method.
I have an SW FEA book I can refer to but I am looking for some pointers of where I can find examples to support my research as my boss will expect me to explain every minute thing to him to prove what works.
The basics of our FEA was a skid, simulating a drop test, load test (lifted by lugs on base frame), and 4 x simulations at 45 degrees either side of the front and right planes. The method specified by my boss was to multiply gravity by the factor of safety, (so a factor of safety of 2 would set the gravity to 9.81 x2).
I challenge this method because we have load tested one skid to 4 Tonnes in real life and it passed, yet for this FEA method it fails with a load of less than 0.6 Tonnes! Given the multiplication factor of 3 that would be less than 2 Tonnes.
The method I was advised to use is have all the loads and gravity as accurate and use the Factor of Safety plot to set a multiplication factor.
This method produced results that correlated with our real life load test. For the other method I have had to bulk up the skid to a ridiculous amount and it still has not passed. I am convinced the Factor of Safety Plot is the correct way to do this, but I need irrefutable evidence for my boss.