1.1 Your reporting manager RM is convinced that the best possible way to prevent the bracket from failure is to ensure that it is enough rigid thereby ensuring absolute zero deflection at all points of the bracket.

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Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing

7041MAA Finite Element Analysis

Module Title: Finite Element Analysis

Individual CW





Module Code: 7041MAA

Coursework Title: Design of new bracket

Hand out date: 20/09/2021


Due date:

Estimated Time (hrs): 60

Coursework type: Report

% of Module Mark: %100

Submission arrangement online via Moodle: Submitted before 18:00

File types and method of recording: PDF file

Mark and Feedback date: Two weeks after submission

Mark and Feedback method: via Aula/moodle ( Turnitin)


Module Learning Outcomes Assessed:

LO 1. Apply fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies [IMechE_E1].

LO 2. Extract, analyse and interpret data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and affect its solution using computer based engineering tools when appropriate [IMechE_E2].

LO 3. Analyse and appraise the capabilities of computer-based models for solving problems in engineering, and the ability to assess the limitations of particular cases [IMechE_E3].

LO 4. Review and appraise engineering workshop and laboratory skills [IMechE_P2].

Task and Mark distribution:

All work must be carried out on an individual basis and should solely be the work of the individual student. Appropriate referencing must be used throughout the reports.

Mark Distribution:

Task 1 60%

Task 2 40%

Mark allocation guidelines refer to Moodle.

Notes: Design of new bracket

  1. You are expected to use the CU Harvard referencing format. For support and advice on how to use referencing, students can contact Centre for Academic Writing (CAW).
  2. Please notify your registry course support team and module leader for disability support.
  3. Any student requiring an extension or deferral should follow the university process as outlined here.
  4. The University cannot take responsibility for any coursework lost or corrupted on disks, laptops or personal computer. Students should therefore regularly back-up any work and are advised to save it on the University system.
  5. If there are technical or performance issues that prevent students submitting coursework through the online coursework submission system on the day of a coursework deadline, an appropriate extension to the coursework submission deadline will be agreed. This extension will normally be 24 hours or the next working day if the deadline falls on a Friday or over the weekend period. This will be communicated via email and as a CU Moodle announcement.
  6. It is expected that some students will discuss solutions methods and compare answers; however each student or group on their own must prepare submissions. It is recommended that the GAPQ assignment be undertaken on Moodle as a reminder on how to avoid Plagiarism
  7. Wherever there is evidence of collusion between students or groups, their work will be shown to a MAM department Academic Conduct Office with a view to prosecution. Eccentrically wrong answers by multiple students are a particular case in point. Lack of continuity in the logic of an answer often indicates that it has been copied without understanding. Fore warned is fore armed.
  8. You must not submit work for assessment that you have already submitted (partially or in full), either for your current course or for another qualification of this university, unless this is specifically provided for in your assignment brief or specific course or module information. Where earlier work by you is citable, i.e. it has already been published/submitted, you must reference it clearly. Identical pieces of work submitted concurrently will be considered to be self-plagiarism.

Mark allocation guidelines to students







Work mainly incomplete and /or conceptual mistakes

Most elements completed; mistakes in analysis outweigh the correct answers

Most elements are correctly analysed with minor mistakes

Correct analysis in all elements

Most work exceeds the standard expected

All work substantially exceeds the standard expected


The aim of this coursework (CW) is to demonstrate your ability to receive and interpret data to create and evaluate the credibility of an FEA model as well as critically assess the results thereof; including dissemination using technical arguments. In other words, pre-process, solve and post-process the results of FEA. You will also be required to optimise the structure in terms of maintaining or improving structural performance whilst minimising or maximising given attributes.


Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is an invaluable tool to modern day engineers, enabling the capability to make design decisions based on a components simulated performance under different loading and environmental conditions as well as validation of load case and load path calculations.

You have just landed a job at an exciting new company specialising in design and production. Your new reporting manager, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is very excited about you joining the company as an FE expert. As the only engineer with any background knowledge of structural mechanics and FEA the expectations of you are sky-high!

Although your reporting manager, RM, is very friendly and extremely enthusiastic (s)he has no knowledge of structural mechanics what-so-ever – but RM is convinced that you are an FE guru! The future of the company rests on your shoulders as any significant warranty issues (such as poor structural performance; for example a cracked frame) will severely cripple if not bankrupt the company; you need to tread carefully…


N1 Your company can only afford 1 FE license – they use Altair HyperWorks; consequently no other FE software can be used for the impending tasks, i.e. this CW.

N2 There is only 1 geometry model for all brackets; a HyperMesh (*.hm) model is available on Moodle.

N3 Your company is developing a number of new brackets of various sizes and shapes. In this CW, they do however only want you to work on one version, which is decided by your Student ID (SID). A bracket consists of a frame as illustrated below.

Figure 1 Schematic view of a bracket



  1. a.   The material that make up your bracket is defined by the last digit of your SID using the below key:

0-2: Aluminium

3-6: Steel

7-9: Titanium

The material properties can be found in Table 1.

Table 1 Material properties



Young’s Modulus [GPa]




Volumetric mass density [kg/m3]


Yield Strength [MPa]
















As an example, if your SID is 1234567 your bracket will be made from Titanium.

b. The applied perpendicular force (along the Z-axis) on bracket’s base holes (A to F) is defined by the 2nd last digit of your SID using the below key:

0-2: 50 [N]

3-6: 100 [N]

7-9: 150 [N]

c. The applied perpendicular force (along the Z-axis) on bracket’s top holes (H to K) is defined by the 3rd last digit of your SID using the below key:

0-2: 250 [N]

3-6: 300 [N]

7-9: 350 [N]

d. The applied moment (around the Z-axis) on bracket’s top hole G is defined by the 3rd last digit of your SID using the below key:

0-2: 1 [Nm]

3-6: 2 [Nm]

7-9: 3 [Nm]

e. Your value of the bracket thickness is defined by the fourth last digit of your SID using the below key:

0-2: 3 [mm]

3-6: 4 [mm]

7-9: 5 [mm]

Figure 2 Bracket’s holes under loading - Design of new bracket

N4 Your reporting manager (RM) is very busy – (s)he does not like reading long-winded reports; hence (s)he has created a template for all reporting which you will find in a separate document entitled: “333MAE_1920SEPDEC_CW_report_template.docx”

You must use this document for your CW; no other formats will be accepted. Pay close attention to the instructions in this document. If you do not follow these, you will be deducted marks.

N5 You may assume that all loading is linear static and that all material behaviour is isotropic. N6 You should be as succinct and concise as possible in your responses.

N7 Remember that statements without justifications are not credible.

Task 1 – Pre-processing, solving and post-processing

1.1 Your reporting manager RM is convinced that the best possible way to prevent the bracket from failure is to ensure that it is enough rigid thereby ensuring absolute zero deflection at all points of the bracket. RM wants your view on the real world feasibility of this; please comment and discuss.

1.2 RM wants the bracket to be as light as possible without failing (yielding) during operation based on two worst loading scenarios. RM therefore asks you to perform a structural assessment of the bracket. RM provides you with the following notes and points out that the below descriptions including the global coordinate system defined therein:

  • The frame thickness of the bracket must be constant.
  • The supports in holes A and F are constrained in the translation and rotation in the X, Y and Z-directions.
  • Load Case 1 (LC1) should represent the “normal force” on the base holes A to F. The normal force should be applied (in the Z-direction) on the

“base holes”.

  • Load Case 2 (LC2) should represent the “normal force” on the base holes A to F and the top holes H to K. They should be applied (in the Z- direction) on the holes.
  • “Both cases should include the moment effects” around the hole G. This moment is applied (around the Z-direction).

RM asks you to:

  1. Complete a mesh convergence study and define which mesh size has been used (and why).
  2. Demonstrate how the mesh has been refined.
  3. Determine what the smallest thickness of the bracket can be (without failing) and the final mass of the bracket.
  4. Evidence that the bracket will not fail.
  1. Based on your findings define and justify a mesh protocol with the most important mesh quality parameters so that future FEA can be completed quicker. You should note that listing “irrelevant” parameters or not justifying parameter choices will be seen as failing solve this part of the task.

1.3 Following your structural analysis in 1.2, RM now wants you to determine the lowest natural frequency of the bracket. The Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) engineers based at the manufacturing plant have asked you to clearly (and uniquely) identify the location of the largest excitation magnitude for the first (lowest) natural frequency. Mysteriously the Isla Sorna plant employees have recently stopped answering their phones so you have no alternative but to make sure your documentation is not open to interpretation.

1.4 A short while after you have sent your report containing the vibration analysis results from 1.3 you receive an email from the NVH engineers. They have determined that the vibration from the bracket is 1% lower than the value you have determined in 1.3. They have therefore decided that there is no need for concern, as there is a 1% margin: surely, results obtained via FEA are correct. RM concurs with the NVH engineers; after all time is of the essence and there are many other issues to resolve. As the structural engineer what is your view?

Task 2 – Optimisation

RM has been very pleased with your work so far. Company has ordered metal sheet with certain thickness for bracket manufacturing.

Innovation is however a core ambition of bracket and RM therefore wants you to “improve” the bracket design in terms of enhancing structural performance whilst minimising mass. You suggest that applying (FE based) optimisation tools will enable you to drastically improve the entire bracket. Following several discussions between yourself and RM you mutually agree on the following targets:

  • Bracket design improvements:
    • The bracket supports must not fail (yield) subject to LC1 and LC2 (as applied in 1.2).
    • The cost of manufacturing must not rise significantly; i.e. your design must be as simple as possible
  • Bracket improvements:
    • Maximise the first natural frequency of the bracket (min. 10% higher than the value determined in 1.3).
    • The material of the bracket cannot be changed.
    • The thickness of bracket cannot be changed.
    • The bracket must not fail (yield) or break subject to LC1 and LC2 (as applied in 1.2).


2.1 Based on your discussions with RM you decide to conduct a topology optimisation of the Bracket. Remember to validate your new design before you present it to RM - (s)he will be very critical of your proposal unless the “predicted performance” is backed up (and thoroughly discussed) by appropriate FEA. Design of new bracket

1.1 Your reporting manager RM is convinced that the best possible way to prevent the bracket from failure is to ensure that it is enough rigid thereby ensuring absolute zero deflection at all points of the bracket. RM wants your view on the real world feasibility of this; please comment and discuss.














Innovative response, answers the question fully, addressing the learning objectives of the assessment task.

Evidence of critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation.


A clear, consistent in-depth critical and evaluative argument, displaying the ability to develop original ideas from a range of sources. Engagement with theoretical and conceptual analysis.


Wide range of appropriately supporting evidence provided, going beyond the recommended texts. Correctly referenced.


An outstanding, well-structured and appropriately referenced answer, demonstrating a high degree of understanding and critical analytic skills.


Upper Second 60-69

A very good attempt to address the objectives of the assessment task with an emphasis on those elements requiring critical review.


A generally clear line of critical and evaluative argument is presented. Relationships between statements and sections are easy to follow, and there is a

sound, coherent structure.


A very good range of relevant sources is used in a largely consistent way as supporting evidence. There is use of some sources beyond recommended

texts. Correctly referenced in the main.


The answer demonstrates a very good understanding of theories, concepts and issues, with evidence of reading beyond the recommended minimum. Well

organised and clearly written.



Lower Second 50-59

Competently addresses objectives, but may contain errors or omissions and critical discussion of issues may be superficial or limited in places.


Some critical discussion, but the argument is not always convincing, and the work is descriptive in places, with over-reliance on the work of others.


A range of relevant sources is used, but the critical evaluation aspect is not fully presented. There is limited use of sources beyond the standard recommended materials. Referencing is not always correctly presented.


The answer demonstrates a good understanding of some relevant

theories, concepts and issues, but there are some errors and irrelevant material included. The structure lacks clarity.


Third 40-49

Addresses most objectives of the assessment task, with some notable omissions. The structure is unclear in parts, and there is limited analysis.


The work is descriptive with minimal critical discussion and limited theoretical engagement.


A limited range of relevant sources used without appropriate presentation as supporting or conflicting evidence coupled with very limited critical analysis.

Referencing has some errors.


Some understanding is demonstrated but is incomplete, and there is evidence of limited research on the topic. Poor

structure and presentation, with few and/or poorly presented references.







Some deviation from the objectives of the assessment task. May not consistently address the assignment brief. At the lower end fails to answer the question set or address the learning outcomes. There is minimal evidence of analysis or evaluation.


Descriptive with no evidence of theoretical engagement, critical discussion or theoretical engagement. At the lower end displays a minimal level of understanding.


Very limited use and application of relevant sources as supporting evidence. At the lower end demonstrates a lack of real understanding. Poor presentation of references.


Whilst some relevant material is present, the level of understanding is poor with limited evidence of wider reading. Poor structure and poor presentation, including referencing. At the lower end there is evidence of a lack of comprehension, resulting in an assignment that is well below the required standard.


Late submission









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