Finite element analysis (FEA) is used, with increasing frequency, to supplement or justify the design of an ASME Section VIII, Division 1 or 2 pressure vessel. When this occurs, good engineering practice indicates that a competent engineer should review the finite element analysis report. In some jurisdictions, it is required that a Professional Engineer review and certify the report.
This paper discusses some of the practical aspects of both writing and reviewing a good quality FEA report — both in the context of the technical perspective and in the context of Code compliance. This paper will serve as a practical assistant to an engineer reviewing an FEA report, as well as a guide to an engineer preparing an FEA report. Aspects such as properly following Code requirements, following appropriate Design By Analysis methodologies, and applying good design practices will be discussed.