The general procedure for weld assessments with WeldFEM will be explained briefly here by key points.

  1. Build up the FE-model considering the specifications mentioned in WeldFEM Compliant Meshing and analyse.
  2. Start WeldFEM and set up the desired preferences, that are explained in Calculation GUIĀ“s and Weld-Detection GUI
  3. Detection of welds in the FE-model. This is done by Detect Welds in the Main GUI. A selection of elements when ordered by groups can be selected.
    WeldFEM will ask if the FE-model should be saved in advance or not. Since WeldFEM will make changes to the FE-model, it is recommended to save the FE-model in advance.
    The FE-model changes which WeldFEM performs are the adding of spring elements, according properties as well as groups and curves for the depiction of welds and evaluation ranges in Femap.
    See Elements for details on the type of spring elements used by WeldFEM.
  4. Edit the welds that have been detected. The editing is done in the Weld Editor GUI as well as in the Weld Manager GUI.
  5. Assess the welds based on the stress data provided by the upstream FE-analysis. This is done by Process StressData in the main GUI. WeldFEM asks for the results of the FE-analysis with which the weld evaluation is to be carried out. If the results show that some welds are not sufficiently designed, the user can repeat the previous for the overloaded welds and redo the weld assessment for those edited welds only.
  6. Final assessment results to be inserted in the assessment report are a) utilisation factor plots in Femap and b) a table of maximum results for all welds called MAX_UtilisationFactorsTable_STC/FAT.csv.