Basics of Finite Element Analysis [FEA] - Part 2 : Theoretical Approach

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In Finite Element Method, the body/structure is divided into finite number of smaller unites known as elements.
This process of dividing whole body into finite number of elements is known as discretization or meshing.
The assemblage of these elements then represents the original body or structure.
These elements are considered to be interconnected at joints which are know as nodes.
In FEM, solutions are formulated for each element and then combined to obtain the solution for the original body/structure.
This approach is known as going from part to whole.
In order to make analysis more simpler, it is only at nodes where the continuity or equilibrium equations are required to be satisfied.
In FEM, the amount of data to be handled is dependent upon the number of elements into which original body/structure is discretized.
For large number of elements, it is formidable task to handle the volume of data manually, and hence use of computer is evitable in such cases.
As we are satisfying equilibrium/continuity equations at the nodes of the elements, the accuracy of the solution increases with the increase in the number of elements (fine mesh).
However, more number of elements results in increased computation.
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