When we are solving a model using Finite Element Analysis, the results are obtained via a distribution map. These internal distributions of the forces ̶ called stress ̶ appear in the inner regions of the models due to the action of external forces. To model how different forces act on a biological structure, as a bone for example, computational models are created. These models are subdivided in small pieces called “elements” using a mesh. Then, theoretical forces are applied to the model and the stress values of each element are recorded and mapped in a coloured map called stress distribution which enables a qualitative comparison between different models. Of course, this “coloured map” is related with values. Specifically,. with the values obtained from the solving in each element of the mesh.
To analyse these stress values in a quantitative framework could be complicated, as these elements have different size in the same mesh. for this reason, we published recently the work: ” Accounting for differences in element size and homogeneity when comparing Finite Element models: Armadillos as a case study” in Palaeontologia Electronica. In this work we propose a method to obtain the average mean and median of the distribution of these stresses in a Finite Element model weighting for the differences in elements size. On the other hand we propose a procedure to check whether the meshes used to generate the elements provide accurate results to be used later in statistical analysis. Therefore the stress values can be used as a proxy of the relative strength of vertebrate structures in a comparative framework and allow comparing the obtained mechanical results of different models.
This figure is an example: Box-plots of Von Mises stress distributions when Quasi-Ideal Meshes (QUIM) are assumed for the 20 Cingulata mandibles analysed in the work enabling a qualitative comparison between species and diets.
Citation: Marcé-Nogué, J., Esteban-Trivigno, S. de, Escrig, C., & Gil, L. (2016). Accounting for differences in element size and homogeneity when comparing Finite Element models: Armadillos as a case study. Palaeontologia Electronica, 19(2), 1–22
Read more: http://goo.gl/2wFCSL