Wood, J. (2005) The FENET plate/shell fabrication procedural benchmark and "round robin" exercise. In: Engineering Simulation: Best Practices and Visions of the Future, Proceedings of the NAFEMS World Congress 2005. NAFEMS.
Plate and shell construction is common across many industrial sectors and covers components and structures that range from the relatively unimportant to safety-critical. The details used in plate/shell structures, in any industry sector, are no doubt a reflection of tradition, as well as market forces and regulation. As a result, for example, full penetration butt-welds will be more common in the nuclear industry, while fillet weld details will be more common in many 'every-day' fabricated structures, ranging from lamp posts to 'bin' lorries. As finite element technology has moved from the so-called 'right-first-time' sectors into general industry, today's powerful analysis and simulation technology is being adopted by more and more organisations, including SMEs, which generally do not have an 'analysis tradition'. In addition, coverage of the assumptions inherent in shell theory generally falls into the postgraduate educational domain. The staffing challenges facing SMEs in particular in this area are therefore significant. Furthermore, it is also argued that many of the details commonly found in fabricated plate/shell structures are often not subjected to widely recognised and commonly accepted cross-industry analysis procedures. The procedural benchmarks and 'round-robin' exercise, detailed herein, were seen as an excellent opportunity to examine such practice and to observe resulting educational and quality assurance related issues.
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