A variety of mechanical engineering disciplines, such as aeronautical, biomechanical, and automotive industries, rely on Finite Element Method (FEM) in the design, development, and testing of their products. State-of-the-art FEM software packages include specific modules to simulate and investigate, among others, thermal, electromagnetic, fluid, and structural behaviors and phenomena.
In spite of the significant advances that have been made in FEM, the results obtained from any FEM study are purely theoretical and must be carefully examined before they can be used. Qualifying the outcome of a FEM simulation typically raises questions or issues such as:
- Is the level of modelling and simplification sufficient for the required application?
- What are the most critical parameters in the simulation?
- Up to which degree do the simulation results reflect reality?
Finding answers to these questions involves a thorough validation of FEM results. A common way of validating the quality and correctness of the computational models is the comparison with experimental data. Most of the commonly used experimental set-ups deliver one-dimensional point information only, like unidirectional displacement or strain information.