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REU. project: need some BIG help

  1. Jun 4, 2007 #1
    Hello guys, I'm working on a REU project right now, and my job is to try to design a better vacuum system.

    being a noob at any aspect of mechanical engineering and designing (I'm a physics major, I know the physics but I am not familiar with how mechanical engineer does/designs things)... I need to find a software that does stress test on a given structure of given dimension and shape... I have no clue on what I should use. (it is part of my job to find that software....)

    If you guys can recommend some stress testing software, it'll be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2007 #2
    i think solid works does stress testing


    im hanging around a lot of high vacuum systems right now so if you have any questions i could try to help or ask around here.
  4. Jun 4, 2007 #3
    Nice, that is the things that I'm working with--high vacuum system. Thank you for offering your help.

    Alright, so basically, we have an ion accelerator, and the vacuum system isn't so great due to the limiting conductance, and my advisor said that he will change one of the pipe into some kind of wedge shape like thing, and would like to know if that particular shape will withstand the stress caused by the vacuum.

    I need a software that allows me to input the shape, dimensions and then give me some results...

    So, ice109, the software you mentioned is "solid works"? does it really do the vacuum stress testing? It is not a freeware so I would like to get more info before diving into it...
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  5. Jun 4, 2007 #4
    i dont undestand why conductance would affect vacuum. i know it does stress testing, i don't know if it does vacuum stress testing but it probably does. check your PM
  6. Jun 4, 2007 #5
    I think you probably misunderstood the conductance part... It's pipe conductance, not electrical conductance or other conductance....
  7. Jun 4, 2007 #6


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    Do you mean you want to model the geometry of your wedge shaped pipe, specify some loads (i.e. the external pressure) and calculate the stresses and deflections?

    If so, what you want is a finite element stress analysis program. There is a sticky thread somewhere on PF with a lot of references.

    FWIW Ansys seems to be a popular package in university engineering departments in the UK. I think they do a low-cost version for academic use. It's also used in the nuclear industry, so it has a credible quality assurance track record.
  8. Jun 4, 2007 #7
    Yes, that is exactly what I need: get the geometry and dimensions of the object, then test how its shape might shape when there vacuum inside. so it is called finite element stress analysis, ok thanks, got it.
  9. Jun 15, 2007 #8
    FEM might be overkill see how far you can get by aplying 14.7 psi to the outside of your geometry. Usually you want to get some sort of analytical estimate to validate part of you FEM anyways. If you give me a drawing with dimensions and were the pressures are located I might be able to help you out.
    On small geometries vacuum applications do not have to be that strong.
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