Finite Element Method
DOD Standard Practice Techincal Data Packages
A numerical technique for finding approximate solutions to systems of partial differential equations. FEM is applied to calculations of stress, strain, and deflection, temperature distribution and heat transfer, electromagnetic and similar problems. FEM, also called finite element analysis (FEA), is characterized by the subdivision of solid objects into tetrahedral or hexahedral finite elements. Thin-walled objects may be approximated by two-dimensional shell elements having three or four sides.