Is there a reason for using FEA to perform structural analysis over for example Finite volume method for example?

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    $\begingroup$ FEA is used to reduce a compound, complicated problem to an approximation that is composed of many simple (almost identical) problems, so simple that a computer can do it. Instead of solving for some complicated integral that almost nobody but you might need to solve, it turns into a repeating mosaic of a common one, which as long as you are knowledgeable about meshing will get you the answer you need. What makes you think there are other alternatives with the same flexibility? $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    Dec 19, 2023 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Abel, why don't you post your comment as an answer? You may want to add that for many complex structures there is no analytical answer! $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Dec 19, 2023 at 1:19
  • $\begingroup$ Finite Volume Method is not appropriate to structural analysis as there is no flow from element to element. FDM is more closely the option. But then its mostly the same as FEA if you only limit yourself to a regular grid. In reality this is all semantics they are all differently named discretisations. Does not mean that its a super meaninful distinction. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Dec 19, 2023 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ linkedin.com/pulse/… seems like a useful summary of the acronyms.. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2023 at 6:47
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    $\begingroup$ Hi, @joojaa, why is flow from element to element needed for structural analysis please? $\endgroup$
    – James
    Dec 19, 2023 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


"Finite Element Analysis" is used for the analysis of simple linear (or linearizable) systems where volume is not conserved.

"Finite Volume Analysis" is used in computational fluid dynamics to transform a system where volume is conserved, into a system that is effectively linearizable with analyzable elements.


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