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Factor of Safety Definition

The Factor of Safety Wizard evaluates the factor of safety at each node based on a failure criterion. You can plot the factor of safety distribution throughout the model, or you can just plot regions of the model with a factor of safety smaller than a specified value to identify weak areas of the design. Large factors of safety in a region indicate that you can save material from that region. Many codes require a minimum factor of safety between 1.5 and 3.0.

  • Factors of Safety Interpretation

    • A factor of safety less than 1.0 at a location indicates that the material at that location has failed.

    • A factor of safety of 1.0 at a location indicates that the material at that location has just started to fail.

    • A factor of safety larger than 1.0 at a location indicates that the material at that location is safe.

    • The material at a location will start to fail if you apply new loads equal to the current loads multiplied by the resulting factor of safety, and assuming that the stresses/strains remain in the linear range.

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