ERIKS were required to design and build a safe temporary access platform, for their client. Periodically engineers needed to gain access for inspection and / or maintenance works and as such a safe platform was required to enable access. The access platform was constructed from Aluminium.

IDAC was approached to carry out a finite element analysis safety (FEA) to confirm that the structure conformed to the design criteria.

Analysis and results

IDAC were required to carry out a linear structural analysis of the access platform and check the safety factors. IDAC created two 3D models of the platform in AutoDesk to represent two configurations of the platform; legs forward and legs back. The geometry was simplified to remove any small features that were deemed unnecessary for the analysis. Bonded contact was used at all the interfaces and fully fixed constraints were used at the supports.

Point loads were applied at two locations to simulate two people standing on the platform although only one person would ever use the platform.

The equivalent stress and deflection results for both configurations were well within design limits. In addition to these results the safety factors were also calculated for the entire structure and the minimum safety factor for both leg configurations was found to be five. This showed that the access platform was well-designed for its purpose.

Design benefit

The analyses showed that the factors of safety for both leg configurations were above five throughout the model. Carrying out an FEA simulation gave ERIKS confidence that the access platform had been designed correctly.