### Characteristics of pressure vessels

Finite element method is a method of solving a problem by dividing the problem in to small problems by dividing or breaking up the geometric model into small pieces that are easier to analyze called discretization. In the case of the cylinder it might be broken up into small cubes or plates called elements. All of the elements make up the mesh. Each of these elements can be easily solved for by using simple equations for stress and strain. As the number of elements increases (increasing mesh size), their size decreases and the solution will grow more accurate. An excellent comparison to finite element analysis is the solution for area under the curve. If one is trying to find the area under the curve, breaking the curve up into a series of rectangles and adding their areas can approximate the solution. The no of rectangular divisions increase the accuracy. With the recent increases in the speed and processing power of computers, finite element analysis has become a practical