Finite element analysis software (FEA) uses a numerical technique to model and analyze complex structures by solving boundary-value problems. The structure to be analyzed is divided into points (elements) that make a grid called a mesh. Finite element analysis involves the use of finite element (FE) software to study mechanical parts and components that undergo significant strains and stresses. Suppliers of finite element analysis software (FEA) are located across the United States and around the world. Structural and aeronautical engineering and architectural firms are the most common users of finite element analysis software (FEA). Finite element (FE) software may also be used in disciplines such as civil and aeronautical engineering, and the studies of thermodynamic forces, fluid-flow, and acoustics or magnetic fields. FEA software for mechanical engineers is typically designed to interface with other types of computer-aided drafting (CAD) and structural prototyping applications by analyzing schematics, and provides relevant element information based on algebraic and geometric calculations in the mesh. In finite element mesh generation, experts provide data by performing property stress analysis on plastic and elastic components, thermal stress and transient modeling, displacement (e.g., stress and buckling) analysis, and the study of nodal coupling. Finite element analysis software (FEA) provides a way of finite element modeling structures that include axis-symmetrical, beam, contact, combination, gap, link, pipe, and shell elements. FEA software is commonly designed to run on UNIX/Linux operating systems. This is because journaling file systems like ext3 or Reiser tend to be more stable than FAT-32 or NTFS, and because Linux kernels are customizable and run less resource-intensive process. Hence, this frees the central processing unit (CPU) and arithmetic logic unit (ALU) for use by Linux FEA software. Costs and techniques of acquiring finite element analysis software (FEA) vary on the needs of a particular organization. It is common for smaller architectural firms to contract an FEA consulting firm rather than expend the costs of staffing a full-time engineer expert in finite element analysis software (FEA). FEA consultants generally specialize in the use and application of finite element software, but also possess additional skills vital to FEA such as mathematical calculations worksheet development, computer programming, computer graphics, and desktop publishing.