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Dr. Garth N. Wells

gnw20@cam.ac.uk

University of Cambridge and Delft University of Technology

c G. N. Wells 2009 gnw20@cam.ac.uk

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vector calculus . . . . . . . . . .6 Deﬁnition of trial and weight function spaces . .7 Exercises . .5 Regularity requirements . . 2. . 1. . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 3. . . . . . . . . .5 Exercises . 2. .2 3. . . . . . . Convergence of the Galerkin method Exercises . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Isoparametric mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions . . . . . 6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 5 . . . . . . 2. . .2 Program ﬂow . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Stiffness matrix storage . . . . . . 3 The 3. . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1. . . . .Contents 1 Introduction 1. . . . . . . . .3 Local-global . .2 Continuum elasticity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element 5. . . . . 5. method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 One-dimensional bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Post-processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Essentials from continuum mechanics 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Basic error analysis . . . .3 Linear algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Galerkin method Approximate solution . . . . . . . .5 Numerical integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 7 13 15 16 19 21 21 23 25 26 27 28 29 31 31 32 33 34 35 35 37 49 50 54 57 60 63 63 64 65 70 71 73 . . . 4. . . . 4. . 2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Tensor basics . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Finite element method with piecewise linear basis functions 4. . . . . . . .4 Minimisation of potential energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Poisson equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Preprocessing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Governing equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . .

. . . .3 Adaptivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 113 116 117 118 119 124 124 125 6 Version 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics 9. . . . 2011 . . . . . . . 111 8. . . . . . . .5 Time stepping algorithms . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Elastodynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 105 107 108 109 7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics . . . . . . . . . References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 A priori error estimation . . . .5 Rod elements in space Beams . . . .1 LU-decomposition . . . . . . . 73 . . . . . . Plate . . . . . . . . . . . .3 6. 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 A posteriori error estimation . . . . . . Shell elements . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Iterative solvers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. .7 Exercises . 104 . . . . .4 6. .Contents 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.6 Space-time formulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 . . . . . . . .2 Heat equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 6. 112 9 Time-dependent problems 9. . . . . . 8 Solvers for large linear systems 111 8. . . . . . .2 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 January 21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

which for simplicity is assumed to be orthonormal. Scalars are denoted by italic type face. x. Students will develop an understanding of the fundamentals underlying the ﬁnite element method and commercial ﬁnite element software. The underlying mathematics of the method are introduced and details of its computer implementation are discussed. b. What is the ﬁnite element method? The ﬁnite element method (FEM) is a numerical method for solving partial differential equations.1 Introduction This course provides an introduction to the ﬁnite element method for linear problems. This course also provides a foundation to the more advanced courses.2) 7 . and possibly an extension of familiar concepts. It also provides a reference point for later developments in the text. a.1 Tensor basics Throughout these notes. The ﬁnite element method differs from the commonly used ﬁnite difference method as it is based on a variational formulation.1. It is particularly suited for solving partial differential equations on complex geometries. f . (1. b. 1. such as ‘Finite element methods for nonlinear analysis’ (CT5142). s. The material should serve as a review. u. a Cartesian. This simpliﬁes vector and tensor operations considerably as the basis vectors can be ignored and operations expressed in terms of indices only. The application of the ﬁnite element method leads to systems (often very large) of linear equations (matrices) which can be solved using a computer. This chapter establishes the notation used in these notes and reviews the basic tools needed to develop and understand the ﬁnite element method. it is closely related to the concepts of energy and virtual work. Orthonormal basis vectors are shown in Figure 1. a. (1. When applied for solving problems in solid and structural mechanics. orthonormal basis is assumed. The procedure can be largely automatised.1) Vectors involve components and a basis. as are commonly encountered in solid and structural mechanics. making it well suited to efﬁcient computer implementation. and are generally denoted by lowercase bold characters.

In the case n = 2. i =1 3 (1.4) The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi . x = √ x · x.1 Introduction x2 a e2 = [0 1 0] e1 = [1 0 0] x1 e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1. A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components. 2011 . where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3. a·b = (1. ai where i runs from one to n. a= a1 .3) Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b. and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x.7) 8 Version 0.5) ∑ a i bi .2 January 21.6) ∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 . a2 (1.1: Example of orthonormal base vectors. i =1 n (1. which is denoted a · b. (1.

17) (1.1. A = Aij . A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a.12) Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors.13) where n is the dimension of the vector b.16) (1. It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a.10) As with vectors. M. (1.8) can be used.9) Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters. Second-order tensors can be multiplied. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 .2 9 .14) January 21. The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j. a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components. which is expressed as D = AB. a = Ab = Aij b j = ∑ Aij bj j =1 n (1. (1. R (1. Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. in the vein of matrix multiplication. ei · e j = δij . A31 A32 A33 (1. At times. Aij . allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi . (1. A.15) (1.11) (1. 0 if i = j.1 Tensor basics For an orthonormal basis. the dot product maybe written as a T b. 2011 Version 0. and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj . K.

21) (1. For two second-order tensors in R2 . It is deﬁned by: A : B = tr A T B . For example. an operation similar to the dot product of two vectors.2 January 21. an inner product.23) (1. = ai b j . It also yields a scalar.20) The trace of a second-order tensor is essentially the summation of its diagonal components.24) (1.28) 10 Version 0. (1. which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j .27) This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention. A = a ⊗ b.19) Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors. is provided for two second-order tensors.25) ∑ ∑ Aij Bij . A useful identity involving the transpose is: ( AB) T = B T A T . this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 . For a second-order tensor A in R3 . (1. This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij . (1. The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1.1 Introduction In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji .18) The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components. (1. i =1 j =1 n n (1.26) (1. A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 . (1.22) Using the trace. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii . 2011 .

a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b. 2011 Version 0. The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . Eijk = 1. (1. matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal. Eijk = −1. The components of E are given by: [E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek . (1. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient.33) (1.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 . k} is even. product. A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor. is equal to the identity tensor. and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . The result of the above equation is rather simple. The cross product of two vectors yields a vector. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E .29) A second-order tensor A.34) (1.30) (1. Using index notation. If any of the indices are repeated.36) The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here. AA−1 = A−1 A = I. b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1. If the permutation {i. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1 Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation. January 21.1 Tensor basics The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia. A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A. j. (1. and if the permutation {i.1.31) Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties.37) 11 . or vector. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 . j. It is deﬁned for a. Eijk = 0. (1.32) As will be shown in the following section. Another important operation is the cross. multiplied by its inverse A−1 .2 (1. k} is odd.

the stress and strain are second-order tensors. Coordinate transformations For many problems. (1. It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system.1 Introduction x2 ′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ] e2 = [0 1] ′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ] θ e1 = [1 0] x1 Figure 1.40) (1. the components in ei system are known.2. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor. it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly.2: Rotation between coordinate systems.38) In elasticity. it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame.2 January 21. Consider that for a vector a. This operation is particularly important when considering moments. ′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j . due to physical symmetries.39) Fortunately. Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1. Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q. A : B = Aijk Bjk . C = Cijkl . Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j .41) 12 Version 0. (1. ′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system. in terms of indices. which is orthogonal. (1. For an orthonormal basis. 2011 . denoted here as C .

xy .x . 0 . 1.42) − sin θ .46) Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem. (1. QQ T = Q T Q = I. January 21.2 (1.xyy . components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ . which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem.2 Vector calculus which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a.xx . It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 .44) Therefore. ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1. (1.48) This notation is used commonly throughout these notes.2 Vector calculus Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives. Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x. It is expressed as: ∇ · a.2. and A = QA′ Q T . cos θ (1.47) (1. An important operator is the divergence. ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u. 0.xxxx . This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ.49) 13 .1. = u. The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar. ∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u.43) and note that Q is orthogonal. Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable. Q= ′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2 (1. = u. 2011 Version 0.45) At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another. Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u. An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space. (1.

1 Introduction In terms of indices. ∇·a = ∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + . In a three-dimensional space.2 January 21. ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by: ∇a = ∂ai = ai. ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x 1 2 (1.i . the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1.55) ∇a = . ∂x j (1.53) Another important operator is the gradient. 2011 . The gradient of a scalar a is given by: ∇a = ∂a = a.j . ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z (1.52) For a two-dimensional tensor A.i .56) which yields a second-order tensor. ∂x j (1.50) In a three-dimensional space R3 . In a three-dimensional space. ∇a = (1. ∂xi (1. ∇ · a is equal to ∇·a = ∂ai = ai. ∂xi (1. ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 .51) The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by: ∇·A = ∂Aij = Aij.57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14 Version 0.j .54) which yields a vector. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 .

1.3 Linear algebra The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties.58) where n is the outward normal to the body Ω. Ω ∇ · a dΩ = ∂Ω a · n dΓ. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem). The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n. It implies that: Ω a · (∇ · B) dΩ = − Ω ∇ a : B dΩ + ∂Ω a · Bn dΓ. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1. (1. The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω.61) and then applying the divergence theorem. It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral. and the January 21.3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ. The above formula is simple to derive by using the product rule for differentiation to expand Ω ∇ · ( aB ) dΩ = Ω ∂ a B dΩ. ∂x j i ij (1.60) The above equation also holds for the case in which a is replaced by a scalar and B is replaced by a vector. (1. For a vector a. 2011 Version 0. The divergence theorem states: Ω ∇ · A dΩ = ∂Ω An dΓ. (1. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω. the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses. For example.3.59) Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method.2 15 .1.3 Linear algebra n Ω Γ Figure 1.

65) Typically.62) implies that: det ( A − λI ) = 0.64) where K is an n × n matrix. For a 3 × 3 matrix.62) are known as eigenvectors and eigenvalues. The solution u is given by: u = K −1 f . For a symmetric matrix. A system of n linear equations can be expressed as: Ku = f . This section is intended to cover only the important concepts which are used later in these notes.66) 16 Version 0. Solvers for ﬁnite element problems are discussed in Chapter 8. (1.j (1. It is not a comprehensive coverage of the topic.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics The ﬁnite element method is used in these notes to solve primarily problems in continuum mechanics. A zero eigenvalue implies that the matrix A has a linearly dependent column. respectively. Eigenvalue tests are often used in studying the matrices arising in the ﬁnite element method. The polynomial is known as the characteristic equation of A. and is unique. For a positive deﬁnite matrix A. of A. K will often be referred to as the ‘stiffness matrix’ and f the ‘right-hand side vector’. (1.i .63) For a 2 × 2 matrix. which guarantees that the inverse of A exists. special numerical algorithms are used to calculate the eigenvalues. This requires some background in continuum mechanics and linear-elasticity. and u and f are vectors of length n. all eigenvalues are positive and real. 1. all eigenvalues are real. the system of equations in a ﬁnite element equation will be very large. 2 i.2 January 21. vectors b and scalars λ which satisfy ( A − λI ) b = 0 (1. In the context of the ﬁnite element method. The system of equations is usually solved using a direct method (such as Gauss elimination or LU decomposition) or an approximate iterative method. Equation (1. ﬁnding λ requires ﬁnding the roots of a quadratic equation. Also. The strain ǫ is deﬁned as the symmetric gradient of the displacement vector: ǫij = 1 u + u j. the eigenvalues of a matrix indicates if a matrix has a unique inverse. It is not practical to compute the inverse of the matrix K as it is computationally expensive (both in terms of the number of operations required and the memory required). the roots of a cubic equation must be found. (1. For large matrices. 2011 .1 Introduction corresponding eigenvectors are the principal stress directions. For a matrix A.

σn = t (1. the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ.72) (1. the strain tensor is symmetric. or in index notation. In two-dimensions. it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1.2 17 . For linear elasticity. Similar to the strain tensor. A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . 2 i. 2 (1. as will be shown in the next chapter). σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics which is clearly a second-order tensor.67) For convenience. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i. this reduces to four.1.70) with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio.i . Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position.j) = 1 u + u j. The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants.73) (1.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1. In compact notation. linear-elastic continua. January 21. Obviously.71) (1.68) where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient. For convenience. The stress tensor is deﬁned through the traction vector t (force per unit area) on a surface. Due to symmetry. in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components. 2011 Version 0. For solid.69) where n is the unit normal vector to the surface. In a homogeneous body.j (1.

although without the factor ‘2’ on the shear terms.1 Introduction ‘engineering’ notation is often adopted.z ǫ33 ǫ33 . This will require identiﬁcation of the equations which govern equilibrium of where the matrix D is the constitutive matrix. It is then likely that the stress in the out-of-plane direction is not equal to zero.x 2ǫ13 γ13 u. particular attention will be paid to solving elastic continuum problems.78) D= 0 0 0 µ 0 0 0 0 0 0 µ 0 0 0 0 0 0 µ 18 Version 0. such as many beams. This approximation is good for very thin members. there are three possibilities. An axisymmetric formulation is for example commonly used when simulating a circular foundation. ǫ11 ǫ11 u.z + w. D has the following form: λ + 2µ λ λ 0 0 0 λ λ + 2µ λ 0 0 0 λ λ λ + 2µ 0 0 0 (1. This is reasonable for problems which are relatively thick in the third direction.y + v. in which the stress and strain are represented as vectors. the normal stress out-of-plane is assumed to be zero.y γ23 2ǫ23 The stress tensor is expressed in a vector form. For isotropic linear-elasticity.z + w. 2011 .x v. The third possibility is axisymmetric. such as a dam wall.x ǫ22 ǫ22 v.75) = = ǫ= 2ǫ12 γ12 u. In these notes. σ11 σ22 σ33 (1. The second possibility is plane stress (σ33 = 0). This assumes that the normal strain in the out-of-plane direction is zero (ǫ33 = 0).2 January 21. containing components of the fourthorder tensor C . the strain in the out-of-plane direction is dependent on the distance from an axis of rotation. In this case.y u. the constitutive relationship can be written as: σ = Dǫ (1.77) When reducing a three-dimensional problem to two-dimensions.76) σ= σ12 σ13 σ23 Using the vector format for stress and strain. The ﬁrst is known as plane strain. (1. In this case.

Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives: Ω ∇ · σ + b dΩ = 0 (1.). 1.81) Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum). This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation. leading to: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω (1. In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. since E : σ T = 0. Note that this equation is general. Then. etc.80).5 Exercises elastic bodies. Therefore.80). expand the terms: a) b) c) d) e) f) a i bi ai b j Aij Bij Cij bi Cij b j Fik Gkj 2.82) where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω.2 19 . the ﬁrst term in equation (1. For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3. and applying the divergence theorem. if σ is symmetric. How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have? January 21. the integral can be removed from equation(1. which requires that ∂Ω t dΓ + Ω b dΩ = ∂Ω σn dΓ + Ω b dΩ = 0 (1. Moment equilibrium of the body Ω requires that: ∂Ω r × t dΓ + Ω r × b dΩ = ∂Ω r × σn dΓ + Ω r × b dΩ = 0 (1. 2011 Version 0. Therefore.83) is zero. moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric.1.5 Exercises 1.79) where b is a body force. the partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1.80) Balance of linear momentum should also be satisﬁed for any subdomain of Ω. Considering that t = σn.80)) is satisﬁed.83) If translational equilibrium (equation (1. consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω. Ω r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ + Ω E : σ T dΩ = 0 (1. and not speciﬁc to elasticity.

It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇.43) is orthogonal. derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1. What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4. 7. 6. Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation. 5.60).1 Introduction 3.2 January 21. Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions 20 Version 0. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ). 2011 . Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem. Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (1.

The ﬁnite element method is a variational method. For a linear-elastic rod. 2. The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1.1) where σ. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. (2.2) where E is the Young’s modulus. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain. dx (2. (2.81)): −σ.x = f . the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations An essential step in developing the ﬁnite element method is the identiﬁcation of the governing equation and casting it in its ‘weak form’.4) f 1 0 111 000 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 11111111111 00000000000 h x L x=0 Figure 2. The governing equation can then be expressed as: − Eu. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point. the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du . For example. u = 0 at x=0 (2.1: One-dimensional bar.x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution. The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’.3) To complete the problem. 21 .1.1 One-dimensional bar Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation. To do this.xx = f .

equation (2. Considering that σ = Eu. derivatives of order 22 Version 0.10) is also true.12) where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions.x n = h 0 < x < L. (2. Note that in the strong form.x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0.2 January 21.x σ dx − wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V . after inserting the constitutive relationship (2.x .x dx = L 0 w.x .8) inserted.x .1) by w.xx = f u=0 Eu.9) where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’. applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u.9) must hold point-wise. Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu.x = w f L 0 ∀w ∈ V . at x = L. Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function. then − wσ. which yields: − L 0 wσ. (2. −wσ. Taking guidance from equation (1.x dx = w f dx ∀w ∈ V .7) (2.x Eu.x dx = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V . which has an inﬁnite number of members). L 0 (2. If equation (2. solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that L 0 w.8) To develop the weak form of the governing equation.10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2.60).5) where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case). at x = 0. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h. (2. This is the weak form of the governing equation. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations prescribes the displacement at one end of the bar in Figure 2.6).3). A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction. (2.6) (2. 2011 .11) Note the term wEu. both sides of equation (2. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that: − Eu.6) are multiplied by a scalar weight function w ∈ V (w ∈ V means that w comes from the appropriately deﬁned space of functions V . (2.1 to be equal to zero. σn = h at x = L. Multiplying equation (2.

only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x appear.2. Consider now the continuous body in Figure 2.x n = h.15) Since φ > 0 and ( Eu. Since the weak form is derived from the strong form. where φ is greater than zero over the interval ]0. 2.2 Continuum elasticity two with respect to x appear. What remains to be shown is that the weak form is equivalent to the strong form (that a solution of the weak form is also a solution of the strong form. satisfying the strong governing equation (in a distributional sense). 2011 Version 0.12) yields − L 0 wEu.16) proving that the Neumann boundary conditions are satisﬁed. (2. Recall that the governing equation is given by: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω. (2. it is now proven that the ﬁrst term is equal to zero.2 Continuum elasticity A more complicated example is continuum elasticity. Following Hughes (1987). What remains now is to ensure that the Neumann boundary condition is satisﬁed (Dirichlet boundary conditions are satisﬁed by construction). Returning to equation (2.xx + f ) f dx. Hence.14) which can be rearranged to give L 0 φ ( Eu. (2.2. as by construction.xx dx + wEu.xx = f .2 (2. The strong governing equation for this problem was developed in the previous chapter. The complication arises from the three-dimensional setting. L[ and zero outside (speciﬁcally at x = 0 and x = L). it follows that a solution of the strong form is also a solution of the weak form. Inserting the weight function into equation (2. Assuming that E is constant and integrating by parts the ﬁrst term in (2. In the weak form (2.12). January 21. − L 0 φ ( Eu.xx + f )2 dx = 0. consider a weight function w ∈ V which is equal to φ ( Eu.x n| x= L = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L . see Brenner and Scott (1994).xx + f ) Eu.13). w(0) = 0.xx dx = L 0 φ ( Eu.17) 23 .13). For a more elaborate mathematical treatment. for any allowable weight function at x = L. Eu.13) Note again that no terms at x = 0 appear. at least in a generalised sense). (2.xx + f )2 ≥ 0.xx + f ). the above equation can only hold if − Eu. The basic form of the equations is the same as the one-dimensional bar in the previous section.

and integrating over the body Ω yields: Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .21) The ﬁrst term in equation (2. tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface). 2011 . Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ). For a linearelastic material. the weight function w is a vector.2 January 21.18) where C is a fourth-order tensor. Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem. the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed.19) On the remaining boundary. σ = C : ǫ. Γh . the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions).21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1. First.2.2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh .17) by w ∈ V . (2.22) 24 Version 0.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations h Γh Ω Γg n Figure 2. Multiplying equation (2. (2. (2. In Figure 2. Note that in this case. On part of the boundary. To derive the weak form. the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg . a constitutive relationship is required. and integrated over the body. As in the one-dimensional case.20) The boundary-value problem is now complete. yielding: − Ω ∇w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0. (2. the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V . u=g on Γg .60)). (2. t=h on Γh .

There exists a close link between weak forms and virtual work for a range of problems. Here the Poisson equation is addressed in a more generic fashion. where κ is the thermal conductivity.2. a solution to the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that − Ω ∇w : C : ǫ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .2 25 .25) where q is a ﬂux vector and f is a source term. Inserting now the constitutive relationship from equation (2. Ω δǫ : C : ǫ dΩ = Ω δu · b dΩ + Γh δu · h dΓ. A wide range of physical phenomena are governed by this equation. Consider now w as a ‘virtual displacement’ δu. q is the heat ﬂux vector.25) yields a Poisson equation. The equation of virtual work is therefore the weak form of the governing equation. January 21.j ) (2. (2. The constitutive relationship depends on the problem being solved. the scalar u is the temperature. 2. Consistency can be proven in the same fashion as was used for the onedimensional problem.23). Often the term ∇w is written as ∇s w. In Darcy’s law. the symmetric gradient of w. The constitutive relationship is given by: q = −κ ∇ u (qi = −κij u. κ = κI. For an isotropic medium.24) which is the equation of virtual work. the variational framework is more general. However. including steady-state heat conduction and ﬂow in permeable media (Darcy’s law). Inserting the constitutive equation into (2.3 Poisson equation where σn has been replaced by the prescribed traction h (the Neumann boundary condition). u is the hydraulic head and κ is known as the hydraulic conductivity.18). (2. For linear heat conduction.26) where u is a potential. Consider the following equation: −∇ · q + f = 0 in Ω (2. q is the ﬂow rate. In the case of heat conductivity. 2011 Version 0.23) where S is an appropriate space of functions which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. The previous example of continuum elasticity was an example of a system of Poisson equations – one for each spatial direction. Therefore ∇s w ≡ δǫ. It is simple to show that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric (see exercise 1). For Darcy’s law. Inserting this into equation (2.3 Poisson equation An equation which is often solved using the ﬁnite element method is the Poisson equation. This is the weak equilibrium equation for a stationary continuous elastic body.

(2.33) 26 Version 0. The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (2. For heat conduction. In the case of heat conduction. there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form. For an elastic body Ω.28) where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2. For Darcy ﬂow.27) which prescribes the potential on the boundary.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations As for all previous examples. this is the temperature on the boundary Γg .29) Integrating the LHS of the above equation by parts yields: Ω ∇w · q dΩ − Γh wq · n dΓ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . (2. 2011 . such as equilibrium of an elastic body. − Ω w (∇ · q) dΩ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh .32) The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld.31) which is the weak form of the Poisson equation. (2. Multiplying equation (2. (2.2).25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω. is given by I (u) ≤ I (u + v) = 1 2 Ω ∇s (u + v) : C : ∇s (u + v) dΩ − Ω (u + v) · b dΩ − ∂Ω (u + v) · h dΩ. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions. it is the hydraulic head. (2. and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary. suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples. and consider the potential energy functional I. 2. I (u) = 1 2 Ω ∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω u · b dΩ − ∂Ω u · h dΩ. w = u + v. The Neumann boundary condition requires that: −q · n = h on Γh (2.2 January 21.4 Minimisation of potential energy For particular equations.30) Inserting now the constitutive relationship and the boundary condition −q · n = h leads to the problem: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that: − Ω ∇w · κ∇u dΩ + Γh wh dΓ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .

Continuity refers to whether or not the derivatives of a function are continuous. 2011 Version 0. which is equal to I (u) ≤ I (u + v) x = I (u) + + 1 2 Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω v · b dΩ − ∂Ω v · h dΩ (2.xx ) must exist. but their ﬁrst derivatives are not. If a function is C n . functions which are C0 are most commonly used. Consider now if the function f is a possible solution u of the strong equation for a bar (equation (2. From Figure 2. It is not a possible solution. in which the terms inside the brackets sum to zero for any v since u is a solution to the weak form (see equation 2.5 Regularity requirements A common topic in ﬁnite element analysis is continuity. it is clear that it is simple to take the ﬁrst derivative of the function f .3: Example of a C0 function f . Functions are often classiﬁed as being C n continuous.2 27 .23).34) Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ. As will be seen in the following chapters. Examining now the weak form for the rod (equation (2. piecewise linear function. the weak form allows for more possible solutions. and is essential for the ﬁnite element method. In ﬁnite element analysis.3 is a continuous. In summary. Therefore a function like f is a possible solution of the weak form and a possible weight function.5 Regularity requirements f f . This means that the functions are continuous. this means that its nth derivative is continuous.x x Figure 2. However. in a classical sense. its second derivative does not exist.12)). the second derivative of f with respect to x ( f . A C0 function is shown in Figure 2. 2. since for equation (2. January 21.3)).3. which proves that solution of the weak form corresponds to minimisation of the potential energy. The function shown in Figure 2. and the last term Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ ≥ 0. this is a commonly used function in ﬁnite element analysis.2.3. it is clear that it involves only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x of u and w. This is a classic mathematical property of weak forms.3) to make sense.

Trial functions u come from the space S (u ∈ S ). the requirement that the trial functions be square-integrable implies that energy must be ﬁnite. A function u is said to be square integrable if: Ω (u)2 dx < ∞.35) Functions which are square integrable come from the Hilbert space known as L2 (Ω). In physical terms. 28 Version 0. there do however exist functions from H 1 (Ω) which are not C0 continuous.38) This says that V is a collection of functions which come from H 1 (Ω) which are equal to zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. (2. This can be seen in the well-known Sobolev embedding theorem. (2. since a fundamental step in the ﬁnite element method will involve ﬁnite-dimensional function spaces. The function space S is deﬁned by: S = {u | u ∈ H 1 (Ω) . Functions spaces can be considered the ‘family’ of functions from which u and w can come. Note that C0 functions belong to H 1 .x )2 dΩ < ∞ (2. such functions may be discontinuous. which is denoted H 1 (Ω).2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations The theory of which functions are allowed is discussed on more detail in the following advanced section.37) This says that the S is a collection of functions from H 1 (Ω) which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions (technically this is not a space if g = 0. Sobolev spaces are inﬁnite-dimensional. For multiple spatial dimensions. 2011 .36) are known as members of the Sobolev space on degree one. Functions for which: Ω (u)2 + (u. w| Γg = 0}. That is. It is useful to deﬁne function spaces. Consider ﬁrst a scalar problem in an n-dimensional domain Ω. functions which have square-integrable derivatives are of interest. 2. This is of crucial importance. (2. Importantly.2 January 21. which is deﬁned by: V = {w | w ∈ H 1 (Ω) . u| Γg = g}. an inﬁnite number of different functions belong to a given Sobolev space. Clearly. The notation u ∈ H 1 means that u comes from (is an element of) H 1 . When solving second-order differential equations.6 Deﬁnition of trial and weight function spaces There are certain mathematical requirements that must be met by the trial and weight functions for the weak form to ‘make sense’. The weight functions come from the space V (w ∈ V ). but this point is not important here). from which the trial and weight functions come.

a = b) 5.2 29 . Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2.39) V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) . where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 0). 4.) 2. (2.23) for elasticity using index notation. Show whether the following functions belong to H 1 on the given domain: a) b) c) d) u = 1/r on 1 < r < 2 u = 1/r on 0 < r < 2 √ u = 1/ r on 0 < r < 2 u = ax for x < 0 and u = bx for x > 0 on −1 < x < 1 (a and b are arbitrary constants. wi | Γg = 0}. ui | Γg = gi } and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V . is u a possible trial solution? January 21. For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices).7 Exercises 1.7 Exercises In multiple dimensions.40) Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method. (2. (Hint: use index notation. u ∈ S where S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) .2. 3. 2011 Version 0. Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r. prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. The Helmholtz equation is given by: ∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0 and is often used in wave propagation problems. Derive the weak form. 2. If the √ displacement ﬁeld was of the form u = a r (all derivatives of a exist and are well behaved and a is not dependent on r).

.

5) 31 .x dx + w h h| x= L = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . respectively. Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2. It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations. The Galerkin method is however more general. uh = L wh where B wh . uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions. the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh .4) L 0 h h w.x Eu. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2.2) (3. The essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation. It is closely related to the Rayleigh-Ritz method which involves choosing functions (a basis) for the solution and ﬁnding the amplitude of each function by minimising the energy. (3. For example. In a multidimensional context. as developed in the previous chapter. This means that there is a limited number of possibilities. the Galerkin problem involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that − Ω ∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ + Ω wh · b dΩ + Γh wh · h dΓ = 0 ∀wh ∈ V h (3.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that − L 0 h h w. where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space. (3.x Eu.23). and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions.1) where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin. Commonly. uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L . Furthermore.3 The Galerkin method The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. it is generic for a range of different problems. 3. being able to solve a greater range of problems.1 Approximate solution First. uh ∈ S h .3) This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact.x dx ∀w h ∈ V h (3. consider the approximate solution to some problem.

A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u.2 January 21. Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis. u − B wh . e = B wh . In the ﬁnite element method. piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’. this will be investigated using the abstract notation. This method is used for special applications. Inserting equation (3. For the one-dimensional problem.9) into equation (3. why it doesn’t work). uh and w h will be simple continuous.6) wh · b dΩ + Γh (3.10) Since u is the exact solution. the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3. This is examined in the following section.2 Basic error analysis It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution. the Bubnov-Galerkin method) requires that the weight and trial functions come from the same ﬁnite-dimensional space. often in ﬂuid mechanics.9) For generality. The error analysis will tell how the computed solution uh differs from the actual solution u and why the Galerkin method works (or for problems not considered here. u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented. B w h . Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h . B wh . 2011 . the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. this implies that: B wh . taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. B wh . u − B wh .2. uh = and L wh = Ω Ω ∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ wh · h dΓ.7) The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally. e − L wh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3.1).11) 32 Version 0. In the abstract notation of equation 3. The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3. uh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3.8) where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. (3.2).3 The Galerkin method where ǫ h = ∇s uh . 3. In Petrov-Galerkin method. which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis.

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

which in mathematical terms means that the error is orthogonal to the function space V h with respect to B (·, ·). This important result is commonly known as Galerkin orthogonality. This means that the approximate solution uh is a projection of the exact solution u onto the space of the weight functions. In the Bubnov-Galerkin, the weight functions w h come form the same space as the trial functions uh , hence the solution uh is the projection of the exact solution onto the ﬁnite dimensional space of trial functions. It can be shown that the Galerkin ﬁnite element method is optimal in terms of the energy. This error analysis tells something of what the Galerkin method calculates. Given some approximate functions, the Galerkin method will yield the best ﬁt to the exact solution in terms of energy. Consider the following: B u − uh + vh , u − uh + vh = B u − uh , u − uh + vh + B vh , u − uh + vh

= B u − uh , u − uh + 2B vh , u − uh + B vh , vh

(3.12)

for any vh ∈ V h , where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to the Galerkin problem. From Galerkin orthogonality (equation (3.11)), the term B(u − uh , vh ) is equal to zero. Furthermore, B(vh , vh ) ≥ 0. Denoting now w h = uh − vh , the above result leads to the conclusion that: B u − uh , u − uh ≤ B u − wh , u − wh

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.13)

This implies that the solution uh is closer to u than any other element of V h in terms of B (·, ·). Consider the ‘energy’ norm: v

2 E

= 1 B (v, v) 2

(3.14)

which for an elastic body is the strain energy for a given displacement ﬁeld v. Equation (3.13) can then be expressed as: u − uh

E

≤ u − wh

E

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.15)

which says that the solution computed using the Galerkin method yields a solution which is optimal in terms of the strain energy. Given a choice of functions, the Galerkin method therefore chooses those which minimise the error in terms of the strain energy. There is a close relationship between the Rayleigh-Ritz method and the Galerkin method. It has been shown that the Galerkin method minimises the error in terms of the energy, which is the principle behind the Rayleigh-Ritz method. For many problems in solid mechanics, the two are equivalent.

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

It has been shown here that the Galerkin method works. How well it works requires a priori error estimation. This is reserved for a later section as it relies on some details

January 21, 2011

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33

**3 The Galerkin method
**

of the ﬁnite element method. Crucially, convergence requires that:

h →0

lim uh = u

(3.16)

For ﬁnite element analysis, this corresponds to the exact solution being approached upon mesh reﬁnement. A major question which arises is how fast the exact solution is approached as h is reduced. Details of these procedures and more elaborate mathematical analysis of the issue considered in this chapter can be found in a range of books relating to the mathematics of the ﬁnite element method (Braess, 2001; Brenner and Scott, 1994; Reddy, 1998; Strang and Fix, 1973).

3.4 Exercises

1. For elasticity, show that a solution to the Galerkin problem corresponds to a minimisation of the potential energy.

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**4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
**

In this chapter, a key component of the ﬁnite element method is developed. This is the discretisation of the governing equations using ﬁnite element shape functions. The unknown ﬁeld uh (the displacement for elasticity problems) will be described using basis functions (the shape functions) and discrete nodal values which represent the amplitude of the basis functions. Discretisation is a step toward computer implementation. The terminology in this chapter relates primarily to elasticity problems. The developments are however general and the same procedure can be used to solve other problems.

**4.1 Finite element method with piecewise linear basis functions
**

The simplest ﬁnite element shape functions are continuous, piecewise linear functions. Consider the elastic bar in Figure 4.1, which is restrained at both ends and loaded by a distributed force f . Along the bar, a number of ‘nodes’ are located, and the domain between two nodes is known as an element. Associated with each node is a hat-like basis function which has a value of one at the node, and zero at all other

f

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

L Figure 4.1: One-dimensional bar.

35

6) for all possible values of wi . From this expression.x u j j =1 n dΩ = Ω ∑ Ni wi i =1 n f dΩ + Γh ∑ Ni.x E ∑ Nj.3) To develop the Galerkin problem. It is expressed using the same basis functions as the displacement ﬁeld. The basis function at node i. an expression is needed for the weight function w h .x dΩ = Ω w h f dΩ + Γh w h h dΓ ∀ wh ∈ V h . (4. the approximate displacement ﬁeld is given in terms of the shape functions and the approximate displacement at a ﬁnite number of points (nodes).5) and inserting the expression for the expressions for the approximate displacement ﬁeld and the weight function. h ǫh = u.x wi i =1 n h dΓ (4.x wi i =1 n E ∑ Nj. Given that wi is not a function of spatial position. is given by x x i −1 − x i −1 < x ≤ x i . ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni. discretised with n nodal points. In ﬁnite element analysis. For a one-dimensional bar. the strain ﬁeld can be computed easily by taking the derivative of the shape functions. x i − x i +1 − x i − x i +1 0 otherwise.4) Recalling the weak form for a one-dimensional elastic rod. i =1 n (4. i =1 n (4. Ω ∑ Ni.2) where ui is the value of the ﬁeld uh at node i. these basis functions are known as ‘shape functions’.7) 36 Version 0.x u j j =1 n dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. Hence. (4. hence wh = ∑ Ni wi . 2011 .x = dNi u. the approximate displacement ﬁeld uh is given by uh = ∑ Ni ( x) ui .1) where xi is the coordinate of node i.2 January 21. (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method nodes. dx i i =1 ∑ n (4. x i − x i −1 x i − x i −1 x i +1 x Ni = x i < x < x i +1 .x Eu. Ω h h w. it can be taken outside of the integrals.

and f = f i as the right-hand side (RHS) vector. while elements are lines (1D). u j can also be taken outside of the integrals.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions Likewise. Dirichlet boundary conditions must be enforced. and n unknowns in the form of ui ). A typical ﬁnite element mesh is shown in Figure 4.x dΩ (4.x dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. The problem has been divided into many quadrilateral elements.12) The matrix K = Kij is commonly known as the stiffness matrix. for each i ∑ uj j =1 n Ω Ni. A mesh divides a body into a number of elements. (4. A discussion of more general boundary conditions is delayed until the end of the chapter.x E Nj. Therefore.2. A simple ﬁnite element January 21.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions The concept introduced in the previous section can be extended to higher spatial dimensions and more complex shape functions.8) This equation must hold for all possible combinations of wi . where Kij = and fi = Ω Ω (4.2 37 . and the kth term is deleted from the vector f . and hence an expression for the approximate displacement ﬁeld along the rod. which can be expressed as the system of equations. 2011 Version 0. This yields n equations (one for each wi . Solving this linear system of equations provides u j . For the zero Dirichlet conditions.x E Nj. then the row and the column k is removed from the stiffness matrix. 4. It is useful to deﬁne shape functions on ﬁnite elements. surfaces (2D) or volumes (3D) which are constructed by joining nodal points.9) must hold. A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal points and elements.4.x dΩ = Ω Ni f dΩ + Γh Ni h dΓ (4. If a boundary condition is applied at node k. Nodes are points in space.x E Nj. this is relatively simple. ∑ wi ∑ u j i =1 j =1 n n Ω Ni.10) Ni. Consider the case that all but one wi is equal to zero.11) Nj f dΩ + Γh Nj h dΓ (4. Kij u j = f i . In order the solve the linear system. Matrices and vectors can be built for each element before being assembled into global matrices and vectors. Elements may not overlap.

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4. 7 8 5 7 8 6 38 Version 0.2: Typical two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh.2 January 21. 6 4 3 4 3 1 2 1 2 5 9 Figure 4.3: Simple two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh. 2011 .

13) January 21.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node. In Figure 4.1. the unknown (displacement) ﬁeld uh is discretised by developing a method in which the displacement at any point in a body is determined in terms of a discrete number of values which are stored at the nodes (known as degrees of freedom) and basis functions. as introduced in Section 4.3. linear one dimensional elements. Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4. the amplitude).2 39 .2.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 2 L x=0 Figure 4. The displacement ﬁeld inside the bar in terms of discrete nodal values and shape functions is given by: uh ( x ) = N1 ( x ) a1 + N2 ( x ) a2 . A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached. Having a compact support. denoted by the solid circles. Each element has three nodes. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions. For a node i. In the ﬁnite element method. the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. each multiplied by a nodal value. mesh is shown in Figure 4. As in the one-dimensional case. 4. Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i. Both nodes and elements are numbered. Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’. known as ﬁnite elements. are examined. is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes. The bar has two nodes. Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions. Ni . (4. and zero at all other nodes. the shape function associated with that node. 2011 Version 0.3. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections.4. the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node.4.

(4. the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae . The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems. the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element. 2011 . Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries.5.14) (4.15) x . The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence. The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position.18) The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae . dx dx 1 dx L L (4. in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae . where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 .16) with respect to x. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 . as its shape functions are linear polynomials.16) x + 1. Taking the derivative of equation (4. a2 (4. ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 . to solve a problem.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node). L This type of element is known as a linear element. Therefore. dx (4. L (4.22) (4. In matrix-vector notation. the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required. where N = N1 and ae = a1 . Now.2 January 21.21) The shape functions for two linear elements are shown in Figure 4.19) (4.17) In the case of a linear displacement interpolation. L L (4.20) N2 . the displacement and strain can be calculated in any part of the element. 40 Version 0. It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple.

2011 Version 0.25) The matrix N contains the element shape functions.5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements. The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae .23) Therefore. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant. 4.26) (4.6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements. i =1 3 (4. the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . (4.2. each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions. In two dimensions.. the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh = ∑ Ni (x) ai . . Nnn (4. More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 . For a one-dimensional quadratic element.27) January 21.2 41 . Higher-order elements simply have more nodes.2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions..2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 L1 L2 Figure 4. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic. obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear.. and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae .. linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element. Nnn 0 0 .24) and the B matrix has a similar form. Figure 4.4. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations. (4.

It is shown in Figure 4. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 .. 0 (4.. 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 .6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements.29) ae = . a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y . ann x ann y 42 Version 0. Its shape functions are of the form: The nodal degrees of freedom (normally one for each spatial dimension at each node for elasticity problems) are stored in a vector a. . (4.2 January 21. For a two-dimensional problem.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 1 1 1 1 2 3 quadratic shape functions 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 cubic shape functions Figure 4. ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle. . 2011 .28) B= 0 . ∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn . For two-dimensional problems.7.... where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element..

34) c3 x3 y3 1 0 January 21.1 Consider the element in Figure 4. (4. y2 ) Figure 4. N1 ( x2 . N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 .7.7: Three-node triangular element.4.32) (4. Consider node 1 in Figure 4. the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations. Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 . y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0. hence the strain in the element is constant.33) Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1.8: Shape function for a three-node element. y3 ) 3 1 2 ( x1 .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions ( x3 . (4. It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant. y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0.8. Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 .7.30) The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4. y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1. Figure 4. (4. 2011 Version 0. Example 4.31) (4. yi ) is the location of the ith node. N1 ( x3 . y1 ) ( x2 .2 43 . Given the following coordinates of each of where ( xi .

the N and B matrices can be formed. A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4.y N2. y2 ) = (4. a system of equations (see equation (4.x 0 N2.x 0 N3. the strain in this element is not constant. 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0. The shape functions for a six-node triangle are of the form: N = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 xy + c4 x + c5 y + c6 (4.34)) is formed. 2011 . ﬁnd the shape function for node 2. Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems. ( x1 . Unlike the three-node triangle. (4. 2) ( x2 . 1) ( x3 . 3) To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients.y A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral.x and the B matrix is of the form: N1.35) It is also know as a bilinear element.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method the nodes.10.2 January 21.x N2.25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations.y N3. A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4.9. The N matrix for this element is of the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 N3 0 0 N3 0 N3. the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2. Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated.y N1.x 0 N1. y1 ) = (1. y3 ) = (2.25y + 0.25x − 0. due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions.y 0 N2.y B= 0 N1.36) 44 Version 0. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 .x N3.

37) January 21. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior.14. = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1 (4. a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions. 2011 Version 0.15.4.2 45 . 2 x1 y2 1 y2 2 y2 3 y2 4 2 y5 y2 6 x1 y1 x2 y2 x3 y3 x4 y4 x5 y5 x6 y6 x1 x2 x3 x4 x5 x6 y1 y2 y3 y4 y5 y6 2 x2 2 x3 2 x4 x2 5 2 x6 Two shape functions for a six-node triangle are shown in Figure 4. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4.9: Four-node quadrilateral element.11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed. They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange. Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries. As with the three-node triangle.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element.12). Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 4 3 1 2 Figure 4. Figure 4.13. Linear. Each time the order of a triangle is increased. Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4. Note that serendipity 1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 . the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations.

. x3 y .. y y2 y3 y4 .11: Two shape functions for a six-node triangular element. x2 y x 2 y2 . 46 Version 0.. ..4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4. 2011 ... xy xy2 xy3 ..... Figure 4. Figure 4.. quadratic and cubic triangular elements. .13: Linear.2 January 21.. 1 x x2 x3 x4 ..12: Pascal triangle – polynomial terms for triangular elements of order n..

38) and for the nine-node Lagrange quadrilateral the shape functions have one extra term and are of the form: N = c1 x2 y2 + c2 x2 y + c3 xy2 + c4 x2 + c5 y2 + c6 xy + c7 x + c8 y + c9 . (4... . The shape functions for the eight-node serendipity quadrilateral have the form: N = c1 x2 y + c2 xy2 + c3 x2 + c4 y2 + c5 xy + c6 x + c7 y + c8 . 2011 Version 0... x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 . The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4. Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements.. elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms. Eight.and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis.. Figure 4.14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements. (4.4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions (a) (b) Figure 4.2 47 .. The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation.. y y2 y3 y4 . 1 x x2 x3 x4 . and are therefore not recommended.16.39) January 21.

Figure 4. The computational effort required for three-dimensional analysis can become high... The simplest brick element has eight nodes. (4.. Not only do the elements tend to have more nodes.2 January 21.17: Tetrahedral and brick three-dimensional ﬁnite elements.. . Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xyz + c2 xy + c3 xz + c4 yz + c5 x + c6 y + c7 z + c8 . They are of the form: N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 z + c4 . The numbers of nodes per element increases rapidly. (4.40) Similar to the three-node triangle. x3 y x 3 y2 x 3 y3 x2 y x 2 y2 x 2 y3 .. Figure 4.3 Three-dimensional elements Three-dimensional elements are increasingly used in engineering analysis. the derivatives of the shape functions are constant within an element.. wedge type elements are often used for generating meshes for complex geometries.41) This is known as a ‘trilinear element’. They can be formed in the same fashion as one. 2011 .16: Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements... Also..2. Commonly used shapes are tetrahedra and bricks.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 1 x x2 x3 . A four-node tetrahedral element has linear shape functions.. . xy xy2 xy3 . they often have more degrees of freedom per node. 4.. y y2 y3 . Higher-order version of both tetrahedral and brick elements also exist. These two elements are shown in Figure 4.and two-dimensional elements.17. 48 Version 0..

The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh .3 Governing equations At this point.45) The be terms appear on both sides of the equality. l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = Γh.1)) is considered.18: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 . (4.42) (4. Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4.e N T h dΓ.4. (4.e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary Γh . 1989) 4. The three-dimensional equivalent of a Pascal triangle can be used to ﬁnd the polynomial terms for higher-order three-dimensional elements (Zienkiewicz and Taylor. wh = Nbe .18).44) where the integral over Γh.e N T h dΓ. and can therefore be eliminated. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as: l2 l1 ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh. 2011 Version 0. Therefore.43) ∇ w = Bbe .e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ. (4.3 Governing equations x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L Figure 4.2 49 . for the multi-dimensional case within an element. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals. What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation. Now. s h where the notation has been ‘abused’ as ∇s wh is being expressed as a vector (recall that this is possible due to symmetry). it is known how the displacement and the displacement gradient at a point in space can be expressed in terms of the nodal variables (degrees of freedom).46) January 21. which after some rearranging (using ( Ac) T = c T A T ) leads to: be T l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = be T Γh. (4. the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3.

2 January 21.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The term ke = l2 l1 B T EB dΩ (4. An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions. 2011 .49) Ωe Γh. as is discussed in the following section. irrespective of the exact shape of the element. The shape functions are formed for a simple element conﬁguration (typically elements with unit length side and with sides aligned with the coordinate system and with a convenient origin).47) is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’. From the point of view of implementation. Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K. (4. the point ( x. This approach has a number of advantages. For a two dimensional problem. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. For an element stiffness matrix. it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element. 4.51) where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. This yields: Ωe ( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ = Γh.4 Isoparametric mapping In practice. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke . y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian 50 Version 0. and similarly for J. The component k ij is added to the location K I J . the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3.e Ωe Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. local node i has global node number I.48) (recall that b denotes the body force). In the global mesh. the term k ij relates local nodes i and j. isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software. e= (4. e= f = Ane 1 f e .50) (4.5). A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ + Ωe ( Nbe ) T b dΩ (4. It also allows the simple application of numerical integration. the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ. For a continuum elasticity problem. Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem.

The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4.−1) x 1 ξ Figure 4.53) The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates.1) 2 4 4 3 η ξ 1 (−1. To proceed. In the governing weak equations. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ.2 51 . η ) in the bi-unit square. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates.1) (1. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates. i =1 (4. ξ and η. such as the bi-unit square. η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’. Using an isoparametric mapping. and nn is number of nodes of the element. η ) yi .52) ∑ Ni (ξ.4 Isoparametric mapping x 3 (−1. The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ. i =1 nn i =1 (4. taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x.4. y) system. η ) xi . 2011 Version 0. conﬁguration is given by: nn x= y= ∑ Ni (ξ. shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes. where (ξ.−1) y 2 (1. derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required.19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square.19. consider the application of the product rule for differentia- January 21. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by: nn uh = ∑ Ni (ξ. η ) aix . η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x. The map ξ is the inverse of x.

η y j = .56) where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix. the terms in the matrix J can be computed. (4.ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52 Version 0. ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method tion for a function f .52)). ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.58) In light of the isoparametric mapping (equation (4. ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = .55) (4.59) Once terms of the matrix J have been formed.ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj. from equation (4.2 January 21. ∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .57) the derivatives of the shape function of node i with respect to x and y can be computed.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η J where j = det J. ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y J (4. deﬁned in terms of ξ and η.54) (4. (4. ∂η ∂η i i =1 (4. ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y. nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x. ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y.η x j ∑nn1 Nj. (4. Using the shape function. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian. ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = .60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj. 2011 .

1) 3 3 6 5 2 1 (0. The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r. a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. 1987). Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates.61) Similar formulae can be found for eight. 1996. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ. once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain. Hughes. s and t. This way. A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements. Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements.20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates.0) (1. they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4. While this procedure may seen complex.1) s (0. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion. The latter approach is followed here.0) r 1 (0.and nine-node elements (Hughes. 1987). Now. (4. and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element. 2011 Version 0.0) 4 2 (1. Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple. 4 (4.2 53 .0) r Figure 4.20. where: t = 1 − r − s. η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) .4 Isoparametric mapping s (0. Consider the triangle in Figure 4.4.19.62) January 21.

63) (4. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4. (4. consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ = 1 1 Ωe −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη. It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements).64) (4. 2011 . N2 = 2r − r. 1987. 4. To do this. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered.65) Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4. N5 = 4rs. Numerical integration is illustrated in Figure 4. (4. s and t on triangles (Hughes. η ) domain. Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t. For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1.20 are then: N1 = t. the problem is not yet fully discrete. 1 nint −1 f (ξ ) dξ ≃ ∑ f ( ξ i ) wi . numerical integration is applied. Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point.5 Numerical integration At this stage. N3 = s.3). (4. (4.67) i =1 where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain. it convenient to integrate in the (ξ.68) 54 Version 0.66) N3 = 2s2 − s. N6 = 4st. For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element. To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation). While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised. 2 N4 = 4rt.2 January 21.21. p. There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r. Before proceeding to the element matrices. then the mid-side nodes. N2 = r. 166).4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4. nint is the number of discrete points (integration points) at which the function is evaluated and wi is the weight asnint signed to each point ∑i=1 wi = 2 .20. To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element.

Most commonly in ﬁnite element analysis. The integrand of the stiffness matrix is B T DB. Application of numerical integration leads to: 1 1 −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη ≃ ∑ B (ξ i . in multiple dimensions Gauss integration is not necessarily the most efﬁcient scheme.2. if the shape functions are linear. ηi ). the one-dimensional scheme can be extended in each spatial direction. Note the appearance of the determinant of the Jacobian.4. (4. Optimal means that to integrate a polynomial exactly. The location and weights for Gauss integration in one dimension for up to three points are given in Table 4. Full integration means that the stiffness matrix is integrated exactly (assuming j = constant).21: Numerical integration of the function f . The question that arises in ﬁnite element analysis is: How many integration points should be used? Generally.5 Numerical integration f −1 ξ1 ξ2 ξ3 ξ4 1 ξ Figure 4. The sampling points and weights are listed in Table 4. two and three dimensions). However. 2011 Version 0. ηi ) i n wi . B contains linear terms. Gauss quadrature is the optimal numerical integration scheme for polynomials in one dimension. If the shape functions are quadratic. To perform the numerical integration of the element stiffness matrix. ηi ) is the usual B matrix. the terms in B are constant and the stiffness matrix is also constant throughout the element. one integration point is sufﬁcient (in one. Therefore. Importantly. Therefore. the last remaining issue is the selection of an appropriate integration scheme. A Newton-Cotes scheme uses equally spaced integration points.69) Note that B (ξ i . which when squared give a January 21. ηi ) j (ξ i . (n + 1) integration points are required when using a Newton-Cotes scheme to integrate an nth-order polynomial.1. full integration schemes are recommended for their robustness.2 55 . For multi-dimensional problems. Gauss integration is used. where B contains derivatives of the shape functions. Three points integrate as 5th order polynomial exactly in one dimension. This is due to dx dy = j dξ dη (the substitution rule for integration has been applied). For a (2n − 1)th-order polynomial. It is also known as ‘Gauss quadrature’. Gauss integration requires n points to integrate the polynomial exactly. containing derivatives of the shape functions with respect to x and y. it requires the least number of points. This is simple when using isoparametric elements. j. evaluated at the point (ξ i . ηi )T DB (ξ i .

2: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.2 January 21.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 1 weight wi 2 1 1 1 3 4 3 1 3 1 4 3 4 3 4 1 4 3 −1 0 1 4 −1 − 1 3 1 3 1 Table 4. 56 Version 0. n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 −√ 3 1 √ 3 3 − 5 0 3 5 weight wi 2 1 1 5 9 8 9 5 9 3 Table 4.1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1. 1]. 2011 . 1].

If a two-dimensional element has more than three zero eigenvalues. The number of zero eigenvalues indicates the number of rigid body modes .modes which do not contribute to the energy. quadratic variation.and twodimensional elements are shown in Table 4. Non-zero Dirichlet boundary conditions are more complicated to enforce. Reduced integration schemes can improve the performance of some elements for special applications. two relating the translation (x and y directions) and one for rigid body rotation. The four-node quadrilateral element requires 2 × 2 points for full integration. 4.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions Figure 4. although a 2 × 2 scheme is often used. For some applications it may be advantageous to use reduced integration schemes in combination with particular elements. Figure 4. In summary. there is likely a deﬁciency in the formulation. there should be only three zero eigenvalues. 2011 Version 0. The danger of underintegrating elements is that spurious modes may arise. January 21. two points are required in each direction. They appear naturally in the weak formulation (hence the common name ‘natural boundary conditions’).2 57 . In two dimensions. To integrate a quadratic function in two dimensions.4. recommended integration schemes for commonly used one. although it is safer to use full integration.22 shows the classic ‘hour-glass’ spurious mode for an eight-node quadrilateral when using reduced 2 × 2 integration. In solid and structural mechanics. Similarly. A test for the element stiffness matrix is to calculate its eigenvalues. In the Galerkin method. This deformation mode can develop in an uncontrolled fashion.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions The imposition of Neumann (force) boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method is straightforward. This means that a deformation mode exists which does not contribute to the energy.22: Spurious zero energy mode for the eight-node quadrilateral element when using 2 × 2 integration. It is often argued that a zero energy mode will be restrained by neighbouring elements. there should only be one zero eigenvalue which corresponds to translation. although it is often integrated with just one point. In one dimension.3. the eight-node quadrilateral requires 3 × 3 points for full integration. the trial functions (uh ) must satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions.

58 Version 0.2 January 21. 2011 .3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method element two-node bar three-node bar integration scheme 1 2 three-node triangle (T3) 1 six-node triangle (T6) or 3 four-node quadrilateral (Q4) 2×2 eight-node quadrilateral(Q8) 3×3 Table 4.

2011 Version 0. It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v . ij j (4. January 21.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions this means that the uh must satisfy the prescribed displacements where they are speciﬁed.73) where av is the only unknown. 4.72) Since g is known. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed. Classical enforcement of Dirichlet boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method relies on the property of the shape functions that they are non-zero at their own node and equal to zero at all other nodes. vv vg In terms of indexes. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector.mod = f ie − nn (4.1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh .2 59 .75) Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed.4.74) j =1 ∑ ke ge . 0 (4.6. (4. Two common approached are outlined below. The advantages of this approach are that degrees of freedom to which Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied do not appear in the global stiffness matrix and symmetries which may be present in the stiffness matrix are preserved.70) where uh is the displacement. ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv fg . ke av = f e − ke g.71) where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. In discretised form at element level. vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. vv vg (4. and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions. (4. Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. f ie. Since g is known. the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector. ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv . it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved.

2 Retention of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom A simpler approach to imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions is to set all terms on the row of the stiffness matrix corresponding to a node where a Dirichlet boundary condition is applied (row k) equal to zero. 2011 . The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2. symmetry is lost. which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. Show why this is. The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k. 4. Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5.6. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart). the difference equation for the second derivative is: d2 u dx2 = i 2ui+1 2ui−1 2ui + − h j h j +1 h j h j + h j +1 h j +1 h j + h j +1 Comment on the symmetry of the operators for ﬁnite elements and ﬁnite differences on unequally spaced grid. For a plane elasticity problem. except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. modern iterative linear solvers can deal with the consequences of boundary conditions being applied in this fashion is a very efﬁcient manner (Ern and Guermond.2 January 21. compare the matrix K for the ﬁnite element method with linear elements and for the secondorder central ﬁnite difference method. and that the value of the Dirichlet boundary condition is returned in the solution vector which simpliﬁes postprocessing. 4. A disadvantage is that the size of the system of equations to be solved is larger than when the extra degrees of freedom are eliminated (but only marginally so in a typical simulation) and if the stiffness matrix is symmetric before the imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions. The second-order ﬁnite difference equation for the second derivative is: d2 u dx2 = i ui−1 − 2ui + ui+1 h2 For unequally spaced nodes.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. 2004). Consider the Laplace equation. 60 Version 0. Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3. However. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f .7 Exercises 1. The three-node triangle element is often referred to as the ‘constant strain triangle’ (CST).

7 Exercises 6.4.2.7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 4. 8. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance. 7. 2011 Version 0. Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4. Form the stiffness matrix for a four-node quadrilateral on a bi-unit square. Calculate and plot the shape functions for the eight-node quadrilateral element on a bi-unit square. January 21. Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration.2 61 .1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0.

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Note: Code examples in the chapter does not reﬂect the structure of the current version of the Matlab code used in CT5123. It is illustrated with schematic extracts of computer code. A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal coordinates and a connectivity. 5.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method This chapter addresses practical aspects of implementing the ﬁnite element method. 63 . For problems typically analysed using the ﬁnite element method. Figure 5. often a mesh generator is included. The generated mesh ﬁles serve as input for a ﬁnite element program. One of the strengths of the ﬁnite element method is the efﬁciency with which it can be implemented in a computer code.3 3 4 3 2 5 4 9 8 2 1 6 7 1 Figure 5. This chapter describes how the ﬁnite element method can be implemented in a computer code. this can be done by hand. The notation used in this chapter follows as closely as possible the notation used in the accompanying Matlab code. To this point. This step involves generating a ﬁnite element mesh.1: Finite element mesh with elements and nodes numbered. a mesh is too complicated to produce by hand. For simple problems with only a few elements. Also shown are the applied boundary conditions (both prescribed displacements and the applied force).1 shows a simple ﬁnite element mesh of four-noded quadrilaterals. A typical input ﬁle containing F= 5. In large ﬁnite element software packages. the underlying theory has been addressed and the discretised formulation for individual elements discussed.1 Preprocessing The ﬁrst step in ﬁnite element analysis is known as preprocessing. Both nodes and elements have been numbered. Mesh generation programs exist which produce meshes suitable for ﬁnite element analysis.

5 0.8 2.76 2.82 1. the node numbers are listed.4 gives the applied boundary condition.0 0.0 0. the is Young’s modulus.1 is given in Figure 5.3. 2011 .1 2. The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness).0 1.2: Nodal coordinates. For each element. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed.3: Element connectivity. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions. In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity. the x and y coordinate is given. The third column gives the degree-of-freedom to which the boundary condition is applied (dof=1 represents the x-direction and dof=2 represents the y-direction). The list in Figure 5. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems 64 Version 0. First.7 0.1 y 0.0 2. % element 1 2 3 4 node1 2 3 9 5 node 2 1 2 4 6 node 3 6 5 5 7 node 4 5 4 8 8 Figure 5. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis.2 January 21.0 0. The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition. the calculation phase can begin. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement.0 Figure 5. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0.2.0 0. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data.1 2. The connectivity list for Figure 5. The problem in Figure 5. For each node. The list can begin with any node of the element. 5. the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5.6 0.2 Program ﬂow Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared.5 2.0 0.

5.3 Local-global

% node 1 1 2 3 9 bc type 1 1 1 1 0 dof 1 2 1 1 1 value 0 0 0 0.0 5.3

Figure 5.4: Speciﬁcation of boundary conditions. is shown in Figure 5.5. It begins with reading the input data from the preprocessing stage. Once the input data has been read, each degree of freedom at which no Dirichlet boundary condition is applied is given an equation number. This is stored in an array ID(node#,dof#) (see Figure 5.6). For degrees of freedom where a Dirichlet boundarycondition is applied, ID=0. Degrees of freedom where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied do not appear in the stiffness matrix. Hence, for the problem in Figure 5.1 the size of stiffness matrix is 14 × 14. After the number of equations has been determined, it is then possible to allocate the memory required for the calculation. Once the memory has been allocated, it is possible to start a major element of the analysis – the calculation of the element stiffness matrix and element RHS. For each element, the element stiffness matrix ke is formed and added into the global stiffness matrix K. Similarly, the element RHS vector f e for each element is formed and added into the global RHS vector f . If a Dirichlet boundary condition is applied to a degree of freedom (or degrees of freedom) of the element, the RHS vector is modiﬁed to impose the boundary condition. The element RHS vector is also assembled into the global RHS vector. After looping over all the elements and forming the stiffness matrix and RHS vector, Neumann boundary conditions are added into the RHS vector. The second major step is the solution of the system of equations: Ka = f . Various methods can be used to do this. The best method depends on the nature of the problem and its size. This aspect is discussed in Chapter 8. After the system of equations has been solved, the displacement can be calculated at any point in the body. For large problems, the amount of data can be immense. This data requires post-processing to interpret the data and to extract the desired information.

5.3 Local-global

A key to implementing the ﬁnite element method is the local-global relationship between nodes. All nodes in a mesh have a global number. Locally, for each element, each node of the element has a local number. The global node numbers can be seen in Figure 5.1. From the connectivity (Figure 5.3), the relationship between the local and global node numbers can be inferred for each element. Consider element 3

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5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method

% start program % read input data read_nodes read_connectivity read_boundary_conditions read_material_data % number equations number_equations % setup memory allocation memory_allocate % loop over elements for i=1:number_elements local_arrays % copy global to local arrays element_form % form stiffness matrix k_e and f_e for element assemble_K % add element stiffness matrix into K apply_dirichlet_bc % modify f_e for Dirichlet boundary conditions assemble_f end % add element RHS into global RHS

% apply Neumann boundary conditions apply_neumann_bc % solve system Ku = f u = K\f % post-process results calculate_stress plot_displacements % end program

Figure 5.5: Finite element program ﬂow for a linear problem.

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5.3 Local-global

ID(1,1) ID(2,1) ID(3,1) ID(4,1) ID(5,1) ID(6,1) ID(7,1) ID(8,1) ID(9,1) = = = = = = = = = 0 0 0 3 5 7 9 11 13 ID(1,2) ID(2,2) ID(3,2) ID(4,2) ID(5,2) ID(6,2) ID(7,2) ID(8,2) ID(9,2) = = = = = = = = = 0 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

**Figure 5.6: Equation numbering.
**

2(4) 1(9)

4(8) 3 (5)

Figure 5.7: Global/local numbering of element 3. The global node number is shown in brackets. in Figure 5.1. For element three, the local and global node numbers are shown in Figure 5.7. An array (matrix) connect(element#,local node#) contains the connectivity data which is in Figure 5.3. For example, connect(3,1) = 9, connect(3,2) = 4, connect(3,3) = 5, connect(3,4) = 8. Before forming the element i, information speciﬁc to that element is copied from the global arrays containing nodal positions, displacements at nodes and any other relevant information to smaller local arrays for the element. An example piece of code is shown in Figure 5.8 for copy elements of the global arrays to the local element arrays. Once the local arrays have been assembled for element i, its stiffness matrix can be formed. A simple function to form the stiffness matrix and RHS vector of an element is shown Figure 5.9. The process is repeated for every element in the mesh. Once the stiffness matrix has been calculated for an element, it is possible to impose Dirichlet boundary conditions by modifying the element RHS vector f e . The process is shown in Figure 5.10. After the stiffness matrix and RHS vector has been formed for an element and the RHS vector has been modiﬁed for any Dirichlet boundary conditions, the element stiffness matrix and RHS vector is added into the global stiffness matrix and global RHS vector. This process relies on indexing between local degrees of freedom and their global equation number. An example piece of code is given in Figure 5.11. Note that degrees of freedom where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied are not assembled into the global arrays.

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9: Formation of element stiffness matrix.dof_per_node + k if ID(connect(i.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % setup local arrays for element i for j=1:nodes_per_element % loop over each node x_e(j.j).k) ~= 0 a_e(jj) = a( ID(connect(i. 68 Version 0.8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i. 2011 .j).:) % copy nodal postions % copy displacements from global to local array for k=1:dof_per_node % loop over each degree of freedom jj = j*dof_per_node .j).:) = x(connect(i. % form element stiffness matrix ip_scheme % determine integration scheme for i=1:number_ip_points % loop over integration points ip_location % calculate position of integration point shape_function % evaluate shape functions at integration point form_B_matrix form_D_matrix k_e = k_e + B’*D*B*w(i)*xj(i) % add contribution of ip to k_e f_e = f_e + N’*b*w(i)*xj(i) % add contribution of ip to f_e if postprocess == true % if stress is required stress(i) = D*B*a_e end end % return to main program Figure 5. k) ) else a_e(jj) = g_e(jj) % displacement is prescribed end end end % return to main program Figure 5.2 January 21.

j).k_e(:.l).10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions. % assemble k_e and f_e for element i into K and f for j=1:nodes_per_element for k=1:dof_per_node ii = ID(connect(i.jj) = K(ii.dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.2 69 .i)*g_e(i) end % return to main program Figure 5. m) ll = l*dof_per_node .ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program Figure 5. January 21. 2011 Version 0.11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays.jj) + k_e(kk.5.3 Local-global % impose Dirichlet boundary conditions for i=1:nodes_per_element*dof_per_node f_e(:) = f_e(:) .dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii. k) kk = j*dof_per_node .

and hence the computational time.12 represents graphically the structure of the stiffness matrix for a problem involving 700 four-noded quadrilateral elements. This essentially requires that the node numbers of nodes which are close to each should also be close.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method 0 500 1000 1500 0 500 1000 1500 Figure 5. only 23 638 entries are non-zero (1% of the total matrix elements). 2011 . For this method to be efﬁcient. Figure 5. Non-zero terms are marked by a dot.2 January 21. or have the option to relabel nodes to minimise the stiffness matrix bandwidth.12: Graphical representation of a stiffness matrix 5. The dimension of the matrix is 1530 × 1530 (giving a total of 2 340 900 entries). Yet further savings can be achieved by taking into account symmetry of the stiffness matrix. the mesh must be constructed in an ‘optimal’ fashion to minimise the bandwidth of the stiffness matrix. The stiffness matrix in Figure 5. This is relatively small for a ﬁnite element analysis. Many ﬁnite element programs store the stiffness matrix in a skyline format. solvers are implemented such that operations are not performed on non-zero terms which reduces the number of ﬂoating point operations required. However. Typically.4 Stiﬀness matrix storage A feature of the ﬁnite element method is that the stiffness matrix is sparse. signiﬁcantly. as all non-zero terms are close to the diagonal which minimises the bandwidth. Assuming double precision storage. 70 Version 0. mesh generation programs will label nodes optimally. both in terms of memory and computational time. storing the whole matrix would require almost 18 megabytes of memory. Taking advantage of the sparse nature of the stiffness matrix yields signiﬁcant computational savings. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zeros. Storing only the non zero terms requires on 283 kilobytes of memory! In addition.12 is well-numbered.

post-processing of the data is required.2 71 . the internal force vector should be zero where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. For static problems. It is important to realise that the stress computed at a point is not always reliable. This means that the body is in equilibrium. it gives the reaction force at each node.5 Post-processing 5. stresses and reaction forces. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int . 2011 Version 0.1) Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. The internal force vector for an element is given by: int fe = Ωe B T σ dΩ + Ωe N T b dΩ (5. Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements. More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.5. January 21. including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied).5 Post-processing After a calculation has been completed.

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They are used in situations where conventional solid elements perform poorly with a practicably allowable number of elements. Hence. The use of truss elements in a two. the strong governing equations involve fourth-order derivatives. Their governing equations derive from the governing equation of elastostatics. This has serious consequences for the shape functions which can be employed.and y-directions. Examples are beam. or in situations where they provide a higher degree of accuracy (in terms of the quantity of interest) than plane elements for the same computational effort. It is however possible to assemble this element into a truss structure in two or three dimensions.1. with simpliﬁcations and assumptions which are applicable for common structural problems. Consider the truss element in Figure 6.1: Two-dimensional truss structure.2. a one-dimensional rod element was developed that could only transmit normal forces.or three dimensional structure relies upon a rotation between different coordinate systems. These elements are derived from different governing equations. The most convenient system is one in which the axis of the truss element is aligned with the x coordinate axis. Each element is rotated to a convenient coordinate system. A particular problem is that classical thin bending problems in structural mechanics are governed by fourth-order equations. The formulation of structural elements tends to be more complex than continuum elements. Joints (nodes) of the truss can translate in both the x. a ﬁnite element model will require two degrees of freedom at each node. A simple two-dimensional truss structure is shown in Figure 6. plate and shell elements. which is oriented in the three-dimensional space. in contrast to continuum elasticity problems which involve only second-order derivatives. which are closely related to classical equations from structural mechanics. 73 . For a truss structure in F Figure 6.1 Rod elements in space In Chapter 4. That is. 6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Special ﬁnite elements are often used in structural mechanics.

1) The vector ae holds the displacement components at the nodes of an element.3) = a2x⋆ 0 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2y a⋆ = e a1x⋆ a2x⋆ .and y⋆ -directions are given by: Q Q21 0 0 a1x a1x⋆ ⋆ 11 a1y Q Q22 0 0 a1y = 12 . Therefore. (6. The displacement components can be rotated using the matrix Q (see section 1. The only displacement of any consequence for an element is in the x ⋆ -direction.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Fx* x* y* y z* z x Figure 6.2 January 21. the rotation is particularly simple. three dimensions. Denoting the angle between the x-axis and the x ⋆ -axis as θ. a node will have three degrees of freedom. (6. The displacements at nodes one and two. the above problem can be reduced to give: a1x a1y a1x⋆ Q11 Q21 0 0 . Since truss elements are based on the assumption that only normal forces (σx⋆ ) can be transmitted. (6. the vector ae has four components (a component in the x and y direction at each node).1) to give the nodal displacements in terms of the coordinate system aligned with the axis of the truss element. two degrees of freedom.4) The following deﬁnitions are now adopted: 74 Version 0.2) 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2x⋆ 0 ⋆ 0 0 Q12 Q22 a2y a2y where Qij are components of the matrix Q. Given that the only displacements of interest are the in x ⋆ -direction. of a linear bar. For a two dimensional truss structure. and in two dimensions. in the x ⋆ .2: Linear truss element in three-dimensional space. displacements in the y⋆ -direction are not resisted by an element. 2011 . the rotation matrix has the form: QT = cos θ − sin θ sin θ cos θ (6.

5) The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae .6) where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4. e (6. It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism.x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆ (6. Inserting the relationships in equations (6.7) and (6.8) (recall that be is a variation). and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global. Clearly. and eliminating be . Q21 (6.19) for a linear element). the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed.6. the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom.1 Rod elements in space and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 . (6.7) Similarly. Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar. h w.8) into the weak governing equation (2. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ.9) is the stiffness matrix. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar. 2011 Version 0. A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure.9) where the LHS of equation (6. multidimensional coordinate system.2 75 .10) Ωe This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q. The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by: h ǫh⋆ = u. where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar. January 21. (6.12).x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae (6. Ωe ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh ( Nbe ) T h dΓ.

The outward normal is denoted n.3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 . Figure 6.2 January 21. x2 ). The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed. and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 . x2 ). there are no out-of plane forces or moments.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2 Figure 6. which is valid for relatively slender beams. 6.4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment. 6. is denoted Ω = ( x1 . which takes into account shear deformations. straight. v. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam.1 Kinematics of a beam Beam theory is based upon the assumption that planes which are normal to the beam’s axis remain plane. in-plane beams are considered.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6. Consistent with previous sections. The second is the Timoshenko beam.2.3. The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements. the ‘domain’ of the beam. For simplicity. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam 76 Version 0.x y x Figure 6. For a transverse displacement v. 2011 .x v.2 Beams Two types of beams are considered in this section.

It is clear from Figure 6. In the second method.11) − h/2 σxx y dy. where n is the outward unit normal vector.6.13) Figure 6. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1. the ﬁbre will not rotate. as illustrated in Figure 6. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear.12) and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q= h/2 − h/2 σxy dy.2. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation. equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly.6.5. which will be followed here. (6. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam. 2011 Version 0. 6.x − γ.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam. (6. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m= h/2 (6. which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis.x y x Figure 6. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated.2 Beams γ v.6 that θ = v. Note that M = m n and Q = q n.2 77 . it is clear January 21.2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear.

2011 .2 January 21.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γ θ v.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant.x y x Figure 6. +Q n y n +M x Figure 6. 78 Version 0.

(6.15) Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam. Ω (q. (6.x dΩ + f y dΩ = 0. Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅. Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅ + f y ) x dΩ = (6.6. it is clear that Ω Ω q.20a) (6.21a) (6. (6. translational equilibrium requires that q.x + f y = 0.2 Beams that: q n dΓ + dΩ dΩ Ω f y dΩ = 0. distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6.x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0. on ΓQ . on ΓM . The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ.16) dΩ dΩ Ω This expression can be rearranged such that m.17) (6. on Γθ . therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m.x Ω Ω Ω Ω (6.20b) Denoting applied end forces Fy .3).x − q = 0. January 21.21c) (6. For rotational equilibrium. 2011 Version 0.21d) These equations. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv . (6. and boundary conditions. it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0.18) Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0. are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories.21b) (6.14) Noting that q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 . Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ.2 79 .19) (6.x dΩ − q dΩ − q.

21c) and (6. dx4 (6. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero.27) 80 Version 0.22) which also implies that κ= (6. the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed. − EI d4 v + f y = 0.24).16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0.3 Bernoulli-Euler beam A fundamental assumption in the Bernoulli-Euler theory is that a plane which is initially normal to the longitudinal axis remains a plane and normal to the longitudinal axis.2 January 21. (6. from an appropriately deﬁned space. dx2 (6.26) which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam.21a) and (6. θ= dv . dx d2 v . Multiplying equation (6.21b)).6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6. dx2 (6.19) with respect to x. which is equal to zero where Dirichlet (kinematic) boundary conditions are applied (the bar is used in this section to denote a weight function) and integration over the beam Ω yields: Ω ¯ vm. dx2 d2 v . The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions.25) by a weight function v. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved. Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6. two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam. Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2.23) The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6.21d)). With appropriate boundary conditions. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v. 2011 .24) where I is the moment of inertia of the beam. Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6.25) Assuming EI to be constant. Being a fourth-order equation. and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6.xx dΩ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.2. and then inserting equation (6.

(6. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6. (6. has second-order derivatives in its weak form. v = gv on Γv .xx (6. it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work. which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist. For completeness.x . it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’. (6.21d). For the weak form to ‘make sense’.28) Applying integrating by parts again.xx EIv.32a) (6.2 Beams Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields: − Ω ¯ v.1. which contains functions satisfying: Ω v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞.x = gθ on Γθ . This is in contrast to second-order problems.6. the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.30) gives: Ω (6. which require C0 continuity only. The existence of second-order derivatives in the weak form deserves some special attention.30) where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.29) Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6. v = 0 on Γv . continuity) than for classical continuum problems.x T dΓ + ΓQ δvFy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6. January 21. The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv . ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .32b) For the case of an elastic continuum.x mn dΓ + Γ ¯ vm.xx m dΩ − Γ ¯ v. ¯ Ω v.x m. after integrating by parts twice. Note that a fourth-order problem.24). Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6. v. .34) which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam.31) In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vFy dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀v ∈ V . and v.xx dΩ − ΓM ¯ v.21c) and (6. the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by: S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .x = 0 on Γθ . this time to the term Ω ¯ v.x m.xx EIv.x dΩ + Γ ¯ vm.xx dΩ = − ΓM δv.x = 0 on Γθ . Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω).2 81 .x dΩ.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. Consistency of the above weak form can be proven following the same procedure as in in Section 2. (6.33) δv. 2011 Version 0.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that − Ω ¯ v. v.

the problem is complete. in Ω. dx (6. q = GAs γ = GAs (6. Recall from equation (6. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6. 2011 .35) where γ is the rotation due to shear. and the second for the displacement v. Planes must remain plane.37) dv −θ . (6. Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions.36) where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area. but not necessarily normal. GAS (6. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam.19) and (6. an additional unknown.40) + fy = 0 which are two coupled second-order equations. 82 Version 0.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx − EI GAs =0 in Ω. has been introduced. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6. Relative to the Bernoulli-Euler theory. Timoshenko beam theory does not rely on the assumption that a plane which is initially normal to the longitudinal axis remains normal to the longitudinal axis.2 January 21. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ. dx (6.39) (6.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation.19) and (6.2.38) and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ. and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q . This means that shear deformations can be taken into account.11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6. the shear strain γ.

2011 Version 0.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation.x n dΓ − Γ Ω ¯ θGAs (v.x GAs (v.47) For many mechanical problems.xx EIv. 6. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts.x − θ ) dΩ = 0. − Ω Ω ¯ θEIθ.45) (6. adding the weak forms in equations (6. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition.x − θ ) n x dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. Applying integration by parts once.41) (6. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v.45) and (6. and then inserting the Neumann boundary conditions yields the weak problem for a Timoshenko beam of: ﬁnd v ∈ Sv and θ ∈ Sθ such that Ω ¯ θ. − Ω δκ m dΩ + Ω δγ q dΩ = − ΓM δθ T dΓ + ΓQ δv Fy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vFy dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 A more precise deﬁnition of the necessary functions spaces should be provided to ¯ complete the problem. ¯ ¯ As before. and using γ = v.39) and (6. The test and trial functions should be at least C0 continuous (in contrast to the C1 continuity for the Bernoulli-Euler theory). and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vGAs (v.x EIθ.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vh Fy dΓ + Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6.x EIθ.40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v. Ω (6.48) January 21.x dΩ − Ω Ω Γ ¯ θEIθ. and v = 0 on Γv .2 83 .x ) dΩ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. (6.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.x dΩ − Ω Ω ¯ θGAs (v.x − θ ) dΩ + ΓQ ΓM Ω ¯ θT dΓ = 0.44) − ¯ v.43) (6. ¯ θ.x GAs (v.xx dΩ − Ω ¯ θGAs (v.xx − θ.5 Finite element formulations form beams Euler beams A Galerkin problem for a Bernoulli-Euler beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ S h such that: Ω h ¯h v.xx dΩ = − ΓM ¯h v. As with all problems.6. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model.46) − ¯ v. ¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv .2 Beams Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6.x − θ.2. Ω (6.42) ¯ vGAs (v.

50a) h3 ( x − x1 )2 ( h + 2 ( x2 − x )) N2 = (6.x M1. 2011 .49) where vi and θi are degrees of freedom associated with node i. This results in a cubic interpolation of the displacement along the element. Such shape functions can be constructed relatively easily in one dimension (the extension to multiple dimensions is however far from trivial). Hermitian polynomials are C1 functions.x M2. A Hermitian beam element with two nodes has four degrees of freedom (two displacement degrees of freedom and two rotation degrees of freedom).52) v. and involve both displacement and rotational degrees of freedom.51) v = Nae = N1 M1 N2 M2 v2 θ2 N1 = It is necessary to compute both the ﬁrst and second derivatives of v with respect to x. However.50d) h2 for an element of length h with ends from x1 to x2 (x2 > x1 ). The problem that arises is that simple C0 ﬁnite element shape functions are not suitable.50c) M1 = h2 ( x − x1 )2 ( x − x2 ) M2 = (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis where S h ⊂ S and V h ⊂ V are ﬁnite-dimensional spaces. Crucially. As for continuum elements. The solution is to use C1 shape functions. The ﬁrst derivative is given by: v1 θ1 h (6. i 2 (6. The use of C0 interpolations for fourth-order problems is not mathematically consistent and can lead to unpredictable results. The above equation requires the evaluation of the second derivative of the interpolated displacement ﬁeld.x = N.2 January 21. the second derivative of a C0 continuous function does not exist in a classical sense.x N2.50b) h3 ( x − x1 ) ( x − x2 ) 2 (6. we wish to express the displacement ﬁeld v in terms of shape functions and nodal degrees of freedom.x ae = N1. The displacement ﬁeld vh is given by: vh ( x ) = ∑ ( Ni ( x ) vi + Mi ( x ) θi ) . and the shape functions are equal to: − ( x − x2 )2 (− h + 2 ( x1 − x )) (6. The displacement at a point in the beam is given by: v1 θ1 h (6. convergence of the solution is not assured for interpolations with insufﬁcient continuity.x v2 θ2 84 Version 0.

(6.54) After some rearranging. Ω N.xx N2.xx ae dΩ = − ΓM ( N.57) The operation to form the RHS vector essentially translates the applied loads into equivalent nodal shear forces and moments.xx = N.xx M2.x and v.xx dΩ. they can be inserted into the Galerkin problem.xx M1.6.xx be ) T EI N.xx T EI N.56) and the RHS vector by: fe = ΓQ N T Fy dΓ − ΓM N T T dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ.53) h h Now that vh .xx dΩ ae = − ΓM N.xx (6.x be ) T T dΓ + ΓQ ( Nbe ) T Fy dΓ Ω + ( Nbe ) T f y dΩ (6. (6. Ω ( N.xx can be computed given ae .xx T EI N.2 Beams The second derivative of v is given by: v1 θ1 v2 θ2 h v.2 85 . v. (6. 2011 Version 0. January 21.xx ae = N1.x T T dΓ + ΓQ N T Fy dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ.55) The element stiffness matrix is given by: ke = Ω N.

xx = 2 + . the stiffness matrix is of the form: 12x h3 6x 1 h/2 2 − h EI 12x h ke = h3 − h/2 − 12x h3 6x 1 + h h2 6x 1 − h h2 − 12x h3 6x 1 + h h2 dx. h 6x 1 M2. (6.58a) (6.xx = 2 − . N1. h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.58d) (6.xx = .xx = h2 N1. 2011 .x = − .2 January 21.59d) Inserting these terms into equation (6.58b) (6. N1. h h 12x N2.59b) (6. h h (6. 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) .xx = − 3 . h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) .60) Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86 Version 0. h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) .59c) (6.56).6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6.58c) (6.58e) (6.58g) (6.xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1.59a) (6. h3 6x 1 M1. h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2. Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x.x = (6.50).58f) (6.x = .58h) Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0. the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly. x1 = − h/2). M2.xx = 12x . M2. h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2.xx = − .x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) .

e θ θ N be .x − θ h dΩ = Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ + ¯ vh Fy dΓ h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv .64c) (6. (6.x GAs v.x − θ h dΩ = − ΓQ ΓM ¯ θ h T dΓ h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ .x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v. Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6. in terms of shape functions and nodal variable. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4. v h = N v av .62) and (6.61) Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple. − 6EI h2 4EI h (6.64a) (6.6. T (6. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: 12EI h3 6EI 2 h 12EI − h3 6EI h2 6EI h2 4EI h 6EI − h2 2EI h − 12EI h3 − 6EI h2 12EI h3 − 6EI h2 ke = 6EI h2 2EI h . e N v bv .62) h ¯h v. A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ.64b) (6.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe N v T f y dΩ. 2011 Version 0.2 Beams to be constant). (6.x EIθ.63) Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ h . e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh = h h (6.65) Ωe Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e Ωe Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e = Γe.63) leads to: Bθ EIBθ dΩ aθ + e T Ωe Ωe N θ GAs N θ dΩ aθ − e T Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ av e T =− Γe. (6. h h The Galerkin problem for the Timoshenko beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ Sv and θ h ∈ Sθ such that Ω Ω h ¯h θ.M N θ T dΓ.2 87 .66) January 21. and corresponding derivatives.64d) N θ aθ . due to the second-order nature of the governing equations.

This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish. Locking Conceptually.M N θ T dΓ. and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv = Γe.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 . and both short and slender beams could be analysed. (6.2 January 21. Ideally.69) (6. 2011 .73) Γe.75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88 Version 0. the result are plagued by shear locking. resulting in an overly stiff response. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ. only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 .67) where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ = Ωe Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ.72) (6.71) kθv = − kvθ = − kvv = Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ.70) (6. N v T f y dΩ. Ωe Ωe T T (6.68) (6.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ).6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis The stiffness matrix of an element is of the form kθθ kvθ kθv kvv f aθ = θ fv av (6. kθθ = (6. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L. T Bv T GAs Bv dΩ. Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation. T T (6. However.

2 89 .2 Beams and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L kvv e (6. v2 ≈ PL . the stiffness matrix is of the form EI GAs L L + 3 EI GAs L + − 6 L ke = GAs 2 GAs − 2 − EI GAs L + L 6 EI GAs L + L 3 GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs 2 GAs 2 GAs L GAs − L − (6. Even with a very ﬁne mesh. GAs (6.79) If L is large.6. the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6. 2011 Version 0. GAs (6. θ1 = v1 = 0. As L → 0. If the term Ωe N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration T January 21. EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2 − GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L (6.77) If at one end the beam is clamped. will yield a very stiff response.80) which is independent of I. this element will exhibit a very stiff response.78) Therefore.76) Therefore. v2 ≈ 4PL . and a shear load P is applied one end.81) which is the correct result.

2011 . 90 Version 0. v2 ≈ PL GAs (6.2 January 21. and as L → 0. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6.82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now.85) When using reduced integration.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis (which is reduced for this term). for the one element problem clamped at one end. where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking response. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2 (6.83) If L is very large. The case is similar for quadratic elements.84) which qualitatively the desired response. the element stiffness matrix would have the form EI GAs L EI GAs L GAs GAs + − + − L 4 L 4 2 2 EI GAs L GAs L GAs EI GAs + + − − 4 L 4 2 2 L (6. this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned.

and the boundary is Γ. Hughes.2 91 . Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements.8. A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories. the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. The rotation of the January 21. A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor. y) . It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation.1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6.3 Plate Plates are effectively generalisations of beam elements to two spatial dimensions. The adopted deﬁnitions simplify the formulation as it will avoid the need for a −1 factor on particular terms. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities. 6.86b) where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6. Similarly. y and z directions.6. or x1 . 6.9). the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented. 2011 Version 0. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω. x2 and x3 . Also. The plate has a thickness t. 1991. The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed.3 Plate x3 p θ1 x2 t x1 θ2 Figure 6. y) . displacement may be denoted u. For convenience.3.86a) (6. (1989). respectively). or u1 . are are typically loaded out of plane. u3 = u3 ( x. y and z. the convention differs from the right-hand rule. Bathe. u2 and u3 when using indexes. v and w (displacements in the x. this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage.8: Coordinate system for a plate. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. T When using Greek subscripts. 1987. 1996). In plate theory. summation is implied from one to two. The three coordinates are denoted x. (6.

6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γα θ α w.9: Plate kinematics with shear deformation included.2 January 21.α 1 w x3 xα Figure 6. 2011 . 92 Version 0.

and the shear strain is given by γα .j + u j.88a) (6.2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates.6. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σα3 dz (6. ǫαβ = ǫα3 = −z θα. This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for January 21.88b) A useful quantity is the curvature. γα = w. which is a second-order tensor and at a point is given by: καβ = 1 θ + θ β. the strain ﬁeld can be calculated at any point (recall ǫ = (1/2)(ui. 2011 Version 0.3.2 93 .β + θ β.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress).α 2 (6.β (6. The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σαβ z dz (6.87) Note that if γα = 0.89) 6. It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n. then θα = w.α . and lies in the plane of Ω. (6.90) From symmetry of the stress tensor.91) The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6.3 Plate mid-surface of the plate is given by w. The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations.α .β) .86). From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6. 2 α.α = θ(α.α − θα . it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric.α 2 −θα + w.i )).

s = w. Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that: ∂Ω (6.94) which must also hold for an inﬁnitesimally small piece of the plate.93) Applying the divergence theorem to the term involving qα leads to Ω qα.10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)).92b) (6.2 January 21. 2011 . (6.11. w. (6.α nα w.92c) (6.s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6.s = ∂s qn = qα nα .n = w.α sα mnn. therefore qα.92e) (6. mns. mns = mαβ n β sα .α + pz = 0.92f) (6. ∂mnn . quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα .92a) (6.92d) (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis q2 m21 m22 m11 x3 m12 x2 θ1 q1 q2 m11 q1 m12 m22 m21 x1 θ2 Figure 6. (6.95) 94 Version 0.α dΩ + Ω pz dΩ = 0. θn = θα nα .92h) qα nα dΓ + Ω pz dΩ = 0. ∂s ∂mns .92g) (6.

3 Thin plates . Ironically.β − qα = 0.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). is the equation for translational equilibrium. and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory.3 Plate q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1 m12 s mnn n x1 θ2 Figure 6. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible.β + q β. 2011 Version 0. (6. Since translation equilibrium requires that q β. To complete the problem.β xα dΩ − Ω pz xα dΩ = 0. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite January 21.β + pz = 0. These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories. (6.3.Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam.β = q β xα.PSfrag 6. constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations. (6. Considering now rotational equilibrium. rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ.β dΩ − Ω qα dΩ − Ω q β.2 95 .α xα . 6. mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0. hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory.98) The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam.97) noting that q β xα .α xα = qα + q β.96) ∂Ω ∂Ω Ω which leads to: Ω mαβ.

101) (6. the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w. This can be done by differentiating equation (6. 2 (6. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6. 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz .100) The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ . ∇4 w = ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 .102) Cαβγδ = t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ . The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations. Inserting the constitutive relationship (6.105) This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’. Et3 (6. ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y (6.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation.βα .99) which corresponds to the classical theory for beams and plates which assumes ﬁbres which are initially normal to the mid-surface remain normal to the mid-surface.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis element method. and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points 96 Version 0. 12 (6. After some rearranging.106) As a fourth-order equation. Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero.98) and inserting equation (6.αβ + w. It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 .αβ + pz = 0. four different types of boundary conditions are possible.95). where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6. 2011 .2 January 21.104) Expanding this equation. Since shear deformations are zero.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz . The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’.87) reduces to: θα = w.103) ¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ).102) into equation (6. the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w.α (6. equation (6. mαβ.

110) which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending.α mαβ. Ω ¯ w. Integrating the moment term by parts once. The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ).β dΩ + Γ ¯ wmαβ. Ω ¯ wmαβ.100). and integrating over the surface of the plate. − Γ ¯ w. Inserting the above relationship into equation (6.n mnn dΓ + Γ ¯ w (mns.n mnn dΓ + Γ Γ ¯ w. Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6. it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function.2 97 . yields Ω ¯ w.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w.111) =− The last term will be ignored.6.107d) The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. (6.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6.20).αβ dΩ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. − Ω ¯ w.3 Plate on the boundary. and integrating over the plate surface Ω. for which w = 0 on Γw and w.n = 0 on Γθ .n mnn dΓ − ¯ w.110) (ignoring the point terms).107a) (6.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.108) where Ω is the surface of the plate.α mαβ n β dΓ + Γ ¯ wmαβ. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions.s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral. (6. (6.105) by a weight function w. Weak form The weak form of the governing equation for a thin plate is derived using the same processes applied for second-order problems.107b) (6.107c) (6. (6. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition.109) Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.112) January 21.α mαβ n β dΓ = − Γ Γ ¯ w. 2011 Version 0.s + qn ) dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w.s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6. then integrated by parts.

αβ mαβ dΩ − ΓM ¯ w. which in turn involves second derivatives of w.113) where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. and w. The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ. which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates. However.3.116b) 98 Version 0. solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that Ω ¯ w. For this theory. w = 0 on Γw . It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam. 2011 . The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory.α as a virtual rotation δθα .β − qα = 0. The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model. ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw.2. qα.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions. the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w.αβ as the virtual curvature. w = gw on Γw .α ). Unlike for thin plates. The problem now involves two different unknowns.115a) (6. w. For completeness. w and θα .2 January 21. As such.α + pz = 0.116a) (6. δκαβ .4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation. (6. The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6. some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates. (6.115b) Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts.n T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ V . w.3. 6. w. The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement. (6.n = 0 on Γθ . the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows: S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) .114) Ω ΓM ΓQ Ω Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature.n = gθ on Γθ . hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two.

three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary. (6.121) Integrating the above equation by parts.120d) Given that one of the unknowns.β − θ β = 0 (6.118) (6.119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα . on ΓQ . Ω ¯ θα mαβ. This set of equations cannot be reduced further. This is due to θα and w being decoupled. The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw .α + pz = 0 It is these equations which will be solved. qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w. (6.β − θ β . a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced.120c) (6.117) Cαβ w.119b) are addressed. The structure of the governing equations for Mindlin-Reissner plates theory offers a greater degree of ﬂexibility in applying boundary conditions than the Kirchhoff theory. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα . mαβ.β) mαβ dΩ + Γ ¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. where Cαβ = ktµδαβ . (6. ¯ equation (6. Weak form To derive the weak form. This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form.119b) (6.3 Plate In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6. and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6. on Γθ .2 99 .β − θ β dΩ = 0.6.120a) (6. is a vector. both equations (6.119a) (6.122) ¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields: − Ω ¯ θα.β − θ β dΩ = 0.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.102)). 2011 Version 0.β dΩ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. θα .119a) and (6.αβ − θ β. − Ω ¯ θ(α. (6.β − Cαβ w.β − θ β dΩ = 0. on ΓM .120b) (6. Firstly.123) January 21.

Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6.124) Ω Ω Integrating the above equation by parts yields: − Ω ¯ w.127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method. (6. − Ω ¯ w. (6. However. 2011 .2 January 21.α Cαβ w. the highest order derivative appearing for both terms is one.119a).αβ − θ( β. C0 shape functions can be applied. 100 Version 0. adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w.127a) − Ω ¯ w. ¯ wCαβ w.β) and δγα = w.127b) Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one. (6. ¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ (6.127b) by minus one). yields: Ω −δκαβ mαβ dΩ + Ω δγα qα dΩ + ΓM δθα Tα dΓ − ΓQ Ω δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis which is the weak form of equation (6.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ Vw (6.α Cαβ w.α Cαβ w.126) which is the weak form of equation (6. Hence. The weak problem therefore involves: ﬁnd θα ∈ Sθ and w ∈ Sw such that: − Ω ¯ θα. Multiplying now equation (6.125) ¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed). the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ).α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ . δκαβ = θ(α.119b) by a ¯ weight function w.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. It is equations (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.β − θ β dΩ + Γ ¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα .119b).128) − which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate.114).α − θα .127a) and (6.

none of which are of general applicability. symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation. There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements. In particular.129) where m = (m11 . In the context of plates. The element is still useful as it passes the patch test. ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 . it tests whether an element can represent rigid body modes and a state of constant strain. January 21.130) For the shear forces qα . m = −Db κ (6. The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0 Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 ) b ν 0 (1 − ν ) 2 . A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom. The complications are rooted in the need for C1 continuity. A patch test is a numerical test which tests the ability of an element to reproduce particular results which provides and indication as to whether or not a particular element is suitable for analysis.3 Plate 6. (6. 2κ12 ) T . constant strain implies constant curvature. In place of requiring C1 continuity. m22 . It does not however satisfy C1 continuity. q = D s γ. 2011 Version 0. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 . tkµ (6. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 x3 y + c2 xy3 + c3 x3 + c4 y3 + c5 x2 y + c6 xy2 + c7 x2 + c8 y2 + c9 xy + c10 x + c11 y + c12 . some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results.6. a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’.2 101 .3.132) (6.131) Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable. (6. However. κ22 .133) The applicability of this element is however limited by its inability to satisfy the patch test as a quadrilateral – the element can only be used as a rectangle. The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity.5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity.

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

Reissner-Mindlin plate elements Plate ﬁnite elements based on the Reissner-Mindlin principle do not require C1 continuity. Two ﬁelds are interpolated (the transverse displacement and the rotation), with derivatives of order no higher than one for both ﬁelds appearing in the weak form. This is a signiﬁcant advantage. It is then possible to form different elements using the same procedures as for plane and three-dimensional continuum elements. Isoparametric mappings can be used to construct arbitrary shapes. The procedures developed in Chapter 4 for continuum elements can be applied to develop plate elements. When using C0 shape functions with full integration, convergence requirements are guaranteed. The unknown ﬁelds, w h and θh are interpolated using C0 shape functions in terms of nodal unknowns, w h = N w aw θ =N a

h θ θ

(6.134) (6.135)

Taking derivatives,

h w,α = Bw aw

(6.136) (6.137)

κ =B a

h

θ θ

**Inserting the discretised ﬁelds into equations (6.127a) and (6.127b) gives:
**

T T T

Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ aθ − e

Ωe

N θ CBw dΩaw + e

Ωe

N θ CN θ dΩaθ e

=−

ΓM

T Nθ T dΓ

(6.138a)

Ωe

Bw T CBw dΩaw − e

Ωe

Bw T CN θ dΩaθ e

=

ΓQ

N w T Q dΓ +

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

(6.138b)

for an element. This can be expressed as: kww e kθw e kwθ e kθθ e f ew aw e θ = fθ , ae e

(6.139)

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6.3 Plate

where kww = e

Ωe

**Bw T CBw dΩ Bw T CN θ dΩ N θ CBw dΩ
**

T T

**(6.140a) (6.140b) (6.140c) N θ CN θ dΩ
**

T

**kwθ = − e kθw = − e kθθ = e f ew =
**

Ωe ΓQ

Ωe Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ + N w T Q dΓ +

T Nθ T dΓ T

Ωe

(6.140d) (6.140e) (6.140f)

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

f eθ = −

ΓM

Note again that the element stiffness matrix is symmetric. These are the equations that are assembled into a global stiffness matrix, and solved. Shape functions of different orders can be formulated (even different orders for the transverse displacement and the rotation) and numerical integration is applied. While different elements can be used which will result in a consistent formulation, the performance of different elements may vary drastically. It is possible to simulate thin plates using elements based on the Reissner-Mindlin formulation. It is of course attractive if both thick and thin plates can be analysed using the same elements. To do this, the response of Reissner-Mindlin elements in the limit (t → 0) should be studied. The result should converge to the thin plate theory. This is not the case in practice, and is discussed in the following section. Mindlin-Reissner plate elements for thin plate problems Ideally, thick plate formulations could be used for analysing thin plates. The problem which is confronted is shear locking. As t → 0, Reissner-Mindlin elements typically show an overly stiff response, compared to exact thin plate solutions. The reason for this is that the contribution of the transverse shear deformation to the energy does not vanish. The locking effect can be so extreme as to render elements unusable. For this reason, extensive research efforts have been aimed at developing Reissner-Mindlin elements which do not lock in the thin plate limit. The simplest solution to shear locking is to use reduced or selective integration. This excludes the spurious contribution of the transverse shear deformation to the bending energy. For example, a four-node quadrilateral with 2 × 2 integration for bending terms and one-point integration for transverse shear terms yields good results for thin plate problems. Using full integration for this element results in extreme shear locking. Many Reissner-Mindlin elements involve reduced or selective integration to avoid shear locking. Another possibility to avoid shear locking is to use a mixed formulation. The governing equations are not reduced to their primal form in terms of w and θα , but three

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**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
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ﬁelds are interpolated: w, θα and qα . It can be shown however that most mixed formulations are equivalent to reduced or selective integration (Hughes, 1987). Discrete Kirchhoff elements are based on thick shell formulations. What they require is that the Kirchhoff thin plate requirement of zero transverse shear strain is met at a discrete number of points within an element. These elements do not require reduced integration to avoid shear locking. However, some ambiguities arise when applying distributed loads.

6.4 Shell elements

Shells exist in a three-dimensional space. They are essentially curved plates. A simple approximation to a shell structure is to use a collection of ﬂat combined plate/membrane elements to approximate the curved surface. Shell elements can also be formulated directly. The three-dimensional nature of the element makes them more complicated than plates. The direct formulation of shell elements is not addressed here. Details of their formulation can be found in numerous references (Bathe, 1996; Hughes, 1987; Cook et al., 1989; Zienkiewicz and Taylor, 1991).

6.5 Exercises

1. For a truss element with ends located at ( x1 , y1 ) and ( x2 , y2 ), ﬁnd the rotation matrix R that rotates from the ( x, y) system to the convenient ( x ′ , y′ ) system. 2. For a two-node Hermitian beam element, how does the bending moment and the shear forces vary along the length of the element? 3. Sketch the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6.50). 4. Give the stiffness matrix for a two-node beam element in two-dimensions that allows for axial deformations. 5. Give two examples of when ﬁnite element analysis with continuum elements is preferable and two examples where beam, plate or shell elements is preferable. Provide a short reasoning for each case. 6. What is the danger in applying reduced or selective integration for plate elements? 7. If a constant distributed load is applied normal to a plate surface, pz , calculate the equivalent nodal forces for an eight-node Reissner-Mindlin element.

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it is necessary to consider a norm of the error. Another factor is the smoothness of the exact solution. What it does provide is the order of convergence.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method It was shown in Chapter 3 that the ﬁnite element method calculates a solution which is optimal in terms of the energy. For example.ij u. it is useful to know ‘how accurate’ different elements are. the Sobolev norm is equal to: 1/2 u 2 = Ω uu + u.i u.1 A priori error estimation A priori error estimation does not provide quantitative information as to the error in a ﬁnite element simulation. or the error in terms of the strain. e n . This is known as the order of convergence – if the size of the element is halved. For example. (7. The Sobolev norm. The subscript n indicates the type of norm. One is with which ‘norm’ the error is being measured. is given by: u n = α =0 Ω ∑ n 1/2 ( D u) dΩ α 2 . The order of convergence indicates how quickly the error reduces upon mesh reﬁnement. how much smaller will the error be? 7. Two norms of particular interest 105 .1) where u is the exact solution and uh is the approximate solution. For ﬁnite element analysis. is the error in terms of displacements being measured. this does not tell how large the error is. setting n = 2.2) where D α denotes the α derivative. the order of convergence depends heavily on the type of element. It is of course important to have some idea of the magnitude of the error and how it can be controlled and reduced. Also. While the solution may be optimal. which is the type of norm which will be used here. (7.i + u. The magnitude of the error is quantiﬁed by calculating a norm of e. (7.3) This scalar value is a measure of the ‘magnitude’ of a function. To give an indication of the size of the error. We want to know if we halve the element size (leading to at least a doubling in computational effort). how much smaller will the error be.ij dΩ . given a collection of basis functions. The order depends on several factors. Recall from Chapter 3 the error e at a point is deﬁned as: e = u − uh .

c is an unknown constant. it holds that u − uh E ≤ u − uI E. Inserting now equation (7. (7. 2011 .7) where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form. For example.2 (7. rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory. It is deﬁned by: u 2 E = | u |2 = r Ω ( Dr u)2 dΩ. Setting n = 1. thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by |u|n = Ω ( D n u)2 dΩ 1/2 . and h is a measure of the element size.10) into the above expression. uI = ∑ Ni aiI .7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method involve n = 0 and n = 1.10) This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy.11) January 21. setting n = 0 gives: 1/2 e 0 = Ω (e · e) dΩ . Consider the nodal interpolate u I . the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question. An important semi-norm is the energy norm. (7. i (7. (7. Version 0. k + 1 > m. Note that to ensure convergence.5) which now includes the gradient of e. 1/2 e 1 = Ω (e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ . (7. (7. (7. In this way. Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI m ≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 .4) which is a measure of the error in the displacements.6) which involves only a particular order derivative.9) where k is the polynomial order.8) The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). u − uh 106 r ≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 . hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions. Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h .

u − uh 0 . there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order. The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. hence u − uh 1 ≤ Chk |u|k+1 .13) where β = min (k + 1 − s. 2011 Version 0. Of course as h becomes small. but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution. (7. (7. (7. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details). For practical purposes. The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached. e e 0 1 ≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 .7. In elasticity.14) In terms of the strain. (7. 1/2 . The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’. ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . Larger a implies faster convergence. which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses).16) Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. The error in the displacements is given by e 0 .2 A posteriori error estimation where C is a constant. If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth.12) This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order. January 21. r = 1. Therefore. k = 1.2 A posteriori error estimation Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated.2 107 . this norm is dominated by the error in the strain. a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution. This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing. It leads to the estimate: u − uh s ≤ Ch β |u|k+1 . the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e 0 ≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 . the greater a the smaller the error. For k ≥ 1.15) which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements. such as the error in the displacement.1. For linear elements. This is error analysis. For an elasticity problem. It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms. and O(h) in terms of strains. e 1 (7. independent of h. 7. hence it represents the error in the energy. 2(k + 1 − r )).

To halve the error in a particular problem using h-adaptivity. h-adaptivity uses another technique to reduce the error. a ﬁnite element mesh can be adapted to improve the solution. adaptivity techniques can be employed in combination with an error estimator.3 Adaptivity To improve the accuracy of a ﬁnite element solution. the error can be estimated. A mathematically appealing concept is hp-adaptivity. a new mesh must be constructed. The essence of the error estimator is to take the stresses at the super convergent points and form an interpolation of the stress using these points. 2011 . A posteriori error estimators are generally either residual-based or rely on stress recovery techniques. Error estimation is a rich ﬁeld of applied mathematical research. the error is again estimated. some relatively simple error estimators exist for linear problems. Given a estimation of the error. Based on an analysis of the error. Given a measure of the error. padaptivity involves increasing the polynomial order of elements to reduce the error in the calculated solution. It relies upon reducing the size of the element. At this point. they converge faster toward the exact solution than other points. it 108 Version 0. the problem is re-analysed. but is challenging to implement. or to devise procedures which sub-divide elements where the error is large. It is based on the property that the stresses at certain points within an element are super-convergent. The process can be repeated until the prescribed error tolerance is met. The most common is the Zienkiewicz-Zhu (ZZ) (Zienkiewicz and Zhu. Then. Fortunately.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method polynomial order 1 2 3 4 displacements k 2 3 4 5 strains k 1 2 3 4 Table 7. adaptivity can be employed to reduce the error where needed. Hence. It may be desirable to reduce the error to a speciﬁed value throughout a mesh. and adaptivity is employed. an adaptive scheme is required to reduce the error to the prescribed levels. knowing the order of convergence of an element may prove useful. assuming that the exact solution is sufﬁciently smooth.2 January 21. It is possible to generate an entirely new mesh. It has an extraordinary rate of convergence. Then. Two forms of adaptivity are commonly used: p-adaptivity and h-adaptivity. 1987) stress recovery error estimator. That is. 7. by comparing the stresses interpolated from the super convergent points with the stress computed from the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld. Research is ongoing for more sophisticated error estimators for more complicated problems.1: Order of convergence O(hk ) for commonly used ﬁnite elements in terms of displacements and strain.

and h-adaptivity. When using Q4 elements. how much smaller would you expect the error in the displacements and the stresses to be if all the elements are made 2. January 21. Give the order of convergence in terms of the strain for the following element: a) b) c) d) e) T3 Q4 T6 Q8 Q9 2.7.4 Exercises helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element. List some advantages and disadvantages of p. 2011 Version 0.7 times smaller? 3.2 109 .4 Exercises 1. 7.

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Iterative solvers approach the exact solution. Gauss elimination – number of operations O n3 In ﬁnite element code however. Gauss elimination is rarely used. Furthermore.2) where L is a lower triangular matrix with ones on the diagonal and U is an upper diagonal matrix. To ﬁnd the ﬁnite element solution to a problem. Due to the compact support of ﬁnite element shape functions. For all problems examined in these notes. However. It varies for different meshes.1) The stiffness matrix K typically has a number of special properties. The system of equations Ka = f is rewritten as: LUa = f (8. Another special property is symmetry. Typically more efﬁcient direct or iterative solvers are used. the system of equations is sparse. Large systems require signiﬁcant memory to store the matrices and large computational effort to solve the system. Therefore. The ﬁnite element solution of practical problems often leads to very large systems of equations. the matrix is also banded. if nodes are numbered in an efﬁcient manner. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zero elements. 111 . This mean that nonzero terms are located close to the diagonal. the exact structure of the stiffness matrix is not constant. the following system needs to be solved: Ka = f (8. This is a consequence of using a Galerkin formulation. Direct solvers yield a result with a known number of steps. It is particularly effective for solving moderately sized problems where the bandwidth of K is limited (as is the case for a well constructed ﬁnite element mesh). the stiffness matrix is symmetric. 8. unlike ﬁnite difference methods. The motivation is that it is relatively simple to solve triangular matrices. Further savings can be achieved for symmetric matrices by storing only the diagonal terms and non-zero terms above the diagonal.1 LU-decomposition A commonly used direct solution technique is known as LU-decomposition. a general method is required to solve the system of equations. Storing only non-zero elements in the computer memory leads to enormous savings in memory. The number of steps performed depends on the desired accuracy.8 Solvers for large linear systems Note: This chapter is still being developed.

To be added: Gauss-Siedel Krylov subspace methods Conjugate-gradient The efﬁciency and robustness of iterative solvers can be improved signiﬁcantly through the use of preconditioning. 8. However. Then. The following step.n) K(i. The following code extracts for solving a banded system are taken from Golub and Loan (1996). The process is stopped when the desired tolerance is reached. it is not possible to compute exactly the required computational effort before starting the computation. For large system of equations. although the time required for convergence depends heavily on the nature of the matrix K.j) end end end There are several variations on this procedure to improve its performance.8 Solvers for large linear systems The ﬁrst step is to factorise the matrix K in L and U.4) which yields the solution to the original problem.n) for i=k+1:min(k+p.2 Iterative solvers Direct solvers are relatively simple to program and are robust.K(i. An alternative is the use of iterative solvers. Iterative solvers ‘iterate’ toward the exact solution. yielding considerable computational savings. 2011 . for k=1:n-1 for i=k+1:min(k+p.2 January 21. for symmetric systems the algorithm can be modiﬁed.j) = K(i. Also. the system of equations: Ly = f (8. Unlike direct solvers.k) end for j=k+1:min(k+q.3) is solved (the ‘result’ being y). The procedure can be implemented in a computer programming surprisingly simply. the factorised matrices can be stored in the memory allocated for K. they can become prohibitively expensive for very large problems. iterative solvers are generally faster than direct solvers. ‘Pivoting’ is often used to avoid numerical problems associated with large and small terms on the diagonal. is then to solve the system: Ua = y (8.n) K(i.j) . ‘backward substitution’.k)*K(k. 112 Version 0. a. This is step is known as ‘forward substitution.k) = K(i. In a computer implementation.k)/A(k.

time-dependent Dirichlet boundary conditions are prescribed. relies on linearity of the underlying problem and is suited to vibration analysis. when a load is applied at the 113 .4b) where v is the velocity (v = ∂u/∂t). (9.1. On parts of the boundary.9 Time-dependent problems Until now. 9. The ﬁrst.1 Governing equation and the weak form for elastodynamics The equation of motion is given by: ρu = ∇ · σ + b ¨ (9. With elliptic problems. Elastodynamics involves the second derivative of the displacement with respect to time. The second. 0) = u0 ( x) u ( x. modal analysis. less subtle. approach is more general and suited to wave propagation problems. These are initial conditions.2) On other parts of the boundary. u=g on Γg .1) where ρ is the density and u = ∂2 u/∂t2 is the acceleration vector. the ﬁnite element method has been applied only for time-independent problems.1 Elastodynamics The majority of this chapter deals with elastodynamics problems. 0) = v0 ( x) ˙ (9. 9. In this chapter. For example. its is complemented by boundary conditions. time-dependent Neumann boundary conditions are applied.3) Dynamic problems require some ‘extra’ information compared to their quasi-static counterparts. this equation differs signiﬁcantly from the static case as the governing equation is hyperbolic. the unsteady heat equation and elastodynamics are considered in which the time dimension must be addressed. Two approaches will be elaborated. Similar to static problems. In mathematical ¨ terms. σn = h on Γh (9. Initial conditions correspond to the conditions at time zero (t = 0). information travels through the domain immediately. All problems up to this chapter were elliptic. therefore two initial conditions are required: u ( x.4a) (9.

If a bar.1. From the weak from in the previous section.7) and rearranging. a reaction force is felt immediately at the other end.6) 9. Multiplying equation (9. ¨ ¨ h (9.8a) (9.2 Semi-discrete Galerkin form To reach a ﬁnite element formulation. The velocity and acceleration ﬁelds are represented using the shape functions. which is independent of time. using the same steps outlined in Chapter 2. (9. for an element. To solve dynamic problems using a computer. solving the weak form involves: for a given t > 0. restrained at one end. the Galerkin form must be developed.7) which is known as ‘semi-discrete’. (9. The time dimension is left continuous.e N T h dΓ. the Galerkin problem involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that Ω ρwh · uh dΩ = − ¨ Ω ∇s wh : σ h dΩ + Ω wh · b dΩ Γh + wh · h dΓ ∀wh ∈ V h . like for the static case the governing equation must be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns and basis functions. The equations for elastodynamics are hyperbolic. the ﬁnite-dimensional velocity and acceleration ﬁelds in an element are given by: uh = N ae .9 Time-dependent problems free end of a restrained rod. and inserting Neumann boundary conditions. This is again done using ﬁnite element shape functions. ﬁnd u ∈ S such that Ω ρw · u dΩ = − ¨ Ω ∇s w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ ∀w ∈ V .9) 114 Version 0. Ωe N T ρN dΩ ae = − ¨ Ωe B T DB dΩ ae + Ωe N T b dΩ + Γh. With hyperbolic problems ‘information’ travels at ﬁnite speeds.8b) where ae = dae /dt and ae = d2 ae /dt2 .1) by a weight function w. Therefore. is hit with a hammer at the free end. (9. This stems from the fact that the dependence on time t has not been addressed in the same fashion as the spatial dependency x.5) Integrating by parts. 2011 . ˙ ˙ u = N ae . Deriving the weak form for dynamic problems follows the familiar procedure. and integrating gives: Ω ρw · u dΩ = ¨ Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ (9. Inserting the discretised displacement ﬁeld ˙ ¨ and the expression for the acceleration ﬁeld into equation (9.2 January 21. a stress wave will travel through the bar and a force at the restrained end will not be felt until the stress wave arrives. which when considering the semidiscrete formulations are constant in time.

9. This equation can be written is a shorthand format as: Me a e + k e a e = f e ¨ (9. The obvious choice from the variational approach is the consistent mass matrix. This is formed similarly to the stiffness matrix. ¨ (9.10) where Me is the element mass matrix.11) Before this equation can be solved. As with the element stiffness matrix. Mii lump = j =1 cons ∑ Mij n (9. It is however possible that nodes will have zero or negative masses.12) This is typically formed by integrating numerically. in the same fashion as for the element stiffness matrix.1. Before the variational basis of the ﬁnite element method was properly understood. 2011 Version 0. Perhaps the simplest procedure to form lumped mass matrices is to form the matrices using numerical integration. (9. there is some freedom in determining exactly how the lumped mass matrix should be calculated. Other more January 21. as will be discussed in the following sections. Once the element contributions have been assembled into the global mass and stiffness matrices and the global RHS vector. This procedure however can lead to negative masses on the diagonal. the mass matrix is symmetric and will have off-diagonal terms. Since shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes.2 115 . the lumped mass matrix has non-zero terms only on the diagonal. for a given time tn M an + Kan = f n . Since ﬁnite element shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes.3 Mass matrix There are several methods to form the mass matrix. a strategy is required to deal with the time derivatives of a. This property is highly advantageous in combination with some time integration schemes. this will yield a diagonal mass matrix. All off-diagonal terms are equal to zero. Since lumped schemes do not follow naturally from the variational formulation. it was not entirely clear how the mass matrix should be formed. lumped masses at each node.13) where n is the dimension of the mass matrix. cons = Me Ωe ρN T N dΩ.1 Elastodynamics This equation is commonly called the ‘semi-discrete’ equation. A common approach was to form a lumped mass matrix. but with integration points located only at element nodes. Another procedure is based on summing rows of the consistent mass matrix. 9. This corresponds to having discrete.

kappa is the conductivity. It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular. (9.2 January 21. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f . and initial conditions. c is the ‘capacity’. This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour. u is the temperature. Damping due to the material response can also be included.14) where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2. Damping is often included by adding the term C a to the governing equations. A discussion can be found in Cook et al.17) 116 Version 0.3. the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency. The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague. This is known as Rayleigh damping. namely the temperature at t = 0. The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency. 9. (1989). t) = u0 ( x) .15) where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. (9. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience.9 Time-dependent problems sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. The problem requires boundary conditions. (9. u ( x. Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved. Unlike elastodynamics. only one type of initial condition may be provided. ¨ ˙ (9. representing the uncertainty in the source of damping. 2011 .2 Heat equation The heat equation is introduced here as a step to the problems in elastodynamics. In strong form. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK. It can be included through the damping matrix C. There is no rich theory underlying the choices.3. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f .4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping. it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time.1.16) where in the context of diffusion of heat. Conversely. as outlined in Section 2. 9. or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux.

18) (9. there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ).20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second).2 117 . it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem. Following the usual processes in developing the weak form. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ.23) can be very large. For explicit time integration procedures.23) where ω are the natural frequencies of the system. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n . ¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9. For a one-dimensional linear element. (9. The acceleration is therefore given by: (9.25) √ for an element of length L. ˙ 9. Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9. ωe = 2 3/L January 21. 2 det ke − ωe me = 0 (9. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9.9. The eigenvectors are a. For the consistent mass matrix. (9. 2011 Version 0. (9. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) . which ¯ are also known as natural modes.24) The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem. If one end of a rod is heated. It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics The heat equation is parabolic. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0. ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that Ω ˙ w h ρcuh dΩ + Ω ∇wh · κ ∇uh dΩ − Γh w h h dΓ = Ω w h f dΩ ∀wh ∈ V h (9. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms). it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements. its motion is harmonic.21) −ω 2 M + K a = 0. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) . this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time. ¯ det K − ω 2 M = 0.11) and rearranging.19) In matrix form.22) which is a matrix eigenvalue problem.

and are known as vibration modes. (9. Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) .32) The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple. i = j.29) Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other.33) 118 Version 0.2 January 21. (9.28) into equation (9. ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f . K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0.31) Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . a (t) = ∑ αi (t) Ψi i (9.11) . it is then possible to treat each mode individually.27) where Ψi are eigenvectors. For linear problems. i = j. (9.30) 1 0 i = j. and ωi are the natural frequencies. 2011 .28) where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j. (9. Inserting equation (9. ¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f i i (9. The sum of the modes gives the total displacement.26) Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9. (9. The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions. It is then possible to treat each mode separately.9 Time-dependent problems 9. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal. separate equations.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f i i (9.

(1989). Therefore it is limited to linear analysis.2 119 . this equation can be solved analytically.9.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. for each mode of interest. Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. In structural analysis. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). compared to explicit schemes. (9. There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. the values an+1 . implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme.5 Time stepping algorithms Now. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached. it will ‘blow-up’. To do this. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n. Therefore. It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics.34) Solutions for forced cases are dependent on the type of loading. an and an at time tn (and perhaps also at earlier times ˙ ¨ steps). There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes. the orthogonality property does not hold. Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions. In applying modal analysis. If an integrator is unstable. Explicit schemes can be constructed to have a high degree of accuracy (such as the 4th order Runge-Kutta method. and perhaps information at time step n and earlier steps. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1. For the unforced case. Typically. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al. Hence. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes. 9. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1.33) is only solved for a few modes. rapidly diverging from any sensible result. equation (9. but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless.5. with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . the above equation can be solved. the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered. January 21.1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. equation (9. The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. Conversely. usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response. Given the values of an . an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed. This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed.5 Time stepping algorithms Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. 2011 Version 0. which is O(∆t) accurate). implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort. 9. For non-linear problems. the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues.

36) gives. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable. In matrix form.9 Time-dependent problems A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods. ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9.38) 120 Version 0. the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor. but only ﬁrst-order accurate. Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different. both explicit and implicit. For the problems to be considered here.2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme.2 January 21. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) .39) (9. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods.40b) (9. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable.35) where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1. where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an . ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9. and is second-order accurate.40a) (9. ˙ ˙ (9.41a) (9.5.36) and inserting the above result into equation (9. ˙ Rearranging equation (9. 2011 . Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method.41b) (9. The Newmark algorithm gives an+1 and an+1 as: ˙ an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ a n +1 ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ((1 − 2β) an + 2β an+1 ) 2 = an + ∆t ((1 − γ) an + γ an+1 ) ˙ ¨ ¨ (9. Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes. In practice.37). ˙ 9. the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 .35). 1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an .37) (9. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 . a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an . well known integrators. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation.

Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods. The term ω h can be estimated for linear elements as 2c/L.9. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) .5 Time stepping algorithms where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm.44) where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0.47) This integrator is implicit. January 21. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators. but as will be shown later. an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9.46a) (9. 2 (9. but it is conditionally stable. It is clear that this algorithm is explicit – it is possible to express an+1 in terms of quantities at n and earlier times (which are known). Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition. Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule. where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element. Its stability properties are attractive.43a) (9. The Newmark method is unconditionally stale for: 2β ≥ γ ≥ 1 2 (9. It is also energy conserving. It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9.46b) Inserting equation (9. Therefore. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method.46a) into equation (9.43b) It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9. 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) . c (9.2 121 . it requires the factorisation of a large matrix.46b). This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ). This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate. ∆t ≤ L . 2011 Version 0. It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a.41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2. Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences.42) For γ = 1/2.45) which is the Courant. an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 . a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate. ∆t2 (9.

53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9.50) 2 2∆t 2∆t n−1 ∆t ∆t Recall that the displacement vector a is known at step n and all previous steps.51) If both M and C are diagonal matrices.2 January 21.49) Rearranging the above equation such that all terms at t + ∆t are on the LHS and all terms at time t are on the RHS. it is not necessary to form the stiffness matrix K. it is possible to calculate an+1 .43). A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122 Version 0. and unknown at step n + 1. 2011 .48) It is assumed that a and its time derivatives are known at time t and unknown at time t + ∆t (corresponding to n + 1). Given an and an−1 . Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9. ¨ ˙ (9.55) Ω A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation. M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n . has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n . In practice. where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . with damping. the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9. an+1 can be calculated without solving a system of equations (hence the attractiveness of lumped mass matrices when using explicit time integrators).52) (9. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9. (9.54) (9. The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn .9 Time-dependent problems Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved. (9. 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then. The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ.

58b) These equations are then inserted into equation (9. In combination with a lumped mass matrix. 1 M + K a n +1 = M β∆t2 1 1 1 an + ˙ an − an ˙ ¨ a + 2 n β∆t 2β β∆t +f (9. The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability. damping is ignored.56) The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (9.58a) a n +1 = a n ˙ ˙ + ∆t (1 − γ) an + γ ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9.2 123 .9. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation.57) Rearranging the expressions in equation (9.57).5 Time stepping algorithms algorithm at t = 0. it is second-order accurate.61) January 21. Implicit time integration – the Newmark family Formulation of a Newmark scheme starts by inserting the expressions for the velocity and accelerations into: M an+1 + C an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 ¨ ˙ (9.41) for β = 0 to express the accelerations and velocity at step n + 1 in terms of step n and earlier. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9.60) which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9. it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems. 2011 Version 0. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis.43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0).59) Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS. For simplicity. Furthermore. and all known quantities on the RHS. This yields. which are the initial conditions. Combining equations (9. M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 + Kan+1 = f n+1 (9.

Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α. the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme. Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element. Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element.7 Exercises 1. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . With the Newmark scheme. numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2. which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping.62) where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t .3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations. 1987). 9.2 January 21. 3. ¨ (9. Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ. calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations. 2. If −1/3 < α < 0. However. it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate.6 Space-time formulations Time as a degree of freedom.41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t). One such algorithm is the α-Method. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one. 9. 9. At time step n. If α = 0.5.9 Time-dependent problems Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. Rearrange equation (9. Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 . γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4. Decreasing α increases the dissipation. Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution. 2011 . 124 Version 0. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α .

(1987). (1989). (1981). and Plesha.. and Loan. L. Golub. McGraw-Hill Book Company. R. C. Zienkiewicz. Structural Dynamics. G. (1991). L. (1989). O.. New York. (1987). B. Ern. London. V. O. John Wiley & Sons. and Taylor. and Scott. and applications in solid mechanics. G. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering. volume 2. New York. R. R. The Mathematical Theory of Finite Elements Methods. Baltimore. M. Cambridge University Press. Berkshire. G. John Wiley and Sons. Finite Element Procedures. Prentice-Hall. The Finite Element Method . Malkus. Braess. C. and Taylor. L. SpringerVerlag. R. Berkshire. fast solvers. Springer. R. The Finite Element Method. J. Craig. The Finite Element Method. (1996). (1973). R. Zienkiewicz. and Guermond. E. Analysis of the Finite Element Method. McGraw-Hill Book Company. (2001). Hughes. A. 24:337–357. Z. Strang. Springer-Verlag. S. fourth edition. Concept and Applications of Finite Element Analysis. Matrix Computations. and Fix. H. London. fourth edition. (1994).References Bathe. Theory and Practice of Finite Elements. Reddy. New York. F. Cambridge. Introductory Functional Analysis. C. A simple error estimator and adaptive procedure for practical engineering analysis. L. New Jersey. Prentice-Hall. D. J. D. Inc. 125 . (2004). J. O. third edition.-J.Linear Static and Dynamic Finite Element Analysis. New Jersey. (1996). and Zhu. T. C. New York. D.. volume 1. (1998). Zienkiewicz. Englewood Cliffs. Cook. S. Prentice-Hall. Brenner. D. R. The John Hopkins University Press. K. Finite Elements: Theory. England. C.

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