# The Finite Element Method: An Introduction

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

.

. . .
6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
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. . . . . . .4 Stiffness matrix storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . .
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. . Basic error analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Galerkin method Approximate solution .
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. . . . . . .5 Exercises . 5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element 5. . .
. 4. . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Convergence of the Galerkin method Exercises . . .6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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
. . .3 Governing equations . . 1. . . . . .5 Regularity requirements . . . . .Contents
1 Introduction 1. . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . .6 Deﬁnition of trial and weight function spaces . . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Exercises . 1.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions .
4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. . . . . . .2 Continuum elasticity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 3. . 2. . . . . . . . .3 3. . . . . .
2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations 2. . . . . . . . .4 Essentials from continuum mechanics 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Finite element method with piecewise linear basis functions 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Local-global . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. 3 The 3. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . .5 Post-processing . . . .3 Linear algebra . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Vector calculus . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Tensor basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Program ﬂow . . .4 Isoparametric mapping . . . . . . . . . . .
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. . . . . . . .3 Poisson equation .1 Preprocessing . . . . . . . . .1 One-dimensional bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Minimisation of potential energy . . . . .
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. . . . method . . 2.7 Exercises . . . . . . . . 2. . .5 Numerical integration .

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

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

and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x.5)
∑ a i bi . a= a1 . a·b = (1.
i =1
3
(1. where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3. In the case n = 2. a2 (1. ai where i runs from one to n.
(1.2
January 21.
i =1
n
(1.1 Introduction
x2 a e2 = [0 1 0]
e1 = [1 0 0] x1
e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1. x =
√
x · x.7)
8
Version 0.6)
∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 . A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components.4)
The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi . which is denoted a · b. 2011
.1: Example of orthonormal base vectors.3)
Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b.

M.10)
As with vectors. ei · e j = δij .17) (1. which is expressed as D = AB. (1. A. and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj .16) (1. in the vein of matrix multiplication. the dot product maybe written as a T b.15) (1.1 Tensor basics
For an orthonormal basis. A = Aij . allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi .14)
January 21. A31 A32 A33 (1. At times.9)
Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters. A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a.2
9
.12)
Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors.1.8)
can be used.13)
where n is the dimension of the vector b. (1. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 . 2011
Version 0. a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components. 0 if i = j. It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j.11)
(1. R (1. Second-order tensors can be multiplied. Aij . (1. a = Ab = Aij b j =
∑ Aij bj
j =1
n
(1. K. Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’.

(1. It is deﬁned by: A : B = tr A T B .24) (1. For example.1 Introduction
In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji . which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j . The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1.
i =1 j =1
n
n
(1. = ai b j . is provided for two second-order tensors.18)
The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components.21) (1.26) (1.28)
10
Version 0. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii .22)
Using the trace. (1. an operation similar to the dot product of two vectors.20)
The trace of a second-order tensor is essentially the summation of its diagonal components. For a second-order tensor A in R3 . A useful identity involving the transpose is:
( AB) T = B T A T . This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij .23) (1.2
January 21.19)
Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors. A = a ⊗ b. (1. For two second-order tensors in R2 .27)
This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention.
(1. 2011
. It also yields a scalar. an inner product. A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 .25)
∑ ∑ Aij Bij . (1. this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 .

product. The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . Using index notation.29)
A second-order tensor A. 2011 Version 0. (1.32)
As will be shown in the following section.1 Tensor basics
The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia.2
(1. a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . Eijk = 1.33) (1.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 . AA−1 = A−1 A = I. j. k} is odd. If any of the indices are repeated. Eijk = 0. A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A. j.
January 21. and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . The components of E are given by:
[E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek .34) (1.31)
Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties. k} is even. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient. or vector. A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1
Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation. b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1. multiplied by its inverse A−1 . The cross product of two vectors yields a vector. and if the permutation {i. It is deﬁned for a. Eijk = −1.36)
The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here. Another important operation is the cross. is equal to the identity tensor. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E . (1.
(1.37)
11
.30) (1.
E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b. If the permutation {i. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 . matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal. (1.1. The result of the above equation is rather simple.

it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly. For an orthonormal basis. This operation is particularly important when considering moments.
C = Cijkl . the stress and strain are second-order tensors.39)
Fortunately. denoted here as C . ′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system. due to physical symmetries. which is orthogonal. Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q.1 Introduction
x2
′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ]
e2 = [0 1]
′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ]
θ
e1 = [1 0] x1
Figure 1. Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1. in terms of indices. 2011
. It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor. Consider that for a vector a. it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame.2: Rotation between coordinate systems.41)
12
Version 0.2.40)
(1. the components in ei system are known. Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j .
′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j . Coordinate transformations For many problems.
A : B = Aijk Bjk .2
January 21.38)
In elasticity.
(1.
(1.
(1.

2 Vector calculus
which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a. which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem. It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 .47) (1. This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ. ∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u. It is expressed as:
∇ · a.
1. (1.xy . ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u.xyy .2
(1. (1.2.48)
This notation is used commonly throughout these notes.42)
− sin θ . An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space.43)
and note that Q is orthogonal. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u. 0 . ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1.45)
At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another. The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar. Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable. 2011 Version 0.2 Vector calculus
Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives.
January 21. Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x.x .44)
Therefore. (1. cos θ
(1. Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1. = u.xx . An important operator is the divergence. components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ . 0. Q=
′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2
(1. QQ T = Q T Q = I.1.49)
13
. = u. and A = QA′ Q T .xxxx .46)
Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem.

∇a = (1.i . ∂x j
(1.57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14
Version 0. ∂x j
(1. ∂xi
(1. ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 .i . the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1.j . ∇ · a is equal to
∇·a =
∂ai = ai.50)
In a three-dimensional space R3 .56)
which yields a second-order tensor.51)
The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by:
∇·A =
∂Aij = Aij.53)
Another important operator is the gradient. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 . ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x
1 2
(1. In a three-dimensional space.j .
∇·a =
∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + . In a three-dimensional space. ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by:
∇a =
∂ai = ai.52)
For a two-dimensional tensor A. 2011
. The gradient of a scalar a is given by:
∇a =
∂a = a. ∂xi
(1.1 Introduction
In terms of indices.55) ∇a = .54)
which yields a vector.2
January 21. ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z
(1.

3 Linear algebra
The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties. For example. The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n.59)
Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method.
Ω
∇ · a dΩ =
∂Ω
a · n dΓ. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω.3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ.3.1. For a vector a. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem). It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral.
(1. It implies that:
Ω
a · (∇ · B) dΩ = −
Ω
∇ a : B dΩ +
∂Ω
a · Bn dΓ.58)
where n is the outward normal to the body Ω.
1. ∂x j i ij
(1. 2011
Version 0. the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses.61)
and then applying the divergence theorem.
(1. The above formula is simple to derive by using the product rule for differentiation to expand
Ω
∇ · ( aB ) dΩ =
Ω
∂ a B dΩ. The divergence theorem states:
Ω
∇ · A dΩ =
∂Ω
An dΓ.
(1.2
15
.60)
The above equation also holds for the case in which a is replaced by a scalar and B is replaced by a vector.3 Linear algebra
n Ω
Γ
Figure 1. and the
January 21. The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1.

respectively. A zero eigenvalue implies that the matrix A has a linearly dependent column. For a symmetric matrix.65)
Typically. the system of equations in a ﬁnite element equation will be very large.2
January 21. The strain ǫ is deﬁned as the symmetric gradient of the displacement vector: ǫij = 1 u + u j. and u and f are vectors of length n. ﬁnding λ requires ﬁnding the roots of a quadratic equation. vectors b and scalars λ which satisfy
( A − λI ) b = 0
(1. (1. Solvers for ﬁnite element problems are discussed in Chapter 8. In the context of the ﬁnite element method. For large matrices. The system of equations is usually solved using a direct method (such as Gauss elimination or LU decomposition) or an approximate iterative method. 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).
1. This section is intended to cover only the important concepts which are used later in these notes. Equation (1.62) implies that: det ( A − λI ) = 0. the roots of a cubic equation must be found. 2011
. The solution u is given by: u = K −1 f . 2 i.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics
The ﬁnite element method is used in these notes to solve primarily problems in continuum mechanics.62)
are known as eigenvectors and eigenvalues. K will often be referred to as the ‘stiffness matrix’ and f the ‘right-hand side vector’. of A.i . Also. (1. For a 3 × 3 matrix.64)
where K is an n × n matrix. (1. special numerical algorithms are used to calculate the eigenvalues. all eigenvalues are positive and real. the eigenvalues of a matrix indicates if a matrix has a unique inverse. This requires some background in continuum mechanics and linear-elasticity.63)
For a 2 × 2 matrix. For a positive deﬁnite matrix A. For a matrix A. The polynomial is known as the characteristic equation of A.j (1.1 Introduction
corresponding eigenvectors are the principal stress directions. Eigenvalue tests are often used in studying the matrices arising in the ﬁnite element method. A system of n linear equations can be expressed as: Ku = f . It is not a comprehensive coverage of the topic. all eigenvalues are real.66)
16
Version 0. which guarantees that the inverse of A exists. and is unique.

Similar to the strain tensor. For convenience.69)
where n is the unit normal vector to the surface. The stress tensor is deﬁned through the traction vector t (force per unit area) on a surface. it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1.
January 21.70)
with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio. 2011
Version 0.71) (1.1. the strain tensor is symmetric. For linear elasticity.2
17
. Due to symmetry. linear-elastic continua. In a homogeneous body. or in index notation. In compact notation. For solid.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1.72) (1. as will be shown in the next chapter).73) (1. 2 i.j) = 1 u + u j. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics
which is clearly a second-order tensor. In two-dimensions.i . in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components. The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants. this reduces to four.68)
where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient. 2 (1. Obviously.67)
For convenience. σn = t (1. the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain.j (1. Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ. σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor.

This assumes that the normal strain in the out-of-plane direction is zero (ǫ33 = 0). (1. The second possibility is plane stress (σ33 = 0). σ11 σ22 σ33 (1.y u. The ﬁrst is known as plane strain. For isotropic linear-elasticity. particular attention will be paid to solving elastic continuum problems.z + w. In this case.76) σ= σ12 σ13 σ23 Using the vector format for stress and strain. although without the factor ‘2’ on the shear terms. The third possibility is axisymmetric. there are three possibilities. An axisymmetric formulation is for example commonly used when simulating a circular foundation. 2011
.x v.x 2ǫ13 γ13 u.75) = = ǫ= 2ǫ12 γ12 u. in which the stress and strain are represented as vectors. such as a dam wall.z ǫ33 ǫ33 .y + v.z + w. ǫ11 ǫ11 u. 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. the normal stress out-of-plane is assumed to be zero. This will require identiﬁcation of the equations which govern equilibrium of
where the matrix D is the constitutive matrix. In this case. It is then likely that the stress in the out-of-plane direction is not equal to zero.y γ23 2ǫ23
The stress tensor is expressed in a vector form. This approximation is good for very thin members.x ǫ22 ǫ22 v.77)
When reducing a three-dimensional problem to two-dimensions. This is reasonable for problems which are relatively thick in the third direction. such as many beams. the constitutive relationship can be written as: σ = Dǫ (1. 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.2
January 21. In these notes.1 Introduction
‘engineering’ notation is often adopted.78) D= 0 0 0 µ 0 0 0 0 0 0 µ 0 0 0 0 0 0 µ
18
Version 0.

the partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1.5 Exercises
1. 2011
Version 0. 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. consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω.80).83)
If translational equilibrium (equation (1. since E : σ T = 0.81)
Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum). In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives:
Ω
∇ · σ + 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. the integral can be removed from equation(1. the ﬁrst term in equation (1.80)
Balance of linear momentum should also be satisﬁed for any subdomain of Ω.83) is zero.5 Exercises
elastic bodies. which requires that
∂Ω
t dΓ +
Ω
b dΩ =
∂Ω
σn dΓ +
Ω
b dΩ = 0
(1.80). This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation. leading to:
∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω
(1.1.80)) is satisﬁed. Therefore.82)
where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω. For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3.). Note that this equation is general. etc. and not speciﬁc to elasticity.79)
where b is a body force.2
19
. Then.
Ω
r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ +
Ω
E : σ T dΩ = 0
(1. How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have?
January 21. moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric.
1. Considering that t = σn. if σ is symmetric. Therefore. and applying the divergence theorem.

6. 2011
.2
January 21. It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇. Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem.60). Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (1. 5.1 Introduction
3. 7. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ). derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1. What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4. Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions
20
Version 0. Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation.43) is orthogonal.

The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’.
2. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point. the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts.
(2. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain.1)
where σ. the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du . For a linear-elastic rod.3)
To complete the problem.xx = f .1.4) 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. To do this. The ﬁnite element method is a variational method.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’. The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1.
(2. dx (2. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. u = 0 at x=0 (2.81)):
−σ.x = f .x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod. The governing equation can then be expressed as:
− Eu. For example.1 One-dimensional bar
Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2.2)
where E is the Young’s modulus.1: One-dimensional bar. 21
.

applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u. A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction. Multiplying equation (2.10)
is also true. at x = L.3). derivatives of order
22
Version 0.1) by w.
L 0
(2.x σ dx − wh| x= L
∀w ∈ V . (2.9)
where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’.
(2. equation (2. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h.9) must hold point-wise. Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2.1 to be equal to zero. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. which has an inﬁnite number of members).x dx =
L 0
w. after inserting the constitutive relationship (2.60). Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu. at x = 0.x dx =
L 0
w f dx + wh| x= L
∀w ∈ V . 2011
.11)
Note the term wEu.x .8) inserted. This is the weak form of the governing equation.x n = h
0 < x < L. If equation (2. Note that in the strong form. both sides of equation (2.
(2.8)
To develop the weak form of the governing equation. σn = h at x = L.x .xx = f u=0 Eu. which yields:
−
L 0
wσ. then
−
wσ. Taking guidance from equation (1.x Eu.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations
prescribes the displacement at one end of the bar in Figure 2.
(2.2
January 21.5)
where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case).
−wσ.x dx =
w f dx
∀w ∈ V .6).12)
where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that:
− Eu.
(2. solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that
L 0
w.x .x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0.7) (2.6) are multiplied by a scalar weight function w ∈ V (w ∈ V means that w comes from the appropriately deﬁned space of functions V .x = w f
L 0
∀w ∈ V .10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2. Considering that σ = Eu.6) (2.

the above equation can only hold if − Eu.xx + f ) Eu.xx + f )2 dx = 0. The basic form of the equations is the same as the one-dimensional bar in the previous section.x n| x= L =
L 0
w f dx + wh| x= L .xx + f )2 ≥ 0. consider a weight function w ∈ V which is equal to φ ( Eu.12).xx = f .16)
proving that the Neumann boundary conditions are satisﬁed. as by construction. it is now proven that the ﬁrst term is equal to zero. it follows that a solution of the strong form is also a solution of the weak form. 2011 Version 0.
2. In the weak form (2.xx + f ) f dx. for any allowable weight function at x = L. Since the weak form is derived from the strong form. Recall that the governing equation is given by:
∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω.17)
23
. The complication arises from the three-dimensional setting. Returning to equation (2. Hence. where φ is greater than zero over the interval ]0. at least in a generalised sense).
−
L 0
φ ( Eu.x n = h. (2.13). Eu. satisfying the strong governing equation (in a distributional sense). w(0) = 0.2
(2. Consider now the continuous body in Figure 2.2. L[ and zero outside (speciﬁcally at x = 0 and x = L).xx dx + wEu. Inserting the weight function into equation (2.12) yields
−
L 0
wEu.xx + f ).xx dx =
L 0
φ ( Eu.14)
which can be rearranged to give
L 0
φ ( Eu.13). For a more elaborate mathematical treatment.2. only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x appear.2 Continuum elasticity
two with respect to x appear.15)
Since φ > 0 and ( Eu.
(2.2 Continuum elasticity
A more complicated example is continuum elasticity. Following Hughes (1987). see Brenner and Scott (1994).
(2. Assuming that E is constant and integrating by parts the ﬁrst term in (2. What remains now is to ensure that the Neumann boundary condition is satisﬁed (Dirichlet boundary conditions are satisﬁed by construction).
January 21.
(2.13)
Note again that no terms at x = 0 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. The strong governing equation for this problem was developed in the previous chapter.

19)
On the remaining boundary. For a linearelastic material. σ = C : ǫ. (2. and integrating over the body Ω yields:
Ω
w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ = 0
∀w ∈ V . tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface). As in the one-dimensional case. (2. Note that in this case.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations
h
Γh Ω
Γg
n
Figure 2. the weight function w is a vector. the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions).21)
The ﬁrst term in equation (2. the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed.20)
The boundary-value problem is now complete. u=g on Γg .2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh . To derive the weak form. Multiplying equation (2. and integrated over the body.60)). On part of the boundary. Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ). 2011
.
(2.18)
where C is a fourth-order tensor. Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem.17) by w ∈ V .2.22)
24
Version 0. a constitutive relationship is required. Γh . t=h on Γh . the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V . the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg .21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1.
(2.2
January 21. (2. First. yielding:
−
Ω
∇w : σ dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ +
Γh
w · h dΓ = 0. In Figure 2.

26)
where u is a potential.24)
which is the equation of virtual work. However. the scalar u is the temperature.
Ω
δǫ : C : ǫ dΩ =
Ω
δu · b dΩ +
Γh
δu · h dΓ. In the case of heat conductivity. Consider the following equation:
−∇ · q + f = 0 in Ω
(2. Here the Poisson equation is addressed in a more generic fashion.23)
where S is an appropriate space of functions which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. Inserting the constitutive equation into (2.23). The equation of virtual work is therefore the weak form of the governing equation.
(2. For an isotropic medium.3 Poisson equation
where σn has been replaced by the prescribed traction h (the Neumann boundary condition). κ = κI.25)
where q is a ﬂux vector and f is a source term. For linear heat conduction. including steady-state heat conduction and ﬂow in permeable media (Darcy’s law). 2011
Version 0. where κ is the thermal conductivity.25) yields a Poisson equation. Consider now w as a ‘virtual displacement’ δu. The previous example of continuum elasticity was an example of a system of Poisson equations – one for each spatial direction.2. The constitutive relationship depends on the problem being solved. Consistency can be proven in the same fashion as was used for the onedimensional problem. Often the term ∇w is written as ∇s w. The constitutive relationship is given by: q = −κ ∇ u
(qi = −κij u. 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 . Inserting this into equation (2. Therefore ∇s w ≡ δǫ.
2. the symmetric gradient of w.
(2. u is the hydraulic head and κ is known as the hydraulic conductivity.
January 21.3 Poisson equation
An equation which is often solved using the ﬁnite element method is the Poisson equation. In Darcy’s law.18).j )
(2. the variational framework is more general.2
25
. It is simple to show that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric (see exercise 1). A wide range of physical phenomena are governed by this equation. There exists a close link between weak forms and virtual work for a range of problems. q is the heat ﬂux vector. q is the ﬂow rate. For Darcy’s law. This is the weak equilibrium equation for a stationary continuous elastic body. Inserting now the constitutive relationship from equation (2.

25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω. this is the temperature on the boundary Γg . For an elastic body Ω. w = u + v. 2011
. suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem. Multiplying equation (2. The Neumann boundary condition requires that:
−q · n = h on Γh
(2.33)
26
Version 0. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions. In the case of heat conduction. such as equilibrium of an elastic body.4 Minimisation of potential energy
For particular equations. For Darcy ﬂow.
(2. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples.
−
Ω
w (∇ · q) dΩ +
Ω
w f dΩ = 0
∀w ∈ V .
(2.2
January 21.
2.27)
which prescribes the potential on the boundary.2).
(2.28)
where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2. For heat conduction.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 . there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form.32)
The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld. and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary. and consider the potential energy functional I. this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh . (2. it is the hydraulic head. The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (2.31)
which is the weak form of the Poisson equation. I (u) = 1 2
Ω
∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ −
Ω
u · b dΩ −
∂Ω
u · h dΩ.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 .
(2.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations
As for all previous examples. 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.

it is clear that it involves only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x of u and w. As will be seen in the following chapters.2
27
.5 Regularity requirements
f
f . However. the weak form allows for more possible solutions. piecewise linear function. it is clear that it is simple to take the ﬁrst derivative of the function f .34)
Ω
∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ.xx ) must exist.2. 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. 2011
Version 0. This is a classic mathematical property of weak forms.3)). This means that the functions are continuous. the second derivative of f with respect to x ( f .3.
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. It is not a possible solution. In summary.3 is a continuous.x
x Figure 2.3: Example of a C0 function f .
January 21. this is a commonly used function in ﬁnite element analysis. Functions are often classiﬁed as being C n continuous. Therefore a function like f is a possible solution of the weak form and a possible weight function. Consider now if the function f is a possible solution u of the strong equation for a bar (equation (2. its second derivative does not exist. functions which are C0 are most commonly used. this means that its nth derivative is continuous.3) to make sense.23). since for equation (2.3. If a function is C n . and the last term Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ ≥ 0. Continuity refers to whether or not the derivatives of a function are continuous. and is essential for the ﬁnite element method. which proves that solution of the weak form corresponds to minimisation of the potential energy. From Figure 2. In ﬁnite element analysis. The function shown in Figure 2. but their ﬁrst derivatives are not.
2.12)). Examining now the weak form for the rod (equation (2. in a classical sense.5 Regularity requirements
A common topic in ﬁnite element analysis is continuity. A C0 function is shown in Figure 2.

The notation u ∈ H 1 means that u comes from (is an element of) H 1 . That is. When solving second-order differential equations.
28
Version 0. from which the trial and weight functions come.35)
Functions which are square integrable come from the Hilbert space known as L2 (Ω).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.36)
are known as members of the Sobolev space on degree one. For multiple spatial dimensions. A function u is said to be square integrable if:
Ω
(u)2 dx < ∞. which is denoted H 1 (Ω). which is deﬁned by:
V = {w | w ∈ H 1 (Ω) . Functions spaces can be considered the ‘family’ of functions from which u and w can come. since a fundamental step in the ﬁnite element method will involve ﬁnite-dimensional function spaces.
(2. w| Γg = 0}. Importantly.2
January 21.x )2 dΩ < ∞
(2.
2. This can be seen in the well-known Sobolev embedding theorem. In physical terms. Consider ﬁrst a scalar problem in an n-dimensional domain Ω. Clearly. The function space S is deﬁned by:
S = {u | u ∈ H 1 (Ω) . the requirement that the trial functions be square-integrable implies that energy must be ﬁnite. The weight functions come from the space V (w ∈ V ). Note that C0 functions belong to H 1 . but this point is not important here).
(2. u| Γg = g}. Functions for which:
Ω
(u)2 + (u. functions which have square-integrable derivatives are of interest. there do however exist functions from H 1 (Ω) which are not C0 continuous. It is useful to deﬁne function spaces.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. 2011
.
(2.38)
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. an inﬁnite number of different functions belong to a given Sobolev space. such functions may be discontinuous. Trial functions u come from the space S (u ∈ S ). This is of crucial importance.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 Helmholtz equation is given by:
∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0
and is often used in wave propagation problems.
2. Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2. ui | Γg = gi }
and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V .2
29
. wi | Γg = 0}. Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r.7 Exercises
1. is u a possible trial solution?
January 21. 4.40)
Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method. where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 0). 2011
Version 0. 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. Derive the weak form. 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).23) for elasticity using index notation.2. For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices). prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. 3.39)
V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) .) 2.
(2. u ∈ S where
S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) . a = b)
5.
(2. (Hint: use index notation.7 Exercises
In multiple dimensions.

.

uh ∈ S h . Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin. it is generic for a range of different problems. respectively. This means that there is a limited number of possibilities.4)
L 0 h h w. consider the approximate solution to some problem.x dx
∀w h ∈ V h
(3.
(3.5)
31
. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . uh = L wh where B wh . as developed in the previous chapter.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that
−
L 0
h h w.1 Approximate solution
First.2)
(3. Commonly.
3. The Galerkin method is however more general.x Eu.x dx + w h h| x= L = 0
∀w h ∈ V h . It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations.x Eu. 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. and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions.3 The Galerkin method
The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh . For example. where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space. (3. uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L .1)
where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space.3)
This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact. 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. The essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation. The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2. In a multidimensional context. uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions. Furthermore. being able to solve a greater range of problems.23).

uh = 0
∀w h ∈ V h
(3.9) into equation (3. this will be investigated using the abstract notation.10)
Since u is the exact solution. B wh . the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3.1).2 Basic error analysis
It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution. Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented. this implies that: B wh .6)
wh · b dΩ +
Γh
(3. taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.7)
The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally.2.
3. e − L wh = 0
∀w h ∈ V h
(3. which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis. Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h .9)
For generality. The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3.
(3. Inserting equation (3. 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. B wh . the Bubnov-Galerkin method) requires that the weight and trial functions come from the same ﬁnite-dimensional space.2). often in ﬂuid mechanics. u − B wh . This is examined in the following section. For the one-dimensional problem. A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u. Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis.3 The Galerkin method
where ǫ h = ∇s uh . In the ﬁnite element method. why it doesn’t work). e = B wh . u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . This method is used for special applications. the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. uh and w h will be simple continuous.2
January 21.11)
32
Version 0.8)
where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’. uh = and L wh =
Ω Ω
∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ
wh · h dΓ. B w h . In the abstract notation of equation 3. u − B wh . In Petrov-Galerkin method. 2011
.

**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

Version 0.2

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.

34

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

**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

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
nodes.x wi
i =1
n
E
∑ Nj.5)
and inserting the expression for the expressions for the approximate displacement ﬁeld and the weight function.7)
36
Version 0.
Ω h h w. these basis functions are known as ‘shape functions’.
∑ wi
i =1
n
Ω
Ni. the strain ﬁeld can be computed easily by taking the derivative of the shape functions. discretised with n nodal points.4)
Recalling the weak form for a one-dimensional elastic rod.x =
dNi u.
(4. it can be taken outside of the integrals. Given that wi is not a function of spatial position. an expression is needed for the weight function w h .
i =1
n
(4.2)
where ui is the value of the ﬁeld uh at node i.
(4.3)
To develop the Galerkin problem.1)
where xi is the coordinate of node i. is given by x x i −1 − x i −1 < x ≤ x i . The basis function at node i. From this expression. Hence.x Eu. It is expressed using the same basis functions as the displacement ﬁeld.
i =1
n
(4. the approximate displacement ﬁeld is given in terms of the shape functions and the approximate displacement at a ﬁnite number of points (nodes). dx i i =1
∑
n
(4. In ﬁnite element analysis.
h ǫh = u.
Ω
∑ Ni. hence wh =
∑ Ni wi .x wi
i =1
n
h dΓ
(4. For a one-dimensional bar.x u j
j =1
n
dΩ
=
Ω
∑ Ni wi
i =1
n
f dΩ +
Γh
∑ Ni.x E
∑ Nj.
(4. x i − x i +1 − x i − x i +1 0 otherwise. the approximate displacement ﬁeld uh is given by uh =
∑ Ni ( x) ui . 2011
.x u j
j =1
n
dΩ =
∑ wi
i =1
n
Ω
Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi
i =1
n
Γh
Ni h dΓ.x dΩ = Ω
w h f dΩ +
Γh
w h h dΓ
∀ wh ∈ V h .2
January 21. x i − x i −1 x i − x i −1 x i +1 x Ni = x i < x < x i +1 .6)
for all possible values of wi .

∑ wi ∑ u j
i =1 j =1
n
n
Ω
Ni.11)
Nj f dΩ +
Γh
Nj h dΓ
(4. Dirichlet boundary conditions must be enforced.4. If a boundary condition is applied at node k.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
Likewise. A typical ﬁnite element mesh is shown in Figure 4. u j can also be taken outside of the integrals. while elements are lines (1D). and the kth term is deleted from the vector f . for each i
∑ uj
j =1
n
Ω
Ni. A simple ﬁnite element
January 21. and f = f i as the right-hand side (RHS) vector. In order the solve the linear system. Therefore.9)
must hold. surfaces (2D) or volumes (3D) which are constructed by joining nodal points. Kij u j = f i . Elements may not overlap. For the zero Dirichlet conditions.10)
Ni. Nodes are points in space. Matrices and vectors can be built for each element before being assembled into global matrices and vectors.x E Nj.x dΩ
(4. It is useful to deﬁne shape functions on ﬁnite elements. which can be expressed as the system of equations.8)
This equation must hold for all possible combinations of wi . and n unknowns in the form of ui ).x E Nj. This yields n equations (one for each wi . A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal points and elements. Consider the case that all but one wi is equal to zero.x E Nj. then the row and the column k is removed from the stiffness matrix.x dΩ =
Ω
Ni f dΩ +
Γh
Ni h dΓ
(4. where Kij = and fi =
Ω Ω
(4. A mesh divides a body into a number of elements. and hence an expression for the approximate displacement ﬁeld along the rod.
4.2. this is relatively simple. 2011
Version 0.12)
The matrix K = Kij is commonly known as the stiffness matrix. The problem has been divided into many quadrilateral elements.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. Solving this linear system of equations provides u j . A discussion of more general boundary conditions is delayed until the end of the chapter.2
37
.x dΩ
=
∑ wi
i =1
n
Ω
Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi
i =1
n
Γh
Ni h dΓ.
(4.

3: Simple two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh.2: Typical two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh. 2011
.2
January 21.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
Figure 4.
7 8 5 7 8 6
38
Version 0.
6 4 3 4 3 1 2 1 2 5 9
Figure 4.

the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’. known as ﬁnite elements. Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4. Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns. Both nodes and elements are numbered. each multiplied by a nodal value.4.2
39
. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions.2. Having a compact support.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin.3. linear one dimensional elements. 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 .1. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node. the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements. In the ﬁnite element method. Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node.4.3. 2011
Version 0. In Figure 4. The bar has two nodes. Ni .
4. A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached. denoted by the solid circles. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements.
mesh is shown in Figure 4. (4. Each element has three nodes. as introduced in Section 4. 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. are examined.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions. is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes. As in the one-dimensional case. the amplitude). For a node i. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections.13)
January 21. the shape function associated with that node. and zero at all other nodes.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
1
1
1
2
L x=0
Figure 4.

the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element.16) x + 1. Therefore. ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 .22) (4. where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 . the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required.2
January 21. It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple. where N = N1 and ae = a1 .21)
The shape functions for two linear elements are shown in Figure 4.17)
In the case of a linear displacement interpolation. a2 (4.20) N2 .16) with respect to x. L L (4. the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae . Taking the derivative of equation (4.14) (4. In matrix-vector notation. as its shape functions are linear polynomials. in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae . Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node). 2011
. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 . L
This type of element is known as a linear element. to solve a problem. dx dx 1 dx L L (4. Now. the displacement and strain can be calculated in any part of the element. The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence.5. (4.
40
Version 0. The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems. dx (4.19) (4.15)
x . The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position. L (4.18)
The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae .

Nnn (4.. In two dimensions.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
1
1
1
L1
L2
Figure 4. each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions. the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh =
∑ Ni (x) ai . (4.27)
January 21.. For a one-dimensional quadratic element.25)
The matrix N contains the element shape functions. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations. (4. Nnn 0 0 . The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae . More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required. the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element. and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae .
i =1
3
(4.4.26) (4. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 .2. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic.6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements.5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements.24)
and the B matrix has a similar form.23)
Therefore. 4.2
41
.2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions. Higher-order elements simply have more nodes. obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant. Figure 4.. .. 2011
Version 0.

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. a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y . 0 (4. It is shown in Figure 4.6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements. ∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn . 2011
.28) B= 0 .2
January 21.. . For a two-dimensional problem... For two-dimensional problems. where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 .7... . ann x ann y
42
Version 0. (4. 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. ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x
The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle.29) ae = . 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 ..

2
43
.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
( x3 .8. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 . yi ) is the location of the ith node.4. 2011
Version 0. y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0. y2 )
Figure 4.33)
Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1. N1 ( x2 .30)
The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4.1 Consider the element in Figure 4. y1 )
( x2 .7. Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes. y3 )
3
1 2
( x1 . the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations. N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 . N1 ( x3 .8: Shape function for a three-node element. y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1. Example 4.32) (4. hence the strain in the element is constant. (4. Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 .31) (4. (4. Given the following coordinates of each of
where ( xi . y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0.34) c3 x3 y3 1 0
January 21. Consider node 1 in Figure 4. (4.
Figure 4.7.7: Three-node triangular element. It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant.

x
and the B matrix is of the form: N1. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
the nodes. Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems.x
N3. y3 ) = (2.y N1. A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4.y N2.x N2.x 0 N1. due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions.y 0 N2. y2 ) = (4.36)
44
Version 0. 3)
To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients. A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4. 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.y
A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral.x 0 N2. a system of equations (see equation (4.
( x1 . (4. the strain in this element is not constant.25x − 0. the N and B matrices can be formed.25y + 0.35)
It is also know as a bilinear element.x 0 N3.y N3. the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2. Unlike the three-node triangle.25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node. y1 ) = (1. 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. 2) ( x2 . 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0.10.2
January 21. 1) ( x3 . Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated.y B= 0 N1. ﬁnd the shape function for node 2. 2011
. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 .9.34)) is formed.

As with the three-node triangle.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element.12).
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 4.11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1. Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4.15. Linear.9: Four-node quadrilateral element.13.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
4 3 1
2 Figure 4. a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions. the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations. Each time the order of a triangle is increased.2
45
. They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange. Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order. Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4. = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1
(4. Note that serendipity
1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 . 2011
Version 0. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4.14.
Figure 4.37)
January 21.4. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed.

2
January 21..
46
Version 0..12: Pascal triangle – polynomial terms for triangular elements of order n.
Figure 4.11: Two shape functions for a six-node triangular element..
Figure 4. y y2 y3 y4 .. x2 y x 2 y2 ...4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
Figure 4. quadratic and cubic triangular elements. x3 y .13: Linear. .. ... 2011
....
1 x x2 x3 x4 .. xy xy2 xy3 ..

2
47
. 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 .4.. and are therefore not recommended. The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation. The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4. Eight. (4. Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.16.. y y2 y3 y4 . x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 . ....
Figure 4.38)
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 . 2011
Version 0.15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
(a)
(b) Figure 4.39)
January 21.. 1 x x2 x3 x4 ...and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis.14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements.
elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms. (4.

x3 y x 3 y2 x 3 y3 x2 y x 2 y2 x 2 y3 .
Figure 4. Commonly used shapes are tetrahedra and bricks.and two-dimensional elements.40)
Similar to the three-node triangle. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xyz + c2 xy + c3 xz + c4 yz + c5 x + c6 y + c7 z + c8 . .
Figure 4. The simplest brick element has eight nodes. xy xy2 xy3 . They can be formed in the same fashion as one. (4.17: Tetrahedral and brick three-dimensional ﬁnite elements. They are of the form: N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 z + c4 ... Not only do the elements tend to have more nodes.17..
48
Version 0.2
January 21. the derivatives of the shape functions are constant within an element..16: Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements.. These two elements are shown in Figure 4..3 Three-dimensional elements Three-dimensional elements are increasingly used in engineering analysis... The computational effort required for three-dimensional analysis can become high. The numbers of nodes per element increases rapidly. they often have more degrees of freedom per node.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
1 x x2 x3 .. Also. (4. A four-node tetrahedral element has linear shape functions.2...41)
This is known as a ‘trilinear element’. y y2 y3 . . Higher-order version of both tetrahedral and brick elements also exist. 4. wedge type elements are often used for generating meshes for complex geometries.. 2011
.

45)
The be terms appear on both sides of the equality.44)
where the integral over Γh.e
N T h dΓ. the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3. The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh . Now. 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). 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.18).18: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 .
l2 l1
B T EB dΩ ae =
Γh. 2011
Version 0.e
( Nbe ) T h dΓ.3 Governing equations
At this point. wh = Nbe . 1989)
4. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals.
(4. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as:
l2 l1
( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ =
Γh.
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).3 Governing equations
x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L
Figure 4.1)) is considered.
(4. What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation.e
N T h dΓ. 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.42) (4. Therefore.43)
∇ w = Bbe . (4.46)
January 21. and can therefore be eliminated.4. for the multi-dimensional case within an element.2
49
. Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4.
(4.e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary Γh .

the point ( x. 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).48)
(recall that b denotes the body force). From the point of view of implementation. the term k ij relates local nodes i and j.50) (4. as is discussed in the following section.51)
where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. (4. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K. A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges. isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. For a two dimensional problem.47)
is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’.2
January 21. the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3. For an element stiffness matrix. This yields:
Ωe
( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ =
Γh. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix. Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element. and similarly for J. y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian
50
Version 0. Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem. irrespective of the exact shape of the element. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke .
4. it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element. the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ.49)
Ωe
Γh.e
( Nbe ) T h dΓ +
Ωe
( Nbe ) T b dΩ
(4.4 Isoparametric mapping
In practice.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
The term ke =
l2 l1
B T EB dΩ
(4. This approach has a number of advantages. e= (4. e= f = Ane 1 f e . An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions. 2011
. It also allows the simple application of numerical integration.e
Ωe
Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. In the global mesh.5). local node i has global node number I. The component k ij is added to the location K I J . For a continuum elasticity problem.

The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ.
i =1 nn i =1
(4. and nn is number of nodes of the element. consider the application of the product rule for differentia-
January 21. 2011
Version 0. such as the bi-unit square.−1)
y
2
(1.53)
The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates.1)
2 4
4
3
η ξ
1
(−1. Using an isoparametric mapping.
i =1
(4.4. shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes. η ) aix . η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’.19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square.4 Isoparametric mapping
x
3
(−1. ξ and η.−1)
x
1
ξ
Figure 4. taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x.19. η ) yi . The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4. y) system. derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required. η ) in the bi-unit square. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ. In the governing weak equations. To proceed. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates.2
51
. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by:
nn
uh =
∑ Ni (ξ. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates. η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x. The map ξ is the inverse of x.
conﬁguration is given by:
nn
x= y=
∑ Ni (ξ.52)
∑ Ni (ξ. η ) xi .
where (ξ.1) (1.

∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .
nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.η y j = .52)). ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y
J
(4.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η
J
where j = det J.2
January 21. (4.60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj. deﬁned in terms of ξ and η. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian.ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52
Version 0. ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = . ∂η ∂η i i =1
(4.55)
(4.η x j ∑nn1 Nj. 2011
. ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . the terms in the matrix J can be computed.57) the derivatives of the shape function of node i with respect to x and y can be computed. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y. (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
tion for a function f .59)
Once terms of the matrix J have been formed.ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj.58)
In light of the isoparametric mapping (equation (4.54) (4. (4. ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = . ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj. Using the shape function. ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y. from equation (4.56)
where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.

Hughes. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements. Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates.0) 4
2 (1.0)
r
1 (0. 4 (4.4 Isoparametric mapping
s
(0. (4.0)
r
Figure 4. s and t.
Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple.and nine-node elements (Hughes.61)
Similar formulae can be found for eight. where: t = 1 − r − s. η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) . 2011
Version 0.1)
3
3
6
5
2 1 (0. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ.62)
January 21. 1987). The latter approach is followed here. 1996. The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r. 1987).4.
Now.1)
s
(0. they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration.20.20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates.2
53
. once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain. and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element.
Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements. A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. Consider the triangle in Figure 4. This way. a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4.19.0) (1. While this procedure may seen complex.

65)
Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4. Before proceeding to the element matrices. For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element. N6 = 4st. it convenient to integrate in the (ξ. consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ =
1 1
Ωe
−1 −1
B T DBj dξ dη. To do this.
N2 = 2r − r. s and t on triangles (Hughes.3). Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t. N2 = r. η ) domain. N5 = 4rs. To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation).67)
i =1
where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain.21. Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration. Numerical integration is illustrated 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 .68)
54
Version 0. numerical integration is applied. (4.
There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r.
(4.63) (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4.66)
N3 = 2s2 − s.20. It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements).
(4. While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4.
4.2
January 21. To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element. 166).
1 nint
−1
f (ξ ) dξ ≃
∑ f ( ξ i ) wi . (4.20 are then: N1 = t.
2
N4 = 4rt. then the mid-side nodes. 2011
. For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1. p. 1987. N3 = s.64) (4. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered. the problem is not yet fully discrete.5 Numerical integration
At this stage.

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

2: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.
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 4.2
January 21. 1]. 1]. 2011
.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 4.1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.
56
Version 0.

Reduced integration schemes can improve the performance of some elements for special applications. In summary.modes which do not contribute to the energy. In solid and structural mechanics. They appear naturally in the weak formulation (hence the common name ‘natural boundary conditions’).2
57
. This means that a deformation mode exists which does not contribute to the energy. Similarly. In two dimensions. In one dimension. Figure 4.3. recommended integration schemes for commonly used one. although it is safer to use full integration. 2011
Version 0. To integrate a quadratic function in two dimensions.4.and twodimensional elements are shown in Table 4. there should only be one zero eigenvalue which corresponds to translation. This deformation mode can develop in an uncontrolled fashion.22: Spurious zero energy mode for the eight-node quadrilateral element when using 2 × 2 integration. The danger of underintegrating elements is that spurious modes may arise. For some applications it may be advantageous to use reduced integration schemes in combination with particular elements.22 shows the classic ‘hour-glass’ spurious mode for an eight-node quadrilateral when using reduced 2 × 2 integration. although a 2 × 2 scheme is often used.
4. the eight-node quadrilateral requires 3 × 3 points for full integration. there should be only three zero eigenvalues. two points are required in each direction. the trial functions (uh ) must satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. It is often argued that a zero energy mode will be restrained by neighbouring elements. A test for the element stiffness matrix is to calculate its eigenvalues. Non-zero Dirichlet boundary conditions are more complicated to enforce. In the Galerkin method. quadratic variation. The number of zero eigenvalues indicates the number of rigid body modes . two relating the translation (x and y directions) and one for rigid body rotation. although it is often integrated with just one point. If a two-dimensional element has more than three zero eigenvalues.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions
Figure 4. there is likely a deﬁciency in the formulation.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions
The imposition of Neumann (force) boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method is straightforward.
January 21. The four-node quadrilateral element requires 2 × 2 points for full integration.

58
Version 0. 2011
.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 4.2
January 21.3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements.

4. ij j
(4. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector.74)
j =1
∑ ke ge .1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh .mod = f ie −
nn
(4. vv vg (4.4. vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g
=
fv fg
. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed. Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. f ie. 2011
Version 0. Two common approached are outlined below. ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g
=
fv . It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v .
January 21. vv vg In terms of indexes. 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.71)
where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.6.70)
where uh is the displacement. Since g is known.2
59
. it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved. the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions
this means that the uh must satisfy the prescribed displacements where they are speciﬁed. In discretised form at element level. (4.75)
Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed.72)
Since g is known. ke av = f e − ke g. 0
(4. and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions.
(4. 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.73)
where av is the only unknown.

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. However. which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart).2
January 21. 2004). Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
4. The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k.6. For a plane elasticity problem. Show why this is. symmetry is lost. 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. except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. Consider the Laplace equation. 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. 2011
. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2.
4. The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. The three-node triangle element is often referred to as the ‘constant strain triangle’ (CST).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. 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. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f . 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. 4.7 Exercises
1. Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5.
60
Version 0.

8.2.1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0. 2011
Version 0. Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration.7 Exercises
6.2
61
.
January 21. 7.7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 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. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance.4. Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4.

.

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

0 0. The list can begin with any node of the element.2. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness).5 2. The problem in Figure 5. The list in Figure 5.82 1.0 0.0
Figure 5. the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5.
% 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. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis.2 Program ﬂow
Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data. For each element. the is Young’s modulus.6 0.
5. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed.0 2. The connectivity list for Figure 5. First. the node numbers are listed. the calculation phase can begin.2: Nodal coordinates. 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).3.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement.0 0.1 2.0 0. 2011
. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems
64
Version 0.8 2.1 y 0. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material.1 is given in Figure 5. In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity.7 0.4 gives the applied boundary condition.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method
% node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0.76 2.2
January 21. For each node. The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0. The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition.3: Element connectivity.0 0.0 1. the x and y coordinate is given.5 0.1 2.

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

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

65

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.

66

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

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.

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

67

k) ) else a_e(jj) = g_e(jj) % displacement is prescribed end end end % return to main program
Figure 5.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).j).9: Formation of element stiffness matrix.:) = x(connect(i.
68
Version 0.:) % 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 .8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i.2
January 21.k) ~= 0 a_e(jj) = a( ID(connect(i. 2011
.
% 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.j).

m) ll = l*dof_per_node . 2011
Version 0.jj) = K(ii.ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program
Figure 5.2
69
.j).3 Local-global
% impose Dirichlet boundary conditions for i=1:nodes_per_element*dof_per_node f_e(:) = f_e(:) .jj) + k_e(kk.5.
January 21. k) kk = j*dof_per_node .
% 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.11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays.k_e(:.dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions.dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii.i)*g_e(i) end % return to main program
Figure 5.l).

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

The internal force vector for an element is given by:
int fe =
Ωe
B T σ dΩ +
Ωe
N T b dΩ
(5. stresses and reaction forces.1)
Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. the internal force vector should be zero where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. This means that the body is in equilibrium. It is important to realise that the stress computed at a point is not always reliable. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int . it gives the reaction force at each node. Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements.2
71
.5 Post-processing
5.5. More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. 2011
Version 0. including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied). post-processing of the data is required.5 Post-processing
After a calculation has been completed. For static problems.
January 21.

.

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

The displacement components can be rotated using the matrix Q (see section 1. For a two dimensional truss structure.4)
The following deﬁnitions are now adopted:
74
Version 0. the rotation matrix has the form: QT = cos θ − sin θ sin θ cos θ (6. the above problem can be reduced to give: a1x a1y a1x⋆ Q11 Q21 0 0 . (6. displacements in the y⋆ -direction are not resisted by an element.and y⋆ -directions are given by: Q Q21 0 0 a1x a1x⋆ ⋆ 11 a1y Q Q22 0 0 a1y = 12 . Given that the only displacements of interest are the in x ⋆ -direction. The only displacement of any consequence for an element is in the x ⋆ -direction. and in two dimensions. a node will have three degrees of freedom. Since truss elements are based on the assumption that only normal forces (σx⋆ ) can be transmitted. the vector ae has four components (a component in the x and y direction at each node).3) = a2x⋆ 0 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2y a⋆ = e a1x⋆ a2x⋆ . of a linear bar.2) 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2x⋆ 0 ⋆ 0 0 Q12 Q22 a2y a2y where Qij are components of the matrix Q. Denoting the angle between the x-axis and the x ⋆ -axis as θ. (6. two degrees of freedom. The displacements at nodes one and two. the rotation is particularly simple. (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Fx* x*
y*
y z* z x
Figure 6.1)
The vector ae holds the displacement components at the nodes of an element. 2011
.1) to give the nodal displacements in terms of the coordinate system aligned with the axis of the truss element.2
January 21. three dimensions.2: Linear truss element in three-dimensional space. in the x ⋆ . Therefore.

Inserting the relationships in equations (6.x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae
(6. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ.8) into the weak governing equation (2.
January 21.9)
where the LHS of equation (6. Clearly.1 Rod elements in space
and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 . (6.6)
where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4.10)
Ωe
This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q. Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar.9) is the stiffness matrix. e (6. multidimensional coordinate system.6.
Ωe
( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ =
Γh
( Nbe ) T h dΓ. The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by:
h ǫh⋆ = u.
h w.8)
(recall that be is a variation). where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar.19) for a linear element). the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed.7)
Similarly. and eliminating be . A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure.2
75
. It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar.5)
The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae . the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom.
(6. and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global.7) and (6.x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆
(6.12). 2011
Version 0. Q21 (6.

straight. v.x y
x
Figure 6. For a transverse displacement v. the ‘domain’ of the beam.2
January 21.3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 . The second is the Timoshenko beam.2. and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 . The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements. Figure 6. Consistent with previous sections. x2 ). The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2
Figure 6. x2 ).4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment. which takes into account shear deformations. there are no out-of plane forces or moments.3. 2011
. 6. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation. is denoted Ω = ( x1 . which is valid for relatively slender beams. For simplicity. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam
76
Version 0. in-plane beams are considered.
6. The outward normal is denoted n.1 Kinematics of a beam Beam theory is based upon the assumption that planes which are normal to the beam’s axis remain plane.x
v. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6.2 Beams
Two types of beams are considered in this section.

which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis. where n is the outward unit normal vector. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated. 2011
Version 0.5. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6.2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways.6 that θ = v. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω.6. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line.x − γ. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear. In the second method. equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly.x y
x Figure 6. 6.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam.
(6. Note that M = m n and Q = q n. It is clear from Figure 6. it is clear
January 21.12)
and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q=
h/2
− h/2
σxy dy.2
77
. as illustrated in Figure 6.6. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation. the ﬁbre will not rotate. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear.2. which will be followed here.11)
− h/2
σxx y dy. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m=
h/2
(6.13)
Figure 6.
(6.2 Beams
γ
v.

2011
.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.x y
x
Figure 6.
78
Version 0.
+Q
n y n
+M
x
Figure 6.2
January 21.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
γ
θ
v.7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant.

translational equilibrium requires that q. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv .x + f y = 0.17) (6. on ΓQ .20b)
Denoting applied end forces Fy . Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ.x dΩ +
f y dΩ = 0. Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅
+ f y ) x dΩ =
(6.21c) (6.
Ω (q. and boundary conditions.16)
dΩ
dΩ
Ω
This expression can be rearranged such that m.15)
Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam.x − q = 0.20a) (6. For rotational equilibrium. therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m.19)
(6. Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅. on ΓM .3).
(6. are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories. (6.18)
Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0. it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0. it is clear that
Ω
Ω
q. on Γθ .14)
Noting that
q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 .21a) (6.
(6. The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ.21d)
These equations. 2011
Version 0.6.2
79
. distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6.
January 21.2 Beams
that: q n dΓ +
dΩ
dΩ
Ω
f y dΩ = 0.21b) (6.x
Ω
Ω
Ω
Ω
(6.x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0. (6.x dΩ − q dΩ − q.

21d)).2
January 21.27)
80
Version 0.26)
which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam. and then inserting equation (6.xx dΩ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.24).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.19) with respect to x. 2011
. and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero.23)
The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6. Multiplying equation (6. dx4
(6. two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6. Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6.21b)).22)
which also implies that κ= (6. Being a fourth-order equation.21a) and (6.24)
where I is the moment of inertia of the beam. The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
6. Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6. 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.25) by a weight function v. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved.
(6.
− EI
d4 v + f y = 0. With appropriate boundary conditions. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v.21c) and (6. dx2 (6. dx d2 v . θ= dv . the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed.16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0. from an appropriately deﬁned space.25)
Assuming EI to be constant.2. dx2 d2 v . Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2. dx2 (6.

has second-order derivatives in its weak form. Note that a fourth-order problem. Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω). v = 0 on Γv .1.33)
δv.xx EIv.x n dΓ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.xx
(6. For completeness. For the weak form to ‘make sense’. v = gv on Γv .x = gθ on Γθ . ¯ Ω v.x m.28)
Applying integrating by parts again.x dΩ.29)
Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6. 2011
Version 0.x mn dΓ +
Γ
¯ vm.34)
which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam.x m.x dΩ +
Γ
¯ vm. The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv . this time to the term
Ω
¯ v. continuity) than for classical continuum problems. and v. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that
−
Ω
¯ v.
(6. which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist.
(6.32b)
For the case of an elastic continuum. The existence of second-order derivatives in the weak form deserves some special attention. v.31)
In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous.24).30)
where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.
(6. it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’.21d). the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by:
S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . .32a) (6.6.x T dΓ +
ΓQ
¯ vFy dΓ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0
¯ ∀v ∈ V . v. it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work. (6. after integrating by parts twice.2
81
.x T dΓ +
ΓQ
δvFy dΓ +
Ω
δv f y dΩ
(6. which contains functions satisfying:
Ω
v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞. the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.
¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . This is in contrast to second-order problems.xx dΩ −
ΓM
¯ v. Consistency of the above weak form can be proven following the same procedure as in in Section 2.x . which require C0 continuity only.xx EIv.x = 0 on Γθ .21c) and (6.2 Beams
Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields:
−
Ω
¯ v.x n dΓ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.30) gives:
Ω
(6.xx m dΩ −
Γ
¯ v.
January 21. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6. Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6.xx dΩ = −
ΓM
δv.x = 0 on Γθ .

but not necessarily normal.36)
where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area. 2011
. the shear strain γ. Relative to the Bernoulli-Euler theory.19) and (6.35)
where γ is the rotation due to shear. Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
6.19) and (6. 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. an additional unknown. Recall from equation (6. GAS (6. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ.37) dv −θ . and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. in Ω.39) (6.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation.40)
+ fy = 0
which are two coupled second-order equations. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ. q = GAs γ = GAs (6. Planes must remain plane. dx (6.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx
− EI
GAs
=0
in Ω. has been introduced.2. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent. the problem is complete.
(6. and the second for the displacement v.
82
Version 0.11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ.2
January 21. dx (6. This means that shear deformations can be taken into account. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q .38)
and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns.

xx EIv.x dΩ −
Ω
Ω
¯ θGAs (v.x − θ ) n x dΓ +
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.x − θ ) dΩ +
¯ vGAs (v.45) and (6. 6.
(6. ¯ θ.43) (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.40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v.
−
Ω
δκ m dΩ +
Ω
δγ q dΩ = −
ΓM
δθ T dΓ +
ΓQ
δv Fy dΓ +
Ω
δv f y dΩ (6. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts.x − θ.
Applying integration by parts once.
Ω
(6.2.
Ω
(6.46)
−
¯ v.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. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation.45) (6.x GAs (v.
¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv . As with all problems.x EIθ.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.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.x − θ ) dΩ +
ΓQ
ΓM Ω
¯ θT dΓ = 0.x ) dΩ +
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.x EIθ.42)
¯ vGAs (v.x T dΓ +
ΓQ
¯ vh Fy dΓ +
Ω
¯ vh f y dΩ = 0
¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition.6. and using γ = v.x − θ ) dΩ = 0. 2011
Version 0.xx dΩ = − ΓM
¯h v.x GAs (v. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model. ¯ ¯ As before.x dΩ −
Ω
Ω
Γ
¯ θEIθ.47)
For many mechanical problems.41) (6.39) and (6.48)
January 21. adding the weak forms in equations (6.
−
Ω
Ω
¯ θEIθ.2
83
. and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition.x n dΓ −
Γ
Ω
¯ θGAs (v.xx dΩ −
Ω
¯ θGAs (v.2 Beams
Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6. The test and trial functions should be at least C0 continuous (in contrast to the C1 continuity for the Bernoulli-Euler theory).xx − θ. and v = 0 on Γv .44)
−
¯ v.

As for continuum elements.50d) h2 for an element of length h with ends from x1 to x2 (x2 > x1 ). Crucially. However.x ae = N1. Such shape functions can be constructed relatively easily in one dimension (the extension to multiple dimensions is however far from trivial).x = N. the second derivative of a C0 continuous function does not exist in a classical sense. The problem that arises is that simple C0 ﬁnite element shape functions are not suitable.x M1. The above equation requires the evaluation of the second derivative of the interpolated displacement ﬁeld. The use of C0 interpolations for fourth-order problems is not mathematically consistent and can lead to unpredictable results.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
where S h ⊂ S and V h ⊂ V are ﬁnite-dimensional spaces.x M2. The solution is to use C1 shape functions. and involve both displacement and rotational degrees of freedom. 2011
. Hermitian polynomials are C1 functions.x N2. and the shape functions are equal to:
− ( x − x2 )2 (− h + 2 ( x1 − x )) (6.51) 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.50c) M1 = h2 ( x − x1 )2 ( x − x2 ) M2 = (6.2
January 21. convergence of the solution is not assured for interpolations with insufﬁcient continuity. we wish to express the displacement ﬁeld v in terms of shape functions and nodal degrees of freedom. The displacement at a point in the beam is given by: v1 θ1 h (6. This results in a cubic interpolation of the displacement along the element.52) v. The displacement ﬁeld vh is given by: vh ( x ) = ∑ ( Ni ( x ) vi + Mi ( x ) θi ) .49)
where vi and θi are degrees of freedom associated with node i.50b) h3 ( x − x1 ) ( x − x2 ) 2 (6. The ﬁrst derivative is given by: v1 θ1 h (6. A Hermitian beam element with two nodes has four degrees of freedom (two displacement degrees of freedom and two rotation degrees of freedom).x v2 θ2 84
Version 0.
i 2
(6.50a) h3 ( x − x1 )2 ( h + 2 ( x2 − x )) N2 = (6.

(6.54)
After some rearranging.
Ω
N.xx
M2. 2011
Version 0.57)
The operation to form the RHS vector essentially translates the applied loads into equivalent nodal shear forces and moments. they can be inserted into the Galerkin problem.x T T dΓ +
ΓQ
N T Fy dΓ
+
Ω
N T f y dΩ.xx can be computed given ae .xx T EI N.
(6.56)
and the RHS vector by:
fe =
ΓQ
N T Fy dΓ −
ΓM
N T T dΓ +
Ω
N T f y dΩ.x and v.xx ae = N1.6.xx dΩ.2 Beams
The second derivative of v is given by: v1 θ1 v2 θ2
h v.53)
h h Now that vh .xx = N.xx dΩ ae = −
ΓM
N.xx be ) T EI N.xx
N2.
(6.55)
The element stiffness matrix is given by:
ke =
Ω
N.xx
(6.
January 21.xx T EI N.2
85
. v.xx
M1.x be ) T T dΓ +
ΓQ
( Nbe ) T Fy dΓ
Ω
+
( Nbe ) T f y dΩ (6.
Ω
( N.xx ae dΩ = −
ΓM
( N.

Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x.58a) (6.59a) (6. the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly.50). h3 6x 1 M1.xx = − 3 .59d)
Inserting these terms into equation (6. h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2. h h 12x N2.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6.xx = 12x .xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1. M2.56).59b) (6.x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) .58g) (6.59c) (6. x1 = − h/2). M2. h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) .58e) (6. N1.x = . 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) . h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) .x = − . 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.2
January 21.xx = 2 − .60)
Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86
Version 0.58f) (6.xx = . h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.x = (6. h 6x 1 M2. h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2.58h)
Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0.58b) (6.xx = 2 + .xx = h2 N1.xx = − . h h (6. N1. 2011
.58c) (6.58d) (6.
(6.

x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4.x EIθ.2
87
. 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 . − 6EI h2 4EI h
(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. and corresponding derivatives.64b) (6. v h = N v av .Q
N v T Fy dΓ +
Ωe
N v T f y dΩ.62) and (6.2 Beams
to be constant).66)
January 21.61)
Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple.6.65)
Ωe
Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e
Ωe
Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e
=
Γe.M
N θ T dΓ. e θ θ N be .
(6.
A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ. Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6.x GAs v.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. in terms of shape functions and nodal variable.
T
(6.
(6.x − θ h
dΩ = −
ΓQ
ΓM
¯ θ h T dΓ
h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ .64d)
N θ aθ . due to the second-order nature of the governing equations. e N v bv . e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh =
h h
(6. (6.63)
Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ h . 2011
Version 0.x − θ h
dΩ =
Ω
¯ vh f y dΩ +
¯ vh Fy dΓ
h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv .62)
h ¯h v.64c) (6.64a) (6.

75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88
Version 0.72) (6.Q
N v T Fy dΓ +
Ωe
Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ).67)
where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ =
Ωe
Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ. (6.M
N θ T dΓ. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L.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. Locking Conceptually.68) (6. This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish. kθθ = (6.73)
Γe.
Ωe Ωe
T
T
(6. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ.
T
T
(6. N v T f y dΩ.69) (6. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation. the result are plagued by shear locking.2
January 21. Ideally.71)
kθv = − kvθ = − kvv =
Ωe
N θ GAs Bv dΩ.70) (6.
and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv =
Γe.
T
Bv T GAs Bv dΩ. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 . only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 . and both short and slender beams could be analysed. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions. However. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems. resulting in an overly stiff response. 2011
. Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams.

78)
Therefore.80)
which is independent of I.77)
If at one end the beam is clamped. 2011
Version 0. If the term
Ωe
N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration
T
January 21.76)
Therefore. this element will exhibit a very stiff response.79)
If L is large. GAs (6.6. v2 ≈ 4PL .81)
which is the correct result.2
89
. θ1 = v1 = 0. and a shear load P is applied one end. 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. v2 ≈ PL . EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2
−
GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L
(6.2 Beams
and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L
kvv e
(6. Even with a very ﬁne mesh. As L → 0. the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6. GAs (6. will yield a very stiff response.

and as L → 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
(which is reduced for this term). v2 ≈ PL GAs (6.
90
Version 0. where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking 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. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2
(6.2
January 21. The case is similar for quadratic elements.82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now.85)
When using reduced integration. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6. 2011
. this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned.84)
which qualitatively the desired response. for the one element problem clamped at one end.83)
If L is very large.

1987. respectively). 6. The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed. the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented. u2 and u3 when using indexes. u3 = u3 ( x. The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω. Also.6. A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. y) .
6. The rotation of the
January 21.8. v and w (displacements in the x. the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. T When using Greek subscripts. (6. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. the convention differs from the right-hand rule. In plate theory. Hughes.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. displacement may be denoted u. or x1 . and the boundary is Γ. or u1 . (1989).3 Plate
x3
p θ1 x2 t
x1 θ2
Figure 6. 2011
Version 0. A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories.9). The plate has a thickness t.3. are are typically loaded out of plane. More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor.86b)
where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6. x2 and x3 .86a) (6.8: Coordinate system for a plate.1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6. y and z directions. Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements. Similarly. For convenience. Bathe. The three coordinates are denoted x. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage. y and z. 1991.2
91
. 1996). It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation. summation is implied from one to two. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities. y) .

2011
.9: Plate kinematics with shear deformation included.2
January 21.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
γα θ α
w.
92
Version 0.α 1 w
x3
xα
Figure 6.

91)
The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6.α . 2 α. This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for
January 21.2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates. (6. ǫαβ = ǫα3 =
−z θα.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress). and the shear strain is given by γα .α . The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as:
t/2
−t/2
σαβ z dz
(6.2
93
. 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.α 2
(6.β) . 2011
Version 0.88a) (6. and lies in the plane of Ω. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as:
t/2
−t/2
σα3 dz
(6.i )).α − θα .88b)
A useful quantity is the curvature.90)
From symmetry of the stress tensor.87)
Note that if γα = 0.j + u j.86). then θα = w.3 Plate
mid-surface of the plate is given by w. γα = w.α 2 −θα + w.89)
6.β + θ β. From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6.6. It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n. it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric.β
(6.α = θ(α. The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations.3.

s = ∂s qn = qα nα . mns = mαβ n β sα .s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6.92f) (6.
(6.n = w. quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα .α nα w. θn = θα nα .92c) (6.95)
94
Version 0. ∂mnn .s = w.
(6.92g) (6.α sα mnn.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 6.92b) (6. (6.11.92d) (6.10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). 2011
. Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that:
∂Ω
(6. w.92e) (6.α + pz = 0. mns.93)
Applying the divergence theorem to the term involving qα leads to
Ω
qα.94)
which must also hold for an inﬁnitesimally small piece of the plate.α dΩ +
Ω
pz dΩ = 0.2
January 21. ∂s ∂mns .92h)
qα nα dΓ +
Ω
pz dΩ = 0.92a) (6. therefore qα.

hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible. Ironically.β − qα = 0.α xα . is the equation for translational equilibrium. 2011
Version 0. and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite
January 21. (6.β + pz = 0. (6.97)
noting that q β xα .β dΩ −
Ω
qα dΩ −
Ω
q β. rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ.3 Plate
q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1
m12 s mnn n
x1 θ2
Figure 6.96)
∂Ω
∂Ω
Ω
which leads to:
Ω
mαβ. To complete the problem.3.2
95
.98)
The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam.
(6.β = q β xα.α xα = qα + q β. mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0.PSfrag
6. constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations.β xα dΩ −
Ω
pz xα dΩ = 0.β + q β. Considering now rotational equilibrium.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories.3 Thin plates .Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam. 6. Since translation equilibrium requires that q β.

where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6. the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w.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. mαβ. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6.105)
This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’. After some rearranging. Since shear deformations are zero. ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y
(6. The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations.βα .
∇4 w =
∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 .101) (6.98) and inserting equation (6.104)
Expanding this equation.α (6. Inserting the constitutive relationship (6. Et3 (6.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation. equation (6.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz .100)
The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ . and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points
96
Version 0.106)
As a fourth-order equation. 2011
. 2 (6.102)
Cαβγδ =
t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ . four different types of boundary conditions are possible. This can be done by differentiating equation (6. It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 .95).103)
¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ). 12
(6.87) reduces to: θα = w. 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz . The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’. Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero.102) into equation (6. the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w.2
January 21.αβ + w.αβ + pz = 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
element method.

110) (ignoring the point terms).111)
=−
The last term will be ignored.αβ mαβ dΩ −
Γ
¯ w.β dΩ +
Γ
¯ wmαβ.n = 0 on Γθ . Weak form The weak form of the governing equation for a thin plate is derived using the same processes applied for second-order problems. The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function. 2011
Version 0.110)
which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending. (6. it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6.107c) (6.107d)
The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions.
−
Γ
¯ w.
(6.
(6.α mαβ n β dΓ +
Γ
¯ wmαβ.n mnn dΓ +
Γ
¯ w (mns.α mαβ. and integrating over the plate surface Ω.109)
Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.107b) (6.100). and integrating over the surface of the plate.3 Plate
on the boundary.105) by a weight function w.2
97
.
Ω
¯ wmαβ. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral.107a) (6. then integrated by parts. (6.s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6.108)
where Ω is the surface of the plate.
−
Ω
¯ w.n mnn dΓ − ¯ w. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory.6.s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns.n mnn dΓ +
Γ Γ
¯ w. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions. Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6.α mαβ n β dΓ = −
Γ Γ
¯ w.β nα dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition.s + qn ) dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0. for which w = 0 on Γw and w. The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ). Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w.αβ dΩ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.
Ω
¯ w.αβ mαβ dΩ −
Γ
¯ w. Inserting the above relationship into equation (6. yields
Ω
¯ w. Integrating the moment term by parts once. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns.112)
January 21.β nα dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.20).

n = gθ on Γθ . some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates. The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6. which in turn involves second derivatives of w. 6. The problem now involves two different unknowns. It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam. solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that
Ω
¯ w. As such. Unlike for thin plates. The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ.4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation.
¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) .α ).114)
Ω
ΓM
ΓQ
Ω
Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature.n T dΓ +
ΓQ
¯ wQ dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0
¯ ∀w ∈ V .
(6. The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model.α as a virtual rotation δθα . the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. δκαβ . w = gw on Γw . w and θα .2.αβ as the virtual curvature. and w. w. (6. (6.αβ mαβ dΩ −
ΓM
¯ w. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates. ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw. The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement.116b)
98
Version 0. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w.2
January 21. the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory.β − qα = 0. the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows:
S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature. However.115b)
Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts. w.3. For this theory.n = 0 on Γθ .113)
where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. For completeness. qα. which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. w = 0 on Γw .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions.116a) (6.3. hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two. 2011
.115a) (6. w.α + pz = 0.

Ω
¯ θα mαβ. on ΓQ .αβ − θ β.120b) (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.117)
Cαβ w. qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w.β − Cαβ w. (6. both equations (6.
−
Ω
¯ θ(α. on ΓM . 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. Firstly. θα .119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα .119b) are addressed. This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form. ¯ equation (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0. mαβ.118) (6.β − θ β . Weak form To derive the weak form. The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw .2
99
. 2011
Version 0.β − θ β = 0 (6.120c) (6. three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary.119b) (6.3 Plate
In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6.119a) (6.102)). This is due to θα and w being decoupled.α + pz = 0
It is these equations which will be solved.6.120d)
Given that one of the unknowns. on Γθ . and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6. is a vector. where Cαβ = ktµδαβ .β) mαβ dΩ +
Γ
¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ −
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.
(6.
(6. a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced.β dΩ −
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.121)
Integrating the above equation by parts. This set of equations cannot be reduced further. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα .
(6.119a) and (6.120a) (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.122)
¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields:
−
Ω
¯ θα.β mαβ dΩ +
ΓM
¯ θα Tα dΓ −
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.123)
January 21.

126)
which is the weak form of equation (6. δκαβ = θ(α.β mαβ dΩ +
ΓM
¯ θα Tα dΓ
−
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
which is the weak form of equation (6.
100
Version 0. (6. 2011
. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα .2
January 21.α − θα .
(6. the highest order derivative appearing for both terms is one.124)
Ω
Ω
Integrating the above equation by parts yields:
−
Ω
¯ w.125)
¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed).127a)
−
Ω
¯ w. yields:
Ω
−δκαβ mαβ dΩ +
Ω
δγα qα dΩ +
ΓM
δθα Tα dΓ −
ΓQ Ω
δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6.128)
−
which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate.119a).114). C0 shape functions can be applied.119b) by a ¯ weight function w.β − θ β dΩ +
ΓQ
¯ wQ dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.β − θ β dΩ +
Γ
¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6.
(6.127b)
Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one. and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ .
¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ
(6.127a) and (6.
−
Ω
¯ w. Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.β − θ β dΩ +
ΓQ
¯ wQ dΓ
+
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0
¯ ∀w ∈ Vw
(6.αβ − θ( β.α Cαβ w.127b) by minus one).119b). Hence. The weak problem therefore involves: ﬁnd θα ∈ Sθ and w ∈ Sw such that:
−
Ω
¯ θα.α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Multiplying now equation (6.α Cαβ w. However. ¯ wCαβ w. the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ). It is equations (6.β) and δγα = w.α Cαβ w. adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w.

q = D s γ.
January 21. The complications are rooted in the need for C1 continuity. it tests whether an element can represent rigid body modes and a state of constant strain.3.130)
For the shear forces qα . A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom.2
101
. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 . There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 . some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results. 2κ12 ) T . In the context of plates.
(6. m22 . constant strain implies constant curvature. tkµ (6. ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements. 2011
Version 0. 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 . The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0
Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 )
b
ν 0
(1 − ν ) 2
. In place of requiring C1 continuity.6. The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity.132) (6. symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation. a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’. It does not however satisfy 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. κ22 . In particular. The element is still useful as it passes the patch test. none of which are of general applicability.129)
where m = (m11 .5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity.3 Plate
6.131)
Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable.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. However.
(6. m = −Db κ (6.

**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)

102

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

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

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

103

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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.

104

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

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

the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question. Consider the nodal interpolate u I .9)
where k is the polynomial order.
1/2
e
1
=
Ω
(e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ
. uI =
∑ Ni aiI .
i
(7.8)
The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). An important semi-norm is the energy norm. hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions. Note that to ensure convergence.6)
which involves only a particular order derivative.
(7. rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory. u − uh 106
r
≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 .11)
January 21. Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI
m
≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 . and h is a measure of the element size. Inserting now equation (7.4)
which is a measure of the error in the displacements.
(7. In this way.2
(7. setting n = 0 gives:
1/2
e
0
=
Ω
(e · e) dΩ
. For example.
(7.
Version 0. 2011
. c is an unknown constant.
(7. It is deﬁned by: u
2 E
= | u |2 = r
Ω
( Dr u)2 dΩ.5)
which now includes the gradient of e. Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h .10) into the above expression. k + 1 > m. Setting n = 1. thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain.
(7. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by
|u|n =
Ω
( D n u)2 dΩ
1/2
.7)
where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form.10)
This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy.
(7.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method
involve n = 0 and n = 1. it holds that u − uh
E
≤ u − uI
E.

This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing.7.
January 21.15)
which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements. For an elasticity problem. Therefore. Larger a implies faster convergence. a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution.2 A posteriori error estimation
where C is a constant.2 A posteriori error estimation
Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated.16)
Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. 2(k + 1 − r )). This is error analysis.1. ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth. It leads to the estimate: u − uh
s
≤ Ch β |u|k+1 .
(7. e e
0 1
≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 . The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’. The error in the displacements is given by e 0 . e
1
(7. the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e
0
≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 . such as the error in the displacement. r = 1. the greater a the smaller the error. hence it represents the error in the energy. independent of h. k = 1.2
107
.
(7. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details).
(7. 2011
Version 0. but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution.
7. For k ≥ 1. and O(h) in terms of strains. u − uh 0 .14)
In terms of the strain.12)
This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order. For practical purposes. It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms. there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order. The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. For linear elements. this norm is dominated by the error in the strain. hence u − uh
1
≤ Chk |u|k+1 . Of course as h becomes small.13)
where β = min (k + 1 − s. 1/2 . The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached. In elasticity.
(7. which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses).

Fortunately. It may be desirable to reduce the error to a speciﬁed value throughout a mesh.1: Order of convergence O(hk ) for commonly used ﬁnite elements in terms of displacements and strain. It relies upon reducing the size of the element. knowing the order of convergence of an element may prove useful. they converge faster toward the exact solution than other points. It is possible to generate an entirely new mesh. padaptivity involves increasing the polynomial order of elements to reduce the error in the calculated solution. 1987) stress recovery error estimator. It is based on the property that the stresses at certain points within an element are super-convergent. 2011
. Error estimation is a rich ﬁeld of applied mathematical research. the problem is re-analysed. At this point. adaptivity can be employed to reduce the error where needed. Two forms of adaptivity are commonly used: p-adaptivity and h-adaptivity. That is. by comparing the stresses interpolated from the super convergent points with the stress computed from the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld. the error is again estimated. but is challenging to implement. or to devise procedures which sub-divide elements where the error is large.2
January 21. Given a measure of the error. The process can be repeated until the prescribed error tolerance is met. Hence. h-adaptivity uses another technique to reduce the error. Research is ongoing for more sophisticated error estimators for more complicated problems. It has an extraordinary rate of convergence. To halve the error in a particular problem using h-adaptivity. 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. Based on an analysis of the error. assuming that the exact solution is sufﬁciently smooth. The most common is the Zienkiewicz-Zhu (ZZ) (Zienkiewicz and Zhu.
7. a ﬁnite element mesh can be adapted to improve the solution.3 Adaptivity
To improve the accuracy of a ﬁnite element solution. the error can be estimated. Then. Given a estimation of the error. A mathematically appealing concept is hp-adaptivity. a new mesh must be constructed. an adaptive scheme is required to reduce the error to the prescribed levels. some relatively simple error estimators exist for linear problems. it
108
Version 0.7 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 techniques can be employed in combination with an error estimator. Then. and adaptivity is employed. A posteriori error estimators are generally either residual-based or rely on stress recovery techniques.

7 times smaller? 3. 2011
Version 0. 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.
7. List some advantages and disadvantages of p.and h-adaptivity. When using Q4 elements.4 Exercises
1.4 Exercises
helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element.2
109
. 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.

.

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

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

0) = v0 ( x) ˙ (9. approach is more general and suited to wave propagation problems. therefore two initial conditions are required: u ( x. this equation differs signiﬁcantly from the static case as the governing equation is hyperbolic.1 Elastodynamics
The majority of this chapter deals with elastodynamics problems. All problems up to this chapter were elliptic. Two approaches will be elaborated. when a load is applied at the
113
. time-dependent Dirichlet boundary conditions are prescribed.4b)
where v is the velocity (v = ∂u/∂t). 0) = u0 ( x) u ( x.1 Governing equation and the weak form for elastodynamics The equation of motion is given by: ρu = ∇ · σ + b ¨ (9. In mathematical ¨ terms. the unsteady heat equation and elastodynamics are considered in which the time dimension must be addressed.2)
On other parts of the boundary. On parts of the boundary. Elastodynamics involves the second derivative of the displacement with respect to time. less subtle.1)
where ρ is the density and u = ∂2 u/∂t2 is the acceleration vector. modal analysis. Initial conditions correspond to the conditions at time zero (t = 0). relies on linearity of the underlying problem and is suited to vibration analysis. The ﬁrst. 9. For example. its is complemented by boundary conditions. The second. (9. In this chapter. With elliptic problems.1. σn = h on Γh (9.9 Time-dependent problems
Until now. the ﬁnite element method has been applied only for time-independent problems. information travels through the domain immediately. Similar to static problems. time-dependent Neumann boundary conditions are applied.3)
Dynamic problems require some ‘extra’ information compared to their quasi-static counterparts. These are initial conditions. u=g on Γg .4a) (9.
9.

8b)
where ae = dae /dt and ae = d2 ae /dt2 .1. a reaction force is felt immediately at the other end. With hyperbolic problems ‘information’ travels at ﬁnite speeds.2
January 21.
(9. the Galerkin form must be developed.7)
which is known as ‘semi-discrete’. The time dimension is left continuous. 2011
. Multiplying equation (9. Inserting the discretised displacement ﬁeld ˙ ¨ and the expression for the acceleration ﬁeld into equation (9. ¨ ¨
h
(9. solving the weak form involves: for a given t > 0.5)
Integrating by parts. a stress wave will travel through the bar and a force at the restrained end will not be felt until the stress wave arrives. using the same steps outlined in Chapter 2. To solve dynamic problems using a computer. The equations for elastodynamics are hyperbolic. Deriving the weak form for dynamic problems follows the familiar procedure. 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 Time-dependent problems
free end of a restrained rod.
Ωe
N T ρN dΩ ae = − ¨
Ωe
B T DB dΩ ae +
Ωe
N T b dΩ +
Γh. From the weak from in the previous section. This stems from the fact that the dependence on time t has not been addressed in the same fashion as the spatial dependency x. which is independent of time.7) and rearranging. for an element. which when considering the semidiscrete formulations are constant in time.e
N T h dΓ.6)
9.8a) (9. ˙ ˙ u = N ae . (9. is hit with a hammer at the free end. the ﬁnite-dimensional velocity and acceleration ﬁelds in an element are given by: uh = N ae . Therefore. like for the static case the governing equation must be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns and basis functions. and integrating gives:
Ω
ρw · u dΩ = ¨
Ω
w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ
(9. This is again done using ﬁnite element shape functions.2 Semi-discrete Galerkin form To reach a ﬁnite element formulation. (9.1) by a weight function w. 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 .9)
114
Version 0. and inserting Neumann boundary conditions. restrained at one end. If a bar. The velocity and acceleration ﬁelds are represented using the shape functions.

12)
This is typically formed by integrating numerically.9. but with integration points located only at element nodes. it was not entirely clear how the mass matrix should be formed.11)
Before this equation can be solved.13)
where n is the dimension of the mass matrix. Perhaps the simplest procedure to form lumped mass matrices is to form the matrices using numerical integration. Other more
January 21. Since shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes. Mii
lump
=
j =1
cons ∑ Mij
n
(9. This property is highly advantageous in combination with some time integration schemes. Another procedure is based on summing rows of the consistent mass matrix. The obvious choice from the variational approach is the consistent mass matrix.1. there is some freedom in determining exactly how the lumped mass matrix should be calculated. A common approach was to form a lumped mass matrix. Since lumped schemes do not follow naturally from the variational formulation. This procedure however can lead to negative masses on the diagonal. a strategy is required to deal with the time derivatives of a. Before the variational basis of the ﬁnite element method was properly understood.
cons = Me Ωe
ρN T N dΩ. This is formed similarly to the stiffness matrix. 9. this will yield a diagonal mass matrix. ¨ (9. Once the element contributions have been assembled into the global mass and stiffness matrices and the global RHS vector. This equation can be written is a shorthand format as: Me a e + k e a e = f e ¨ (9.1 Elastodynamics
This equation is commonly called the ‘semi-discrete’ equation. All off-diagonal terms are equal to zero. for a given time tn M an + Kan = f n . lumped masses at each node. 2011
Version 0. This corresponds to having discrete. the lumped mass matrix has non-zero terms only on the diagonal. in the same fashion as for the element stiffness matrix. Since ﬁnite element shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes.
(9.10)
where Me is the element mass matrix. As with the element stiffness matrix. the mass matrix is symmetric and will have off-diagonal terms.3 Mass matrix There are several methods to form the mass matrix.2
115
. It is however possible that nodes will have zero or negative masses. as will be discussed in the following sections.

4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping. The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency.16)
where in the context of diffusion of heat. c is the ‘capacity’.17)
116
Version 0. A discussion can be found in Cook et al. This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour. the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK. Damping due to the material response can also be included. This is known as Rayleigh damping. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f .2 Heat equation
The heat equation is introduced here as a step to the problems in elastodynamics. unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f . q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux.3. u is the temperature. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. only one type of initial condition may be provided. It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. representing the uncertainty in the source of damping. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience. There is no rich theory underlying the choices. In strong form. (1989). Conversely. (9. or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. namely the temperature at t = 0.
9. (9. and initial conditions.3. It can be included through the damping matrix C. as outlined in Section 2.9 Time-dependent problems
sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses. kappa is the conductivity. Damping is often included by adding the term C a to the governing equations. ¨ ˙ (9. The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague. 2011
. (9.14)
where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure.2
January 21. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2. t) = u0 ( x) . it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time. 9. The problem requires boundary conditions. u ( x.15)
where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. Unlike elastodynamics. Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved.1.

¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9.21)
−ω 2 M + K a = 0.2
117
. For explicit time integration procedures.25)
√ for an element of length L. Following the usual processes in developing the weak form.18)
(9. this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time.22)
which is a matrix eigenvalue problem. Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9.
(9.11) and rearranging. ˙
9. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements. For a one-dimensional linear element. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ. (9. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) . If one end of a rod is heated. For the consistent mass matrix. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics
The heat equation is parabolic.
2 det ke − ωe me = 0
(9. The acceleration is therefore given by: (9. It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix.9. ¯
det K − ω 2 M = 0. it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics
If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms). The eigenvectors are a. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) . it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n . there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ). 2011
Version 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. ωe = 2 3/L
January 21. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9.24)
The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem.20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second). which ¯ are also known as natural modes. its motion is harmonic.19)
In matrix form.23) can be very large. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n.23)
where ω are the natural frequencies of the system. (9.

31)
Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f .29)
Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other. (9. it is then possible to treat each mode individually. separate equations. Inserting equation (9.32)
The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f
i i
(9. ¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f
i i
(9.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics
Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes.28)
where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode. (9. i = j.2
January 21. For linear problems. 2011
.26)
Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9.30) 1 0 i = j. a (t) =
∑ αi (t) Ψi
i
(9. (9. and are known as vibration modes. K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0.9 Time-dependent problems
9. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal. (9.28) into equation (9.33)
118
Version 0. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j. Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) . The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions. It is then possible to treat each mode separately. (9. The sum of the modes gives the total displacement.27)
where Ψi are eigenvectors. and ωi are the natural frequencies.11) . i = j.

To do this. Therefore it is limited to linear analysis. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). (1989).1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. (9. the above equation can be solved. In structural analysis. 9. implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme. Conversely.5. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes. for each mode of interest. this equation can be solved analytically. Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. Typically. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). For the unforced case. the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues. it will ‘blow-up’.5 Time stepping algorithms
Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless.2
119
.
January 21. There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. the values an+1 . which is O(∆t) accurate). In applying modal analysis.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). ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed. the orthogonality property does not hold.9. If an integrator is unstable. This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions.
9. Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached. 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. an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed. implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort. rapidly diverging from any sensible result. 2011
Version 0. For non-linear problems. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1. the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al. Therefore.5 Time stepping algorithms
Now. There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes. with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . equation (9.33) is only solved for a few modes. equation (9. Given the values of an . It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics. compared to explicit schemes. usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response. Hence. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1.

but only ﬁrst-order accurate. ˙ 9. 1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an . Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes.41b) (9. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable.35)
where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1.36) gives. Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different. For the problems to be considered here. Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method.37) (9. well known integrators. ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods.5. ˙ Rearranging equation (9. the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation.9 Time-dependent problems
A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods. 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. ˙ ˙ (9. ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9.35). both explicit and implicit.38)
120
Version 0.39) (9. In matrix form. and is second-order accurate.40b) (9. In practice. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 . where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an . a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an .2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme.40a) (9. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) .2
January 21. 2011
.37).36)
and inserting the above result into equation (9. the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 .41a) (9.

41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2.
January 21.5 Time stepping algorithms
where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm. Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition. where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element. but it is conditionally stable.47)
This integrator is implicit.42)
For γ = 1/2. Therefore.46a) into equation (9.2
121
. It is also energy conserving. an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 . but as will be shown later.43a) (9. It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a. ∆t2 (9. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators. Its stability properties are attractive.46b)
Inserting equation (9. The term ω h can be estimated for linear elements as 2c/L. 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) . This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate. This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ). c (9. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method. 2 (9. 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). 2011
Version 0.9. ∆t ≤ L .43b)
It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9.44)
where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0. an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9. Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule. Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) .46b).45)
which is the Courant. it requires the factorisation of a large matrix. a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate.46a) (9. The Newmark method is unconditionally stale for: 2β ≥ γ ≥ 1 2 (9. Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods. It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9.

54) (9. Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9. and unknown at step n + 1. it is possible to calculate an+1 .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.43). 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122
Version 0. where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . (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. with damping. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9. In practice.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). (9. ¨ ˙ (9. 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then.2
January 21. has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n . Given an and an−1 .53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9. The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ. 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. The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn . M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n . 2011
.55)
Ω
A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation. the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9.9 Time-dependent problems
Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved.

The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability. Furthermore.43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0). This yields.2
123
. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis. Combining equations (9.60)
which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9. damping is ignored. M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2
+ Kan+1 = f n+1
(9. and all known quantities on the RHS. which are the initial conditions. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (9.57)
Rearranging the expressions in equation (9.57). it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems. 2011
Version 0.61)
January 21. 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. In combination with a lumped mass matrix.58b)
These equations are then inserted into equation (9. it is second-order accurate. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (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
(9.9.41) for β = 0 to express the accelerations and velocity at step n + 1 in terms of step n and earlier. For simplicity.56)
The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure.5 Time stepping algorithms
algorithm at t = 0. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation. 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 ¨ ˙ (9.59)
Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS.

5. Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution.7 Exercises
1. the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme.
9. the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. 1987). 9. If −1/3 < α < 0. Rearrange equation (9. Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α. γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4.2
January 21. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element. With the Newmark scheme.41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure.
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9. However. 3. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one. Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element.62)
where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t . 2011
. numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2.6 Space-time formulations
Time as a degree of freedom. Decreasing α increases the dissipation. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t).9 Time-dependent problems
Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal. Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 . calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations. One such algorithm is the α-Method. 2. If α = 0. it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping. which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α . ¨ (9.3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations. At time step n. Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ.

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