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Dr. Garth N. Wells

gnw20@cam.ac.uk

University of Cambridge and Delft University of Technology

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

.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Local-global . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Poisson equation . . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . .1 Finite element method with piecewise linear basis functions 4. . . . . 4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. . . .2 Program ﬂow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Essentials from continuum mechanics 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . .2 Vector calculus .6 Deﬁnition of trial and weight function spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . .4 Minimisation of potential energy . . . .5 Post-processing . . . . . .3 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Stiffness matrix storage . . . .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions . .4 Galerkin method Approximate solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . method . . . .6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . Convergence of the Galerkin method Exercises . . . 1.1 One-dimensional bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . .1 Preprocessing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Basic error analysis . . . . . . . . . .7 Exercises . . . 4. 4. . . . . . 3 The 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Linear algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Tensor basics . . . . . . . . . .3 Governing equations .7 Exercises . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 . . . . . .5 Numerical integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations 2. . . .2 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . .4 Isoparametric mapping . . 5. . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents 1 Introduction 1. . . .5 Regularity requirements . . . . . . . .2 Continuum elasticity . . . . . . 6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . 1. . 5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element 5. . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

What is the ﬁnite element method? The ﬁnite element method (FEM) is a numerical method for solving partial differential equations. Students will develop an understanding of the fundamentals underlying the ﬁnite element method and commercial ﬁnite element software. such as ‘Finite element methods for nonlinear analysis’ (CT5142). which for simplicity is assumed to be orthonormal. b. The procedure can be largely automatised. The material should serve as a review. This simpliﬁes vector and tensor operations considerably as the basis vectors can be ignored and operations expressed in terms of indices only. Scalars are denoted by italic type face. a. This course also provides a foundation to the more advanced courses. The ﬁnite element method differs from the commonly used ﬁnite difference method as it is based on a variational formulation.1.1 Introduction This course provides an introduction to the ﬁnite element method for linear problems. it is closely related to the concepts of energy and virtual work. It also provides a reference point for later developments in the text. The application of the ﬁnite element method leads to systems (often very large) of linear equations (matrices) which can be solved using a computer.2) 7 . u. and possibly an extension of familiar concepts. s. x. (1. It is particularly suited for solving partial differential equations on complex geometries. This chapter establishes the notation used in these notes and reviews the basic tools needed to develop and understand the ﬁnite element method. a Cartesian. f . (1. b. a. Orthonormal basis vectors are shown in Figure 1. as are commonly encountered in solid and structural mechanics. and are generally denoted by lowercase bold characters. orthonormal basis is assumed. The underlying mathematics of the method are introduced and details of its computer implementation are discussed.1) Vectors involve components and a basis.1 Tensor basics Throughout these notes. making it well suited to efﬁcient computer implementation. When applied for solving problems in solid and structural mechanics. 1.

1: Example of orthonormal base vectors. 2011 . A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components.2 January 21.6) ∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 . (1. a= a1 .1 Introduction x2 a e2 = [0 1 0] e1 = [1 0 0] x1 e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1.7) 8 Version 0. where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3. x = √ x · x.3) Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b.5) ∑ a i bi . i =1 n (1. a·b = (1. ai where i runs from one to n. a2 (1.4) The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi . In the case n = 2. and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x. which is denoted a · b. i =1 3 (1.

which is expressed as D = AB.14) January 21. 0 if i = j. K. (1. (1. It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a.13) where n is the dimension of the vector b.9) Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters. Aij . The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’.1. 2011 Version 0.11) (1. (1.10) As with vectors. ei · e j = δij . and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj .12) Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors. Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. Second-order tensors can be multiplied. A31 A32 A33 (1. in the vein of matrix multiplication. M. At times. A = Aij . a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components.17) (1.16) (1. R (1. a = Ab = Aij b j = ∑ Aij bj j =1 n (1. A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a. allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi .1 Tensor basics For an orthonormal basis.2 9 .15) (1.8) can be used. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j. A. the dot product maybe written as a T b. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 .

(1. = ai b j . A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 . A = a ⊗ b.1 Introduction In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji .19) Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors.27) This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention. (1. an inner product. (1.2 January 21. For a second-order tensor A in R3 . 2011 . It also yields a scalar. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii .25) ∑ ∑ Aij Bij . For example. an operation similar to the dot product of two vectors. For two second-order tensors in R2 . which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j .26) (1. this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 . A useful identity involving the transpose is: ( AB) T = B T A T .24) (1.22) Using the trace. (1.28) 10 Version 0. i =1 j =1 n n (1.18) The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components. The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1. It is deﬁned by: A : B = tr A T B . This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij .21) (1.20) The trace of a second-order tensor is essentially the summation of its diagonal components.23) (1. is provided for two second-order tensors. (1.

31) Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties. Eijk = 1. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E . The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . j. E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b. (1. is equal to the identity tensor. AA−1 = A−1 A = I.1 Tensor basics The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia. If any of the indices are repeated.33) (1. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 .36) The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here. and if the permutation {i.30) (1. The result of the above equation is rather simple. or vector. It is deﬁned for a. a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . January 21. matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal. Another important operation is the cross. Eijk = −1. The cross product of two vectors yields a vector.34) (1. If the permutation {i. A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 . (1. k} is even.32) As will be shown in the following section. (1. multiplied by its inverse A−1 . k} is odd. product. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1 Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation. b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1.37) 11 .1. Eijk = 0. The components of E are given by: [E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek . (1. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient. A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor. j. Using index notation.2 (1.29) A second-order tensor A. and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . 2011 Version 0.

For an orthonormal basis. the stress and strain are second-order tensors. it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly. Coordinate transformations For many problems. C = Cijkl . (1. it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame. 2011 . Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1. due to physical symmetries.41) 12 Version 0.40) (1. ′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j . (1. A : B = Aijk Bjk .2. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor. the components in ei system are known. (1. ′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system. denoted here as C .39) Fortunately.1 Introduction x2 ′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ] e2 = [0 1] ′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ] θ e1 = [1 0] x1 Figure 1. in terms of indices. Consider that for a vector a. Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q.2: Rotation between coordinate systems. This operation is particularly important when considering moments.38) In elasticity. which is orthogonal.2 January 21. Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j . It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system.

January 21.43) and note that Q is orthogonal. Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable. This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ. (1. An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space.1. and A = QA′ Q T . 0 .47) (1. = u.44) Therefore. An important operator is the divergence. ∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u.xy .49) 13 .xxxx .xyy .48) This notation is used commonly throughout these notes. QQ T = Q T Q = I. Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1. 1. Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x. which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem. 0.46) Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u. components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ . (1. (1. ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u.2 (1. The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar.42) − sin θ .xx . ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1.x . Q= ′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2 (1. 2011 Version 0. cos θ (1.45) At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another.2 Vector calculus which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a. It is expressed as: ∇ · a. It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 . = u.2 Vector calculus Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives.2.

The gradient of a scalar a is given by: ∇a = ∂a = a.j . In a three-dimensional space. ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z (1.i . ∂x j (1.j . In a three-dimensional space. ∂xi (1.55) ∇a = .1 Introduction In terms of indices.2 January 21.50) In a three-dimensional space R3 . ∂xi (1.51) The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by: ∇·A = ∂Aij = Aij. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 .54) which yields a vector.52) For a two-dimensional tensor A. 2011 . ∂x j (1.56) which yields a second-order tensor.i .57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14 Version 0.53) Another important operator is the gradient. ∇·a = ∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + . ∇a = (1. ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x 1 2 (1. ∇ · a is equal to ∇·a = ∂ai = ai. ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by: ∇a = ∂ai = ai. ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 . the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1.

59) Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method. Ω ∇ · a dΩ = ∂Ω a · n dΓ.60) The above equation also holds for the case in which a is replaced by a scalar and B is replaced by a vector.1.3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ.2 15 . ∂x j i ij (1. 1. (1. The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω. and the January 21. (1. The above formula is simple to derive by using the product rule for differentiation to expand Ω ∇ · ( aB ) dΩ = Ω ∂ a B dΩ. For example. The divergence theorem states: Ω ∇ · A dΩ = ∂Ω An dΓ. the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses.3 Linear algebra n Ω Γ Figure 1. It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral. It implies that: Ω a · (∇ · B) dΩ = − Ω ∇ a : B dΩ + ∂Ω a · Bn dΓ. (1. 2011 Version 0. The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem).61) and then applying the divergence theorem. For a vector a.58) where n is the outward normal to the body Ω.3 Linear algebra The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties.3. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω.

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

1. the strain tensor is symmetric. For convenience.i . For linear elasticity.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. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1. 2 i. σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor. the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum. Similar to the strain tensor. σn = t (1. In two-dimensions. in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i. Obviously.73) (1. In compact notation. Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position.71) (1. A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics which is clearly a second-order tensor. 2 (1.2 17 . linear-elastic continua. The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants.70) with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ.j) = 1 u + u j.68) where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient.72) (1.67) For convenience. Due to symmetry. this reduces to four.j (1. January 21. 2011 Version 0.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1. or in index notation. For solid. In a homogeneous body. as will be shown in the next chapter).

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

which requires that ∂Ω t dΓ + Ω b dΩ = ∂Ω σn dΓ + Ω b dΩ = 0 (1.80)) is satisﬁed. Note that this equation is general. leading to: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω (1.80).5 Exercises 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 partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1. Therefore.81) Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum). 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. if σ is symmetric.83) is zero. Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives: Ω ∇ · σ + b dΩ = 0 (1.79) where b is a body force. consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω.2 19 . 1. and not speciﬁc to elasticity. the integral can be removed from equation(1.80). Therefore. Ω r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ + Ω E : σ T dΩ = 0 (1.83) If translational equilibrium (equation (1. the ﬁrst term in equation (1. This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation. In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric. How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have? January 21. since E : σ T = 0. and applying the divergence theorem.82) where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω. 2011 Version 0.5 Exercises elastic bodies.80) Balance of linear momentum should also be satisﬁed for any subdomain of Ω.1. Considering that t = σn. For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3. etc. Then.

1 Introduction 3. 7. Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation. What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4. 6. Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem. 5. 2011 . Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (1. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ).60). Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions 20 Version 0.2 January 21. derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1. It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇.43) is orthogonal.

dx (2. u = 0 at x=0 (2. (2. To do this. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation.81)): −σ. For a linear-elastic rod. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed.x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod. The ﬁnite element method is a variational method. (2.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations An essential step in developing the ﬁnite element method is the identiﬁcation of the governing equation and casting it in its ‘weak form’.4) f 1 0 111 000 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 11111111111 00000000000 h x L x=0 Figure 2. For example. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation. 2. The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’.1) where σ.1: One-dimensional bar. the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts.1 One-dimensional bar Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution.1. the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du .xx = f .x = f . The governing equation can then be expressed as: − Eu.2) where E is the Young’s modulus.3) To complete the problem. 21 . The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1.

Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function. then − wσ. This is the weak form of the governing equation. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.x Eu.8) To develop the weak form of the governing equation.10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h.9) must hold point-wise. solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that L 0 w.x σ dx − wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V . after inserting the constitutive relationship (2. which yields: − L 0 wσ. derivatives of order 22 Version 0. −wσ. (2.x n = h 0 < x < L. (2.7) (2. which has an inﬁnite number of members).12) where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. 2011 . σn = h at x = L.10) is also true. Taking guidance from equation (1.60).x .6).x . (2.3). If equation (2.x .x dx = w f dx ∀w ∈ V .x = w f L 0 ∀w ∈ V .9) where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2.5) where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case). Note that in the strong form. A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction.11) Note the term wEu.1 to be equal to zero. equation (2.x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0.x dx = L 0 w. applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations prescribes the displacement at one end of the bar in Figure 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 . Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu. at x = 0.8) inserted. both sides of equation (2.x dx = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V .xx = f u=0 Eu. (2. L 0 (2. Multiplying equation (2. Considering that σ = Eu.6) (2. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that: − Eu. at x = L. (2.1) by w.2 January 21.

xx dx + wEu.15) Since φ > 0 and ( Eu.xx = f . w(0) = 0. Following Hughes (1987). (2. (2.2 Continuum elasticity two with respect to x appear. satisfying the strong governing equation (in a distributional sense). consider a weight function w ∈ V which is equal to φ ( Eu. (2. For a more elaborate mathematical treatment. the above equation can only hold if − Eu. see Brenner and Scott (1994).xx dx = L 0 φ ( Eu. January 21. Eu. (2.14) which can be rearranged to give L 0 φ ( Eu.xx + f )2 dx = 0. only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x appear. where φ is greater than zero over the interval ]0.13).13) Note again that no terms at x = 0 appear.12). it is now proven that the ﬁrst term is equal to zero. What remains now is to ensure that the Neumann boundary condition is satisﬁed (Dirichlet boundary conditions are satisﬁed by construction).2 (2.x n = h. at least in a generalised sense).2.2 Continuum elasticity A more complicated example is continuum elasticity.xx + f ) Eu. The complication arises from the three-dimensional setting. Consider now the continuous body in Figure 2. − L 0 φ ( Eu.13). Assuming that E is constant and integrating by parts the ﬁrst term in (2.xx + f )2 ≥ 0.xx + f ) f dx.2. 2.17) 23 . it follows that a solution of the strong form is also a solution of the weak form. Recall that the governing equation is given by: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω. 2011 Version 0. Hence.xx + f ).16) proving that the Neumann boundary conditions are satisﬁed. The strong governing equation for this problem was developed in the previous chapter.12) yields − L 0 wEu. Returning to equation (2. 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. L[ and zero outside (speciﬁcally at x = 0 and x = L). Inserting the weight function into equation (2.x n| x= L = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L . for any allowable weight function at x = L. Since the weak form is derived from the strong form. In the weak form (2. as by construction. The basic form of the equations is the same as the one-dimensional bar in the previous section.

the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V .18) where C is a fourth-order tensor. Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem. Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). σ = C : ǫ. tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface). (2. the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg .20) The boundary-value problem is now complete.21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1.2 January 21. a constitutive relationship is required.19) On the remaining boundary. Multiplying equation (2. the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions).2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh .21) The ﬁrst term in equation (2. On part of the boundary. (2. where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ). Γh . (2. (2.2. and integrated over the body. To derive the weak form.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations h Γh Ω Γg n Figure 2. the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed. the weight function w is a vector.22) 24 Version 0. As in the one-dimensional case. u=g on Γg . In Figure 2. and integrating over the body Ω yields: Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . (2.60)). 2011 .17) by w ∈ V . For a linearelastic material. First. yielding: − Ω ∇w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0. t=h on Γh . Note that in this case.

In Darcy’s law.2 25 . The constitutive relationship depends on the problem being solved. the scalar u is the temperature.3 Poisson equation An equation which is often solved using the ﬁnite element method is the Poisson equation. u is the hydraulic head and κ is known as the hydraulic conductivity. It is simple to show that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric (see exercise 1). Inserting this into equation (2.23). The equation of virtual work is therefore the weak form of the governing equation. q is the ﬂow rate. Ω δǫ : C : ǫ dΩ = Ω δu · b dΩ + Γh δu · h dΓ. This is the weak equilibrium equation for a stationary continuous elastic body. There exists a close link between weak forms and virtual work for a range of problems. The constitutive relationship is given by: q = −κ ∇ u (qi = −κij u. the variational framework is more general. 2011 Version 0. the symmetric gradient of w. For linear heat conduction.25) where q is a ﬂux vector and f is a source term.24) which is the equation of virtual work. including steady-state heat conduction and ﬂow in permeable media (Darcy’s law). A wide range of physical phenomena are governed by this equation. (2. a solution to the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that − Ω ∇w : C : ǫ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .j ) (2.18). Consider the following equation: −∇ · q + f = 0 in Ω (2. Consider now w as a ‘virtual displacement’ δu. q is the heat ﬂux vector. Here the Poisson equation is addressed in a more generic fashion. (2. However. where κ is the thermal conductivity. Inserting now the constitutive relationship from equation (2. κ = κI. Therefore ∇s w ≡ δǫ. Inserting the constitutive equation into (2. In the case of heat conductivity. For an isotropic medium. 2.2.26) where u is a potential. For Darcy’s law.3 Poisson equation where σn has been replaced by the prescribed traction h (the Neumann boundary condition).23) where S is an appropriate space of functions which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. Consistency can be proven in the same fashion as was used for the onedimensional problem. Often the term ∇w is written as ∇s w.25) yields a Poisson equation. January 21. The previous example of continuum elasticity was an example of a system of Poisson equations – one for each spatial direction.

and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary.2 January 21. (2. suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem. For heat conduction. (2. For an elastic body Ω. there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form. In the case of 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 . w = u + v. For Darcy ﬂow.25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω. such as equilibrium of an elastic body.4 Minimisation of potential energy For particular equations. it is the hydraulic head. and consider the potential energy functional I. The Neumann boundary condition requires that: −q · n = h on Γh (2.29) 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 . − Ω w (∇ · q) dΩ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . (2. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions. (2. The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (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.32) The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld. Multiplying equation (2.31) which is the weak form of the Poisson equation. 2011 .27) which prescribes the potential on the boundary.28) where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2. this is the temperature on the boundary Γg .33) 26 Version 0. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples. I (u) = 1 2 Ω ∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω u · b dΩ − ∂Ω u · h dΩ.2). this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh . 2. (2.

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

2011 . there do however exist functions from H 1 (Ω) which are not C0 continuous. which is deﬁned by: V = {w | w ∈ H 1 (Ω) . u| Γg = g}.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. For multiple spatial dimensions. Functions for which: Ω (u)2 + (u. Importantly. 28 Version 0. Note that C0 functions belong to H 1 . from which the trial and weight functions come. This can be seen in the well-known Sobolev embedding theorem. (2. That is. an inﬁnite number of different functions belong to a given Sobolev space.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’. It is useful to deﬁne function spaces. When solving second-order differential equations. such functions may be discontinuous. The notation u ∈ H 1 means that u comes from (is an element of) H 1 . functions which have square-integrable derivatives are of interest. The weight functions come from the space V (w ∈ V ). Functions spaces can be considered the ‘family’ of functions from which u and w can come. (2. (2. 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.38) This says that V is a collection of functions which come from H 1 (Ω) which are equal to zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. 2.2 January 21.x )2 dΩ < ∞ (2. Trial functions u come from the space S (u ∈ S ). since a fundamental step in the ﬁnite element method will involve ﬁnite-dimensional function spaces. A function u is said to be square integrable if: Ω (u)2 dx < ∞. This is of crucial importance. which is denoted H 1 (Ω). w| Γg = 0}. Sobolev spaces are inﬁnite-dimensional.35) Functions which are square integrable come from the Hilbert space known as L2 (Ω). Clearly. but this point is not important here). Consider ﬁrst a scalar problem in an n-dimensional domain Ω.36) are known as members of the Sobolev space on degree one. In physical terms.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.

Derive the weak form.) 2. (Hint: use index notation. The Helmholtz equation is given by: ∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0 and is often used in wave propagation problems. 2011 Version 0. ui | Γg = gi } and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V .7 Exercises In multiple dimensions. wi | Γg = 0}. Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r. (2. u ∈ S where S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) .2 29 .2. is u a possible trial solution? January 21.23) for elasticity using index notation. a = b) 5. prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. (2. 4. For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices). Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2.40) Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method.7 Exercises 1.39) V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) . 2. If the √ displacement ﬁeld was of the form u = a r (all derivatives of a exist and are well behaved and a is not dependent on r). 3. where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 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.

.

uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions. (3. Commonly. it is generic for a range of different problems. The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2.2) (3. being able to solve a greater range of problems. respectively.x dx ∀w h ∈ V h (3. Furthermore. uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L . the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh . where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space.3 The Galerkin method The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. For example.x Eu. uh = L wh where B wh . It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin. 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 (3.5) 31 . In a multidimensional context.x dx + w h h| x= L = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . as developed in the previous chapter.4) L 0 h h w.1 Approximate solution First.23). uh ∈ S h .1) where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . consider the approximate solution to some problem. Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2.x Eu. (3. This means that there is a limited number of possibilities. The Galerkin method is however more general.3) This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact. It is closely related to the Rayleigh-Ritz method which involves choosing functions (a basis) for the solution and ﬁnding the amplitude of each function by minimising the energy. 3. and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions. The essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that − L 0 h h w.

This is examined in the following section. In the ﬁnite element method.10) Since u is the exact solution.2 January 21. 2011 .2). e − L wh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3. u − B wh .9) into equation (3.6) wh · b dΩ + Γh (3. which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis. B w h . this implies that: B wh .2 Basic error analysis It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution.2. u − B wh . The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3. For the one-dimensional problem.1). e = B wh . u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. uh and w h will be simple continuous. often in ﬂuid mechanics.9) For generality. 3.7) The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally. this will be investigated using the abstract notation. 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. Inserting equation (3.8) where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. This method is used for special applications. Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis. piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’. (3. In Petrov-Galerkin method.3 The Galerkin method where ǫ h = ∇s uh . B wh . uh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3. the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3. A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u. why it doesn’t work). In the abstract notation of equation 3.11) 32 Version 0. Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h . the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. uh = and L wh = Ω Ω ∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ wh · h dΓ. Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented.

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

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

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

(3.12)

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

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.13)

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

2 E

= 1 B (v, v) 2

(3.14)

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

E

≤ u − wh

E

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.15)

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

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

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

January 21, 2011

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33

**3 The Galerkin method
**

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

h →0

lim uh = u

(3.16)

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

3.4 Exercises

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

34

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**4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
**

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

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

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

f

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

L Figure 4.1: One-dimensional bar.

35

hence wh = ∑ Ni wi .6) for all possible values of wi . (4. i =1 n (4. In ﬁnite element analysis. For a one-dimensional bar.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method nodes. these basis functions are known as ‘shape functions’.2) where ui is the value of the ﬁeld uh at node i. (4. (4. Ω ∑ Ni. discretised with n nodal points.x u j j =1 n dΩ = Ω ∑ Ni wi i =1 n f dΩ + Γh ∑ Ni. ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni. It is expressed using the same basis functions as the displacement ﬁeld. an expression is needed for the weight function w h . Hence. the approximate displacement ﬁeld uh is given by uh = ∑ Ni ( x) ui .1) where xi is the coordinate of node i.x = dNi u. Given that wi is not a function of spatial position.x E ∑ Nj. x i − x i +1 − x i − x i +1 0 otherwise.4) Recalling the weak form for a one-dimensional elastic rod.x Eu.x dΩ = Ω w h f dΩ + Γh w h h dΓ ∀ wh ∈ V h . h ǫh = u.x wi i =1 n E ∑ Nj. The basis function at node i. x i − x i −1 x i − x i −1 x i +1 x Ni = x i < x < x i +1 . Ω h h w. is given by x x i −1 − x i −1 < x ≤ x i .x wi i =1 n h dΓ (4. it can be taken outside of the integrals.2 January 21.3) To develop the Galerkin problem.5) and inserting the expression for the expressions for the approximate displacement ﬁeld and the weight function.x u j j =1 n dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. 2011 . the approximate displacement ﬁeld is given in terms of the shape functions and the approximate displacement at a ﬁnite number of points (nodes).7) 36 Version 0. the strain ﬁeld can be computed easily by taking the derivative of the shape functions. i =1 n (4. From this expression. dx i i =1 ∑ n (4.

Elements may not overlap. 4. Consider the case that all but one wi is equal to zero.12) The matrix K = Kij is commonly known as the stiffness matrix.4. and the kth term is deleted from the vector f . If a boundary condition is applied at node k. For the zero Dirichlet conditions. Therefore. surfaces (2D) or volumes (3D) which are constructed by joining nodal points.x E Nj. where Kij = and fi = Ω Ω (4.x dΩ (4. A discussion of more general boundary conditions is delayed until the end of the chapter.10) Ni. and n unknowns in the form of ui ). Nodes are points in space. Solving this linear system of equations provides u j . This yields n equations (one for each wi . A simple ﬁnite element January 21. then the row and the column k is removed from the stiffness matrix.x E Nj. Kij u j = f i .8) This equation must hold for all possible combinations of wi . u j can also be taken outside of the integrals. Dirichlet boundary conditions must be enforced. this is relatively simple. 2011 Version 0.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions The concept introduced in the previous section can be extended to higher spatial dimensions and more complex shape functions. The problem has been divided into many quadrilateral elements.11) Nj f dΩ + Γh Nj h dΓ (4. A typical ﬁnite element mesh is shown in Figure 4.x dΩ = Ω Ni f dΩ + Γh Ni h dΓ (4.x dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. It is useful to deﬁne shape functions on ﬁnite elements. A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal points and elements. and f = f i as the right-hand side (RHS) vector.2 37 .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions Likewise. ∑ wi ∑ u j i =1 j =1 n n Ω Ni. and hence an expression for the approximate displacement ﬁeld along the rod. Matrices and vectors can be built for each element before being assembled into global matrices and vectors.x E Nj.2. while elements are lines (1D). A mesh divides a body into a number of elements. (4.9) must hold. which can be expressed as the system of equations. for each i ∑ uj j =1 n Ω Ni. In order the solve the linear system.

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4.3: Simple two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh. 6 4 3 4 3 1 2 1 2 5 9 Figure 4.2: Typical two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh.2 January 21. 7 8 5 7 8 6 38 Version 0. 2011 .

Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns.4. is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes.2 39 .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 2 L x=0 Figure 4. and zero at all other nodes. In Figure 4.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions. 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. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node. mesh is shown in Figure 4. Ni . Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4. (4. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions. the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. The bar has two nodes.2. Both nodes and elements are numbered. linear one dimensional elements. the amplitude).3. 4.3. Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i. known as ﬁnite elements.13) January 21. For a node i. Having a compact support. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements. Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’.4. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections. 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 . as introduced in Section 4. As in the one-dimensional case. each multiplied by a nodal value. A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached. the shape function associated with that node. denoted by the solid circles. In the ﬁnite element method. the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin. Each element has three nodes. 2011 Version 0. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node.1. are examined.

Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries. the displacement and strain can be calculated in any part of the element.19) (4.22) (4. Now. Therefore. Taking the derivative of equation (4. where N = N1 and ae = a1 .16) x + 1. dx dx 1 dx L L (4. The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position. In matrix-vector notation.15) x . (4. to solve a problem. L This type of element is known as a linear element. L (4. It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple. where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 . 2011 .20) N2 .18) The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae .5.17) In the case of a linear displacement interpolation. the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae . a2 (4. ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 . L L (4. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 . dx (4.16) with respect to x.14) (4. as its shape functions are linear polynomials.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node). 40 Version 0. the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element. the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required. The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence. in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae .21) The shape functions for two linear elements are shown in Figure 4. The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems.2 January 21.

.. linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element.. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant. The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae . i =1 3 (4. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic. (4.25) The matrix N contains the element shape functions.2 41 . the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh = ∑ Ni (x) ai . each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions. For a one-dimensional quadratic element.6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements. More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required.24) and the B matrix has a similar form.. Higher-order elements simply have more nodes. (4. In two dimensions.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 L1 L2 Figure 4.26) (4. obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 .23) Therefore. and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae . Nnn (4.. Nnn 0 0 . the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . 4.2.27) January 21.5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations.4. 2011 Version 0. Figure 4.2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions.

7.28) B= 0 . For two-dimensional problems.. 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 .29) ae = .. It is shown in Figure 4.. ∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn . .. ann x ann y 42 Version 0. For a two-dimensional problem.. 0 (4. 2011 . ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle.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. where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 .2 January 21. . a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y ..6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements. (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.

Given the following coordinates of each of where ( xi .7: Three-node triangular element. y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0. 2011 Version 0.32) (4.7. y3 ) 3 1 2 ( x1 .34) c3 x3 y3 1 0 January 21. N1 ( x3 . y2 ) Figure 4.31) (4. It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant.8: Shape function for a three-node element. (4. hence the strain in the element is constant. the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations.30) The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4. y1 ) ( x2 .1 Consider the element in Figure 4. (4. Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 . y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0. Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes. Figure 4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions ( x3 .2 43 . y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1. N1 ( x2 . yi ) is the location of the ith node. Consider node 1 in Figure 4.4. Example 4. (4.33) Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 .7. N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 .8.

the N and B matrices can be formed. a system of equations (see equation (4. y1 ) = (1.y 0 N2. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations.25y + 0. ﬁnd the shape function for node 2.y N2.x and the B matrix is of the form: N1. A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4.x 0 N1. 2) ( x2 .25x − 0.y A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral. 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. (4.y N1. Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems. the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 .x N2. 1) ( x3 .y B= 0 N1.10. 3) To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method the nodes. Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated.x 0 N2. due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions.x 0 N3. A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4.y N3.2 January 21.25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node. the strain in this element is not constant.35) It is also know as a bilinear element.9. 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0.36) 44 Version 0.34)) is formed. 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. 2011 . y3 ) = (2. Unlike the three-node triangle.x N3. y2 ) = (4. ( x1 .

the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations.11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4. Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4. They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange.9: Four-node quadrilateral element. Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order.13. Linear.15.37) January 21. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 4 3 1 2 Figure 4.2 45 . a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions. Figure 4. 2011 Version 0.12). Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior. Each time the order of a triangle is increased. = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1 (4. 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 4.14. As with the three-node triangle. Note that serendipity 1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 .4.

Figure 4..12: Pascal triangle – polynomial terms for triangular elements of order n... quadratic and cubic triangular elements... y y2 y3 y4 . Figure 4. . 1 x x2 x3 x4 . 46 Version 0.13: Linear... 2011 ... x2 y x 2 y2 .4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4. xy xy2 xy3 . x3 y ..2 January 21.... .11: Two shape functions for a six-node triangular element..

. Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.2 47 ..4. (4. x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 . 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 . and are therefore not recommended. Eight.. y y2 y3 y4 .. (4..16.39) January 21. . The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation. elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms.. Figure 4.and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis.15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements.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 .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions (a) (b) Figure 4. 2011 Version 0.14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements.. 1 x x2 x3 x4 . The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4..

they often have more degrees of freedom per node. The numbers of nodes per element increases rapidly. 2011 . Also.41) This is known as a ‘trilinear element’...40) Similar to the three-node triangle.2 January 21.. The computational effort required for three-dimensional analysis can become high.2..4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 1 x x2 x3 . the derivatives of the shape functions are constant within an element.3 Three-dimensional elements Three-dimensional elements are increasingly used in engineering analysis. 48 Version 0.. (4... Figure 4. They are of the form: N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 z + c4 . A four-node tetrahedral element has linear shape functions.17. Figure 4. . Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xyz + c2 xy + c3 xz + c4 yz + c5 x + c6 y + c7 z + c8 . These two elements are shown in Figure 4.. wedge type elements are often used for generating meshes for complex geometries.. Commonly used shapes are tetrahedra and bricks...17: Tetrahedral and brick three-dimensional ﬁnite elements. y y2 y3 . Higher-order version of both tetrahedral and brick elements also exist. (4. 4. xy xy2 xy3 .16: Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements. Not only do the elements tend to have more nodes. The simplest brick element has eight nodes. x3 y x 3 y2 x 3 y3 x2 y x 2 y2 x 2 y3 .. .and two-dimensional elements. They can be formed in the same fashion as one.

3 Governing equations x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L Figure 4.2 49 . 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: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 .44) where the integral over Γh. 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.43) ∇ w = Bbe .1)) is considered. Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ. Now.45) The be terms appear on both sides of the equality.4. 2011 Version 0. for the multi-dimensional case within an element. 1989) 4. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals.46) January 21.42) (4. the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3.e N T h dΓ. (4. (4. (4. wh = Nbe . Therefore. The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh .18). What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation.e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary 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).e N T h dΓ.3 Governing equations At this point. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as: l2 l1 ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh. (4. 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). l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = Γh. and can therefore be eliminated.

the term k ij relates local nodes i and j. An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The term ke = l2 l1 B T EB dΩ (4. 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). the point ( x.49) Ωe Γh. 2011 .4 Isoparametric mapping In practice.47) is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’. it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element. For a continuum elasticity problem.e Ωe Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K. For a two dimensional problem.50) (4.51) where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element.2 January 21. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix. e= f = Ane 1 f e . the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ. This yields: Ωe ( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ = Γh.48) (recall that b denotes the body force). In the global mesh. the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke . e= (4. It also allows the simple application of numerical integration. as is discussed in the following section. 4.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ + Ωe ( Nbe ) T b dΩ (4. For an element stiffness matrix. isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software. y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian 50 Version 0. (4. Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem.5). The component k ij is added to the location K I J . local node i has global node number I. A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges. irrespective of the exact shape of the element. and similarly for J. This approach has a number of advantages. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. From the point of view of implementation.

derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required. To proceed. where (ξ. consider the application of the product rule for differentia- January 21. η ) yi . η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’.4 Isoparametric mapping x 3 (−1. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates. 2011 Version 0. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by: nn uh = ∑ Ni (ξ. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ. conﬁguration is given by: nn x= y= ∑ Ni (ξ. shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes.52) ∑ Ni (ξ. The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4. η ) aix .−1) y 2 (1. i =1 nn i =1 (4.19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square.19. η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x. ξ and η. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates.1) 2 4 4 3 η ξ 1 (−1.4. i =1 (4. The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ. and nn is number of nodes of the element. such as the bi-unit square. The map ξ is the inverse of x.−1) x 1 ξ Figure 4. y) system. η ) in the bi-unit square. η ) xi . taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x. Using an isoparametric mapping. In the governing weak equations.2 51 .1) (1.53) The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates.

58) In light of the isoparametric mapping (equation (4. deﬁned in terms of ξ and η.54) (4.55) (4.52)). from equation (4.ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52 Version 0. ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj.η x j ∑nn1 Nj. (4.60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj. ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y. ∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .59) Once terms of the matrix J have been formed. the terms in the matrix J can be computed. ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y J (4. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian. ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = . nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.57) the derivatives of the shape function of node i with respect to x and y can be computed.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η J where j = det J. ∂η ∂η i i =1 (4.ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj.η y j = . ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y.2 January 21. Using the shape function.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method tion for a function f . (4. 2011 .56) where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix. ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = . (4. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.

This way.1) 3 3 6 5 2 1 (0. Consider the triangle in Figure 4.and nine-node elements (Hughes. Now. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements. s and t. Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple. Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates. 1987). η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) .4 Isoparametric mapping s (0.0) 4 2 (1. 4 (4.0) r 1 (0. and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element.4. once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain. The latter approach is followed here.0) r Figure 4.0) (1. where: t = 1 − r − s.20.19. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ. A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. 1996.1) s (0. a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. (4. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion. 1987).62) January 21. 2011 Version 0. Hughes. Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements.2 53 .20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates.61) Similar formulae can be found for eight. While this procedure may seen complex. they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration. The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r.

For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element.64) (4.21. To do this.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4. (4. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered. 1 nint −1 f (ξ ) dξ ≃ ∑ f ( ξ i ) wi . N2 = 2r − r. (4. N2 = r. There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r. (4. Before proceeding to the element matrices. (4.67) i =1 where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain. 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 . consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ = 1 1 Ωe −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη. Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration. p. η ) domain.20. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t.65) Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4. 2011 .63) (4. numerical integration is applied. 4. N3 = s. To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element. 2 N4 = 4rt. Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point. For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1. it convenient to integrate in the (ξ. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4. the problem is not yet fully discrete. To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation).20 are then: N1 = t. then the mid-side nodes. Numerical integration is illustrated in Figure 4.3).66) N3 = 2s2 − s. N5 = 4rs. 166).5 Numerical integration At this stage.2 January 21. 1987. s and t on triangles (Hughes. While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised.68) 54 Version 0. It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements). N6 = 4st.

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

56 Version 0.2 January 21. 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: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.4 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. 2011 . 1]. 1].1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.

2011 Version 0. there is likely a deﬁciency in the formulation.4. although a 2 × 2 scheme is often used. To integrate a quadratic function in two dimensions. quadratic variation. the trial functions (uh ) must satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. Figure 4. A test for the element stiffness matrix is to calculate its eigenvalues. there should only be one zero eigenvalue which corresponds to translation. two points are required in each direction.modes which do not contribute to the energy. In one dimension. 4. If a two-dimensional element has more than three zero eigenvalues. Non-zero Dirichlet boundary conditions are more complicated to enforce. although it is often integrated with just one point. It is often argued that a zero energy mode will be restrained by neighbouring elements. In the Galerkin method. The danger of underintegrating elements is that spurious modes may arise.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions Figure 4.2 57 . two relating the translation (x and y directions) and one for rigid body rotation. This deformation mode can develop in an uncontrolled fashion. In two dimensions.and twodimensional elements are shown in Table 4. the eight-node quadrilateral requires 3 × 3 points for full integration. The four-node quadrilateral element requires 2 × 2 points for full integration.3. January 21.22 shows the classic ‘hour-glass’ spurious mode for an eight-node quadrilateral when using reduced 2 × 2 integration. Reduced integration schemes can improve the performance of some elements for special applications. In solid and structural mechanics. For some applications it may be advantageous to use reduced integration schemes in combination with particular elements. recommended integration schemes for commonly used one. although it is safer to use full integration. The number of zero eigenvalues indicates the number of rigid body modes . In summary. They appear naturally in the weak formulation (hence the common name ‘natural boundary conditions’). there should be only three zero eigenvalues.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions The imposition of Neumann (force) boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method is straightforward. Similarly. This means that a deformation mode exists which does not contribute to the energy.22: Spurious zero energy mode for the eight-node quadrilateral element when using 2 × 2 integration.

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method element two-node bar three-node bar integration scheme 1 2 three-node triangle (T3) 1 six-node triangle (T6) or 3 four-node quadrilateral (Q4) 2×2 eight-node quadrilateral(Q8) 3×3 Table 4. 2011 . 58 Version 0.2 January 21.3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements.

ke av = f e − ke g. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions this means that the uh must satisfy the prescribed displacements where they are speciﬁed. vv vg (4.75) Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed.mod = f ie − nn (4. f ie. It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v .1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh . 4. ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv fg .2 59 . In discretised form at element level. vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions.73) where av is the only unknown. ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv .74) j =1 ∑ ke ge . it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved. (4.6.71) where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. vv vg In terms of indexes.72) Since g is known. the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector. January 21. Two common approached are outlined below. (4. 0 (4.4. Since g is known. 2011 Version 0. 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. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed. Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions. The advantages of this approach are that degrees of freedom to which Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied do not appear in the global stiffness matrix and symmetries which may be present in the stiffness matrix are preserved.70) where uh is the displacement. ij j (4.

which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. Consider the Laplace equation. 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. The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. For a plane elasticity problem. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f . 4. A disadvantage is that the size of the system of equations to be solved is larger than when the extra degrees of freedom are eliminated (but only marginally so in a typical simulation) and if the stiffness matrix is symmetric before the imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions. compare the matrix K for the ﬁnite element method with linear elements and for the secondorder central ﬁnite difference method.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. modern iterative linear solvers can deal with the consequences of boundary conditions being applied in this fashion is a very efﬁcient manner (Ern and Guermond.2 January 21. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2. 2011 . 60 Version 0. However.7 Exercises 1. The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k.6. 4. Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5. symmetry is lost. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart). Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3. 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. except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. 2004). and that the value of the Dirichlet boundary condition is returned in the solution vector which simpliﬁes postprocessing. 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. Show why this is.

2011 Version 0. 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. 7. 8. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance.2.7 Exercises 6.1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0.7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 4. Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration. Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4.2 61 .4. January 21.

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

First. The problem in Figure 5. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data.0 2.0 0. the x and y coordinate is given. the is Young’s modulus. For each element. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account. the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5.8 2. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems 64 Version 0. % 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 5.6 0. the calculation phase can begin.4 gives the applied boundary condition.7 0.5 0.1 2. The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition. For each node.76 2.82 1.1 2.2 Program ﬂow Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared.0 1.2 January 21.0 0. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness). 5. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement. The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0.5 2. The connectivity list for Figure 5.0 0. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material. the node numbers are listed.1 y 0. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed.1 is given in Figure 5. In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity.0 0. The list in Figure 5. 2011 . The list can begin with any node of the element. 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).2: Nodal coordinates.0 Figure 5.0 0.3: Element connectivity.3.2.

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

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5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method

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

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

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

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5.3 Local-global

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

**Figure 5.6: Equation numbering.
**

2(4) 1(9)

4(8) 3 (5)

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

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j). k) ) else a_e(jj) = g_e(jj) % displacement is prescribed end end end % return to main program Figure 5.j).8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i.:) % 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 . 68 Version 0.dof_per_node + k if ID(connect(i.9: Formation of element stiffness matrix. 2011 .2 January 21. % 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 5.5 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).:) = x(connect(i.k) ~= 0 a_e(jj) = a( ID(connect(i.

dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii. % 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.i)*g_e(i) end % return to main program Figure 5. k) kk = j*dof_per_node . 2011 Version 0.j).l).10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions.3 Local-global % impose Dirichlet boundary conditions for i=1:nodes_per_element*dof_per_node f_e(:) = f_e(:) .jj) = K(ii.jj) + k_e(kk.5. January 21. m) ll = l*dof_per_node .11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays.2 69 .ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program Figure 5.k_e(:.dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.

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

More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. For static problems.5 Post-processing After a calculation has been completed.5 Post-processing 5. the internal force vector should be zero where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.2 71 . including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied). 2011 Version 0. it gives the reaction force at each node. Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements. This means that the body is in equilibrium.1) Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int . January 21.5. The internal force vector for an element is given by: int fe = Ωe B T σ dΩ + Ωe N T b dΩ (5. post-processing of the data is required. It is important to realise that the stress computed at a point is not always reliable. stresses and reaction forces.

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

a node will have three degrees of freedom. and in two dimensions. 2011 . the rotation is particularly simple. Therefore.1) to give the nodal displacements in terms of the coordinate system aligned with the axis of the truss element. of a linear bar. (6.3) = a2x⋆ 0 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2y a⋆ = e a1x⋆ a2x⋆ . in the x ⋆ . Given that the only displacements of interest are the in x ⋆ -direction.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. The displacement components can be rotated using the matrix Q (see section 1. the vector ae has four components (a component in the x and y direction at each node).1) The vector ae holds the displacement components at the nodes of an element. (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Fx* x* y* y z* z x Figure 6. the above problem can be reduced to give: a1x a1y a1x⋆ Q11 Q21 0 0 . displacements in the y⋆ -direction are not resisted by an element. The displacements at nodes one and two. Since truss elements are based on the assumption that only normal forces (σx⋆ ) can be transmitted.2: Linear truss element in three-dimensional space.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. two degrees of freedom. The only displacement of any consequence for an element is in the x ⋆ -direction.and y⋆ -directions are given by: Q Q21 0 0 a1x a1x⋆ ⋆ 11 a1y Q Q22 0 0 a1y = 12 . three dimensions. (6. For a two dimensional truss structure.2 January 21.

12).6. Clearly.9) where the LHS of equation (6.19) for a linear element). Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar. e (6.8) into the weak governing equation (2.2 75 . January 21.7) Similarly.7) and (6. and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global. and eliminating be . where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar. Q21 (6. The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by: h ǫh⋆ = u. multidimensional coordinate system. Inserting the relationships in equations (6. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ.x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae (6. (6.6) where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4. Ωe ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh ( Nbe ) T h dΓ. h w.9) is the stiffness matrix. the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom.8) (recall that be is a variation). (6. the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed. 2011 Version 0.1 Rod elements in space and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 . It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism.10) Ωe This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q.5) The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae .x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆ (6. A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure.

straight.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2 Figure 6. The second is the Timoshenko beam.x v. and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 . For a transverse displacement v. The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed. in-plane beams are considered. which takes into account shear deformations. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6. Figure 6.2. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam 76 Version 0. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam. is denoted Ω = ( x1 . 6.4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment. the ‘domain’ of the beam. which is valid for relatively slender beams.x y x Figure 6.2 Beams Two types of beams are considered in this section. x2 ). 2011 . For simplicity. 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.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation. v. there are no out-of plane forces or moments. The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements. Consistent with previous sections. x2 ).3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 .3.2 January 21.

2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways. Note that M = m n and Q = q n.13) Figure 6.6. equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear.12) and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q= h/2 − h/2 σxy dy. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m= h/2 (6. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1. which will be followed here.2.2 77 .6 that θ = v. 6. the ﬁbre will not rotate. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ. it is clear January 21. which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis.2 Beams γ v.6.x y x Figure 6. 2011 Version 0. It is clear from Figure 6. (6. where n is the outward unit normal vector. (6. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear.x − γ.5. In the second method. as illustrated in Figure 6. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam.11) − h/2 σxx y dy.

7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant. +Q n y n +M x Figure 6. 2011 .x y x Figure 6. 78 Version 0.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.2 January 21.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γ θ v.

21c) (6.16) dΩ dΩ Ω This expression can be rearranged such that m. Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ.3). For rotational equilibrium. Ω (q. (6. Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅.21a) (6.x dΩ + f y dΩ = 0. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv . on ΓM . and boundary conditions. it is clear that Ω Ω q.19) (6. (6. 2011 Version 0. The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ. distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6.17) (6.2 Beams that: q n dΓ + dΩ dΩ Ω f y dΩ = 0. January 21.x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0. Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅ + f y ) x dΩ = (6. translational equilibrium requires that q. (6.20b) Denoting applied end forces Fy .2 79 . on Γθ . are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories.14) Noting that q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 .21d) These equations.x dΩ − q dΩ − q.x + f y = 0.18) Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0. on ΓQ .20a) (6.21b) (6. (6.6. it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0.15) Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam.x Ω Ω Ω Ω (6.x − q = 0. therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m.

θ= dv . Being a fourth-order equation.21b)). Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6.2 January 21.21c) and (6. (6. − EI d4 v + f y = 0. and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6. two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam.23) The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6. Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2.24) where I is the moment of inertia of the beam. Multiplying equation (6. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved.21d)). and then inserting equation (6. 2011 . dx4 (6. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v.21a) and (6.24).19) with respect to x.2.25) by a weight function v. dx2 d2 v .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. from an appropriately deﬁned space. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero. the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed. which is equal to zero where Dirichlet (kinematic) boundary conditions are applied (the bar is used in this section to denote a weight function) and integration over the beam Ω yields: Ω ¯ vm. dx2 (6. dx2 (6. dx d2 v . Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6.26) which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam.25) Assuming EI to be constant.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6.16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0. The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions. With appropriate boundary conditions.22) which also implies that κ= (6. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6.xx dΩ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.27) 80 Version 0.

x mn dΓ + Γ ¯ vm.33) δv.29) Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6.30) where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vFy dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀v ∈ V .x dΩ. and v. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6.21c) and (6. Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6. The existence of second-order derivatives in the weak form deserves some special attention. January 21. v = gv on Γv . it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work.xx EIv.xx EIv.2 81 .x dΩ + Γ ¯ vm.xx (6. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . 2011 Version 0. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that − Ω ¯ v. v = 0 on Γv .xx m dΩ − Γ ¯ v. (6.x m.x = 0 on Γθ . (6.x = 0 on Γθ . which contains functions satisfying: Ω v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞. For completeness. after integrating by parts twice.34) which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam. This is in contrast to second-order problems. Consistency of the above weak form can be proven following the same procedure as in in Section 2. Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω). v.28) Applying integrating by parts again.2 Beams Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields: − Ω ¯ v.xx dΩ = − ΓM δv.6. .30) gives: Ω (6.x T dΓ + ΓQ δvFy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.31) In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous. this time to the term Ω ¯ v.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. which require C0 continuity only. Note that a fourth-order problem.x .24). the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.xx dΩ − ΓM ¯ v. which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist. (6. has second-order derivatives in its weak form.21d).x m. ¯ Ω v.1. The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv . v.32b) For the case of an elastic continuum. the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by: S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .32a) (6.x = gθ on Γθ . it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’. (6. continuity) than for classical continuum problems. For the weak form to ‘make sense’.

35) where γ is the rotation due to shear. the shear strain γ. in Ω. has been introduced.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation.19) and (6. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent.11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ.39) (6.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx − EI GAs =0 in Ω. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6.2. Recall from equation (6. an additional unknown. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6. the problem is complete.37) dv −θ . GAS (6.38) and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns. Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions. Planes must remain plane.2 January 21.19) and (6. and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. This means that shear deformations can be taken into account.40) + fy = 0 which are two coupled second-order equations. Relative to the Bernoulli-Euler theory. Timoshenko beam theory does not rely on the assumption that a plane which is initially normal to the longitudinal axis remains normal to the longitudinal axis. dx (6. but not necessarily normal. q = GAs γ = GAs (6. (6.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ. dx (6. 82 Version 0. and the second for the displacement v.36) where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q . 2011 .

2011 Version 0. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts.2.xx EIv.x dΩ − Ω Ω ¯ θGAs (v. and v = 0 on Γv . Ω (6.x ) dΩ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.45) (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ΓQ ΓM Ω ¯ θT dΓ = 0.48) January 21.44) − ¯ v.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v.41) (6. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition. 6.6.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vh Fy dΓ + Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6.xx dΩ = − ΓM ¯h v.43) (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vGAs (v. and using γ = v. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model. 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. and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition. − Ω Ω ¯ θEIθ.x GAs (v. (6.47) For many mechanical problems.2 83 .46) − ¯ v.x EIθ. Applying integration by parts once.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.x − θ. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v.x n dΓ − Γ Ω ¯ θGAs (v.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 = 0.x − θ ) n x dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. − Ω δκ m dΩ + Ω δγ q dΩ = − ΓM δθ T dΓ + ΓQ δv Fy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.x EIθ.xx dΩ − Ω ¯ θGAs (v.39) and (6.x GAs (v.42) ¯ vGAs (v. ¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv .x dΩ − Ω Ω Γ ¯ θEIθ. As with all problems. adding the weak forms in 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.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation.45) and (6.2 Beams Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6. ¯ ¯ As before. ¯ θ. Ω (6.

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

Ω N.55) The element stiffness matrix is given by: ke = Ω N.xx M2.x and v.xx T EI N. (6.xx ae dΩ = − ΓM ( N. Ω ( N.xx ae = N1.xx dΩ ae = − ΓM N.57) The operation to form the RHS vector essentially translates the applied loads into equivalent nodal shear forces and moments. (6.x be ) T T dΓ + ΓQ ( Nbe ) T Fy dΓ Ω + ( Nbe ) T f y dΩ (6.x T T dΓ + ΓQ N T Fy dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ.xx be ) T EI N.6.xx (6. 2011 Version 0.54) After some rearranging. v.xx N2. (6. they can be inserted into the Galerkin problem. January 21.xx = N.2 85 .xx T EI N.56) and the RHS vector by: fe = ΓQ N T Fy dΓ − ΓM N T T dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ.xx dΩ.xx M1.2 Beams The second derivative of v is given by: v1 θ1 v2 θ2 h v.53) h h Now that vh .xx can be computed given ae .

58b) (6.58a) (6. h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2.xx = − 3 .x = − .59d) Inserting these terms into equation (6.59c) (6.58c) (6. the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly. Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x.2 January 21.60) Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86 Version 0. 2011 . N1.xx = .58f) (6.x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) . h3 6x 1 M1.xx = 2 − .58h) Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0.xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1. N1.xx = − .xx = 12x .x = .58e) (6. h h (6.58d) (6. 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6.xx = 2 + . M2. h h 12x N2. h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2. M2.58g) (6. 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.56). h 6x 1 M2.59a) (6. h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) . h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) .x = (6.50). (6. h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.xx = h2 N1.59b) (6. x1 = − h/2).

x − θ h dΩ = − ΓQ ΓM ¯ θ h T dΓ h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ .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.65) Ωe Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e Ωe Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e = Γe. (6.66) January 21.2 87 . e θ θ N be .x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v. (6.61) Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple.2 Beams to be constant).x − θ h dΩ = Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ + ¯ vh Fy dΓ h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv . due to the second-order nature of the governing equations. e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh = h h (6.64b) (6.M N θ T dΓ.62) and (6. v h = N v av .64d) N θ aθ .63) Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ h . e N v bv . A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ. and corresponding derivatives. (6.x GAs v.6.64a) (6.64c) (6. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4.x EIθ. T (6. − 6EI h2 4EI h (6. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: 12EI h3 6EI 2 h 12EI − h3 6EI h2 6EI h2 4EI h 6EI − h2 2EI h − 12EI h3 − 6EI h2 12EI h3 − 6EI h2 ke = 6EI h2 2EI h . Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6. 2011 Version 0. in terms of shape functions and nodal variable. h h The Galerkin problem for the Timoshenko beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ Sv and θ h ∈ Sθ such that Ω Ω h ¯h θ.62) h ¯h v.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe N v T f y dΩ.

the result are plagued by shear locking. However.75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88 Version 0.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ). only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice.70) (6. Locking Conceptually.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 . Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams.71) kθv = − kvθ = − kvv = Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ.72) (6.M N θ T dΓ. Ωe Ωe T T (6. Ideally. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation. and both short and slender beams could be analysed. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality.73) Γe.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 (6.67) where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ = Ωe Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ. N v T f y dΩ. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 . resulting in an overly stiff response.68) (6.69) (6. 2011 . kθθ = (6. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L. This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish. and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv = Γe. T Bv T GAs Bv dΩ. (6.2 January 21. T T (6.

77) If at one end the beam is clamped. the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6. If the term Ωe N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration T January 21. will yield a very stiff response. this element will exhibit a very stiff response.78) Therefore.76) Therefore.80) which is independent of I. 2011 Version 0. 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 − (6.79) If L is large.2 89 . GAs (6. GAs (6. As L → 0. Even with a very ﬁne mesh.81) which is the correct result. θ1 = v1 = 0.2 Beams and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L kvv e (6. and a shear load P is applied one end. v2 ≈ 4PL . EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2 − GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L (6. v2 ≈ PL .6.

84) which qualitatively the desired response.2 January 21. 90 Version 0.82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now. The case is similar for quadratic elements.83) If L is very large. for the one element problem clamped at one end. 2011 . this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2 (6. 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 (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis (which is reduced for this term). and as L → 0. where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking response. v2 ≈ PL GAs (6. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6.85) When using reduced integration.

this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage. 2011 Version 0. The rotation of the January 21. The adopted deﬁnitions simplify the formulation as it will avoid the need for a −1 factor on particular terms. The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed. 1991. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. and the boundary is Γ. Also. summation is implied from one to two. Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements.6. (1989). Similarly.8: Coordinate system for a plate. respectively).8. For convenience.3 Plate Plates are effectively generalisations of beam elements to two spatial dimensions. y) . displacement may be denoted u. The three coordinates are denoted x. or u1 . the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. are are typically loaded out of plane. It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation. 1987.2 91 . the convention differs from the right-hand rule. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities. A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories. v and w (displacements in the x. 6.1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6.9). 1996). The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω. The plate has a thickness t. or x1 . u2 and u3 when using indexes.86b) where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6. Hughes. A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. y and z.3. More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. In plate theory. 6. x2 and x3 . (6.86a) (6.3 Plate x3 p θ1 x2 t x1 θ2 Figure 6. Bathe. y and z directions. u3 = u3 ( x. y) . the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented. T When using Greek subscripts.

9: Plate kinematics with shear deformation included.α 1 w x3 xα Figure 6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γα θ α w.2 January 21. 92 Version 0. 2011 .

α = θ(α.j + u j. the strain ﬁeld can be calculated at any point (recall ǫ = (1/2)(ui.87) Note that if γα = 0.3.β) .3 Plate mid-surface of the plate is given by w.88a) (6.β + θ β. This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for January 21. The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σαβ z dz (6. and lies in the plane of Ω. 2 α.6.88b) A useful quantity is the curvature.i )). 2011 Version 0. The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations. and the shear strain is given by γα .86). which is a second-order tensor and at a point is given by: καβ = 1 θ + θ β.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress). From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6. It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n.89) 6. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σα3 dz (6.2 93 .91) The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6.α − θα .β (6.α .2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates. γα = w.α 2 (6.α 2 −θα + w. it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric. (6.α .90) From symmetry of the stress tensor. ǫαβ = ǫα3 = −z θα. then θα = w.

α nα w.s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6.92c) (6.92f) (6.92a) (6.92b) (6.92d) (6.α + pz = 0.11. Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that: ∂Ω (6.n = w. ∂s ∂mns . 2011 .2 January 21. (6.10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). therefore qα. (6.92g) (6. (6. ∂mnn .95) 94 Version 0. mns = mαβ n β sα .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.92e) (6. w.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 6.92h) qα nα dΓ + Ω pz dΩ = 0. θn = θα nα .s = w.s = ∂s qn = qα nα .α sα mnn.α dΩ + Ω pz dΩ = 0. mns. quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα .

β − qα = 0. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite January 21.β = q β xα. (6.97) noting that q β xα . hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory.β + pz = 0.2 95 . 6. is the equation for translational equilibrium. 2011 Version 0.β + q β.β xα dΩ − Ω pz xα dΩ = 0. Since translation equilibrium requires that q β.PSfrag 6.3 Plate q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1 m12 s mnn n x1 θ2 Figure 6. Ironically.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)).α xα .β dΩ − Ω qα dΩ − Ω q β. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible. (6.96) ∂Ω ∂Ω Ω which leads to: Ω mαβ. and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory.Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam.98) The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam. mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0. rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ.3 Thin plates .α xα = qα + q β. To complete the problem. constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations.3. Considering now rotational equilibrium. These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories. (6.

87) reduces to: θα = w. 2011 . and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points 96 Version 0. 12 (6.βα . Inserting the constitutive relationship (6. After some rearranging. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6. The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations. mαβ.101) (6.106) As a fourth-order equation.αβ + w. four different types of boundary conditions are possible. equation (6. 2 (6.100) The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ . the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w.98) and inserting equation (6.α (6. 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz .2 January 21.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis element method. ∇4 w = ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 .105) This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation. It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 . Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero. where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6. Et3 (6. the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w.102) Cαβγδ = t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ .103) ¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ). Since shear deformations are zero. This can be done by differentiating equation (6.αβ + pz = 0. The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz . ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y (6.99) 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.102) into equation (6.95).104) Expanding this equation.

(6. and integrating over the surface of the plate. then integrated by parts. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory. Integrating the moment term by parts once.s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns. Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6.110) (ignoring the point terms).107c) (6.107b) (6.s + qn ) dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.6. Weak form The weak form of the governing equation for a thin plate is derived using the same processes applied for second-order problems.n mnn dΓ − ¯ w.n mnn dΓ + Γ Γ ¯ w.3 Plate on the boundary.s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6. (6.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w.105) by a weight function w. The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ). The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function. (6.110) which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending.111) =− The last term will be ignored. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns.α mαβ n β dΓ + Γ ¯ wmαβ.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.109) Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.αβ dΩ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.107a) (6.107d) The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition. Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6.108) where Ω is the surface of the plate. (6.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. for which w = 0 on Γw and w.20). and integrating over the plate surface Ω. Ω ¯ w.n = 0 on Γθ .n mnn dΓ + Γ ¯ w (mns.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6.112) January 21.β dΩ + Γ ¯ wmαβ.α mαβ. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral.2 97 . Inserting the above relationship into equation (6.100). yields Ω ¯ w.α mαβ n β dΓ = − Γ Γ ¯ w. − Ω ¯ w. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions. − Γ ¯ w. 2011 Version 0.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6. Ω ¯ wmαβ.

the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory.113) where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions.2. (6. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates. For this theory.n = gθ on Γθ . It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam.αβ as the virtual curvature.α as a virtual rotation δθα . which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. w. 2011 .n = 0 on Γθ . The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6. w = 0 on Γw .115a) (6.α + pz = 0. w. qα. (6. hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two. For completeness.αβ mαβ dΩ − ΓM ¯ w. some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates.115b) Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts.n T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ V . The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ. w and θα . As such. The problem now involves two different unknowns.4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows: S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . w = gw on Γw . which in turn involves second derivatives of w. The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature. solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that Ω ¯ w. However. the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6.β − qα = 0.3. δκαβ .116b) 98 Version 0. Unlike for thin plates. ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions. w. 6. The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement.3. and w.114) Ω ΓM ΓQ Ω Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature. (6.2 January 21.116a) (6. The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w.α ).

on Γθ . 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.β dΩ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.120c) (6.119a) and (6. This is due to θα and w being decoupled. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα . This set of equations cannot be reduced further. where Cαβ = ktµδαβ . − Ω ¯ θ(α. Firstly.6.β − θ β .β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.3 Plate In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6.α + pz = 0 It is these equations which will be solved.β − Cαβ w.β − θ β = 0 (6.αβ − θ β.β − θ β dΩ = 0.119b) are addressed. on ΓQ . ¯ equation (6. mαβ. Weak form To derive the weak form. and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6. both equations (6.102)).118) (6. The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw .2 99 . (6. θα . three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary.β) mαβ dΩ + Γ ¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. Ω ¯ θα mαβ.β − θ β dΩ = 0.120b) (6.120a) (6.119a) (6. 2011 Version 0. This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form.122) ¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields: − Ω ¯ θα.β − θ β dΩ = 0.119b) (6. (6. (6.120d) Given that one of the unknowns.119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα . a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced. qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w.117) Cαβ w. on ΓM .121) Integrating the above equation by parts. is a vector. (6.123) January 21.

α − θα . Multiplying now equation (6. the highest order derivative appearing for both terms is one. 2011 . 100 Version 0.127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method. the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ).β) and δγα = w.127a) and (6.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.α Cαβ w.β − θ β dΩ = 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis which is the weak form of equation (6. − Ω ¯ w. (6. δκαβ = θ(α.119b).2 January 21. ¯ wCαβ w.β − θ β dΩ + Γ ¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.125) ¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed). and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ . However. adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w.α Cαβ w. ¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ (6. C0 shape functions can be applied.127a) − Ω ¯ w.114). (6.α Cαβ w.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ Vw (6.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.124) Ω Ω Integrating the above equation by parts yields: − Ω ¯ w. The weak problem therefore involves: ﬁnd θα ∈ Sθ and w ∈ Sw such that: − Ω ¯ θα.119b) by a ¯ weight function w. Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6. It is equations (6.119a).127b) by minus one). yields: Ω −δκαβ mαβ dΩ + Ω δγα qα dΩ + ΓM δθα Tα dΓ − ΓQ Ω δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6.128) − which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα . (6.α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Hence.127b) Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one.αβ − θ( β. Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6.126) which is the weak form of equation (6.

none of which are of general applicability. There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements.5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity. The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity.2 101 . symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation. 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. 2κ12 ) T . constant strain implies constant curvature. m22 . The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0 Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 ) b ν 0 (1 − ν ) 2 .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. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 . In particular. (6.130) For the shear forces qα . tkµ (6. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 x3 y + c2 xy3 + c3 x3 + c4 y3 + c5 x2 y + c6 xy2 + c7 x2 + c8 y2 + c9 xy + c10 x + c11 y + c12 . some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results. The element is still useful as it passes the patch test.3 Plate 6. 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.131) Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable. (6.3. However. 2011 Version 0. κ22 . January 21. It does not however satisfy C1 continuity. In the context of plates. In place of requiring C1 continuity. a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’.129) where m = (m11 . q = D s γ.6.132) (6. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 . ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements. m = −Db κ (6. A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom.

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

h θ θ

(6.134) (6.135)

Taking derivatives,

h w,α = Bw aw

(6.136) (6.137)

κ =B a

h

θ θ

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

T T T

Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ aθ − e

Ωe

N θ CBw dΩaw + e

Ωe

N θ CN θ dΩaθ e

=−

ΓM

T Nθ T dΓ

(6.138a)

Ωe

Bw T CBw dΩaw − e

Ωe

Bw T CN θ dΩaθ e

=

ΓQ

N w T Q dΓ +

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

(6.138b)

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

(6.139)

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6.3 Plate

where kww = e

Ωe

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

T T

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

T

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

Ωe ΓQ

Ωe Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ + N w T Q dΓ +

T Nθ T dΓ T

Ωe

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

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

f eθ = −

ΓM

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

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

6.4 Shell elements

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

6.5 Exercises

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

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

rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by |u|n = Ω ( D n u)2 dΩ 1/2 . (7.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method involve n = 0 and n = 1. (7.7) where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form. Note that to ensure convergence.8) The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h . it holds that u − uh E ≤ u − uI E. c is an unknown constant. hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions. For example.2 (7. (7. 2011 .4) which is a measure of the error in the displacements. (7. (7. k + 1 > m. u − uh 106 r ≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 . Inserting now equation (7. i (7. In this way. thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain. Consider the nodal interpolate u I .6) which involves only a particular order derivative. and h is a measure of the element size. 1/2 e 1 = Ω (e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ .9) where k is the polynomial order. An important semi-norm is the energy norm. the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question. (7. uI = ∑ Ni aiI . It is deﬁned by: u 2 E = | u |2 = r Ω ( Dr u)2 dΩ. Version 0.5) which now includes the gradient of e.11) January 21.10) into the above expression. setting n = 0 gives: 1/2 e 0 = Ω (e · e) dΩ .10) This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy. Setting n = 1. Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI m ≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 .

It leads to the estimate: u − uh s ≤ Ch β |u|k+1 . e e 0 1 ≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 . hence u − uh 1 ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . (7. In elasticity.13) where β = min (k + 1 − s.16) Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. (7. r = 1. 2(k + 1 − r )). For an elasticity problem.2 107 . ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . u − uh 0 . The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached.15) which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements. For practical purposes.2 A posteriori error estimation where C is a constant. a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution. For linear elements. Therefore. such as the error in the displacement. The error in the displacements is given by e 0 .14) In terms of the strain.1. This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing. e 1 (7. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses). This is error analysis. and O(h) in terms of strains. the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e 0 ≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 . (7. independent of h. The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution. the greater a the smaller the error. It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms. January 21. 2011 Version 0.2 A posteriori error estimation Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated. Of course as h becomes small. (7. this norm is dominated by the error in the strain.7.12) This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order. 1/2 . hence it represents the error in the energy. k = 1. there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order. For k ≥ 1. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details). If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth. Larger a implies faster convergence. 7. which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is. The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’.

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

7.4 Exercises helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element.7 times smaller? 3.2 109 . 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. List some advantages and disadvantages of p. 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.and h-adaptivity.4 Exercises 1. When using Q4 elements. 2011 Version 0. 7.

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the system of equations is sparse. Gauss elimination is rarely used. This is a consequence of using a Galerkin formulation. 111 . Storing only non-zero elements in the computer memory leads to enormous savings in memory. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zero elements. 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. However. It is particularly effective for solving moderately sized problems where the bandwidth of K is limited (as is the case for a well constructed ﬁnite element mesh). The number of steps performed depends on the desired accuracy. This mean that nonzero terms are located close to the diagonal. if nodes are numbered in an efﬁcient manner. the matrix is also banded. The system of equations Ka = f is rewritten as: LUa = f (8.8 Solvers for large linear systems Note: This chapter is still being developed.1) The stiffness matrix K typically has a number of special properties. the following system needs to be solved: Ka = f (8. Direct solvers yield a result with a known number of steps. The ﬁnite element solution of practical problems often leads to very large systems of equations. Iterative solvers approach the exact solution. Furthermore. Gauss elimination – number of operations O n3 In ﬁnite element code however. 8. Due to the compact support of ﬁnite element shape functions.2) where L is a lower triangular matrix with ones on the diagonal and U is an upper diagonal matrix. The motivation is that it is relatively simple to solve triangular matrices. It varies for different meshes. Large systems require signiﬁcant memory to store the matrices and large computational effort to solve the system. Typically more efﬁcient direct or iterative solvers are used. Another special property is symmetry. a general method is required to solve the system of equations. To ﬁnd the ﬁnite element solution to a problem. the stiffness matrix is symmetric. Therefore. For all problems examined in these notes. the exact structure of the stiffness matrix is not constant. unlike ﬁnite difference methods.

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

approach is more general and suited to wave propagation problems. relies on linearity of the underlying problem and is suited to vibration analysis. 0) = u0 ( x) u ( x. when a load is applied at the 113 . therefore two initial conditions are required: u ( x. For example. less subtle. 0) = v0 ( x) ˙ (9. Elastodynamics involves the second derivative of the displacement with respect to time. its is complemented by boundary conditions.1. σn = h on Γh (9. time-dependent Neumann boundary conditions are applied. The ﬁrst. All problems up to this chapter were elliptic. In this chapter. Initial conditions correspond to the conditions at time zero (t = 0). information travels through the domain immediately. On parts of the boundary.1 Elastodynamics The majority of this chapter deals with elastodynamics problems. modal analysis. the unsteady heat equation and elastodynamics are considered in which the time dimension must be addressed. u=g on Γg . 9. (9.3) Dynamic problems require some ‘extra’ information compared to their quasi-static counterparts. the ﬁnite element method has been applied only for time-independent problems.4a) (9. In mathematical ¨ terms. The second.4b) where v is the velocity (v = ∂u/∂t). Similar to static problems.1) where ρ is the density and u = ∂2 u/∂t2 is the acceleration vector. With elliptic problems. Two approaches will be elaborated. 9.9 Time-dependent problems Until now.1 Governing equation and the weak form for elastodynamics The equation of motion is given by: ρu = ∇ · σ + b ¨ (9.2) On other parts of the boundary. These are initial conditions. this equation differs signiﬁcantly from the static case as the governing equation is hyperbolic. time-dependent Dirichlet boundary conditions are prescribed.

ﬁnd u ∈ S such that Ω ρw · u dΩ = − ¨ Ω ∇s w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ ∀w ∈ V . Deriving the weak form for dynamic problems follows the familiar procedure.8b) where ae = dae /dt and ae = d2 ae /dt2 .5) Integrating by parts.e N T h dΓ.2 January 21. 2011 . From the weak from in the previous section.6) 9. solving the weak form involves: for a given t > 0. Multiplying equation (9. This stems from the fact that the dependence on time t has not been addressed in the same fashion as the spatial dependency x. the ﬁnite-dimensional velocity and acceleration ﬁelds in an element are given by: uh = N ae . The velocity and acceleration ﬁelds are represented using the shape functions. The time dimension is left continuous. ¨ ¨ h (9. (9. Inserting the discretised displacement ﬁeld ˙ ¨ and the expression for the acceleration ﬁeld into equation (9.2 Semi-discrete Galerkin form To reach a ﬁnite element formulation.9 Time-dependent problems free end of a restrained rod.8a) (9.9) 114 Version 0. If a bar. 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. and inserting Neumann boundary conditions. which is independent of time. is hit with a hammer at the free end. With hyperbolic problems ‘information’ travels at ﬁnite speeds. This is again done using ﬁnite element shape functions. Ωe N T ρN dΩ ae = − ¨ Ωe B T DB dΩ ae + Ωe N T b dΩ + Γh. (9.1) by a weight function w.7) which is known as ‘semi-discrete’. Therefore. The equations for elastodynamics are hyperbolic. the Galerkin form must be developed. To solve dynamic problems using a computer.7) and rearranging. which when considering the semidiscrete formulations are constant in time.1. restrained at one end. 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 . ˙ ˙ u = N ae . 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. a reaction force is felt immediately at the other end. (9. for an element.

Mii lump = j =1 cons ∑ Mij n (9. there is some freedom in determining exactly how the lumped mass matrix should be calculated. The obvious choice from the variational approach is the consistent mass matrix.1 Elastodynamics This equation is commonly called the ‘semi-discrete’ equation.13) where n is the dimension of the mass matrix. but with integration points located only at element nodes. (9. as will be discussed in the following sections. Other more January 21. A common approach was to form a lumped mass matrix.10) where Me is the element mass matrix. 9. for a given time tn M an + Kan = f n . As with the element stiffness matrix. this will yield a diagonal mass matrix. Once the element contributions have been assembled into the global mass and stiffness matrices and the global RHS vector.11) Before this equation can be solved. lumped masses at each node. a strategy is required to deal with the time derivatives of a.1. This property is highly advantageous in combination with some time integration schemes. It is however possible that nodes will have zero or negative masses. Before the variational basis of the ﬁnite element method was properly understood. it was not entirely clear how the mass matrix should be formed. All off-diagonal terms are equal to zero. the lumped mass matrix has non-zero terms only on the diagonal. ¨ (9. Perhaps the simplest procedure to form lumped mass matrices is to form the matrices using numerical integration.3 Mass matrix There are several methods to form the mass matrix. 2011 Version 0. in the same fashion as for the element stiffness matrix. Since shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes.2 115 .12) This is typically formed by integrating numerically. This procedure however can lead to negative masses on the diagonal. This is formed similarly to the stiffness matrix. cons = Me Ωe ρN T N dΩ. Since ﬁnite element shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes. Since lumped schemes do not follow naturally from the variational formulation. Another procedure is based on summing rows of the consistent mass matrix. This equation can be written is a shorthand format as: Me a e + k e a e = f e ¨ (9.9. This corresponds to having discrete. the mass matrix is symmetric and will have off-diagonal terms.

15) where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. only one type of initial condition may be provided. The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague.2 January 21. q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux.16) where in the context of diffusion of heat. ¨ ˙ (9.9 Time-dependent problems sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses. This is known as Rayleigh damping. Conversely. representing the uncertainty in the source of damping. it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. (1989). It can be included through the damping matrix C. kappa is the conductivity. t) = u0 ( x) . It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular.4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping. and initial conditions. c is the ‘capacity’. Unlike elastodynamics. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. 2011 .1.3. This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour. There is no rich theory underlying the choices. Damping due to the material response can also be included. The problem requires boundary conditions. A discussion can be found in Cook et al. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f .14) where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure. u ( x. 9. the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency.3. u is the temperature. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience. 9. Damping is often included by adding the term C a to the governing equations. or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2.2 Heat equation The heat equation is introduced here as a step to the problems in elastodynamics. The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency. Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved. namely the temperature at t = 0. (9. In strong form.17) 116 Version 0. unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f . as outlined in Section 2. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK. (9. (9.

˙ 9.9.11) and rearranging. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ. The eigenvectors are a. it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem.24) The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0. which ¯ are also known as natural modes. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) .20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second). If one end of a rod is heated. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n . this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time. it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n. 2 det ke − ωe me = 0 (9. For explicit time integration procedures.25) √ for an element of length L. For a one-dimensional linear element. 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. For the consistent mass matrix. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements.18) (9.2 117 . (9. ωe = 2 3/L January 21. ¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) . Following the usual processes in developing the weak form.23) where ω are the natural frequencies of the system.22) which is a matrix eigenvalue problem. The acceleration is therefore given by: (9. 2011 Version 0. It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms). Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9. (9. (9.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics The heat equation is parabolic.19) In matrix form. its motion is harmonic. ¯ det K − ω 2 M = 0.21) −ω 2 M + K a = 0. there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ).23) can be very large. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9.

i = j.28) where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode. (9.33) 118 Version 0.2 January 21. and ωi are the natural frequencies. (9.26) Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j. 2011 . For linear problems.32) The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple.28) into equation (9. The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions. The sum of the modes gives the total displacement. (9. i = j. (9.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f i i (9. separate equations. ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f .30) 1 0 i = j. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal.31) Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . ¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f i i (9.29) Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other.27) where Ψi are eigenvectors. it is then possible to treat each mode individually. a (t) = ∑ αi (t) Ψi i (9. Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) . Inserting equation (9.11) . K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0. (9. It is then possible to treat each mode separately.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes.9 Time-dependent problems 9. and are known as vibration modes.

Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al.2 119 . which is O(∆t) accurate). To do this. it will ‘blow-up’.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. this equation can be solved analytically. and perhaps information at time step n and earlier steps. an and an at time tn (and perhaps also at earlier times ˙ ¨ steps). Given the values of an . There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. Conversely. (9. January 21. ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed. It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics. Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). equation (9. Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions.9.1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. For non-linear problems. compared to explicit schemes.5 Time stepping algorithms Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. 9. an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed. There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes. 9.5. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). For the unforced case. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1. Hence. In structural analysis. the above equation can be solved. usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response. the values an+1 . with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . the orthogonality property does not hold. (1989). equation (9. the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues. implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme. Explicit schemes can be constructed to have a high degree of accuracy (such as the 4th order Runge-Kutta method. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n. rapidly diverging from any sensible result. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes. for each mode of interest. If an integrator is unstable. implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1.34) Solutions for forced cases are dependent on the type of loading.33) is only solved for a few modes. but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless. Typically. In applying modal analysis. The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. Therefore it is limited to linear analysis.5 Time stepping algorithms Now. 2011 Version 0. Therefore. the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered.

35). 1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an .40a) (9.9 Time-dependent problems A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods. ˙ Rearranging equation (9.40b) (9.37) (9. For the problems to be considered here. 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. In practice. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 . well known integrators. Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method. ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9. Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different. 2011 . but only ﬁrst-order accurate. Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes.2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods.38) 120 Version 0. where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an . the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) . ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9. and is second-order accurate. a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an . the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 . In matrix form.35) where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1.36) gives.5. both explicit and implicit.36) and inserting the above result into equation (9. ˙ ˙ (9.2 January 21.41a) (9.39) (9. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable.41b) (9. ˙ 9.37).

45) which is the Courant. but it is conditionally stable. 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) .5 Time stepping algorithms where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm. This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ). a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) . ∆t ≤ L . where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element. January 21.46b). The Newmark method is unconditionally stale for: 2β ≥ γ ≥ 1 2 (9.47) This integrator is implicit. It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9.43a) (9. it requires the factorisation of a large matrix. c (9.9. The term ω h can be estimated for linear elements as 2c/L. but as will be shown later.42) For γ = 1/2.43b) It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9. This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate. an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 .46a) (9. Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule. Therefore. It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a. 2 (9. Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences.44) where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0. Its stability properties are attractive. Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators. an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9. Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods. 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).2 121 .41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2. 2011 Version 0. ∆t2 (9. It is also energy conserving.46a) into equation (9.46b) Inserting equation (9.

The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn . The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ. 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then. A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122 Version 0. the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9.48) It is assumed that a and its time derivatives are known at time t and unknown at time t + ∆t (corresponding to n + 1). In practice. it is possible to calculate an+1 .54) (9. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9. it is not necessary to form the stiffness matrix K. M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n . where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9. ¨ ˙ (9.55) Ω A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation.9 Time-dependent problems Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved.51) If both M and C are diagonal matrices. (9.53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9. (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. with damping.43). Given an and an−1 .52) (9. an+1 can be calculated without solving a system of equations (hence the attractiveness of lumped mass matrices when using explicit time integrators). 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n .2 January 21. 2011 . has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n . and unknown at step n + 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.

43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0).5 Time stepping algorithms algorithm at t = 0. In combination with a lumped mass matrix. For simplicity. damping is ignored. This yields. Furthermore. M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 + Kan+1 = f n+1 (9. The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability.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. and all known quantities on the RHS. 2011 Version 0. it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems. 1 M + K a n +1 = M β∆t2 1 1 1 an + ˙ an − an ˙ ¨ a + 2 n β∆t 2β β∆t +f (9.61) January 21. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation. it is second-order accurate.60) which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9.58b) These equations are then inserted into equation (9.9. which are the initial conditions. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis.56) The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (9.41) for β = 0 to express the accelerations and velocity at step n + 1 in terms of step n and earlier.57) Rearranging the expressions in equation (9. Combining equations (9.2 123 .59) Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS. 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 ¨ ˙ (9.57).

Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one. Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element.7 Exercises 1. However. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t). With the Newmark scheme. 124 Version 0. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α . the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate. Decreasing α increases the dissipation.41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure. ¨ (9. If −1/3 < α < 0.6 Space-time formulations Time as a degree of freedom. γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4. 9. If α = 0. numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2.2 January 21. 3. 2011 . Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α.9 Time-dependent problems Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal.62) where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t . 1987). 9. At time step n. calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations. it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme.5. 9. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 . Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element. A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping. Rearrange equation (9. One such algorithm is the α-Method. 2.3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations. which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution.

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

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