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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

.

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 6. . . . . . . . . Plate . . . 9.6 Space-time formulations . .2 6. 111 8. 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 A posteriori error estimation . 9. . . . . . . . . .3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . 73 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents 6. . . . . . . 76 .2 Heat equation . . . . . . . . . 8 Solvers for large linear systems 111 8. . . .5 Time stepping algorithms . . . . . . . References . . Shell elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 113 116 117 118 119 124 124 125 6 Version 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. .1 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Rod elements in space Beams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Iterative solvers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 9 Time-dependent problems 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 105 107 108 109 7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method 7. . . .3 Adaptivity . . . . . . . 9. . . . . . . Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 A priori error estimation . . . . . . . . . . . .3 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 LU-decomposition . . 91 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . .7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. .2 January 21.4 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Elastodynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

6) ∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 . a2 (1. 2011 .4) The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi . which is denoted a · b.1: Example of orthonormal base vectors. x = √ x · x.2 January 21.5) ∑ a i bi . In the case n = 2. i =1 3 (1. a= a1 . and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x. A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components. a·b = (1.3) Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b. where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3. (1.7) 8 Version 0. ai where i runs from one to n.1 Introduction x2 a e2 = [0 1 0] e1 = [1 0 0] x1 e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1. i =1 n (1.

9) Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters. At times.14) January 21. and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj . 2011 Version 0.8) can be used. M. allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi . which is expressed as D = AB. A = Aij . a = Ab = Aij b j = ∑ Aij bj j =1 n (1. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 . It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a. Aij .17) (1.1.12) Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors. R (1. Second-order tensors can be multiplied. (1. (1. 0 if i = j. The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j. Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. A.1 Tensor basics For an orthonormal basis.11) (1. ei · e j = δij .15) (1. a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components. A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a. (1. the dot product maybe written as a T b. in the vein of matrix multiplication.10) As with vectors. A31 A32 A33 (1.16) (1. K.2 9 .13) where n is the dimension of the vector b.

1 Introduction In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji . For example. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii .22) Using the trace.2 January 21.27) This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention.23) (1. (1. is provided for two second-order tensors. this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 .24) (1.18) The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components. A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 . It is deﬁned by: A : B = tr A T B .26) (1.20) The trace of a second-order tensor is essentially the summation of its diagonal components. (1. For a second-order tensor A in R3 . which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j . = ai b j . (1. For two second-order tensors in R2 . an operation similar to the dot product of two vectors.21) (1. i =1 j =1 n n (1. 2011 .19) Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors. an inner product. (1. A useful identity involving the transpose is: ( AB) T = B T A T .28) 10 Version 0. (1. The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1. It also yields a scalar. A = a ⊗ b. This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij .25) ∑ ∑ Aij Bij .

b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1. matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 . The components of E are given by: [E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek . The result of the above equation is rather simple.34) (1. A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor. is equal to the identity tensor.33) (1. (1. product. j. January 21. Another important operation is the cross. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1 Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation.1 Tensor basics The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia. Eijk = −1.31) Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties.36) The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here. (1. a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . (1. Using index notation. AA−1 = A−1 A = I. The cross product of two vectors yields a vector. Eijk = 0. k} is odd.29) A second-order tensor A. If any of the indices are repeated.2 (1. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 .1. The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . k} is even. E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b. multiplied by its inverse A−1 . and if the permutation {i.32) As will be shown in the following section. (1. j.37) 11 .30) (1. Eijk = 1. It is deﬁned for a. If the permutation {i. 2011 Version 0. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E . A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A. or vector. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient.

(1. Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor. (1. For an orthonormal basis. the stress and strain are second-order tensors. It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system. Coordinate transformations For many problems. which is orthogonal.39) Fortunately.2 January 21.41) 12 Version 0. 2011 . (1. due to physical symmetries. Consider that for a vector a. Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j . the components in ei system are known. A : B = Aijk Bjk . in terms of indices.2: Rotation between coordinate systems.40) (1. C = Cijkl . it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly.1 Introduction x2 ′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ] e2 = [0 1] ′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ] θ e1 = [1 0] x1 Figure 1. ′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system.2. Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q. This operation is particularly important when considering moments.38) In elasticity. denoted here as C . ′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j . it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame.

2 Vector calculus which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a. QQ T = Q T Q = I.46) Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem. cos θ (1.47) (1.xx .xyy .x . Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1.45) At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another. which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem. 1. Q= ′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2 (1. 2011 Version 0.43) and note that Q is orthogonal. 0 . It is expressed as: ∇ · a.1.42) − sin θ . 0.2. (1. Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x.xxxx . It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 . (1.44) Therefore. (1. Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable. ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u. ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1. ∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u. = u. The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar.48) This notation is used commonly throughout these notes.xy . An important operator is the divergence. January 21.2 (1. An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space. = u.49) 13 . and A = QA′ Q T . This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ. components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ .2 Vector calculus Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives.

∇a = (1.i .56) which yields a second-order tensor. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 . In a three-dimensional space.2 January 21. In a three-dimensional space.51) The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by: ∇·A = ∂Aij = Aij. ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x 1 2 (1.j . ∇ · a is equal to ∇·a = ∂ai = ai.1 Introduction In terms of indices. ∂xi (1. The gradient of a scalar a is given by: ∇a = ∂a = a. 2011 . ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by: ∇a = ∂ai = ai.50) In a three-dimensional space R3 . ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z (1. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1. ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 .57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14 Version 0.i . ∂xi (1. ∂x j (1.55) ∇a = . ∂x j (1.j . ∇·a = ∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + .53) Another important operator is the gradient.52) For a two-dimensional tensor A.54) which yields a vector.

3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω.2 15 . (1. ∂x j i ij (1. (1. The above formula is simple to derive by using the product rule for differentiation to expand Ω ∇ · ( aB ) dΩ = Ω ∂ a B dΩ. 1. For a vector a.59) Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method. (1.58) where n is the outward normal to the body Ω.3 Linear algebra n Ω Γ Figure 1. It implies that: Ω a · (∇ · B) dΩ = − Ω ∇ a : B dΩ + ∂Ω a · Bn dΓ.61) and then applying the divergence theorem.3.3 Linear algebra The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties. 2011 Version 0. Ω ∇ · a dΩ = ∂Ω a · n dΓ. For example. The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω. The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem). the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses.1. and the January 21. It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral. The divergence theorem states: Ω ∇ · A dΩ = ∂Ω An 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.

respectively. and u and f are vectors of length n. 1. the eigenvalues of a matrix indicates if a matrix has a unique inverse. Also. which guarantees that the inverse of A exists. For large matrices. Equation (1.65) Typically.1 Introduction corresponding eigenvectors are the principal stress directions. of A. ﬁnding λ requires ﬁnding the roots of a quadratic equation. The solution u is given by: u = K −1 f . For a 3 × 3 matrix. For a matrix A. 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). Solvers for ﬁnite element problems are discussed in Chapter 8.63) For a 2 × 2 matrix. The strain ǫ is deﬁned as the symmetric gradient of the displacement vector: ǫij = 1 u + u j. (1. special numerical algorithms are used to calculate the eigenvalues. A zero eigenvalue implies that the matrix A has a linearly dependent column. For a symmetric matrix. 2 i. K will often be referred to as the ‘stiffness matrix’ and f the ‘right-hand side vector’. The system of equations is usually solved using a direct method (such as Gauss elimination or LU decomposition) or an approximate iterative method.64) where K is an n × n matrix. In the context of the ﬁnite element method. Eigenvalue tests are often used in studying the matrices arising in the ﬁnite element method. 2011 .66) 16 Version 0. For a positive deﬁnite matrix A. (1. and is unique. the system of equations in a ﬁnite element equation will be very large.2 January 21. This section is intended to cover only the important concepts which are used later in these notes. all eigenvalues are positive and real.62) are known as eigenvectors and eigenvalues. (1. The polynomial is known as the characteristic equation of A.j (1. A system of n linear equations can be expressed as: Ku = f .4 Essentials from continuum mechanics The ﬁnite element method is used in these notes to solve primarily problems in continuum mechanics.62) implies that: det ( A − λI ) = 0. This requires some background in continuum mechanics and linear-elasticity. all eigenvalues are real. vectors b and scalars λ which satisfy ( A − λI ) b = 0 (1. the roots of a cubic equation must be found.i . It is not a comprehensive coverage of the topic.

A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics which is clearly a second-order tensor. The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants.68) where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient. in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1. For solid. it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1.73) (1. Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position. 2 i. this reduces to four.i . linear-elastic continua. the strain tensor is symmetric.71) (1. σn = t (1. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . The stress tensor is deﬁned through the traction vector t (force per unit area) on a surface. For linear elasticity. January 21.69) where n is the unit normal vector to the surface.j) = 1 u + u j. or in index notation. Obviously. the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum.j (1.70) with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio. σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ.2 17 .1. 2 (1. For convenience. Similar to the strain tensor. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i.67) For convenience. 2011 Version 0. In two-dimensions. as will be shown in the next chapter). In a homogeneous body. Due to symmetry. In compact notation.72) (1.

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

Then. Note that this equation is general.5 Exercises elastic bodies.83) If translational equilibrium (equation (1.1. and not speciﬁc to elasticity. In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have? January 21. leading to: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω (1. Therefore. since E : σ T = 0. if σ is symmetric. etc.80).80) Balance of linear momentum should also be satisﬁed for any subdomain of Ω. Therefore.80). expand the terms: a) b) c) d) e) f) a i bi ai b j Aij Bij Cij bi Cij b j Fik Gkj 2.81) Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum). 1.83) is zero. the partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1.79) where b is a body force. the integral can be removed from equation(1. moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric.82) where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω. Ω r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ + Ω E : σ T dΩ = 0 (1. Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives: Ω ∇ · σ + b dΩ = 0 (1. This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation. 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. consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω.5 Exercises 1.). the ﬁrst term in equation (1. and applying the divergence theorem. 2011 Version 0. Considering that t = σn.2 19 . which requires that ∂Ω t dΓ + Ω b dΩ = ∂Ω σn dΓ + Ω b dΩ = 0 (1. For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3.80)) is satisﬁed.

Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem.60).2 January 21. 6. Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation. 2011 . 7. It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇. Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (1. derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1.1 Introduction 3. 5. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ). Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions 20 Version 0.43) is orthogonal. What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4.

the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du .1: One-dimensional bar. (2.x = f . For a linear-elastic rod.1 One-dimensional bar Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2. u = 0 at x=0 (2. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed.x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod. The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation.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’. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution. For example. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation.1. (2. The governing equation can then be expressed as: − Eu.xx = f . 21 .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 2.1) where σ. the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts. dx (2. To do this. The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’.81)): −σ. The ﬁnite element method is a variational method.2) where E is the Young’s modulus.3) To complete the problem. 2.

x n = h 0 < x < L. 2011 . If equation (2.6) (2. which yields: − L 0 wσ. −wσ.x = w f L 0 ∀w ∈ V . which has an inﬁnite number of members). applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u. Note that in the strong form.xx = f u=0 Eu.x dx = L 0 w. Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu. Multiplying equation (2.2 January 21. both sides of equation (2. (2.x .11) Note the term wEu.x Eu. then − wσ. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.9) where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’. (2.12) where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction.x .10) is also true. equation (2. at x = L.8) To develop the weak form of the governing equation.x dx = w f dx ∀w ∈ V .9) must hold point-wise.3). Considering that σ = Eu.7) (2. Taking guidance from equation (1. (2.10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2.x σ dx − wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V .5) where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case).8) inserted.60). (2. σn = h at x = L. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2.1) by w. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that: − Eu. solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that L 0 w.1 to be equal to zero.x dx = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V . Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function. L 0 (2. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h. at x = 0.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations prescribes the displacement at one end of the bar in Figure 2. This is the weak form of the governing equation. (2.6). after inserting the constitutive relationship (2.x .6) are multiplied by a scalar weight function w ∈ V (w ∈ V means that w comes from the appropriately deﬁned space of functions V .x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0. derivatives of order 22 Version 0.

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

2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations h Γh Ω Γg n Figure 2.21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1. and integrated over the body. and integrating over the body Ω yields: Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . u=g on Γg .19) On the remaining boundary.21) The ﬁrst term in equation (2. yielding: − Ω ∇w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0.22) 24 Version 0. On part of the boundary.2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh .17) by w ∈ V .18) where C is a fourth-order tensor. a constitutive relationship is required.20) The boundary-value problem is now complete. In Figure 2.60)). First. the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions). (2. As in the one-dimensional case. the weight function w is a vector. For a linearelastic material. (2. where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ). (2. σ = C : ǫ.2. the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg . the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V . Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem. Γh . To derive the weak form. Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface). the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed.2 January 21. 2011 . Multiplying equation (2. (2. t=h on Γh . Note that in this case. (2.

For Darcy’s law. The constitutive relationship depends on the problem being solved. A wide range of physical phenomena are governed by this equation.23) where S is an appropriate space of functions which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. This is the weak equilibrium equation for a stationary continuous elastic body. (2.18).26) where u is a potential. Consistency can be proven in the same fashion as was used for the onedimensional problem.2 25 . The previous example of continuum elasticity was an example of a system of Poisson equations – one for each spatial direction. (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 . The constitutive relationship is given by: q = −κ ∇ u (qi = −κij u. κ = κI. the variational framework is more general. q is the heat ﬂux vector. January 21. q is the ﬂow rate. Therefore ∇s w ≡ δǫ. It is simple to show that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric (see exercise 1). 2011 Version 0.25) yields a Poisson equation. Consider the following equation: −∇ · q + f = 0 in Ω (2. the scalar u is the temperature.2. There exists a close link between weak forms and virtual work for a range of problems. Inserting the constitutive equation into (2. u is the hydraulic head and κ is known as the hydraulic conductivity. Consider now w as a ‘virtual displacement’ δu. However. 2.23). For linear heat conduction.3 Poisson equation where σn has been replaced by the prescribed traction h (the Neumann boundary condition). Ω δǫ : C : ǫ dΩ = Ω δu · b dΩ + Γh δu · h dΓ. where κ is the thermal conductivity. including steady-state heat conduction and ﬂow in permeable media (Darcy’s law). The equation of virtual work is therefore the weak form of the governing equation. Inserting now the constitutive relationship from equation (2. In Darcy’s law. For an isotropic medium. Inserting this into equation (2.25) where q is a ﬂux vector and f is a source term. Often the term ∇w is written as ∇s w. the symmetric gradient of w.j ) (2.3 Poisson equation An equation which is often solved using the ﬁnite element method is the Poisson equation. Here the Poisson equation is addressed in a more generic fashion.24) which is the equation of virtual work. In the case of heat conductivity.

For heat conduction. The Neumann boundary condition requires that: −q · n = h on Γh (2.33) 26 Version 0. it is the hydraulic head. Multiplying equation (2. 2011 . (2.4 Minimisation of potential energy For particular equations.2 January 21.27) which prescribes the potential on the boundary. 2. w = u + v. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples.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 . suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem. and consider the potential energy functional I. The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (2.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations As for all previous examples. (2. (2.25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions. For Darcy ﬂow. such as equilibrium of an elastic body. (2.2). this is the temperature on the boundary Γg . 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. In the case of heat conduction.28) where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2. For an elastic body Ω. there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form. (2. I (u) = 1 2 Ω ∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω u · b dΩ − ∂Ω u · h dΩ. this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh .32) The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld. − Ω w (∇ · q) dΩ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .31) which is the weak form of the Poisson equation. and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary.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 .

This means that the functions are continuous. Functions are often classiﬁed as being C n continuous. If a function is C n .3) to make sense. The function shown in Figure 2. it is clear that it involves only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x of u and w. since for equation (2.3)). Continuity refers to whether or not the derivatives of a function are continuous. In ﬁnite element analysis.x x Figure 2. A C0 function is shown in Figure 2. which proves that solution of the weak form corresponds to minimisation of the potential energy.2 27 . 2011 Version 0. in a classical sense.12)).3: Example of a C0 function f . but their ﬁrst derivatives are not. this means that its nth derivative is continuous.3. piecewise linear function.5 Regularity requirements f f . Consider now if the function f is a possible solution u of the strong equation for a bar (equation (2. In summary. As will be seen in the following chapters. Examining now the weak form for the rod (equation (2. It is not a possible solution. and is essential for the ﬁnite element method. and the last term Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ ≥ 0.3 is a continuous.3. the weak form allows for more possible solutions. 2.23). 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. its second derivative does not exist.xx ) must exist. it is clear that it is simple to take the ﬁrst derivative of the function f . Therefore a function like f is a possible solution of the weak form and a possible weight function. functions which are C0 are most commonly used.5 Regularity requirements A common topic in ﬁnite element analysis is continuity.34) Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ.2. From Figure 2. January 21. this is a commonly used function in ﬁnite element analysis. This is a classic mathematical property of weak forms. the second derivative of f with respect to x ( f . 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. However.

Consider ﬁrst a scalar problem in an n-dimensional domain Ω. The notation u ∈ H 1 means that u comes from (is an element of) H 1 .35) Functions which are square integrable come from the Hilbert space known as L2 (Ω). since a fundamental step in the ﬁnite element method will involve ﬁnite-dimensional function spaces. but this point is not important here). which is deﬁned by: V = {w | w ∈ H 1 (Ω) . (2. This is of crucial importance. 2. In physical terms. The weight functions come from the space V (w ∈ V ). This can be seen in the well-known Sobolev embedding theorem.6 Deﬁnition of trial and weight function spaces There are certain mathematical requirements that must be met by the trial and weight functions for the weak form to ‘make sense’. the requirement that the trial functions be square-integrable implies that energy must be ﬁnite.36) are known as members of the Sobolev space on degree one.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. such functions may be discontinuous. from which the trial and weight functions come. Importantly.x )2 dΩ < ∞ (2. A function u is said to be square integrable if: Ω (u)2 dx < ∞. That is. there do however exist functions from H 1 (Ω) which are not C0 continuous. The function space S is deﬁned by: S = {u | u ∈ H 1 (Ω) . Clearly. 28 Version 0. Functions for which: Ω (u)2 + (u. For multiple spatial dimensions. which is denoted H 1 (Ω). w| Γg = 0}. Sobolev spaces are inﬁnite-dimensional. an inﬁnite number of different functions belong to a given Sobolev space. Functions spaces can be considered the ‘family’ of functions from which u and w can come.2 January 21.2 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. Trial functions u come from the space S (u ∈ S ). 2011 . (2. When solving second-order differential equations. Note that C0 functions belong to H 1 . u| Γg = g}. functions which have square-integrable derivatives are of interest.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. (2. It is useful to deﬁne function spaces.

For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices). prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. 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. ui | Γg = gi } and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V .39) V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) . The Helmholtz equation is given by: ∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0 and is often used in wave propagation problems. where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 0). (2. (Hint: use index notation. is u a possible trial solution? January 21. 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). 4.7 Exercises 1.7 Exercises In multiple dimensions.2.) 2.2 29 . u ∈ S where S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) . wi | Γg = 0}.40) Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method. Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r. 2011 Version 0. 2. 3. (2. Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2.23) for elasticity using index notation. a = b) 5. Derive the weak form.

.

For example. Commonly. respectively.x dx ∀w h ∈ V h (3. 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. uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions. uh = L wh where B wh . 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. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin.1) where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space.x dx + w h h| x= L = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . consider the approximate solution to some problem. Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2. 3. the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh . as developed in the previous chapter.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that − L 0 h h w.1 Approximate solution First. it is generic for a range of different problems. In a multidimensional context. The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2.4) L 0 h h w. (3.3 The Galerkin method The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions. It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations. This means that there is a limited number of possibilities.2) (3.5) 31 . being able to solve a greater range of problems. Furthermore.x Eu. The essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation. uh ∈ S h .23).3) This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space. uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L . (3.x Eu. The Galerkin method is however more general.

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.3 The Galerkin method where ǫ h = ∇s uh .7) The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally. B wh . the Bubnov-Galerkin method) requires that the weight and trial functions come from the same ﬁnite-dimensional space. 2011 . piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’. For the one-dimensional problem.2 January 21.2).10) Since u is the exact solution. This is examined in the following section. A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u. B w h . uh = and L wh = Ω Ω ∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ wh · h dΓ.9) For generality. This method is used for special applications. Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h .1). u − B wh . In the abstract notation of equation 3. the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3. uh and w h will be simple continuous. (3. Inserting equation (3. taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. often in ﬂuid mechanics.9) into equation (3. which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis.11) 32 Version 0. e = B wh .2 Basic error analysis It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution. the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. In Petrov-Galerkin method. Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis.6) wh · b dΩ + Γh (3. Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented. this implies that: B wh . B wh . why it doesn’t work). In the ﬁnite element method. e − L wh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3.2. uh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3. u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3. this will be investigated using the abstract notation.8) where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. u − B wh . 3.

**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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January 21, 2011

**4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
**

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

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

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

f

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

L Figure 4.1: One-dimensional bar.

35

1) where xi is the coordinate of node i.x u j j =1 n dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. dx i i =1 ∑ n (4. x i − x i −1 x i − x i −1 x i +1 x Ni = x i < x < x i +1 . these basis functions are known as ‘shape functions’. discretised with n nodal points. From this expression.x Eu.x u j j =1 n dΩ = Ω ∑ Ni wi i =1 n f dΩ + Γh ∑ Ni. the approximate displacement ﬁeld is given in terms of the shape functions and the approximate displacement at a ﬁnite number of points (nodes). (4. Given that wi is not a function of spatial position. x i − x i +1 − x i − x i +1 0 otherwise. Ω ∑ Ni. For a one-dimensional bar.4) Recalling the weak form for a one-dimensional elastic rod.5) and inserting the expression for the expressions for the approximate displacement ﬁeld and the weight function. (4. It is expressed using the same basis functions as the displacement ﬁeld.x wi i =1 n E ∑ Nj.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method nodes.x E ∑ Nj. is given by x x i −1 − x i −1 < x ≤ x i . it can be taken outside of the integrals. an expression is needed for the weight function w h . i =1 n (4. Ω h h w. i =1 n (4. The basis function at node i.x wi i =1 n h dΓ (4.x dΩ = Ω w h f dΩ + Γh w h h dΓ ∀ wh ∈ V h . hence wh = ∑ Ni wi . In ﬁnite element analysis. h ǫh = u.7) 36 Version 0. ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni. the approximate displacement ﬁeld uh is given by uh = ∑ Ni ( x) ui . the strain ﬁeld can be computed easily by taking the derivative of the shape functions.2 January 21.6) for all possible values of wi . Hence.x = dNi u.3) To develop the Galerkin problem. 2011 . (4.2) where ui is the value of the ﬁeld uh at node i.

A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal points and elements. which can be expressed as the system of equations. u j can also be taken outside of the integrals. A mesh divides a body into a number of elements. surfaces (2D) or volumes (3D) which are constructed by joining nodal points.x dΩ (4. Elements may not overlap. A simple ﬁnite element January 21. and hence an expression for the approximate displacement ﬁeld along the rod. This yields n equations (one for each wi . Nodes are points in space.x dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. 2011 Version 0. Kij u j = f i .4. where Kij = and fi = Ω Ω (4. If a boundary condition is applied at node k. For the zero Dirichlet conditions.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. this is relatively simple.11) Nj f dΩ + Γh Nj h dΓ (4.x E Nj. Matrices and vectors can be built for each element before being assembled into global matrices and vectors. It is useful to deﬁne shape functions on ﬁnite elements. A typical ﬁnite element mesh is shown in Figure 4. Dirichlet boundary conditions must be enforced.x E Nj. Solving this linear system of equations provides u j .2. while elements are lines (1D). Therefore.10) Ni. (4. and the kth term is deleted from the vector f . The problem has been divided into many quadrilateral elements. for each i ∑ uj j =1 n Ω Ni.x E Nj.2 37 . ∑ wi ∑ u j i =1 j =1 n n Ω Ni. A discussion of more general boundary conditions is delayed until the end of the chapter. and n unknowns in the form of ui ).x dΩ = Ω Ni f dΩ + Γh Ni h dΓ (4. 4. In order the solve the linear system. and f = f i as the right-hand side (RHS) vector.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions Likewise.9) must hold. then the row and the column k is removed from the stiffness matrix. Consider the case that all but one wi is equal to zero.12) The matrix K = Kij is commonly known as the stiffness matrix.8) This equation must hold for all possible combinations of wi .

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

Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i.3.1. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions. and zero at all other nodes. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements. each multiplied by a nodal value. the amplitude). Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’. For a node i.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin. (4. In Figure 4.2 39 . are examined.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 2 L x=0 Figure 4.13) January 21. 4.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections. is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes. As in the one-dimensional case.3. denoted by the solid circles. Each element has three nodes. the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements.2. A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached.4. mesh is shown in Figure 4. known as ﬁnite elements.4. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node. the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. 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. 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 . Ni . Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4. linear one dimensional elements. as introduced in Section 4. The bar has two nodes. the shape function associated with that node. Both nodes and elements are numbered. Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns. 2011 Version 0. Having a compact support. In the ﬁnite element method.

dx (4.19) (4. the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required.18) The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae . as its shape functions are linear polynomials. to solve a problem. (4. In matrix-vector notation. L This type of element is known as a linear element. ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 . 2011 . The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position.20) N2 .17) In the case of a linear displacement interpolation. The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems. It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple. a2 (4. Taking the derivative of equation (4. L L (4.5.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node). Therefore. dx dx 1 dx L L (4. the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element. the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae . 40 Version 0.2 January 21.16) with respect to x. where N = N1 and ae = a1 . in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae . The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence. Now. the displacement and strain can be calculated in any part of the element.15) x . L (4. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 . where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 .22) (4. Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries.16) x + 1.14) (4.21) The shape functions for two linear elements are shown in Figure 4.

25) The matrix N contains the element shape functions. More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required. (4.2 41 . i =1 3 (4..4. The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae .. Higher-order elements simply have more nodes. each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 L1 L2 Figure 4.24) and the B matrix has a similar form. 4.26) (4.. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations. In two dimensions. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant.2. .27) January 21. obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear.. and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae .5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements. Figure 4. (4. Nnn 0 0 .23) Therefore. linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic. For a one-dimensional quadratic element.6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements. 2011 Version 0. the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . Nnn (4. the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh = ∑ Ni (x) ai .2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions.

Its shape functions are of the form: The nodal degrees of freedom (normally one for each spatial dimension at each node for elasticity problems) are stored in a vector a. ∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn . It is shown in Figure 4.. 2011 . For two-dimensional problems..7.6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements. ann x ann y 42 Version 0. (4. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 . .29) ae = .. a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y .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 4.28) B= 0 .2 January 21. .. where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element. ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle. 0 (4... For a two-dimensional problem. 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 .

32) (4. yi ) is the location of the ith node. Given the following coordinates of each of where ( xi .8: Shape function for a three-node element. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 . y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1.2 43 . Consider node 1 in Figure 4. the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations. (4.7: Three-node triangular element. N1 ( x3 . y3 ) 3 1 2 ( x1 . y1 ) ( x2 . 2011 Version 0.7. Example 4. y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0.4. (4. hence the strain in the element is constant. Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 .7.30) The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4.1 Consider the element in Figure 4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions ( x3 . Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes. y2 ) Figure 4.34) c3 x3 y3 1 0 January 21. N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 . Figure 4.31) (4. (4.33) Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1. y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0. N1 ( x2 . It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant.8.

34)) is formed. A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4. due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions.x and the B matrix is of the form: N1. y2 ) = (4. a system of equations (see equation (4.10.y 0 N2. the strain in this element is not constant.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method the nodes.y A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral. 3) To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients. the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2. 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. A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4.y N2. Unlike the three-node triangle. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 . 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0.25x − 0. ( x1 .9.x 0 N1. 1) ( x3 .25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node.y N3. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations.x N3. 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. Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated.2 January 21. 2) ( x2 . Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems.36) 44 Version 0.25y + 0. y3 ) = (2. ﬁnd the shape function for node 2. y1 ) = (1.x 0 N2. (4. 2011 . the N and B matrices can be formed.y N1.x N2.y B= 0 N1.35) It is also know as a bilinear element.x 0 N3.

Each time the order of a triangle is increased. the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element.13. Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1.9: Four-node quadrilateral element.2 45 . Linear. 2011 Version 0. Note that serendipity 1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 . They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange. As with the three-node triangle. 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. Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4.15. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4. Figure 4. = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1 (4. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 4 3 1 2 Figure 4. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior.12).11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4.14. Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries.4. a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions.37) January 21.

.. 46 Version 0...12: Pascal triangle – polynomial terms for triangular elements of order n. 2011 .... y y2 y3 y4 .4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4..... x2 y x 2 y2 . Figure 4. 1 x x2 x3 x4 . . Figure 4.. quadratic and cubic triangular elements. . x3 y .13: Linear..2 January 21.11: Two shape functions for a six-node triangular element.. xy xy2 xy3 .

(4. The shape functions for the eight-node serendipity quadrilateral have the form: N = c1 x2 y + c2 xy2 + c3 x2 + c4 y2 + c5 xy + c6 x + c7 y + c8 . Figure 4.. (4.38) and for the nine-node Lagrange quadrilateral the shape functions have one extra term and are of the form: N = c1 x2 y2 + c2 x2 y + c3 xy2 + c4 x2 + c5 y2 + c6 xy + c7 x + c8 y + c9 . y y2 y3 y4 . .4.. Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.. 2011 Version 0.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions (a) (b) Figure 4. 1 x x2 x3 x4 .16..2 47 ... The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation. The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4. Eight.39) January 21.and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis.. and are therefore not recommended. elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms..14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements.15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements. x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 .

. y y2 y3 .2. A four-node tetrahedral element has linear shape functions. Commonly used shapes are tetrahedra and bricks.2 January 21. .40) Similar to the three-node triangle. .. (4. They can be formed in the same fashion as one. Figure 4... 48 Version 0. Higher-order version of both tetrahedral and brick elements also exist... Figure 4. the derivatives of the shape functions are constant within an element.16: Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements.and two-dimensional elements.17.41) This is known as a ‘trilinear element’. The computational effort required for three-dimensional analysis can become high. They are of the form: N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 z + c4 . The numbers of nodes per element increases rapidly.. xy xy2 xy3 . Not only do the elements tend to have more nodes.. 4..17: Tetrahedral and brick three-dimensional ﬁnite elements. The simplest brick element has eight nodes.... (4. they often have more degrees of freedom per node. Also.3 Three-dimensional elements Three-dimensional elements are increasingly used in engineering analysis. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xyz + c2 xy + c3 xz + c4 yz + c5 x + c6 y + c7 z + c8 . x3 y x 3 y2 x 3 y3 x2 y x 2 y2 x 2 y3 .4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 1 x x2 x3 . 2011 . wedge type elements are often used for generating meshes for complex geometries. These two elements are shown in Figure 4.

e N T h dΓ. and can therefore be eliminated. What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation. l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = Γh. The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh . 1989) 4. wh = Nbe .44) where the integral over Γh. (4. The three-dimensional equivalent of a Pascal triangle can be used to ﬁnd the polynomial terms for higher-order three-dimensional elements (Zienkiewicz and Taylor.45) The be terms appear on both sides of the equality.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ.18).43) ∇ w = Bbe .3 Governing equations x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L Figure 4.46) January 21.4. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals. 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). Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4. (4. Now.18: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 .1)) is considered. it is known how the displacement and the displacement gradient at a point in space can be expressed in terms of the nodal variables (degrees of freedom). which after some rearranging (using ( Ac) T = c T A T ) leads to: be T l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = be T Γh. (4.e N T h dΓ. Therefore.3 Governing equations At this point.42) (4. for the multi-dimensional case within an element. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as: l2 l1 ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh. the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3. (4. 2011 Version 0.e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary Γh .2 49 .

For a continuum elasticity problem.51) where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. In the global mesh. Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element. and similarly for J. A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ + Ωe ( Nbe ) T b dΩ (4.5). This yields: Ωe ( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ = Γh.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The term ke = l2 l1 B T EB dΩ (4. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix. An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions. irrespective of the exact shape of the element. the term k ij relates local nodes i and j. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. (4. e= f = Ane 1 f e . The component k ij is added to the location K I J . isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software. 4. It also allows the simple application of numerical integration. the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3. 2011 . the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ. e= (4.50) (4. y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian 50 Version 0. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke . 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).e Ωe Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element.2 January 21. as is discussed in the following section.4 Isoparametric mapping In practice. From the point of view of implementation.48) (recall that b denotes the body force). Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K. the point ( x. This approach has a number of advantages.49) Ωe Γh. For a two dimensional problem. For an element stiffness matrix. local node i has global node number I.47) is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’.

where (ξ. i =1 (4. η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x. The map ξ is the inverse of x.1) (1. such as the bi-unit square.19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square. conﬁguration is given by: nn x= y= ∑ Ni (ξ. i =1 nn i =1 (4. The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ. ξ and η. η ) yi . shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes. taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x. y) system.4 Isoparametric mapping x 3 (−1.1) 2 4 4 3 η ξ 1 (−1.52) ∑ Ni (ξ. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by: nn uh = ∑ Ni (ξ. η ) xi . derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required. Using an isoparametric mapping.2 51 . η ) in the bi-unit square. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates.4. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates. To proceed. In the governing weak equations. consider the application of the product rule for differentia- January 21. The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4. and nn is number of nodes of the element. 2011 Version 0. η ) aix .−1) y 2 (1.53) The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates.−1) x 1 ξ Figure 4. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ. η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’.19.

54) (4. ∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .55) (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method tion for a function f . the terms in the matrix J can be computed.η y j = . (4.ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj.2 January 21. ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y J (4.η x j ∑nn1 Nj.52)). Using the shape function. ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = .58) In light of the isoparametric mapping (equation (4.57) the derivatives of the shape function of node i with respect to x and y can be computed. 2011 . ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj.ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52 Version 0. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y. deﬁned in terms of ξ and η. (4. (4. ∂η ∂η i i =1 (4. nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x. from equation (4.60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj. ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y.59) Once terms of the matrix J have been formed.56) where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η J where j = det J. ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = . ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .

they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration. 4 (4.0) r 1 (0. 2011 Version 0.61) Similar formulae can be found for eight. where: t = 1 − r − s. A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. s and t.4 Isoparametric mapping s (0.and nine-node elements (Hughes.20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates.62) January 21.0) (1. The latter approach is followed here. 1987). While this procedure may seen complex. Consider the triangle in Figure 4. Hughes.1) 3 3 6 5 2 1 (0. (4. Now. 1987).0) r Figure 4. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion. 1996.1) s (0. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ. Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements.19. a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements. η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) . The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r.20.0) 4 2 (1. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4. and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element. Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple. This way. once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain.2 53 . Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates.4.

Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4. N3 = s. To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element.21.2 January 21. To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation). 4. it convenient to integrate in the (ξ. (4. While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised. For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered.20 are then: N1 = t. 1987.67) i =1 where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain. 2 N4 = 4rt. To do this. Before proceeding to the element matrices. N6 = 4st. 2011 .20.3). p.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4. Numerical integration is illustrated in Figure 4. numerical integration is applied. For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1. s and t on triangles (Hughes. N2 = r.63) (4. consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ = 1 1 Ωe −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη.66) N3 = 2s2 − s. the problem is not yet fully discrete. (4. 166). (4. Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t. then the mid-side nodes. η ) domain.64) (4. 1 nint −1 f (ξ ) dξ ≃ ∑ f ( ξ i ) wi . N2 = 2r − r. N5 = 4rs. There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r.65) Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4. (4. nint is the number of discrete points (integration points) at which the function is evaluated and wi is the weight asnint signed to each point ∑i=1 wi = 2 . It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements).5 Numerical integration At this stage.68) 54 Version 0.

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

n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 −√ 3 1 √ 3 3 − 5 0 3 5 weight wi 2 1 1 5 9 8 9 5 9 3 Table 4.1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1. 1]. 2011 . 1].2: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.2 January 21. 56 Version 0.4 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.

They appear naturally in the weak formulation (hence the common name ‘natural boundary conditions’). Similarly. It is often argued that a zero energy mode will be restrained by neighbouring elements. This deformation mode can develop in an uncontrolled fashion. the eight-node quadrilateral requires 3 × 3 points for full integration. although it is often integrated with just one point. In two dimensions. Reduced integration schemes can improve the performance of some elements for special applications. two relating the translation (x and y directions) and one for rigid body rotation.4. If a two-dimensional element has more than three zero eigenvalues. although a 2 × 2 scheme is often used. there is likely a deﬁciency in the formulation. the trial functions (uh ) must satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. In solid and structural mechanics. 4.22 shows the classic ‘hour-glass’ spurious mode for an eight-node quadrilateral when using reduced 2 × 2 integration. The number of zero eigenvalues indicates the number of rigid body modes . quadratic variation. The danger of underintegrating elements is that spurious modes may arise. For some applications it may be advantageous to use reduced integration schemes in combination with particular elements. This means that a deformation mode exists which does not contribute to the energy.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions The imposition of Neumann (force) boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method is straightforward. there should be only three zero eigenvalues. recommended integration schemes for commonly used one. although it is safer to use full integration. In one dimension. Non-zero Dirichlet boundary conditions are more complicated to enforce.2 57 . Figure 4.22: Spurious zero energy mode for the eight-node quadrilateral element when using 2 × 2 integration.modes which do not contribute to the energy. there should only be one zero eigenvalue which corresponds to translation.and twodimensional elements are shown in Table 4. two points are required in each direction. January 21.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions Figure 4.3. To integrate a quadratic function in two dimensions. In the Galerkin method. In summary. The four-node quadrilateral element requires 2 × 2 points for full integration. A test for the element stiffness matrix is to calculate its eigenvalues. 2011 Version 0.

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method element two-node bar three-node bar integration scheme 1 2 three-node triangle (T3) 1 six-node triangle (T6) or 3 four-node quadrilateral (Q4) 2×2 eight-node quadrilateral(Q8) 3×3 Table 4.2 January 21. 2011 . 58 Version 0.3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements.

vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions.74) j =1 ∑ ke ge .6. January 21. It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v . ke av = f e − ke g. 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. In discretised form at element level.75) Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed. it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved.2 59 . 0 (4.1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh . Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. 4. Two common approached are outlined below.70) where uh is the displacement. 2011 Version 0. (4. (4. ij j (4.72) Since g is known. Since g is known. and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions. vv vg (4.73) where av is the only unknown. 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.4. ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv .6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions this means that the uh must satisfy the prescribed displacements where they are speciﬁed.71) where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed. ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv fg . the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector. vv vg In terms of indexes.mod = f ie − nn (4. f ie. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector.

The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. The three-node triangle element is often referred to as the ‘constant strain triangle’ (CST). 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. 2011 . 4. symmetry is lost. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f . 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. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart). and that the value of the Dirichlet boundary condition is returned in the solution vector which simpliﬁes postprocessing. except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3. 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.6.2 January 21. compare the matrix K for the ﬁnite element method with linear elements and for the secondorder central ﬁnite difference method. 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. For a plane elasticity problem. Consider the Laplace equation. Show why this is. 60 Version 0. Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5. which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. 2004).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. However.7 Exercises 1. The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k.

Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance.4.7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 4. 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.2 61 . Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration. 7. January 21.7 Exercises 6.1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0.2. 8.

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

0 Figure 5. The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems 64 Version 0. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. 2011 .0 0.2 January 21. the node numbers are listed.82 1.76 2. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement. For each node. The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition. the is Young’s modulus.1 2.3: Element connectivity. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed. The list in Figure 5.0 0.3.5 2.8 2.5 0.7 0.6 0. First.0 1.0 0. The problem in Figure 5.0 0. the calculation phase can begin.0 2. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness).2.2 Program ﬂow Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared. The connectivity list for Figure 5.1 is given in Figure 5. 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). In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity.2: Nodal coordinates.1 y 0. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data. The list can begin with any node of the element.4 gives the applied boundary condition.1 2. % element 1 2 3 4 node1 2 3 9 5 node 2 1 2 4 6 node 3 6 5 5 7 node 4 5 4 8 8 Figure 5.0 0. 5.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0. the x and y coordinate is given. the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5. For each element.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material.

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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:) % 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 .9: Formation of element stiffness matrix.2 January 21.5 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.8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i.:) = x(connect(i. 2011 . k) ) else a_e(jj) = g_e(jj) % displacement is prescribed end end end % return to main program Figure 5.dof_per_node + k if ID(connect(i.j).j). 68 Version 0.j).k) ~= 0 a_e(jj) = a( ID(connect(i. % form element stiffness matrix ip_scheme % determine integration scheme for i=1:number_ip_points % loop over integration points ip_location % calculate position of integration point shape_function % evaluate shape functions at integration point form_B_matrix form_D_matrix k_e = k_e + B’*D*B*w(i)*xj(i) % add contribution of ip to k_e f_e = f_e + N’*b*w(i)*xj(i) % add contribution of ip to f_e if postprocess == true % if stress is required stress(i) = D*B*a_e end end % return to main program Figure 5.

jj) = K(ii.11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays. January 21.jj) + k_e(kk.dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii.2 69 .dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.j).ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program Figure 5. m) ll = l*dof_per_node . 2011 Version 0. % 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. k) kk = j*dof_per_node .k_e(:.i)*g_e(i) end % return to main program Figure 5.3 Local-global % impose Dirichlet boundary conditions for i=1:nodes_per_element*dof_per_node f_e(:) = f_e(:) .10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions.l).5.

2011 .12 is well-numbered. Taking advantage of the sparse nature of the stiffness matrix yields signiﬁcant computational savings.12 represents graphically the structure of the stiffness matrix for a problem involving 700 four-noded quadrilateral elements. as all non-zero terms are close to the diagonal which minimises the bandwidth. However. Yet further savings can be achieved by taking into account symmetry of the stiffness matrix. the mesh must be constructed in an ‘optimal’ fashion to minimise the bandwidth of the stiffness matrix. 70 Version 0. only 23 638 entries are non-zero (1% of the total matrix elements). or have the option to relabel nodes to minimise the stiffness matrix bandwidth. Figure 5. Storing only the non zero terms requires on 283 kilobytes of memory! In addition. and hence the computational time. Non-zero terms are marked by a dot. The stiffness matrix in Figure 5. solvers are implemented such that operations are not performed on non-zero terms which reduces the number of ﬂoating point operations required.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method 0 500 1000 1500 0 500 1000 1500 Figure 5.2 January 21. storing the whole matrix would require almost 18 megabytes of memory.4 Stiﬀness matrix storage A feature of the ﬁnite element method is that the stiffness matrix is sparse.12: Graphical representation of a stiffness matrix 5. This is relatively small for a ﬁnite element analysis. Typically. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zeros. signiﬁcantly. Assuming double precision storage. The dimension of the matrix is 1530 × 1530 (giving a total of 2 340 900 entries). Many ﬁnite element programs store the stiffness matrix in a skyline format. mesh generation programs will label nodes optimally. For this method to be efﬁcient. This essentially requires that the node numbers of nodes which are close to each should also be close. both in terms of memory and computational time.

Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements. stresses and reaction forces. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int . January 21. 2011 Version 0. More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. The internal force vector for an element is given by: int fe = Ωe B T σ dΩ + Ωe N T b dΩ (5.1) Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied). For static problems. It is important to realise that the stress computed at a point is not always reliable.5. it gives the reaction force at each node.5 Post-processing After a calculation has been completed.5 Post-processing 5. This means that the body is in equilibrium.2 71 . post-processing of the data is required. the internal force vector should be zero where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.

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

2: Linear truss element in three-dimensional space. The displacement components can be rotated using the matrix Q (see section 1. three dimensions. displacements in the y⋆ -direction are not resisted by an element.3) = a2x⋆ 0 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2y a⋆ = e a1x⋆ a2x⋆ . a node will have three degrees of freedom. (6.2) 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2x⋆ 0 ⋆ 0 0 Q12 Q22 a2y a2y where Qij are components of the matrix Q.4) The following deﬁnitions are now adopted: 74 Version 0. the vector ae has four components (a component in the x and y direction at each node). 2011 . two degrees of freedom. and in two dimensions. For a two dimensional truss structure.and y⋆ -directions are given by: Q Q21 0 0 a1x a1x⋆ ⋆ 11 a1y Q Q22 0 0 a1y = 12 .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Fx* x* y* y z* z x Figure 6. in the x ⋆ . the above problem can be reduced to give: a1x a1y a1x⋆ Q11 Q21 0 0 .1) The vector ae holds the displacement components at the nodes of an element. the rotation is particularly simple. The only displacement of any consequence for an element is in the x ⋆ -direction. Given that the only displacements of interest are the in x ⋆ -direction. The displacements at nodes one and two. (6.2 January 21. Therefore. the rotation matrix has the form: QT = cos θ − sin θ sin θ cos θ (6. Denoting the angle between the x-axis and the x ⋆ -axis as θ. (6.1) to give the nodal displacements in terms of the coordinate system aligned with the axis of the truss element. of a linear bar. Since truss elements are based on the assumption that only normal forces (σx⋆ ) can be transmitted.

9) is the stiffness matrix.6.8) (recall that be is a variation). the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed. (6.8) into the weak governing equation (2. e (6. where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar. Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar.1 Rod elements in space and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 .19) for a linear element).x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆ (6. It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism. Inserting the relationships in equations (6.10) Ωe This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q.2 75 . January 21.9) where the LHS of equation (6. h w. and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global. Ωe ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh ( Nbe ) T h dΓ. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ. Clearly.6) where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4. and eliminating be . The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by: h ǫh⋆ = u.7) Similarly.5) The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae . A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure. (6.12). multidimensional coordinate system. the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom.7) and (6. Q21 (6. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar.x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae (6. 2011 Version 0.

6.x y x Figure 6.4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment. Consistent with previous sections.2 January 21.1 Kinematics of a beam Beam theory is based upon the assumption that planes which are normal to the beam’s axis remain plane. which takes into account shear deformations. is denoted Ω = ( x1 . 6. For simplicity.2 Beams Two types of beams are considered in this section. x2 ). which is valid for relatively slender beams. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6. The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed. The outward normal is denoted n.3.2. 2011 .3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 . the ‘domain’ of the beam. For a transverse displacement v.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation. x2 ). and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 .x v. there are no out-of plane forces or moments.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2 Figure 6. The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements. in-plane beams are considered. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam. The second is the Timoshenko beam. straight. Figure 6. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam 76 Version 0. v.

12) and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q= h/2 − h/2 σxy dy.6. the ﬁbre will not rotate. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated.11) − h/2 σxx y dy. which will be followed here. equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m= h/2 (6.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear. where n is the outward unit normal vector.5.2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation.13) Figure 6. 2011 Version 0.x y x Figure 6. which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis.2 Beams γ v. In the second method.2. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam. 6.x − γ.6 that θ = v. It is clear from Figure 6.6. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω. (6. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6. as illustrated in Figure 6.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam.2 77 . (6. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear. Note that M = m n and Q = q n. it is clear January 21. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1.

6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γ θ v.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.2 January 21. +Q n y n +M x Figure 6.x y x Figure 6.7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant. 2011 . 78 Version 0.

(6. on ΓQ .21c) (6.21b) (6. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv . translational equilibrium requires that q.21d) These equations.18) Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0. Ω (q.x − q = 0.17) (6. The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ.15) Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam.x dΩ − q dΩ − q. distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6.20b) Denoting applied end forces Fy . it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0.6. on Γθ . For rotational equilibrium. (6. and boundary conditions.21a) (6.2 79 . therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m.2 Beams that: q n dΓ + dΩ dΩ Ω f y dΩ = 0.x dΩ + f y dΩ = 0.x + f y = 0. Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ.19) (6.x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0. (6. 2011 Version 0.20a) (6. January 21. (6. Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅ + f y ) x dΩ = (6. are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories.3).14) Noting that q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 . Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅. on ΓM . it is clear that Ω Ω q.x Ω Ω Ω Ω (6.16) dΩ dΩ Ω This expression can be rearranged such that m.

24).21b)). two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam. With appropriate boundary conditions.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.2. θ= dv . Being a fourth-order equation. dx2 d2 v . − EI d4 v + f y = 0.21a) and (6.21d)). Multiplying equation (6. (6. Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6. dx d2 v .22) which also implies that κ= (6. 2011 .25) Assuming EI to be constant. dx2 (6. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v. dx2 (6. the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed. and then inserting equation (6.21c) and (6. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero.19) with respect to x. Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6.25) by a weight function v.27) 80 Version 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6.2 January 21. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved.26) which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam. Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2.16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0. and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6. dx4 (6.23) The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6.xx dΩ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions.24) where I is the moment of inertia of the beam. 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.

30) where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vFy dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀v ∈ V .1.x dΩ + Γ ¯ vm. it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’. continuity) than for classical continuum problems. which contains functions satisfying: Ω v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞. (6.x m.xx (6. The existence of second-order derivatives in the weak form deserves some special attention. it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work. after integrating by parts twice.xx EIv. v = gv on Γv .x dΩ. the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by: S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .32a) (6. has second-order derivatives in its weak form.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.xx dΩ = − ΓM δv. ¯ Ω v. and v.28) Applying integrating by parts again. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6.30) gives: Ω (6.31) In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous.x = 0 on Γθ . For completeness. (6. which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist.x T dΓ + ΓQ δvFy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6. The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv . For the weak form to ‘make sense’. v = 0 on Γv . ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . Note that a fourth-order problem. (6. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that − Ω ¯ v. Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6.21d).x m. this time to the term Ω ¯ v.6. . January 21.x . Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω). Consistency of the above weak form can be proven following the same procedure as in in Section 2.29) Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6.24).33) δv.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.21c) and (6.34) which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam.x = 0 on Γθ . the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.x mn dΓ + Γ ¯ vm.x = gθ on Γθ .2 81 . v. v.xx EIv. which require C0 continuity only.32b) For the case of an elastic continuum. 2011 Version 0.2 Beams Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields: − Ω ¯ v. This is in contrast to second-order problems.xx m dΩ − Γ ¯ v.xx dΩ − ΓM ¯ v. (6.

the problem is complete. has been introduced.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6.37) dv −θ .40) + fy = 0 which are two coupled second-order equations. (6.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation. Planes must remain plane. 82 Version 0.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx − EI GAs =0 in Ω. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent. in Ω.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ. dx (6. the shear strain γ. This means that shear deformations can be taken into account. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q . 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. Recall from equation (6.2 January 21. and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. 2011 .11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ. an additional unknown. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6.36) where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area.2.19) and (6.38) and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns.39) (6. q = GAs γ = GAs (6. dx (6. Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions.35) where γ is the rotation due to shear. but not necessarily normal. and the second for the displacement v.19) and (6. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ. GAS (6.

46) − ¯ v.45) (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ΓQ ΓM Ω ¯ θT dΓ = 0.2.x EIθ. Applying integration by parts once.6. and v = 0 on Γv .xx dΩ − Ω ¯ θGAs (v.xx dΩ = − ΓM ¯h v. Ω (6. 2011 Version 0.42) ¯ vGAs (v.2 Beams Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6.44) − ¯ v.45) and (6. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.x ) dΩ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.43) (6. (6.x − θ ) n x dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.48) January 21.xx − θ. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model. Ω (6. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v. As with all problems.2 83 .x dΩ − Ω Ω Γ ¯ θEIθ.x − θ.x GAs (v.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.41) (6. 6. and using γ = v.xx EIv.x GAs (v. ¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv . ¯ ¯ As before.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vh Fy dΓ + Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vGAs (v.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation. The test and trial functions should be at least C0 continuous (in contrast to the C1 continuity for the Bernoulli-Euler theory).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.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.40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v.47) For many mechanical problems.x dΩ − Ω Ω ¯ θGAs (v. − Ω δκ m dΩ + Ω δγ q dΩ = − ΓM δθ T dΓ + ΓQ δv Fy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.x n dΓ − Γ Ω ¯ θGAs (v. ¯ θ. − Ω Ω ¯ θEIθ. and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition. adding the weak forms in equations (6.x EIθ.39) and (6. and then inserting the Neumann boundary conditions yields the weak problem for a Timoshenko beam of: ﬁnd v ∈ Sv and θ ∈ Sθ such that Ω ¯ θ.

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

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

M2.xx = − . h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.xx = 2 + .x = (6.59c) (6. the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly. h3 6x 1 M1. h 6x 1 M2.xx = − 3 .xx = 12x . Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x.60) Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86 Version 0.2 January 21. h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) . h h 12x N2.59a) (6.58c) (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.58d) (6. h h (6. x1 = − h/2).58a) (6. M2.xx = .56).58g) (6.xx = h2 N1. 2011 .50).x = .xx = 2 − .58h) Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0. (6.x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) .59b) (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6. h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2.58f) (6. N1.xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1. N1.59d) Inserting these terms into equation (6. h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2. h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) .x = − .58b) (6.58e) (6. 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) .

in terms of shape functions and nodal variable. and corresponding derivatives. (6. e N v bv .x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe N v T f y dΩ. 2011 Version 0.62) h ¯h v.64a) (6.x − θ h dΩ = − ΓQ ΓM ¯ θ h T dΓ h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ .63) Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ 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 . h h The Galerkin problem for the Timoshenko beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ Sv and θ h ∈ Sθ such that Ω Ω h ¯h θ.66) January 21. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4.65) Ωe Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e Ωe Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e = Γe.64d) N θ aθ .x EIθ.2 Beams to be constant). − 6EI h2 4EI h (6.63) 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. A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ.6. e θ θ N be .x − θ h dΩ = Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ + ¯ vh Fy dΓ h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv .M N θ T dΓ.64c) (6. T (6. v h = N v av .2 87 .62) and (6. e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh = h h (6.61) Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple.64b) (6. Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6.x GAs v. (6. due to the second-order nature of the governing equations.

T T (6. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation.72) (6.75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88 Version 0.70) (6.67) where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ = Ωe Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ.M N θ T dΓ.71) kθv = − kvθ = − kvv = Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ.73) Γe. Ωe Ωe T T (6. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions. (6. only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice.2 January 21. 2011 .68) (6.6 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. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality. Locking Conceptually.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 . This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ). However.69) (6. N v T f y dΩ. and both short and slender beams could be analysed. the result are plagued by shear locking. resulting in an overly stiff response. Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems. T Bv T GAs Bv dΩ. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 . Ideally. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ. and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv = Γe. kθθ = (6. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L.

v2 ≈ PL . GAs (6.2 89 . the stiffness matrix is of the form EI GAs L L + 3 EI GAs L + − 6 L ke = GAs 2 GAs − 2 − EI GAs L + L 6 EI GAs L + L 3 GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs 2 GAs 2 GAs L GAs − L − (6. Even with a very ﬁne mesh. v2 ≈ 4PL .6. If the term Ωe N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration T January 21.81) which is the correct result. 2011 Version 0. As L → 0.77) If at one end the beam is clamped. will yield a very stiff response. the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6. EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2 − GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L (6. and a shear load P is applied one end.2 Beams and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L kvv e (6.79) If L is large. this element will exhibit a very stiff response. GAs (6.76) Therefore.80) which is independent of I.78) Therefore. θ1 = v1 = 0.

85) When using reduced integration. 2011 .82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now. 90 Version 0. for the one element problem clamped at one end.2 January 21. The case is similar for quadratic elements. this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned.84) which qualitatively the desired response. v2 ≈ PL GAs (6.83) If L is very large. where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking response. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2 (6. the element stiffness matrix would have the form EI GAs L EI GAs L GAs GAs + − + − L 4 L 4 2 2 EI GAs L GAs L GAs EI GAs + + − − 4 L 4 2 2 L (6. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6. and as L → 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis (which is reduced for this term).

A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation. 2011 Version 0.86a) (6. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities. y and z directions. and the boundary is Γ. 1991. Bathe. summation is implied from one to two. y) . The three coordinates are denoted x.8. A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories. In plate theory. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. 6. Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements. The rotation of the January 21. 6. Also. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. are are typically loaded out of plane. The plate has a thickness t. respectively).2 91 . The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed. (1989). The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω.3. 1996). y) .6. Hughes.9). u3 = u3 ( x. (6. For convenience.3 Plate x3 p θ1 x2 t x1 θ2 Figure 6. this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage. u2 and u3 when using indexes. x2 and x3 . T When using Greek subscripts. y and z. The adopted deﬁnitions simplify the formulation as it will avoid the need for a −1 factor on particular terms. the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented.8: Coordinate system for a plate.1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6. the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. v and w (displacements in the x. or x1 . 1987. or u1 . displacement may be denoted u. the convention differs from the right-hand rule. Similarly. More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor.86b) where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6.3 Plate Plates are effectively generalisations of beam elements to two spatial dimensions.

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

α − θα . The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations.β + θ β.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress).β (6.87) Note that if γα = 0.88a) (6. 2 α.90) From symmetry of the stress tensor. and lies in the plane of Ω.α = θ(α.2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates.α 2 (6.j + u j.i )).89) 6.2 93 .β) .3 Plate mid-surface of the plate is given by w. This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for January 21. the strain ﬁeld can be calculated at any point (recall ǫ = (1/2)(ui.6. 2011 Version 0. From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6.88b) A useful quantity is the curvature.α . γα = w.α 2 −θα + w. The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σαβ z dz (6.α . it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σα3 dz (6. It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n. ǫαβ = ǫα3 = −z θα.86). and the shear strain is given by γα .91) The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6. (6. then θα = w.3. which is a second-order tensor and at a point is given by: καβ = 1 θ + θ β.

(6.92d) (6.92b) (6.92a) (6. mns = mαβ n β sα .α + pz = 0.94) which must also hold for an inﬁnitesimally small piece of the plate.92f) (6. θn = θα nα . quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα .10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)).α dΩ + Ω pz dΩ = 0.n = w.11. w. ∂s ∂mns .s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6.s = 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. (6.92h) qα nα dΓ + Ω pz dΩ = 0.92e) (6. Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that: ∂Ω (6. ∂mnn .s = ∂s qn = qα nα . mns.92g) (6.93) Applying the divergence theorem to the term involving qα leads to Ω qα.92c) (6.95) 94 Version 0.2 January 21. therefore qα. 2011 .α sα mnn. (6.α nα w.

2011 Version 0.98) The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam.α xα . (6. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite January 21.β xα dΩ − Ω pz xα dΩ = 0.97) noting that q β xα . Ironically. These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories.3. (6.96) ∂Ω ∂Ω Ω which leads to: Ω mαβ.β = q β xα. hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory.PSfrag 6. rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ.Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam. (6.2 95 . is the equation for translational equilibrium. Since translation equilibrium requires that q β. To complete the problem. and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory.β − qα = 0.α xα = qα + q β. Considering now rotational equilibrium. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible.β + pz = 0. mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)).3 Thin plates .3 Plate q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1 m12 s mnn n x1 θ2 Figure 6.β + q β. 6.β dΩ − Ω qα dΩ − Ω q β. constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations.

Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero.103) ¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ). ∇4 w = ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 .102) into equation (6.95). the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w. equation (6. ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y (6.102) Cαβγδ = t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis element method. This can be done by differentiating equation (6.106) As a fourth-order equation. 2 (6. and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points 96 Version 0.100) The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ .βα .98) and inserting equation (6. Inserting the constitutive relationship (6.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz . Since shear deformations are zero.101) (6. mαβ.α (6. 2011 . Et3 (6. 12 (6. It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 .105) This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’.αβ + pz = 0.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation. The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations. The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’. four different types of boundary conditions are possible.104) Expanding this equation. 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz .αβ + w.2 January 21. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6.87) reduces to: θα = w. where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6. After some rearranging. the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w.99) which corresponds to the classical theory for beams and plates which assumes ﬁbres which are initially normal to the mid-surface remain normal to the mid-surface.

2 97 .20). Ω ¯ w.α mαβ n β dΓ = − Γ Γ ¯ w.107b) (6.112) January 21.110) (ignoring the point terms). (6.107d) The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions. (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. and integrating over the surface of the plate. (6. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6. and integrating over the plate surface Ω. it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6.s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns.107c) (6. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. for which w = 0 on Γw and w. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions. Ω ¯ wmαβ. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition. then integrated by parts. yields Ω ¯ w. The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ).109) Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.n mnn dΓ − ¯ w.3 Plate on the boundary. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory.n mnn dΓ + Γ ¯ w (mns.107a) (6.n mnn dΓ + Γ Γ ¯ w.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6.α mαβ.s + qn ) dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. − Ω ¯ w.110) which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending.n = 0 on Γθ . − Γ ¯ w. 2011 Version 0. (6.α mαβ n β dΓ + Γ ¯ wmαβ. Inserting the above relationship into equation (6.100). Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral.111) =− The last term will be ignored.s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6.105) by a weight function w. Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w.6.αβ dΩ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function.108) where Ω is the surface of the plate.β dΩ + Γ ¯ wmαβ. Integrating the moment term by parts once.

For completeness.α + pz = 0.n = gθ on Γθ . For this theory. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates. w.116a) (6. (6.αβ as the virtual curvature. w.α ). The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6.3. δκαβ . The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions. Unlike for thin plates. solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that Ω ¯ w. ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw. 2011 . w.3.2. However.115a) (6. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w.n = 0 on Γθ . (6. As such. qα. and w. The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ.113) where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement. which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. 6. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . which in turn involves second derivatives of w.αβ mαβ dΩ − ΓM ¯ w. The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model.115b) Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts. the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows: S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . w = 0 on Γw . w and θα . It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam. the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. The problem now involves two different unknowns. some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates.4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation.114) Ω ΓM ΓQ Ω Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature. w = gw on Γw .n T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ V . (6. hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two.β − qα = 0.2 January 21.α as a virtual rotation δθα . the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory.116b) 98 Version 0.

where Cαβ = ktµδαβ . θα . Weak form To derive the weak form. This is due to θα and w being decoupled. 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.123) January 21. ¯ equation (6.119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα .117) Cαβ w.2 99 . The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw . on ΓQ .119b) are addressed. This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form.119b) (6. (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0. Firstly.β − θ β dΩ = 0.122) ¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields: − Ω ¯ θα.120d) Given that one of the unknowns.β − θ β dΩ = 0.β − θ β = 0 (6. three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. (6.β − Cαβ w. and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6.120a) (6.118) (6. a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced. (6. on Γθ .αβ − θ β.β dΩ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.119a) (6. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα .119a) and (6.β) mαβ dΩ + Γ ¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. mαβ. This set of equations cannot be reduced further.121) Integrating the above equation by parts.120c) (6.6. − Ω ¯ θ(α.102)).120b) (6.α + pz = 0 It is these equations which will be solved. (6. 2011 Version 0. is a vector.3 Plate In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6. qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w. both equations (6. Ω ¯ θα mαβ. on ΓM .β − θ β .

(6. the highest order derivative appearing for both terms is one. The weak problem therefore involves: ﬁnd θα ∈ Sθ and w ∈ Sw such that: − Ω ¯ θα. yields: Ω −δκαβ mαβ dΩ + Ω δγα qα dΩ + ΓM δθα Tα dΓ − ΓQ Ω δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6.124) Ω Ω Integrating the above equation by parts yields: − Ω ¯ w.119a). (6.128) − which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate. δκαβ = θ(α.αβ − θ( β.α Cαβ w.α − θα .β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.119b).6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis which is the weak form of equation (6. However.β − θ β dΩ = 0.α Cαβ w. − Ω ¯ w.127b) by minus one).β − θ β dΩ + Γ ¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. ¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ (6. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα .127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method. It is equations (6. Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6.β) and δγα = w. (6.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.126) which is the weak form of equation (6. C0 shape functions can be applied. Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6.119b) by a ¯ weight function w.125) ¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed). Hence.127b) Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one.114). Multiplying now equation (6. ¯ wCαβ w.127a) and (6. and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ . 100 Version 0.α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.127a) − Ω ¯ w. adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w. the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ).α Cαβ w. 2011 .β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ Vw (6.2 January 21.

constant strain implies constant curvature. 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. ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements. m22 . 2011 Version 0. However.3. m = −Db κ (6. κ22 .6. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 .3 Plate 6. a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’.5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity. it tests whether an element can represent rigid body modes and a state of constant strain.131) Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable.129) where m = (m11 .130) For the shear forces qα . tkµ (6.2 101 . The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity. The element is still useful as it passes the patch test. There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements. In place of requiring C1 continuity. q = D s γ. It does not however satisfy C1 continuity. symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation. 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 . none of which are of general applicability. January 21. The complications are rooted in the need for C1 continuity. In particular. A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom. In the context of plates. The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0 Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 ) b ν 0 (1 − ν ) 2 . (6. some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results. 2κ12 ) T .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.132) (6. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 . (6.

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

h θ θ

(6.134) (6.135)

Taking derivatives,

h w,α = Bw aw

(6.136) (6.137)

κ =B a

h

θ θ

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

T T T

Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ aθ − e

Ωe

N θ CBw dΩaw + e

Ωe

N θ CN θ dΩaθ e

=−

ΓM

T Nθ T dΓ

(6.138a)

Ωe

Bw T CBw dΩaw − e

Ωe

Bw T CN θ dΩaθ e

=

ΓQ

N w T Q dΓ +

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

(6.138b)

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

(6.139)

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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
**

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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January 21, 2011

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

2 (7. it holds that u − uh E ≤ u − uI E. Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h . 1/2 e 1 = Ω (e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ .10) This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy. Note that to ensure convergence. thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain. u − uh 106 r ≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 .5) which now includes the gradient of e.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method involve n = 0 and n = 1. Version 0.8) The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). (7. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by |u|n = Ω ( D n u)2 dΩ 1/2 . hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions. (7. uI = ∑ Ni aiI . Setting n = 1. c is an unknown constant. and h is a measure of the element size. the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question. Consider the nodal interpolate u I . rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory. i (7. 2011 . Inserting now equation (7. setting n = 0 gives: 1/2 e 0 = Ω (e · e) dΩ . Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI m ≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 .10) into the above expression. An important semi-norm is the energy norm.7) where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form. (7.6) which involves only a particular order derivative. (7.9) where k is the polynomial order. (7. k + 1 > m. For example. It is deﬁned by: u 2 E = | u |2 = r Ω ( Dr u)2 dΩ. (7.11) January 21.4) which is a measure of the error in the displacements. In this way.

hence u − uh 1 ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . This is error analysis. independent of h. Of course as h becomes small. In elasticity. k = 1. u − uh 0 .7. It leads to the estimate: u − uh s ≤ Ch β |u|k+1 . the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e 0 ≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 . If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth. 2(k + 1 − r )). and O(h) in terms of strains. For linear elements. January 21. 7. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details). (7. but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution. this norm is dominated by the error in the strain. For an elasticity problem. (7.13) where β = min (k + 1 − s. The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’. e 1 (7. e e 0 1 ≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 . 1/2 . Therefore. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses).2 107 . The error in the displacements is given by e 0 .15) which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements. Larger a implies faster convergence. This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing.1. r = 1. a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution.2 A posteriori error estimation where C is a constant. (7.14) In terms of the strain. The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached. It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms. which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is. ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . such as the error in the displacement. hence it represents the error in the energy. The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. For k ≥ 1.2 A posteriori error estimation Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated. 2011 Version 0.16) Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order. For practical purposes. (7. the greater a the smaller the error.12) This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order.

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

January 21. Give the order of convergence in terms of the strain for the following element: a) b) c) d) e) T3 Q4 T6 Q8 Q9 2.7 times smaller? 3. List some advantages and disadvantages of p.4 Exercises 1. how much smaller would you expect the error in the displacements and the stresses to be if all the elements are made 2.7.and h-adaptivity. 7.2 109 .4 Exercises helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element. 2011 Version 0. When using Q4 elements.

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

The following step.j) end end end There are several variations on this procedure to improve its performance. a. This is step is known as ‘forward substitution.j) . The process is stopped when the desired tolerance is reached.4) which yields the solution to the original problem. For large system of equations. Also. Iterative solvers ‘iterate’ toward the exact solution. The following code extracts for solving a banded system are taken from Golub and Loan (1996). 112 Version 0. it is not possible to compute exactly the required computational effort before starting the computation. they can become prohibitively expensive for very large problems. ‘backward substitution’. yielding considerable computational savings. iterative solvers are generally faster than direct solvers. However.n) K(i. Then. for symmetric systems the algorithm can be modiﬁed.k)/A(k.2 Iterative solvers Direct solvers are relatively simple to program and are robust. Unlike direct solvers.8 Solvers for large linear systems The ﬁrst step is to factorise the matrix K in L and U. An alternative is the use of iterative solvers. 8. the factorised matrices can be stored in the memory allocated for K. In a computer implementation.j) = K(i. for k=1:n-1 for i=k+1:min(k+p.n) K(i. although the time required for convergence depends heavily on the nature of the matrix K.K(i. 2011 .k)*K(k. ‘Pivoting’ is often used to avoid numerical problems associated with large and small terms on the diagonal.2 January 21.n) for i=k+1:min(k+p.k) = K(i. the system of equations: Ly = f (8. The procedure can be implemented in a computer programming surprisingly simply. 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. is then to solve the system: Ua = y (8.3) is solved (the ‘result’ being y).k) end for j=k+1:min(k+q.

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

using the same steps outlined in Chapter 2. solving the weak form involves: for a given t > 0. Ωe N T ρN dΩ ae = − ¨ Ωe B T DB dΩ ae + Ωe N T b dΩ + Γh.e N T h dΓ. With hyperbolic problems ‘information’ travels at ﬁnite speeds. This stems from the fact that the dependence on time t has not been addressed in the same fashion as the spatial dependency x. which when considering the semidiscrete formulations are constant in time. (9. (9.6) 9. a stress wave will travel through the bar and a force at the restrained end will not be felt until the stress wave arrives.7) which is known as ‘semi-discrete’. is hit with a hammer at the free end. This is again done using ﬁnite element shape functions. and inserting Neumann boundary conditions. The velocity and acceleration ﬁelds are represented using the shape functions.2 January 21.8b) where ae = dae /dt and ae = d2 ae /dt2 . 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 . the ﬁnite-dimensional velocity and acceleration ﬁelds in an element are given by: uh = N ae .1) by a weight function w. Therefore. ¨ ¨ h (9. the Galerkin form must be developed. which is independent of time.7) and rearranging. From the weak from in the previous section.2 Semi-discrete Galerkin form To reach a ﬁnite element formulation. The equations for elastodynamics are hyperbolic. The time dimension is left continuous. ﬁnd u ∈ S such that Ω ρw · u dΩ = − ¨ Ω ∇s w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ ∀w ∈ V . (9.5) Integrating by parts. restrained at one end. a reaction force is felt immediately at the other end. Multiplying equation (9. Deriving the weak form for dynamic problems follows the familiar procedure. like for the static case the governing equation must be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns and basis functions. If a bar. Inserting the discretised displacement ﬁeld ˙ ¨ and the expression for the acceleration ﬁeld into equation (9. and integrating gives: Ω ρw · u dΩ = ¨ Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ (9.8a) (9. To solve dynamic problems using a computer.9 Time-dependent problems free end of a restrained rod. 2011 .1. ˙ ˙ u = N ae . for an element.9) 114 Version 0.

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

representing the uncertainty in the source of damping. Damping due to the material response can also be included. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience. Unlike elastodynamics. unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f .17) 116 Version 0. u ( x.14) where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure.4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping. c is the ‘capacity’. q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK. It can be included through the damping matrix C. ¨ ˙ (9. only one type of initial condition may be provided. it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time. namely the temperature at t = 0. t) = u0 ( x) . the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency. Damping is often included by adding the term C a to the governing equations. (9. kappa is the conductivity. There is no rich theory underlying the choices. In strong form. 2011 . (9.16) where in the context of diffusion of heat. (9.2 January 21. u is the temperature.3.1.15) where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular. Conversely. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. 9. The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2. 9. as outlined in Section 2. The problem requires boundary conditions. Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour.2 Heat equation The heat equation is introduced here as a step to the problems in elastodynamics.9 Time-dependent problems sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses. and initial conditions.3. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f . (1989). or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. This is known as Rayleigh damping. The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency. A discussion can be found in Cook et al.

(9. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements. 2011 Version 0. this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time. it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms).21) −ω 2 M + K a = 0.9.11) and rearranging.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics The heat equation is parabolic. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9. For explicit time integration procedures.18) (9.2 117 . The acceleration is therefore given by: (9. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ. its motion is harmonic.23) where ω are the natural frequencies of the system. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) . there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ). it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem. ˙ 9.20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second). The eigenvectors are a. ¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9.23) can be very large. 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. (9. If one end of a rod is heated.25) √ for an element of length L. It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix. (9. Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9.24) The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem. For the consistent mass matrix. 2 det ke − ωe me = 0 (9. Following the usual processes in developing the weak form. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) . ¯ det K − ω 2 M = 0.22) which is a matrix eigenvalue problem. which ¯ are also known as natural modes. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n.19) In matrix form. ωe = 2 3/L January 21. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n . For a one-dimensional linear element.

32) The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple. a (t) = ∑ αi (t) Ψi i (9.28) into equation (9.28) where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode. (9. Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) . 2011 . It is then possible to treat each mode separately. (9.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f i i (9. For linear problems. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal. (9.9 Time-dependent problems 9.30) 1 0 i = j.27) where Ψi are eigenvectors. (9. i = j.29) Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other. separate equations.2 January 21. i = j. ¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f i i (9. The sum of the modes gives the total displacement.26) Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9. and are known as vibration modes. K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j. The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions.31) Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . and ωi are the natural frequencies.11) . ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f . Inserting equation (9. it is then possible to treat each mode individually.33) 118 Version 0. (9.

January 21. Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached. This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. To do this. equation (9. (9. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1.5 Time stepping algorithms Now. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al. the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered. implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme. For the unforced case. this equation can be solved analytically. 9. Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes.5. an and an at time tn (and perhaps also at earlier times ˙ ¨ steps). for each mode of interest. rapidly diverging from any sensible result.9. 9. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. the orthogonality property does not hold. For non-linear problems. Explicit schemes can be constructed to have a high degree of accuracy (such as the 4th order Runge-Kutta method. an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed. but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless. There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes. and perhaps information at time step n and earlier steps. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1. In structural analysis. the values an+1 . which is O(∆t) accurate). Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. it will ‘blow-up’. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n. usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response. The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. Therefore.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. In applying modal analysis. compared to explicit schemes. with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues.33) is only solved for a few modes.1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. (1989). Conversely.34) Solutions for forced cases are dependent on the type of loading. If an integrator is unstable. It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics. Hence.2 119 . Therefore it is limited to linear analysis. equation (9. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort. the above equation can be solved. 2011 Version 0.5 Time stepping algorithms Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. Typically. Given the values of an . ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed.

1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an .41b) (9. ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9. the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 .36) and inserting the above result into equation (9. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) . well known integrators. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable.9 Time-dependent problems A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods.39) (9.40b) (9.2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme.2 January 21.36) gives. 2011 .5. ˙ 9. both explicit and implicit. ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9. a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an .41a) (9. but only ﬁrst-order accurate.37) (9.38) 120 Version 0. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 . the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor.35) where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1. and is second-order accurate. For the problems to be considered here. where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an .40a) (9.35). Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different. The Newmark algorithm gives an+1 and an+1 as: ˙ an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ a n +1 ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ((1 − 2β) an + 2β an+1 ) 2 = an + ∆t ((1 − γ) an + γ an+1 ) ˙ ¨ ¨ (9. ˙ ˙ (9.37). In practice. In matrix form. ˙ Rearranging equation (9. Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods. Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes.

This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate. 2 (9.45) which is the Courant.5 Time stepping algorithms where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm.46a) into equation (9.41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators. but as will be shown later. Therefore.2 121 . an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 .44) where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0. an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9. Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule.9.46b) Inserting equation (9. Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods. but it is conditionally stable. c (9. 2011 Version 0. It is also energy conserving. Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) . 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) . The Newmark method is unconditionally stale for: 2β ≥ γ ≥ 1 2 (9. It is clear that this algorithm is explicit – it is possible to express an+1 in terms of quantities at n and earlier times (which are known).46a) (9.43b) It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9. a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate. where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element. The term ω h can be estimated for linear elements as 2c/L. January 21. It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a. Its stability properties are attractive. Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition. it requires the factorisation of a large matrix.43a) (9.42) For γ = 1/2.46b).47) This integrator is implicit. It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9. ∆t ≤ L . This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ). ∆t2 (9.

Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9. 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122 Version 0. 2011 . The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn . the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9.54) (9. an+1 can be calculated without solving a system of equations (hence the attractiveness of lumped mass matrices when using explicit time integrators). (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). ¨ ˙ (9. it is not necessary to form the stiffness matrix K. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9.53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9. has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n . Given an and an−1 . it is possible to calculate an+1 . where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . with damping. The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ.2 January 21.52) (9. In practice.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.9 Time-dependent problems Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved. and unknown at step n + 1. (9.49) 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.55) Ω A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation.51) If both M and C are diagonal matrices. M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n .43). 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then.

1 M + K a n +1 = M β∆t2 1 1 1 an + ˙ an − an ˙ ¨ a + 2 n β∆t 2β β∆t +f (9. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation. 2011 Version 0.58a) 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. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9.2 123 . For simplicity.43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0). and all known quantities on the RHS.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 (9.58b) These equations are then inserted into equation (9.5 Time stepping algorithms algorithm at t = 0. it is second-order accurate.59) Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS. Combining equations (9.56) The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure. The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability.61) January 21. In combination with a lumped mass matrix. M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 + Kan+1 = f n+1 (9. 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. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis. damping is ignored.9. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (9.57). it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems. which are the initial conditions. This yields.60) which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9. Furthermore.

Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element. 9. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α .62) where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t . the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. 9. 2. Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element. With the Newmark scheme. Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t). One such algorithm is the α-Method.9 Time-dependent problems Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal. Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 . the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme. However.2 January 21.3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations. 1987). At time step n. If −1/3 < α < 0. numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2. A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping.6 Space-time formulations Time as a degree of freedom.41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure. 3. calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations.7 Exercises 1. 124 Version 0. Decreasing α increases the dissipation. Rearrange equation (9.5. it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one. ¨ (9. 2011 . γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4. 9. Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ. If α = 0. Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α.

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

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