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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

.

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 7 13 15 16 19 21 21 23 25 26 27 28 29 31 31 32 33 34 35 35 37 49 50 54 57 60 63 63 64 65 70 71 73 . . . . . .4 Essentials from continuum mechanics 1. . . . . . . . . .6 Deﬁnition of trial and weight function spaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The 3. . . . . . . . . .6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions . . . . . . . . . . method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . .4 Minimisation of potential energy . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element 5. . . . . . . Convergence of the Galerkin method Exercises . .1 Finite element method with piecewise linear basis functions 4. . . . . . . . .Contents 1 Introduction 1. . . . . . .1 One-dimensional bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Preprocessing . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . 2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Governing equations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . .4 Stiffness matrix storage . . . . . . . . . .4 Isoparametric mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Exercises . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Continuum elasticity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Program ﬂow . . . 5. . . . . . .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Linear algebra . . . . . . . . . . 5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. .3 3. . . .5 Post-processing . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Regularity requirements . . . 6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 5 . 1. . .7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . .3 Poisson equation . . . . . . . . . .5 Numerical integration . . . . . . . .7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . .2 Vector calculus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Basic error analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Tensor basics . . . . 4.3 Local-global . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . 4. . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Galerkin method Approximate solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Exercises . . . . . 7. . . 8 Solvers for large linear systems 111 8.1 Elastodynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Iterative solvers . . .3 6. . . . . . .4 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . . 73 . . . . 76 . . . . . . Plate . . 104 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Heat equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 LU-decomposition . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Rod elements in space Beams . . . . . .3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics 9. References . . . . . . . . . . .2 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . .4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics .5 Time stepping algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 A posteriori error estimation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . . .2 January 21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 . . . . 2011 . . . . 113 113 116 117 118 119 124 124 125 6 Version 0. . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . .Contents 6. . . .1 6. . . . . . . . . . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shell elements . . . . . . . .1 A priori error estimation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 9 Time-dependent problems 9. . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . .6 Space-time formulations . . . 105 105 107 108 109 7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method 7. . . . . . . . . . . . Exercises . . . . . . . . . .3 Adaptivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

i =1 n (1. ai where i runs from one to n.2 January 21.4) The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi .3) Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b. x = √ x · x. 2011 . a·b = (1.7) 8 Version 0. A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components. In the case n = 2.1: Example of orthonormal base vectors. a2 (1.5) ∑ a i bi . which is denoted a · b. where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3. (1. a= a1 .1 Introduction x2 a e2 = [0 1 0] e1 = [1 0 0] x1 e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1. and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x. i =1 3 (1.6) ∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 .

Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. A. (1. (1. It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a.1 Tensor basics For an orthonormal basis. K. 2011 Version 0.16) (1. A = Aij .10) As with vectors. Aij . 0 if i = j.1.15) (1.12) Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors. At times. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j. and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj .17) (1. ei · e j = δij . a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components. R (1. A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a. a = Ab = Aij b j = ∑ Aij bj j =1 n (1.13) where n is the dimension of the vector b. M.8) can be used. allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi .14) January 21. which is expressed as D = AB.9) Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters. the dot product maybe written as a T b.2 9 .11) (1. in the vein of matrix multiplication. A31 A32 A33 (1. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 . Second-order tensors can be multiplied. The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’. (1.

A = a ⊗ b.25) ∑ ∑ Aij Bij .1 Introduction In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji .21) (1. this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 . is provided for two second-order tensors. For two second-order tensors in R2 .19) Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors. (1. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii . The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1. It also yields a scalar.22) Using the trace. = ai b j . (1. For a second-order tensor A in R3 . For example. 2011 . This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij . an operation similar to the dot product of two vectors. (1.27) This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention. i =1 j =1 n n (1.26) (1.20) The trace of a second-order tensor is essentially the summation of its diagonal components. It is deﬁned by: A : B = tr A T B . an inner product. A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 . which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j . (1.24) (1. (1.18) The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components.28) 10 Version 0.2 January 21. A useful identity involving the transpose is: ( AB) T = B T A T .23) (1.

(1. Eijk = 0. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient. The components of E are given by: [E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek . Eijk = 1.32) As will be shown in the following section. Another important operation is the cross. is equal to the identity tensor.2 (1. multiplied by its inverse A−1 . A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor.1 Tensor basics The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 .36) The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here. and if the permutation {i.33) (1. j. It is deﬁned for a. A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A. a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . If the permutation {i. E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b. The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . k} is even. (1.1. If any of the indices are repeated. matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal.31) Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties. product. (1. Using index notation. or vector. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1 Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation. (1.29) A second-order tensor A. 2011 Version 0. b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1. The result of the above equation is rather simple. Eijk = −1. January 21. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E .37) 11 .30) (1.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 . The cross product of two vectors yields a vector.34) (1. k} is odd. j. AA−1 = A−1 A = I.

′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system. A : B = Aijk Bjk .38) In elasticity. Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q. Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j . C = Cijkl .39) Fortunately. denoted here as C . ′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j . 2011 . Coordinate transformations For many problems. in terms of indices. the stress and strain are second-order tensors. due to physical symmetries. This operation is particularly important when considering moments.41) 12 Version 0. it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly. the components in ei system are known. (1.2. which is orthogonal. It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system. (1. Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1.2 January 21.40) (1. it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame. Consider that for a vector a. (1. For an orthonormal basis.2: Rotation between coordinate systems.1 Introduction x2 ′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ] e2 = [0 1] ′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ] θ e1 = [1 0] x1 Figure 1. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor.

∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u.44) Therefore.x . 1.xx . Q= ′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2 (1.48) This notation is used commonly throughout these notes. It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 . Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1. 2011 Version 0. 0 . = u.2 Vector calculus which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a.47) (1. January 21. An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space. 0.2.xy . which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem.xxxx .2 (1. cos θ (1. (1. (1. Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable. ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1. It is expressed as: ∇ · a.2 Vector calculus Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives.xyy . ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u. This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u. components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ .42) − sin θ .46) Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem. An important operator is the divergence.45) At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another.1. Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x. The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar.43) and note that Q is orthogonal. and A = QA′ Q T . QQ T = Q T Q = I. (1.49) 13 . = u.

∇a = (1. ∂x j (1.i . ∇·a = ∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + . ∂x j (1. 2011 .51) The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by: ∇·A = ∂Aij = Aij.50) In a three-dimensional space R3 .55) ∇a = .53) Another important operator is the gradient. ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z (1. ∂xi (1. In a three-dimensional space.i . In a three-dimensional space. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1. ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by: ∇a = ∂ai = ai.1 Introduction In terms of indices.2 January 21. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 . ∇ · a is equal to ∇·a = ∂ai = ai. ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 .52) For a two-dimensional tensor A.57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14 Version 0. The gradient of a scalar a is given by: ∇a = ∂a = a.j .54) which yields a vector. ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x 1 2 (1. ∂xi (1.j .56) which yields a second-order tensor.

(1.3. The above formula is simple to derive by using the product rule for differentiation to expand Ω ∇ · ( aB ) dΩ = Ω ∂ a B dΩ.3 Linear algebra n Ω Γ Figure 1. Ω ∇ · a dΩ = ∂Ω a · n dΓ. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω. The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω. It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral. (1. ∂x j i ij (1. It implies that: Ω a · (∇ · B) dΩ = − Ω ∇ a : B dΩ + ∂Ω a · Bn dΓ. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem). For example. For a vector a.3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ. 1.61) and then applying the divergence theorem. The divergence theorem states: Ω ∇ · A dΩ = ∂Ω An dΓ. 2011 Version 0. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1. the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses.60) The above equation also holds for the case in which a is replaced by a scalar and B is replaced by a vector.2 15 . and the January 21. (1. The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n.59) Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method.1.3 Linear algebra The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties.58) where n is the outward normal to the body Ω.

all eigenvalues are real. K will often be referred to as the ‘stiffness matrix’ and f the ‘right-hand side vector’. This requires some background in continuum mechanics and linear-elasticity. all eigenvalues are positive and real. The strain ǫ is deﬁned as the symmetric gradient of the displacement vector: ǫij = 1 u + u j. Eigenvalue tests are often used in studying the matrices arising in the ﬁnite element method. For a symmetric matrix. of A. (1. The system of equations is usually solved using a direct method (such as Gauss elimination or LU decomposition) or an approximate iterative method. Equation (1. (1. It is not practical to compute the inverse of the matrix K as it is computationally expensive (both in terms of the number of operations required and the memory required). (1. and is unique.62) are known as eigenvectors and eigenvalues.65) Typically. Also. the roots of a cubic equation must be found. Solvers for ﬁnite element problems are discussed in Chapter 8.62) implies that: det ( A − λI ) = 0.1 Introduction corresponding eigenvectors are the principal stress directions. This section is intended to cover only the important concepts which are used later in these notes. For a positive deﬁnite matrix A.66) 16 Version 0. The polynomial is known as the characteristic equation of A. and u and f are vectors of length n. For large matrices.i . A system of n linear equations can be expressed as: Ku = f . the eigenvalues of a matrix indicates if a matrix has a unique inverse. respectively. For a 3 × 3 matrix. The solution u is given by: u = K −1 f . It is not a comprehensive coverage of the topic.2 January 21. ﬁnding λ requires ﬁnding the roots of a quadratic equation. which guarantees that the inverse of A exists. In the context of the ﬁnite element method.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics The ﬁnite element method is used in these notes to solve primarily problems in continuum mechanics. A zero eigenvalue implies that the matrix A has a linearly dependent column. the system of equations in a ﬁnite element equation will be very large.64) where K is an n × n matrix.63) For a 2 × 2 matrix. vectors b and scalars λ which satisfy ( A − λI ) b = 0 (1.j (1. special numerical algorithms are used to calculate the eigenvalues. 1. 2 i. 2011 . For a matrix A.

the strain tensor is symmetric. as will be shown in the next chapter). Obviously. In two-dimensions. In a homogeneous body.j (1. January 21.73) (1.i . the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum. For solid. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ. or in index notation. it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1. The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants. For convenience. this reduces to four. For linear elasticity. in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components. In compact notation. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain. linear-elastic continua. Due to symmetry.2 17 .71) (1. 2 i. 2011 Version 0.72) (1.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1. 2 (1. Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i. Similar to the strain tensor.j) = 1 u + u j.67) For convenience. The stress tensor is deﬁned through the traction vector t (force per unit area) on a surface.70) with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio. σn = t (1. σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor.1.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics which is clearly a second-order tensor.69) where n is the unit normal vector to the surface.68) where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient.

2 January 21. the normal stress out-of-plane is assumed to be zero.x 2ǫ13 γ13 u.z ǫ33 ǫ33 . σ11 σ22 σ33 (1. For isotropic linear-elasticity.x v. ǫ11 ǫ11 u. In this case. The ﬁrst is known as plane strain.y u. although without the factor ‘2’ on the shear terms. The third possibility is axisymmetric. there are three possibilities.z + w. In this case. This is reasonable for problems which are relatively thick in the third direction. containing components of the fourthorder tensor C .1 Introduction ‘engineering’ notation is often adopted. It is then likely that the stress in the out-of-plane direction is not equal to zero.x ǫ22 ǫ22 v. in which the stress and strain are represented as vectors. (1. such as many beams. particular attention will be paid to solving elastic continuum problems.y γ23 2ǫ23 The stress tensor is expressed in a vector form. such as a dam wall. 2011 .78) D= 0 0 0 µ 0 0 0 0 0 0 µ 0 0 0 0 0 0 µ 18 Version 0.76) σ= σ12 σ13 σ23 Using the vector format for stress and strain. 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 (1.77) When reducing a three-dimensional problem to two-dimensions. This will require identiﬁcation of the equations which govern equilibrium of where the matrix D is the constitutive matrix. the constitutive relationship can be written as: σ = Dǫ (1.z + w. This approximation is good for very thin members. In these notes. the strain in the out-of-plane direction is dependent on the distance from an axis of rotation.y + v. An axisymmetric formulation is for example commonly used when simulating a circular foundation. The second possibility is plane stress (σ33 = 0).75) = = ǫ= 2ǫ12 γ12 u. This assumes that the normal strain in the out-of-plane direction is zero (ǫ33 = 0).

Then.80) Balance of linear momentum should also be satisﬁed for any subdomain of Ω. How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have? January 21. Note that this equation is general.5 Exercises 1. In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. Considering that t = σn. Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives: Ω ∇ · σ + b dΩ = 0 (1.1.82) where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω.83) If translational equilibrium (equation (1.2 19 . For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3. Therefore. since E : σ T = 0.83) is zero.79) where b is a body force. the integral can be removed from equation(1.80)) is satisﬁed. and applying the divergence theorem. and not speciﬁc to elasticity. etc. 2011 Version 0.80). Therefore. 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. if σ is symmetric. This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation. consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω. moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric. 1. 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.). Ω r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ + Ω E : σ T dΩ = 0 (1.5 Exercises elastic bodies. the ﬁrst term in equation (1.81) Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum).80). the partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1. which requires that ∂Ω t dΓ + Ω b dΩ = ∂Ω σn dΓ + Ω b dΩ = 0 (1. leading to: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω (1.

derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1. What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4. Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (1.1 Introduction 3. 6.60).43) is orthogonal. 5. Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation. It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ). 2011 . Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions 20 Version 0.2 January 21. 7. Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem.

1: One-dimensional bar. The governing equation can then be expressed as: − Eu.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’. u = 0 at x=0 (2.xx = f .1) where σ. dx (2. 21 .2) where E is the Young’s modulus. To do this. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation. For example. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution.x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod. the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts. The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1.x = f . 2. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. The ﬁnite element method is a variational method. the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du . The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’. For a linear-elastic rod. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain. (2.4) 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 2.81)): −σ. (2.1 One-dimensional bar Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point.3) To complete the problem.1.

after inserting the constitutive relationship (2.9) must hold point-wise.x n = h 0 < x < L. equation (2.x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0.6). Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function. Multiplying equation (2.8) inserted. then − wσ.xx = f u=0 Eu.1 to be equal to zero. (2. which yields: − L 0 wσ. (2. L 0 (2. If equation (2. A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction. Taking guidance from equation (1.x dx = L 0 w.x dx = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V .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.8) To develop the weak form of the governing equation. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2.6) are multiplied by a scalar weight function w ∈ V (w ∈ V means that w comes from the appropriately deﬁned space of functions V . Note that in the strong form.x .x . 2011 . (2. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. −wσ.x Eu.1) by w. Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu. at x = 0.x σ dx − wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V . which has an inﬁnite number of members). solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that L 0 w. (2.5) where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case).60). σn = h at x = L.9) where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’.12) where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. both sides of equation (2.3).11) Note the term wEu.x = w f L 0 ∀w ∈ V .7) (2. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h. (2.10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2. at x = L.x . applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u.x dx = w f dx ∀w ∈ V .2 January 21.6) (2. Considering that σ = Eu.10) is also true. derivatives of order 22 Version 0. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that: − Eu.

xx + f ) Eu. 2011 Version 0. Since the weak form is derived from the strong form. Assuming that E is constant and integrating by parts the ﬁrst term in (2.13) Note again that no terms at x = 0 appear.x n = h. satisfying the strong governing equation (in a distributional sense).xx + f ) f dx. for any allowable weight function at x = L. The basic form of the equations is the same as the one-dimensional bar in the previous section.xx + f ).12). (2. (2. the above equation can only hold if − Eu.xx = f .xx + f )2 dx = 0. see Brenner and Scott (1994).xx dx = L 0 φ ( Eu. What remains now is to ensure that the Neumann boundary condition is satisﬁed (Dirichlet boundary conditions are satisﬁed by construction). Consider now the continuous body in Figure 2.17) 23 .2 Continuum elasticity two with respect to x appear. The complication arises from the three-dimensional setting.xx + f )2 ≥ 0.2 (2.xx dx + wEu. it is now proven that the ﬁrst term is equal to zero.2. only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x appear. Inserting the weight function into equation (2.12) yields − L 0 wEu. L[ and zero outside (speciﬁcally at x = 0 and x = L).16) proving that the Neumann boundary conditions are satisﬁed. For a more elaborate mathematical treatment. (2. 2. January 21. 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. it follows that a solution of the strong form is also a solution of the weak form. Following Hughes (1987). In the weak form (2. where φ is greater than zero over the interval ]0. Eu.2.13).13). as by construction. 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. Recall that the governing equation is given by: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω. at least in a generalised sense). Hence.2 Continuum elasticity A more complicated example is continuum elasticity.14) which can be rearranged to give L 0 φ ( Eu. w(0) = 0.15) Since φ > 0 and ( Eu. Returning to equation (2.x n| x= L = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L . (2. − L 0 φ ( Eu.

2. First. (2. Multiplying equation (2.2 January 21.22) 24 Version 0. For a linearelastic material.18) where C is a fourth-order tensor. t=h on Γh . In Figure 2. On part of the boundary. the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V .19) On the remaining boundary. where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ). Γh . the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg .20) The boundary-value problem is now complete.17) by w ∈ V . (2. 2011 . Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). σ = C : ǫ. a constitutive relationship is required.21) The ﬁrst term in equation (2. the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed. yielding: − Ω ∇w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0. and integrated over the body. and integrating over the body Ω yields: Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . the weight function w is a vector. tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface).2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations h Γh Ω Γg n Figure 2. the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions). To derive the weak form. Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem. u=g on Γg . As in the one-dimensional case. (2.2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh .60)). (2. Note that in this case.21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1. (2.

Inserting the constitutive equation into (2.25) where q is a ﬂux vector and f is a source term. Consider now w as a ‘virtual displacement’ δu. For linear heat conduction. The equation of virtual work is therefore the weak form of the governing equation. Inserting now the constitutive relationship from equation (2.25) yields a Poisson equation.26) where u is a potential. A wide range of physical phenomena are governed by this equation. including steady-state heat conduction and ﬂow in permeable media (Darcy’s law). However. In Darcy’s law.2 25 . (2. Ω δǫ : C : ǫ dΩ = Ω δu · b dΩ + Γh δu · h dΓ. 2. January 21.3 Poisson equation where σn has been replaced by the prescribed traction h (the Neumann boundary condition). In the case of heat conductivity. 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 symmetric gradient of w.23) where S is an appropriate space of functions which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. u is the hydraulic head and κ is known as the hydraulic conductivity.23). Often the term ∇w is written as ∇s w. Therefore ∇s w ≡ δǫ. q is the heat ﬂux vector. It is simple to show that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric (see exercise 1). For Darcy’s law. There exists a close link between weak forms and virtual work for a range of problems. Inserting this into equation (2. For an isotropic medium.24) which is the equation of virtual work. q is the ﬂow rate. the variational framework is more general. The constitutive relationship depends on the problem being solved. 2011 Version 0. the scalar u is the temperature.3 Poisson equation An equation which is often solved using the ﬁnite element method is the Poisson equation.18). (2. The constitutive relationship is given by: q = −κ ∇ u (qi = −κij u.2. Consider the following equation: −∇ · q + f = 0 in Ω (2. Here the Poisson equation is addressed in a more generic fashion. Consistency can be proven in the same fashion as was used for the onedimensional problem. This is the weak equilibrium equation for a stationary continuous elastic body. The previous example of continuum elasticity was an example of a system of Poisson equations – one for each spatial direction. where κ is the thermal conductivity.j ) (2. κ = κI.

such as equilibrium of an elastic body. The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (2. this is the temperature on the boundary Γg .32) The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples. For heat conduction. 2011 . it is the hydraulic head. and consider the potential energy functional I.27) which prescribes the potential on the boundary.31) which is the weak form of the Poisson equation. − Ω w (∇ · q) dΩ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .28) where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2.4 Minimisation of potential energy For particular equations. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions. The Neumann boundary condition requires that: −q · n = h on Γh (2. (2.30) 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 . (2.2). In the case of heat conduction. there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form. this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh . (2.29) Integrating the LHS of the above equation by parts yields: Ω ∇w · q dΩ − Γh wq · n dΓ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V .33) 26 Version 0. For Darcy ﬂow. 2.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations As for all previous examples. (2. I (u) = 1 2 Ω ∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω u · b dΩ − ∂Ω u · h dΩ.2 January 21. w = u + v. and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary. suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem. (2.25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω. is given by I (u) ≤ I (u + v) = 1 2 Ω ∇s (u + v) : C : ∇s (u + v) dΩ − Ω (u + v) · b dΩ − ∂Ω (u + v) · h dΩ. Multiplying equation (2. For an elastic body Ω.

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. From Figure 2.3) to make sense.2 27 . A C0 function is shown in Figure 2.5 Regularity requirements f f . As will be seen in the following chapters. The function shown in Figure 2. Examining now the weak form for the rod (equation (2. this means that its nth derivative is continuous.3. Therefore a function like f is a possible solution of the weak form and a possible weight function.xx ) must exist.x x Figure 2. the second derivative of f with respect to x ( f .3)).5 Regularity requirements A common topic in ﬁnite element analysis is continuity. it is clear that it is simple to take the ﬁrst derivative of the function f . In ﬁnite element analysis. 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. but their ﬁrst derivatives are not.3. If a function is C n . January 21. functions which are C0 are most commonly used. and is essential for the ﬁnite element method.2. Continuity refers to whether or not the derivatives of a function are continuous.23). In summary. piecewise linear function. This means that the functions are continuous.3: Example of a C0 function f . in a classical sense. it is clear that it involves only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x of u and w. 2. It is not a possible solution. Consider now if the function f is a possible solution u of the strong equation for a bar (equation (2. 2011 Version 0. Functions are often classiﬁed as being C n continuous. the weak form allows for more possible solutions.3 is a continuous. This is a classic mathematical property of weak forms. However. which proves that solution of the weak form corresponds to minimisation of the potential energy.34) Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ. this is a commonly used function in ﬁnite element analysis. since for equation (2. and the last term Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ ≥ 0.12)).

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. w| Γg = 0}. which is denoted H 1 (Ω). That is. For multiple spatial dimensions. functions which have square-integrable derivatives are of interest.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. The function space S is deﬁned by: S = {u | u ∈ H 1 (Ω) . This is of crucial importance. such functions may be discontinuous. 2011 . Trial functions u come from the space S (u ∈ S ).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. Consider ﬁrst a scalar problem in an n-dimensional domain Ω.38) This says that V is a collection of functions which come from H 1 (Ω) which are equal to zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. (2. Note that C0 functions belong to H 1 . 2. (2.36) are known as members of the Sobolev space on degree one. but this point is not important here). It is useful to deﬁne function spaces. which is deﬁned by: V = {w | w ∈ H 1 (Ω) . A function u is said to be square integrable if: Ω (u)2 dx < ∞. there do however exist functions from H 1 (Ω) which are not C0 continuous. Functions spaces can be considered the ‘family’ of functions from which u and w can come. from which the trial and weight functions come. The weight functions come from the space V (w ∈ V ). The notation u ∈ H 1 means that u comes from (is an element of) H 1 . (2. This can be seen in the well-known Sobolev embedding theorem. In physical terms. When solving second-order differential equations.x )2 dΩ < ∞ (2.2 January 21. u| Γg = g}. 28 Version 0. Functions for which: Ω (u)2 + (u. Importantly. Clearly. Sobolev spaces are inﬁnite-dimensional. an inﬁnite number of different functions belong to a given Sobolev space. since a fundamental step in the ﬁnite element method will involve ﬁnite-dimensional function spaces.35) Functions which are square integrable come from the Hilbert space known as L2 (Ω).

is u a possible trial solution? January 21. a = b) 5. The Helmholtz equation is given by: ∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0 and is often used in wave propagation problems. 4. 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. (Hint: use index notation. prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. ui | Γg = gi } and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V . 2011 Version 0. (2.2 29 . 2. Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r. (2. Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2.2. For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices).7 Exercises 1.) 2. 3.40) Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method. Derive the weak form. If the √ displacement ﬁeld was of the form u = a r (all derivatives of a exist and are well behaved and a is not dependent on r).7 Exercises In multiple dimensions. wi | Γg = 0}. u ∈ S where S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) . where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 0).23) for elasticity using index notation.39) V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) .

.

uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions.x Eu. uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L .23). respectively.x dx ∀w h ∈ V h (3.1 Approximate solution First. The Galerkin method is however more general. 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. uh ∈ S h .3 The Galerkin method The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. as developed in the previous chapter. It is closely related to the Rayleigh-Ritz method which involves choosing functions (a basis) for the solution and ﬁnding the amplitude of each function by minimising the energy. 3. uh = L wh where B wh .2) (3.x Eu. and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions. The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2.5) 31 . Commonly. (3.4) L 0 h h w. it is generic for a range of different problems. Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin. Furthermore. The essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation. where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space. This means that there is a limited number of possibilities. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . consider the approximate solution to some problem.3) This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact.x dx + w h h| x= L = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . For example. the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh . being able to solve a greater range of problems.1) where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space. It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that − L 0 h h w. In a multidimensional context. (3.

this will be investigated using the abstract notation. (3. B wh .9) For generality. Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented. A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u. For the one-dimensional problem. uh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3. B w h . this implies that: B wh .9) into equation (3. taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. uh and w h will be simple continuous.2 January 21.2 Basic error analysis It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution.2. Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h . why it doesn’t work). piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’. e − L wh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3.10) Since u is the exact solution. the Bubnov-Galerkin method) requires that the weight and trial functions come from the same ﬁnite-dimensional space. Inserting equation (3.7) The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally. e = B wh . Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis. This is examined in the following section. In the abstract notation of equation 3. In Petrov-Galerkin method. u − B wh . often in ﬂuid mechanics. uh = and L wh = Ω Ω ∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ wh · h dΓ. u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3. the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3.1). 2011 . B wh .11) 32 Version 0. This method is used for special applications. the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis.6) wh · b dΩ + Γh (3.2). u − B wh .8) where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. In the ﬁnite element method.3 The Galerkin method where ǫ h = ∇s uh . 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.

**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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**3 The Galerkin method
**

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

h →0

lim uh = u

(3.16)

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

3.4 Exercises

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

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**4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
**

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

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

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

f

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

L Figure 4.1: One-dimensional bar.

35

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

9) must hold. The problem has been divided into many quadrilateral elements.8) This equation must hold for all possible combinations of wi .x dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. Matrices and vectors can be built for each element before being assembled into global matrices and vectors. This yields n equations (one for each wi . where Kij = and fi = Ω Ω (4. for each i ∑ uj j =1 n Ω Ni.2 37 . Consider the case that all but one wi is equal to zero. Therefore. and hence an expression for the approximate displacement ﬁeld along the rod. and f = f i as the right-hand side (RHS) vector. u j can also be taken outside of the integrals. If a boundary condition is applied at node k.4. A simple ﬁnite element January 21. then the row and the column k is removed from the stiffness matrix. A typical ﬁnite element mesh is shown in Figure 4. Kij u j = f i .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. 4. and n unknowns in the form of ui ). Solving this linear system of equations provides u j .x E Nj.x E Nj. For the zero Dirichlet conditions. In order the solve the linear system. A mesh divides a body into a number of elements. Nodes are points in space. It is useful to deﬁne shape functions on ﬁnite elements.12) The matrix K = Kij is commonly known as the stiffness matrix. Dirichlet boundary conditions must be enforced. surfaces (2D) or volumes (3D) which are constructed by joining nodal points.x dΩ = Ω Ni f dΩ + Γh Ni h dΓ (4.11) Nj f dΩ + Γh Nj h dΓ (4. this is relatively simple. Elements may not overlap. which can be expressed as the system of equations. A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal points and elements.x E Nj. ∑ wi ∑ u j i =1 j =1 n n Ω Ni.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions Likewise. and the kth term is deleted from the vector f . (4.10) Ni.2. while elements are lines (1D).x dΩ (4. 2011 Version 0. A discussion of more general boundary conditions is delayed until the end of the chapter.

4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4.2 January 21.3: Simple two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh. 7 8 5 7 8 6 38 Version 0. 6 4 3 4 3 1 2 1 2 5 9 Figure 4. 2011 .2: Typical two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh.

2 39 . the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements. are examined. 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. known as ﬁnite elements. In the ﬁnite element method. A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached.1. Ni . 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 . the shape function associated with that node. denoted by the solid circles. Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’. the amplitude). Both nodes and elements are numbered.3. (4. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions. as introduced in Section 4. Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns. is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes. 4.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin. each multiplied by a nodal value. The bar has two nodes. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node. Having a compact support.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 2 L x=0 Figure 4. the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. As in the one-dimensional case. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node. Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4.13) January 21.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions.3.4. In Figure 4. Each element has three nodes.4. For a node i.2. mesh is shown in Figure 4. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections. and zero at all other nodes. 2011 Version 0. Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i. linear one dimensional elements.

16) x + 1. Now. The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence. The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position. the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element.19) (4. a2 (4. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 .15) x .2 January 21. to solve a problem. the displacement and strain can be calculated in any part of the element.21) The shape functions for two linear elements are shown in Figure 4. as its shape functions are linear polynomials. Taking the derivative of equation (4. dx (4.16) with respect to x.20) N2 . In matrix-vector notation. dx dx 1 dx L L (4.17) In the case of a linear displacement interpolation.18) The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae .22) (4. ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 . where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 . (4. The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems. the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae .4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node). in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae . It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple. Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries. where N = N1 and ae = a1 . Therefore. 40 Version 0.14) (4. L This type of element is known as a linear element. L L (4. the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required.5. 2011 . L (4.

. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 .24) and the B matrix has a similar form.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 L1 L2 Figure 4. Figure 4.23) Therefore.2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions. The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae . and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae . Nnn 0 0 . 2011 Version 0. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant. (4.6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements. Nnn (4..5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements. obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear. Higher-order elements simply have more nodes. linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element.26) (4. For a one-dimensional quadratic element.2. (4. each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions.2 41 .27) January 21. the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required... In two dimensions.. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic.4. i =1 3 (4. the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh = ∑ Ni (x) ai . 4.25) The matrix N contains the element shape functions. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations.

∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn .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. .. 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 ...28) B= 0 . For two-dimensional problems. . It is shown in Figure 4..7. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 .6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements.. 0 (4.29) ae = . a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y . For a two-dimensional problem. ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle.. where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element. 2011 . ann x ann y 42 Version 0. (4. Its shape functions are of the form: The nodal degrees of freedom (normally one for each spatial dimension at each node for elasticity problems) are stored in a vector a.2 January 21.

y2 ) Figure 4.33) Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1. Example 4. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 . Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 . y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1. y3 ) 3 1 2 ( x1 .7: Three-node triangular element.8.8: Shape function for a three-node element.1 Consider the element in Figure 4. Consider node 1 in Figure 4.2 43 . Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes. y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0. It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant.30) The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4.4. N1 ( x3 . N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 . (4. 2011 Version 0. N1 ( x2 .32) (4.7. (4.7. the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations.34) c3 x3 y3 1 0 January 21.31) (4. y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0. Given the following coordinates of each of where ( xi . hence the strain in the element is constant. yi ) is the location of the ith node. (4. y1 ) ( x2 . Figure 4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions ( x3 .

34)) is formed. 2011 . 2) ( x2 .10. y1 ) = (1.x and the B matrix is of the form: N1. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 . A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4.9.2 January 21. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations.x 0 N1. (4. y2 ) = (4. 1) ( x3 . Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated.x 0 N2. the N and B matrices can be formed.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method the nodes. 3) To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients.x N3.x 0 N3. Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems. the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2.36) 44 Version 0. ( x1 . A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4. the strain in this element is not constant. The shape functions for a six-node triangle are of the form: N = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 xy + c4 x + c5 y + c6 (4.y B= 0 N1. 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0. The N matrix for this element is of the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 N3 0 0 N3 0 N3. ﬁnd the shape function for node 2. due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions. y3 ) = (2.25x − 0.y A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral. a system of equations (see equation (4.y N1.35) It is also know as a bilinear element.25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node.y N3.25y + 0.y 0 N2. Unlike the three-node triangle.x N2.y N2.

2011 Version 0. = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1 (4.37) January 21. Figure 4. a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions. 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. They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1. Linear.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element. Note that serendipity 1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 4 3 1 2 Figure 4.15. As with the three-node triangle. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4.9: Four-node quadrilateral element. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior.4. the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations. Each time the order of a triangle is increased.2 45 .12).11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4. Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries. Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order.14.13. Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4.

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

. 1 x x2 x3 x4 .4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions (a) (b) Figure 4. x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 . and are therefore not recommended. y y2 y3 y4 .. .15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements.14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements.and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis. 2011 Version 0. 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 ..16.. Figure 4..2 47 . (4. (4. elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms. Eight.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 . The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation. Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.. The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4..39) January 21..

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

The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh . which after some rearranging (using ( Ac) T = c T A T ) leads to: be T l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = be T Γh.18: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 .18).46) January 21.44) where the integral over Γh. for the multi-dimensional case within an element. Therefore.e N T h dΓ. and can therefore be eliminated. (4. l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = Γh.e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary Γh . Now. Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4.3 Governing equations x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L Figure 4. (4. wh = Nbe . the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as: l2 l1 ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh.1)) is considered. What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation. 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. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals.3 Governing equations At this point.42) (4. s h where the notation has been ‘abused’ as ∇s wh is being expressed as a vector (recall that this is possible due to symmetry).e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ.43) ∇ w = Bbe . 1989) 4. (4. 2011 Version 0.4.e N T h dΓ.2 49 . 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). (4.

irrespective of the exact shape of the element. A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The term ke = l2 l1 B T EB dΩ (4.49) Ωe Γh. the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix. For an element stiffness matrix.5). 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). 4. (4. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke .2 January 21. e= f = Ane 1 f e .51) where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K. It also allows the simple application of numerical integration. 2011 . the term k ij relates local nodes i and j. For a two dimensional problem. Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem. In the global mesh. the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3.4 Isoparametric mapping In practice.48) (recall that b denotes the body force). This yields: Ωe ( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ = Γh.47) is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’. the point ( x. The component k ij is added to the location K I J . Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element. it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element. isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software. This approach has a number of advantages. and similarly for J. For a continuum elasticity problem.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ + Ωe ( Nbe ) T b dΩ (4. From the point of view of implementation. local node i has global node number I.50) (4. as is discussed in the following section. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions. y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian 50 Version 0.e Ωe Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. e= (4.

19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square.52) ∑ Ni (ξ.4. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ. η ) aix . η ) in the bi-unit square. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by: nn uh = ∑ Ni (ξ. η ) yi . consider the application of the product rule for differentia- January 21. conﬁguration is given by: nn x= y= ∑ Ni (ξ. and nn is number of nodes of the element. 2011 Version 0.4 Isoparametric mapping x 3 (−1. η ) xi . y) system. where (ξ.19.−1) y 2 (1. derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required.−1) x 1 ξ Figure 4. ξ and η. i =1 nn i =1 (4.1) 2 4 4 3 η ξ 1 (−1. The map ξ is the inverse of x.53) The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates. Using an isoparametric mapping.1) (1. η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates. The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ. shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes. i =1 (4. In the governing weak equations. taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x. η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’. To proceed. such as the bi-unit square. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates. The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4.2 51 .

∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.2 January 21. ∂η ∂η i i =1 (4. 2011 .59) Once terms of the matrix J have been formed.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.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η J where j = det J. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y. deﬁned in terms of ξ and η. (4. ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj.56) where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix. ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj.52)).η y j = . (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method tion for a function f . the terms in the matrix J can be computed. ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = .ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52 Version 0. Using the shape function. nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj. (4. from equation (4.55) (4. ∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = . ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y.54) (4. ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y J (4.η x j ∑nn1 Nj.

and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element. Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates.20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates.20.62) January 21.2 53 . (4. where: t = 1 − r − s. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4.4 Isoparametric mapping s (0. While this procedure may seen complex.4. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ.1) s (0. Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements. 4 (4. s and t.0) r 1 (0.0) (1.61) Similar formulae can be found for eight. 2011 Version 0. Consider the triangle in Figure 4. The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r.1) 3 3 6 5 2 1 (0. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion.0) r Figure 4. Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple. Hughes. The latter approach is followed here. This way. they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration. 1996. A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. Now. η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) . a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain. 1987).19. 1987).0) 4 2 (1.and nine-node elements (Hughes.

166). Numerical integration is illustrated in Figure 4.2 January 21.65) Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4. N6 = 4st.68) 54 Version 0. (4. While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised. 2 N4 = 4rt. s and t on triangles (Hughes.3).20. To do this. numerical integration is applied. 1987. (4. N3 = s. N2 = r. Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration.20 are then: N1 = t. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered.64) (4.63) (4. consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ = 1 1 Ωe −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη. (4. To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation). N2 = 2r − r. (4. the problem is not yet fully discrete.21. then the mid-side nodes. 1 nint −1 f (ξ ) dξ ≃ ∑ f ( ξ i ) wi . 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 . There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4. Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point. For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1. it convenient to integrate in the (ξ. 2011 . N5 = 4rs. η ) domain. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4. p. It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements). Before proceeding to the element matrices. For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element.67) i =1 where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain.5 Numerical integration At this stage. To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element.66) N3 = 2s2 − s.

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

2: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1. 56 Version 0.1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1. n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 −√ 3 1 √ 3 3 − 5 0 3 5 weight wi 2 1 1 5 9 8 9 5 9 3 Table 4. 1].2 January 21. 1].4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 1 weight wi 2 1 1 1 3 4 3 1 3 1 4 3 4 3 4 1 4 3 −1 0 1 4 −1 − 1 3 1 3 1 Table 4. 2011 .

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

2011 .2 January 21.3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements. 58 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.

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. Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh .75) Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed. vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions.4. ke av = f e − ke g.71) where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. vv vg (4.74) j =1 ∑ ke ge .72) Since g is known.70) where uh is the displacement. ij j (4.2 59 . January 21. Since g is known. vv vg In terms of indexes.73) where av is the only unknown. and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions. (4. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector. 0 (4.6. 2011 Version 0. ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv fg . In discretised form at element level. It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v . Two common approached are outlined below. the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed.mod = f ie − nn (4. it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved. f ie. 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. 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. (4.

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. Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3. 4. 2011 . Show why this is. However. 2004). 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. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2. Consider the Laplace equation.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. symmetry is lost. The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. 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. except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart).6. and that the value of the Dirichlet boundary condition is returned in the solution vector which simpliﬁes postprocessing. 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. The three-node triangle element is often referred to as the ‘constant strain triangle’ (CST). The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f .2 January 21. which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. For a plane elasticity problem. 4. 60 Version 0.7 Exercises 1. compare the matrix K for the ﬁnite element method with linear elements and for the secondorder central ﬁnite difference method.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5.

2. 2011 Version 0. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance. Form the stiffness matrix for a four-node quadrilateral on a bi-unit square. 7. Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4. Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration. 8. January 21.7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 4.1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0.7 Exercises 6.4. Calculate and plot the shape functions for the eight-node quadrilateral element on a bi-unit square.2 61 .

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

For each node.4 gives the applied boundary condition. The list can begin with any node of the element.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0. the node numbers are listed. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness). the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5.5 2. the is Young’s modulus.3: Element connectivity.1 2. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed.0 0.3.2.76 2.2 Program ﬂow Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared.1 y 0.0 1.5 0.0 2.0 0. The connectivity list for Figure 5.2 January 21.0 0. 2011 . The list in Figure 5. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. The problem 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).7 0.1 is given in Figure 5.2: Nodal coordinates.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions.82 1.0 0.1 2. The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0. the calculation phase can begin. the x and y coordinate is given. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material. In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity.6 0. For each element.8 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 0.0 Figure 5. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account. 5. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems 64 Version 0. First. The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition.

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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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.dof_per_node + k if 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.:) = x(connect(i.j).2 January 21. 2011 .k) ~= 0 a_e(jj) = a( ID(connect(i. k) ) else a_e(jj) = g_e(jj) % displacement is prescribed end end end % return to main program Figure 5.j).j).9: Formation of element stiffness matrix.:) % copy nodal postions % copy displacements from global to local array for k=1:dof_per_node % loop over each degree of freedom jj = j*dof_per_node . 68 Version 0.8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i.

2011 Version 0. m) ll = l*dof_per_node . January 21.2 69 .ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program Figure 5.5.l). k) kk = j*dof_per_node .jj) + k_e(kk.j).dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.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(:) .11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays. % assemble k_e and f_e for element i into K and f for j=1:nodes_per_element for k=1:dof_per_node ii = ID(connect(i.jj) = K(ii.k_e(:.dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii.10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions.

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

it gives the reaction force at each node. January 21. For static problems. It is important to realise that the stress computed at a point is not always reliable.5 Post-processing After a calculation has been completed. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int .1) Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. the internal force vector should be zero where no 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. post-processing of the data is required.5. More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. 2011 Version 0.2 71 . Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements. This means that the body is in equilibrium. including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied). stresses and reaction forces.5 Post-processing 5.

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1 Rod elements in space In Chapter 4. Each element is rotated to a convenient coordinate system. These elements are derived from different governing equations.1: Two-dimensional truss structure.and y-directions. with simpliﬁcations and assumptions which are applicable for common structural problems.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Special ﬁnite elements are often used in structural mechanics. 6. That is. Joints (nodes) of the truss can translate in both the x. Examples are beam. plate and shell elements. 73 . which are closely related to classical equations from structural mechanics. Consider the truss element in Figure 6.2. in contrast to continuum elasticity problems which involve only second-order derivatives. Hence. It is however possible to assemble this element into a truss structure in two or three dimensions. This has serious consequences for the shape functions which can be employed. The formulation of structural elements tends to be more complex than continuum elements. The use of truss elements in a two. The most convenient system is one in which the axis of the truss element is aligned with the x coordinate axis. which is oriented in the three-dimensional space. A simple two-dimensional truss structure is shown in Figure 6. Their governing equations derive from the governing equation of elastostatics.or three dimensional structure relies upon a rotation between different coordinate systems. the strong governing equations involve fourth-order derivatives.1. or in situations where they provide a higher degree of accuracy (in terms of the quantity of interest) than plane elements for the same computational effort. a one-dimensional rod element was developed that could only transmit normal forces. A particular problem is that classical thin bending problems in structural mechanics are governed by fourth-order equations. They are used in situations where conventional solid elements perform poorly with a practicably allowable number of elements. a ﬁnite element model will require two degrees of freedom at each node. For a truss structure in F Figure 6.

Denoting the angle between the x-axis and the x ⋆ -axis as θ.3) = a2x⋆ 0 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2y a⋆ = e a1x⋆ a2x⋆ . two degrees of freedom. (6. The displacements at nodes one and two. For a two dimensional truss structure. 2011 . The displacement components can be rotated using the matrix Q (see section 1.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Fx* x* y* y z* z x Figure 6.1) The vector ae holds the displacement components at the nodes of an element.1) to give the nodal displacements in terms of the coordinate system aligned with the axis of the truss element. three dimensions. displacements in the y⋆ -direction are not resisted by an element. the vector ae has four components (a component in the x and y direction at each node). (6. and in two dimensions. in the x ⋆ .2 January 21. the rotation is particularly simple.and y⋆ -directions are given by: Q Q21 0 0 a1x a1x⋆ ⋆ 11 a1y Q Q22 0 0 a1y = 12 .2) 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2x⋆ 0 ⋆ 0 0 Q12 Q22 a2y a2y where Qij are components of the matrix Q. the above problem can be reduced to give: a1x a1y a1x⋆ Q11 Q21 0 0 . Since truss elements are based on the assumption that only normal forces (σx⋆ ) can be transmitted. Therefore. of a linear bar.4) The following deﬁnitions are now adopted: 74 Version 0.2: Linear truss element in three-dimensional space. a node will have three degrees of freedom. The only displacement of any consequence for an element is in the x ⋆ -direction. the rotation matrix has the form: QT = cos θ − sin θ sin θ cos θ (6. Given that the only displacements of interest are the in x ⋆ -direction. (6.

Inserting the relationships in equations (6. It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar. and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ. (6. (6.7) Similarly.10) Ωe This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q.12). the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed. multidimensional coordinate system. A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure. where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar.8) (recall that be is a variation). h w.1 Rod elements in space and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 . 2011 Version 0.x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆ (6. January 21. Q21 (6.x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae (6.5) The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae .9) is the stiffness matrix. Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar.19) for a linear element).2 75 . and eliminating be . Ωe ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh ( Nbe ) T h dΓ.9) where the LHS of equation (6. The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by: h ǫh⋆ = u.7) and (6.6. Clearly.6) where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4.8) into the weak governing equation (2. the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom. e (6.

v. the ‘domain’ of the beam. For a transverse displacement v. Consistent with previous sections. which is valid for relatively slender beams. there are no out-of plane forces or moments.3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 . x2 ).x v. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam 76 Version 0. The outward normal is denoted n. 6.4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment. The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed. The second is the Timoshenko beam. 6.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2 Figure 6. which takes into account shear deformations. 2011 . x2 ).x y x Figure 6. and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 . is denoted Ω = ( x1 . in-plane beams are considered. straight. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam.2 January 21. Figure 6. The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements.2.1 Kinematics of a beam Beam theory is based upon the assumption that planes which are normal to the beam’s axis remain plane.3. For simplicity.2 Beams Two types of beams are considered in this section.

Note that M = m n and Q = q n. 2011 Version 0.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam. (6. In the second method. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear.11) − h/2 σxx y dy. 6. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated. where n is the outward unit normal vector.6 that θ = v. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6.2 77 .6. which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis. which will be followed here.2.13) Figure 6. (6. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m= h/2 (6. as illustrated in Figure 6.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear. it is clear January 21.2 Beams γ v. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1.2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways.x − γ. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line. It is clear from Figure 6.5.12) and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q= h/2 − h/2 σxy dy. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ. the ﬁbre will not rotate. equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly.x y x Figure 6.6.

+Q n y n +M x Figure 6.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.2 January 21.7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant. 78 Version 0.x y x Figure 6. 2011 .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γ θ v.

are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv .21b) (6. The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ.x − q = 0. translational equilibrium requires that q. on ΓQ . (6.18) Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0. (6. it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0.21c) (6. For rotational equilibrium.x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0.x dΩ + f y dΩ = 0. Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅ + f y ) x dΩ = (6.19) (6.17) (6.2 Beams that: q n dΓ + dΩ dΩ Ω f y dΩ = 0. on Γθ . (6.x dΩ − q dΩ − q. Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅. Ω (q. 2011 Version 0.6.x Ω Ω Ω Ω (6.3). January 21. Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ. (6.14) Noting that q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 .20b) Denoting applied end forces Fy . therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m.x + f y = 0. it is clear that Ω Ω q.20a) (6. on ΓM .15) Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam. and boundary conditions. distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6.21a) (6.16) dΩ dΩ Ω This expression can be rearranged such that m.2 79 .21d) These equations.

(6.21d)). which is equal to zero where Dirichlet (kinematic) boundary conditions are applied (the bar is used in this section to denote a weight function) and integration over the beam Ω yields: Ω ¯ vm.25) by a weight function v. Multiplying equation (6.3 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. − EI d4 v + f y = 0. dx d2 v . from an appropriately deﬁned space.23) The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6. dx2 (6.24) where I is the moment of inertia of the beam. and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v. Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6.16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0.2. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved.21c) and (6.27) 80 Version 0. Being a fourth-order equation.21b)). θ= dv .26) which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero.21a) and (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6. With appropriate boundary conditions. dx4 (6. two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam. The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions. 2011 . and then inserting equation (6.25) Assuming EI to be constant. Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2.19) with respect to x.xx dΩ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6.22) which also implies that κ= (6.2 January 21. Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6. dx2 d2 v . dx2 (6.24). the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed.

x .21d). the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by: S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . This is in contrast to second-order problems. (6.xx dΩ = − ΓM δv. Note that a fourth-order problem.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.x dΩ + Γ ¯ vm. after integrating by parts twice.1. .33) δv.x dΩ. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .x m. v.x m.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vFy dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀v ∈ V . and v.32a) (6.29) Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6. v = gv on Γv .xx EIv.xx EIv. For completeness. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that − Ω ¯ v.xx (6.x = gθ on Γθ .28) Applying integrating by parts again. continuity) than for classical continuum problems. Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6. it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’. (6.xx m dΩ − Γ ¯ v. January 21.6.24).x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. v. which require C0 continuity only. this time to the term Ω ¯ v.x mn dΓ + Γ ¯ vm. the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.30) where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.32b) For the case of an elastic continuum.x T dΓ + ΓQ δvFy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.x = 0 on Γθ . it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work.xx dΩ − ΓM ¯ v. has second-order derivatives in its weak form. For the weak form to ‘make sense’.2 Beams Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields: − Ω ¯ v. Consistency of the above weak form can be proven following the same procedure as in in Section 2. The existence of second-order derivatives in the weak form deserves some special attention. Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω).31) In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous. (6. v = 0 on Γv . The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv . which contains functions satisfying: Ω v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞.30) gives: Ω (6.x = 0 on Γθ . ¯ Ω v.34) which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam.21c) and (6. (6. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6. 2011 Version 0.2 81 . which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist.

40) + fy = 0 which are two coupled second-order equations.37) dv −θ .2 January 21. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6. Timoshenko beam theory does not rely on the assumption that a plane which is initially normal to the longitudinal axis remains normal to the longitudinal axis. has been introduced.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation.19) and (6. Recall from equation (6. q = GAs γ = GAs (6. Planes must remain plane. 82 Version 0.38) and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns.39) (6. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ.35) where γ is the rotation due to shear.2. This means that shear deformations can be taken into account. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6.11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ. and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. dx (6. dx (6. an additional unknown. in Ω.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6. but not necessarily normal. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam. GAS (6.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx − EI GAs =0 in Ω.19) and (6. Relative to the Bernoulli-Euler theory.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ. the problem is complete.36) where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area. the shear strain γ. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q . (6. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent. 2011 . and the second for the displacement v. Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions.

x dΩ − Ω Ω Γ ¯ θEIθ.48) January 21. As with all problems.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation. Ω (6.41) (6.45) (6. ¯ θ.x n dΓ − Γ Ω ¯ θGAs (v. 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.39) and (6.x EIθ.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vFy dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 A more precise deﬁnition of the necessary functions spaces should be provided to ¯ complete the problem.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vGAs (v.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.xx dΩ − Ω ¯ θGAs (v. Applying integration by parts once.x dΩ − Ω Ω ¯ θGAs (v. ¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv .40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v. 6. 2011 Version 0. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition. (6.46) − ¯ v.2. adding the weak forms in equations (6. ¯ ¯ As before.43) (6.x ) dΩ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.x GAs (v. and using γ = v. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v.x − θ.6.xx EIv.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vh Fy dΓ + Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ΓQ ΓM Ω ¯ θT dΓ = 0. and v = 0 on Γv .45) and (6.5 Finite element formulations form beams Euler beams A Galerkin problem for a Bernoulli-Euler beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ S h such that: Ω h ¯h v.xx dΩ = − ΓM ¯h v. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model.x EIθ.2 83 .47) For many mechanical problems. − Ω Ω ¯ θEIθ.xx − θ.2 Beams Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6.x − θ ) n x dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. The test and trial functions should be at least C0 continuous (in contrast to the C1 continuity for the Bernoulli-Euler theory).x GAs (v. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts. Ω (6.x − θ ) dΩ = 0. and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition.44) − ¯ v. − Ω δκ m dΩ + Ω δγ q dΩ = − ΓM δθ T dΓ + ΓQ δv Fy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.42) ¯ vGAs (v.

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

2011 Version 0.xx M1.x and v.xx ae = N1.xx dΩ.xx T EI N.53) h h Now that vh .2 85 .57) The operation to form the RHS vector essentially translates the applied loads into equivalent nodal shear forces and moments. Ω ( N. they can be inserted into the Galerkin problem. Ω N.xx dΩ ae = − ΓM N. (6.xx be ) T EI N.xx (6.x be ) T T dΓ + ΓQ ( Nbe ) T Fy dΓ Ω + ( Nbe ) T f y dΩ (6. (6.6.xx can be computed given ae . v.x T T dΓ + ΓQ N T Fy dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ.xx M2.2 Beams The second derivative of v is given by: v1 θ1 v2 θ2 h v. (6.xx T EI N.xx = N. January 21.55) The element stiffness matrix is given by: ke = Ω N.xx ae dΩ = − ΓM ( N.xx N2.56) and the RHS vector by: fe = ΓQ N T Fy dΓ − ΓM N T T dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ.54) After some rearranging.

xx = 12x .xx = − . h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2.xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1.60) Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86 Version 0. N1.xx = − 3 .56).59c) (6. 2011 .59d) Inserting these terms into equation (6.58b) (6. M2. x1 = − h/2).2 January 21.58h) Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0.xx = h2 N1.x = .xx = . h3 6x 1 M1.xx = 2 + . h h 12x N2.58d) (6. h 6x 1 M2. N1. h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2. h h (6.x = (6.59b) (6.59a) (6. the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly.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. h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.50). h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) . (6. M2.x = − .x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) .xx = 2 − .58a) (6. 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6.58g) (6.58e) (6.58f) (6. Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x. h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) .

64d) N θ aθ .65) Ωe Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e Ωe Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e = Γe. A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ. e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh = h h (6.x GAs v.62) and (6.63) Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ h . 2011 Version 0.x − θ h dΩ = Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ + ¯ vh Fy dΓ h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv .M N θ T dΓ. (6. Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6.64b) (6.62) h ¯h v.6. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4.2 87 . due to the second-order nature of the governing equations.x − θ h dΩ = − ΓQ ΓM ¯ θ h T dΓ h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ . and corresponding derivatives.64c) (6. v h = N v av . e N v bv .x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v. e θ θ N be .Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe N v T f y dΩ.2 Beams to be constant). T (6.64a) (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 .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.x EIθ. 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. (6.61) Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple. (6. in terms of shape functions and nodal variable. − 6EI h2 4EI h (6.

only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice.75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88 Version 0.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ).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 (6.2 January 21.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 .71) kθv = − kvθ = − kvv = Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ.72) (6. T Bv T GAs Bv dΩ.70) (6. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ.M N θ T dΓ. Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams. N v T f y dΩ. Ideally. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation. kθθ = (6. resulting in an overly stiff response. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 . Locking Conceptually. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions. T T (6. and both short and slender beams could be analysed. Ωe Ωe T T (6. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems. This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish.68) (6.67) where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ = Ωe Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ.69) (6. and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv = Γe. (6. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L. the result are plagued by shear locking. However. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality. 2011 .73) Γe.

If the term Ωe N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration T January 21. will yield a very stiff response.6.76) Therefore.78) Therefore. this element will exhibit a very stiff response. As L → 0. GAs (6. EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2 − GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L (6.79) If L is large.77) If at one end the beam is clamped. v2 ≈ PL . GAs (6.2 Beams and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L kvv e (6. 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. 2011 Version 0.81) which is the correct result.2 89 . Even with a very ﬁne mesh. θ1 = v1 = 0. v2 ≈ 4PL . and a shear load P is applied one end.80) which is independent of I. the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6.

The case is similar for quadratic elements. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6. 90 Version 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis (which is reduced for this term).85) When using reduced integration.82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now. this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned. the element stiffness matrix would have the form EI GAs L EI GAs L GAs GAs + − + − L 4 L 4 2 2 EI GAs L GAs L GAs EI GAs + + − − 4 L 4 2 2 L (6. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2 (6.83) If L is very large. 2011 . where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking response. for the one element problem clamped at one end. v2 ≈ PL GAs (6. and as L → 0.84) which qualitatively the desired response.2 January 21.

8.3 Plate x3 p θ1 x2 t x1 θ2 Figure 6. this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage. or u1 .9). (1989). y and z directions. 1987.8: Coordinate system for a plate. u3 = u3 ( x. u2 and u3 when using indexes. It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation. 1991. The three coordinates are denoted x. the convention differs from the right-hand rule. v and w (displacements in the x.1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6. are are typically loaded out of plane.86b) where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6.6. T When using Greek subscripts. The plate has a thickness t.86a) (6. the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented.3. The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities. y and z. For convenience. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. 6. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. x2 and x3 . or x1 . More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor. Hughes. (6. Bathe. A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. 6.2 91 . Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements. y) . Also. In plate theory.3 Plate Plates are effectively generalisations of beam elements to two spatial dimensions. respectively). The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω. and the boundary is Γ. 2011 Version 0. The adopted deﬁnitions simplify the formulation as it will avoid the need for a −1 factor on particular terms. the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. Similarly. summation is implied from one to two. 1996). A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories. y) . The rotation of the January 21. displacement may be denoted u.

92 Version 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γα θ α w. 2011 .α 1 w x3 xα Figure 6.2 January 21.9: Plate kinematics with shear deformation included.

γα = w.α 2 −θα + w.α . ǫαβ = ǫα3 = −z θα.i )).87) Note that if γα = 0. The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σαβ z dz (6. and the shear strain is given by γα . It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n.3 Plate mid-surface of the plate is given by w.89) 6. the strain ﬁeld can be calculated at any point (recall ǫ = (1/2)(ui. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σα3 dz (6. From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6. it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress).β) .α − θα .α = θ(α.6.2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates. then θα = w.88b) A useful quantity is the curvature. 2011 Version 0.j + u j.β (6. 2 α. and lies in the plane of Ω.α 2 (6.88a) (6. which is a second-order tensor and at a point is given by: καβ = 1 θ + θ β.86).3.2 93 . This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for January 21.90) From symmetry of the stress tensor.β + θ β. (6.91) The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6.α . The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations.

10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). ∂s ∂mns .α + pz = 0.92f) (6.s = w.α sα mnn.92b) (6.α nα w.α dΩ + Ω pz dΩ = 0.95) 94 Version 0. Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that: ∂Ω (6. quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα . ∂mnn .92d) (6. (6. mns.n = w. mns = mαβ n β sα . (6.s = ∂s qn = qα nα . therefore qα.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 6.92e) (6. 2011 .92a) (6. (6. w.2 January 21.94) which must also hold for an inﬁnitesimally small piece of the plate.92g) (6.92h) qα nα dΓ + Ω pz dΩ = 0. θn = θα nα .93) Applying the divergence theorem to the term involving qα leads to Ω qα.s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6.92c) (6.11.

β − qα = 0.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)).96) ∂Ω ∂Ω Ω which leads to: Ω mαβ. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible. is the equation for translational equilibrium. (6.PSfrag 6. and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory.2 95 .β = q β xα. (6. mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0. hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory.Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam.β + pz = 0. Considering now rotational equilibrium.α xα . constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations.98) The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam.β dΩ − Ω qα dΩ − Ω q β. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite January 21. (6.3 Thin plates . To complete the problem. 2011 Version 0.β xα dΩ − Ω pz xα dΩ = 0.β + q β. 6.α xα = qα + q β.3. These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories. Ironically. Since translation equilibrium requires that q β.3 Plate q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1 m12 s mnn n x1 θ2 Figure 6.97) noting that q β xα . rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ.

102) into equation (6.98) and inserting equation (6. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6. equation (6. The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’. ∇4 w = ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 . 2011 . After some rearranging.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz . the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w.α (6. The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations. 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz .βα . Since shear deformations are zero. the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w.αβ + pz = 0.103) ¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ).87) reduces to: θα = w.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis element method. This can be done by differentiating equation (6. Inserting the constitutive relationship (6. and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points 96 Version 0. Et3 (6. 12 (6.101) (6.104) Expanding this equation.106) As a fourth-order equation.2 January 21. 2 (6.95). It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 . where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6. four different types of boundary conditions are possible.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.105) This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation.100) The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ . ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y (6. Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero.αβ + w.102) Cαβγδ = t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ . mαβ.

s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns. then integrated by parts.109) Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.s + qn ) dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.αβ dΩ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.α mαβ n β dΓ = − Γ Γ ¯ w. Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w.110) which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6. and integrating over the surface of the plate. (6.s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6. (6. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns. (6. Ω ¯ wmαβ. (6.112) January 21. Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6.2 97 .107b) (6.α mαβ.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. 2011 Version 0.n mnn dΓ + Γ ¯ w (mns.β dΩ + Γ ¯ wmαβ.111) =− The last term will be ignored. for which w = 0 on Γw and w. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions.n mnn dΓ − ¯ w. Inserting the above relationship into equation (6.107a) (6. The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ).n = 0 on Γθ . The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function.n mnn dΓ + Γ Γ ¯ w. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition.100). it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral.α mαβ n β dΓ + Γ ¯ wmαβ.20). yields Ω ¯ w.108) where Ω is the surface of the plate.107d) The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions. Ω ¯ w.6.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. Weak form The weak form of the governing equation for a thin plate is derived using the same processes applied for second-order problems. Integrating the moment term by parts once.3 Plate on the boundary.107c) (6. − Γ ¯ w. and integrating over the plate surface Ω. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory.110) (ignoring the point terms).αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w.105) by a weight function w.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6. − Ω ¯ w.

which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. Unlike for thin plates.115b) Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts. (6.3. some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates. w. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates.β − qα = 0.αβ as the virtual curvature. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w.2.4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation. the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows: S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement.α as a virtual rotation δθα .2 January 21. 2011 . the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory.α ). the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. w = 0 on Γw . 6. solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that Ω ¯ w. δκαβ . The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model. w and θα .114) Ω ΓM ΓQ Ω Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature. However. It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam.116a) (6. ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw.n = gθ on Γθ . ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions. qα. The problem now involves two different unknowns. w.α + pz = 0. The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature. As such.n = 0 on Γθ .3.αβ mαβ dΩ − ΓM ¯ w. The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6.n T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ V . and w. (6. which in turn involves second derivatives of w. (6. For this theory. w. hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two. w = gw on Γw .113) where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ.116b) 98 Version 0.115a) (6. For completeness.

Ω ¯ θα mαβ. 2011 Version 0. on Γθ .β − θ β dΩ = 0. 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. and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6.α + pz = 0 It is these equations which will be solved. qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w.2 99 .αβ − θ β. where Cαβ = ktµδαβ .β dΩ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.120a) (6. both equations (6.119a) (6. mαβ. three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary.119b) (6. on ΓM .β) mαβ dΩ + Γ ¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.121) Integrating the above equation by parts. (6. is a vector.3 Plate In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.119b) are addressed.β − θ β dΩ = 0.6.102)).119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα . Firstly.β − θ β = 0 (6. θα .117) Cαβ w. − Ω ¯ θ(α. This is due to θα and w being decoupled.β − θ β .122) ¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields: − Ω ¯ θα. a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced.123) January 21. (6.120b) (6. (6.120c) (6. The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw . Weak form To derive the weak form.119a) and (6. on ΓQ . ¯ equation (6.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.β − Cαβ w.118) (6. (6. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα . This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form.120d) Given that one of the unknowns. This set of equations cannot be reduced further.

β) and δγα = w. ¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ (6.119b) by a ¯ weight function w.124) Ω Ω Integrating the above equation by parts yields: − Ω ¯ w.α Cαβ w.128) − which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate. ¯ wCαβ w.119b).α Cαβ w.127a) and (6. C0 shape functions can be applied. the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ). 2011 .α − θα .2 January 21. yields: Ω −δκαβ mαβ dΩ + Ω δγα qα dΩ + ΓM δθα Tα dΓ − ΓQ Ω δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w.127a) − Ω ¯ w. (6.β − θ β dΩ + Γ ¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.126) which is the weak form of equation (6.127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method.α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6.α Cαβ w.119a).127b) Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one. However. δκαβ = θ(α. Multiplying now equation (6.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ Vw (6. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα . Hence.αβ − θ( β.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. − Ω ¯ w. and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ . Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6. (6. 100 Version 0. It is equations (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. (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis which is the weak form of equation (6.114).β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.127b) by minus one).125) ¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed).β − θ β dΩ = 0.

m = −Db κ (6. 2κ12 ) T . There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements. The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0 Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 ) b ν 0 (1 − ν ) 2 . It does not however satisfy C1 continuity. (6. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 .132) (6.2 101 . January 21. In the context of plates. In particular. The element is still useful as it passes the patch test. it tests whether an element can represent rigid body modes and a state of constant strain. The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity.5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity. some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results. m22 . q = D s γ. (6. constant strain implies constant curvature. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 .129) where m = (m11 . 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. a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’. ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements. none of which are of general applicability. 2011 Version 0. In place of requiring C1 continuity.131) Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable.6. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 x3 y + c2 xy3 + c3 x3 + c4 y3 + c5 x2 y + c6 xy2 + c7 x2 + c8 y2 + c9 xy + c10 x + c11 y + c12 .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.130) For the shear forces qα .3 Plate 6. However. tkµ (6. The complications are rooted in the need for C1 continuity.3. κ22 . A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom. symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation.

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

h θ θ

(6.134) (6.135)

Taking derivatives,

h w,α = Bw aw

(6.136) (6.137)

κ =B a

h

θ θ

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

T T T

Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ aθ − e

Ωe

N θ CBw dΩaw + e

Ωe

N θ CN θ dΩaθ e

=−

ΓM

T Nθ T dΓ

(6.138a)

Ωe

Bw T CBw dΩaw − e

Ωe

Bw T CN θ dΩaθ e

=

ΓQ

N w T Q dΓ +

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

(6.138b)

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

(6.139)

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6.3 Plate

where kww = e

Ωe

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

T T

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

T

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

Ωe ΓQ

Ωe Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ + N w T Q dΓ +

T Nθ T dΓ T

Ωe

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

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

f eθ = −

ΓM

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

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

6.4 Shell elements

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

6.5 Exercises

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

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January 21, 2011

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

9) where k is the polynomial order. the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question.5) which now includes the gradient of e. k + 1 > m. (7. Setting n = 1.10) This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method involve n = 0 and n = 1.8) The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). For example. thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain. Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI m ≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 .10) into the above expression. Note that to ensure convergence. uI = ∑ Ni aiI . Consider the nodal interpolate u I . Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h .11) January 21. hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions. (7. (7. It is deﬁned by: u 2 E = | u |2 = r Ω ( Dr u)2 dΩ. Inserting now equation (7. u − uh 106 r ≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 . (7.2 (7.6) which involves only a particular order derivative. Version 0. 2011 . i (7.4) which is a measure of the error in the displacements. In this way.7) where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form. it holds that u − uh E ≤ u − uI E. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by |u|n = Ω ( D n u)2 dΩ 1/2 . rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory. (7. setting n = 0 gives: 1/2 e 0 = Ω (e · e) dΩ . and h is a measure of the element size. c is an unknown constant. (7. 1/2 e 1 = Ω (e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ . An important semi-norm is the energy norm.

2 A posteriori error estimation where C is a constant. Of course as h becomes small. January 21. there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order.1.14) In terms of the strain. Larger a implies faster convergence. the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e 0 ≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 . (7. 1/2 . e e 0 1 ≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 . independent of h. The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. and O(h) in terms of strains. If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth. (7.16) Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms. (7.2 107 . which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is.2 A posteriori error estimation Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated. The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’. For practical purposes. For k ≥ 1. the greater a the smaller the error. It leads to the estimate: u − uh s ≤ Ch β |u|k+1 . This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing. 7. Therefore. In elasticity. 2011 Version 0. hence u − uh 1 ≤ Chk |u|k+1 .13) where β = min (k + 1 − s.12) This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order. The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached.7. For an elasticity problem. 2(k + 1 − r )). For linear elements. r = 1. this norm is dominated by the error in the strain. e 1 (7. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details). ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution. u − uh 0 . The error in the displacements is given by e 0 . k = 1. (7. but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution. such as the error in the displacement.15) which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses). This is error analysis. hence it represents the error in the energy.

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

4 Exercises helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element. 7.7 times smaller? 3. When using Q4 elements. 2011 Version 0. Give the order of convergence in terms of the strain for the following element: a) b) c) d) e) T3 Q4 T6 Q8 Q9 2.7.4 Exercises 1. List some advantages and disadvantages of p.and h-adaptivity. January 21.2 109 . how much smaller would you expect the error in the displacements and the stresses to be if all the elements are made 2.

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

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

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

restrained at one end.8a) (9. To solve dynamic problems using a computer.1.6) 9. like for the static case the governing equation must be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns and basis functions. The velocity and acceleration ﬁelds are represented using the shape functions. (9. the ﬁnite-dimensional velocity and acceleration ﬁelds in an element are given by: uh = N ae . is hit with a hammer at the free end. (9. 2011 . Ωe N T ρN dΩ ae = − ¨ Ωe B T DB dΩ ae + Ωe N T b dΩ + Γh.1) by a weight function w. This stems from the fact that the dependence on time t has not been addressed in the same fashion as the spatial dependency x. ˙ ˙ u = N ae . using the same steps outlined in Chapter 2. The equations for elastodynamics are hyperbolic.9) 114 Version 0. The time dimension is left continuous. If a bar.9 Time-dependent problems free end of a restrained rod.8b) where ae = dae /dt and ae = d2 ae /dt2 .2 January 21. which when considering the semidiscrete formulations are constant in time. which is independent of time. 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 . From the weak from in the previous section. a reaction force is felt immediately at the other end. the Galerkin form must be developed.7) which is known as ‘semi-discrete’.e N T h dΓ. Therefore. ¨ ¨ h (9. With hyperbolic problems ‘information’ travels at ﬁnite speeds.2 Semi-discrete Galerkin form To reach a ﬁnite element formulation. 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) and rearranging. (9. Multiplying equation (9. This is again done using ﬁnite element shape functions. for an element. and inserting Neumann boundary conditions. ﬁnd u ∈ S such that Ω ρw · u dΩ = − ¨ Ω ∇s w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ ∀w ∈ V . solving the weak form involves: for a given t > 0. Deriving the weak form for dynamic problems follows the familiar procedure. 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 (9.5) Integrating by parts.

As with the element stiffness matrix. a strategy is required to deal with the time derivatives of a. All off-diagonal terms are equal to zero. Perhaps the simplest procedure to form lumped mass matrices is to form the matrices using numerical integration.2 115 . Another procedure is based on summing rows of the consistent mass matrix. (9. Before the variational basis of the ﬁnite element method was properly understood.9. ¨ (9.1. Mii lump = j =1 cons ∑ Mij n (9. It is however possible that nodes will have zero or negative masses. Other more January 21. the lumped mass matrix has non-zero terms only on the diagonal.1 Elastodynamics This equation is commonly called the ‘semi-discrete’ equation. 9.11) Before this equation can be solved. This equation can be written is a shorthand format as: Me a e + k e a e = f e ¨ (9. but with integration points located only at element nodes. Since lumped schemes do not follow naturally from the variational formulation. cons = Me Ωe ρN T N dΩ. 2011 Version 0. A common approach was to form a lumped mass matrix. lumped masses at each node. in the same fashion as for the element stiffness matrix.12) This is typically formed by integrating numerically. as will be discussed in the following sections. Since ﬁnite element shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes. This is formed similarly to the stiffness matrix.3 Mass matrix There are several methods to form the mass matrix. This corresponds to having discrete. Since shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes. the mass matrix is symmetric and will have off-diagonal terms. this will yield a diagonal mass matrix.10) where Me is the element mass matrix. This procedure however can lead to negative masses on the diagonal. for a given time tn M an + Kan = f n . it was not entirely clear how the mass matrix should be formed.13) where n is the dimension of the mass matrix. This property is highly advantageous in combination with some time integration schemes. The obvious choice from the variational approach is the consistent mass matrix. there is some freedom in determining exactly how the lumped mass matrix should be calculated. Once the element contributions have been assembled into the global mass and stiffness matrices and the global RHS vector.

or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. 9.3.16) where in the context of diffusion of heat. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2. (1989). The problem requires boundary conditions. Unlike elastodynamics. This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour. 9. u is the temperature. unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f .17) 116 Version 0. namely the temperature at t = 0. A discussion can be found in Cook et al. representing the uncertainty in the source of damping.9 Time-dependent problems sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses. Damping due to the material response can also be included. u ( x. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. 2011 . and initial conditions. the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency.1. t) = u0 ( x) . Damping is often included by adding the term C a to the governing equations.2 Heat equation The heat equation is introduced here as a step to the problems in elastodynamics. In strong form. as outlined in Section 2. (9. Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved.15) where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. (9. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience.14) where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK. ¨ ˙ (9. Conversely. c is the ‘capacity’. It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular. It can be included through the damping matrix C. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. (9.2 January 21. only one type of initial condition may be provided. This is known as Rayleigh damping. The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague. kappa is the conductivity.3. q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux.4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping. it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time. The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency. There is no rich theory underlying the choices. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f .

If one end of a rod is heated. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n.24) The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) . (9.11) and rearranging. 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. it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. 2 det ke − ωe me = 0 (9. 2011 Version 0. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n . Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9.2 117 . It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix.23) where ω are the natural frequencies of the system. which ¯ are also known as natural modes.18) (9. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) . The acceleration is therefore given by: (9. (9. The eigenvectors are a. ¯ det K − ω 2 M = 0. For the consistent mass matrix. ωe = 2 3/L January 21. Following the usual processes in developing the weak form. ˙ 9. this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time.23) can be very large. For explicit time integration procedures. its motion is harmonic. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0.21) −ω 2 M + K a = 0.25) √ for an element of length L.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics The heat equation is parabolic.19) In matrix form. it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements.22) which is a matrix eigenvalue problem.20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second). For a one-dimensional linear element.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms). ¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9.9. there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ).

Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) . (9. it is then possible to treat each mode individually.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f i i (9. a (t) = ∑ αi (t) Ψi i (9. It is then possible to treat each mode separately. (9. The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions. i = j. and ωi are the natural frequencies. (9.28) into equation (9.26) Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9. ¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f i i (9. The sum of the modes gives the total displacement.27) where Ψi are eigenvectors.31) Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f . K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0.28) where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal. and are known as vibration modes. For linear problems.32) The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple.9 Time-dependent problems 9. separate equations.29) Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other. (9. (9.33) 118 Version 0. Inserting equation (9. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j.11) . i = j.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes.30) 1 0 i = j. 2011 .2 January 21.

Explicit schemes can be constructed to have a high degree of accuracy (such as the 4th order Runge-Kutta method. Hence. 9. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n.1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. January 21. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1. the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues. Therefore. 2011 Version 0. For the unforced case. Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. an and an at time tn (and perhaps also at earlier times ˙ ¨ steps). (9. ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed. equation (9.9. rapidly diverging from any sensible result. If an integrator is unstable. Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions. the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). equation (9. 9. To do this. this equation can be solved analytically. This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. Therefore it is limited to linear analysis. the above equation can be solved. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al. for each mode of interest.5. Conversely. Typically. which is O(∆t) accurate). implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme. the values an+1 . There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. For non-linear problems. It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics. (1989). but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless. Given the values of an .5 Time stepping algorithms Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes. and perhaps information at time step n and earlier steps. In structural analysis.34) Solutions for forced cases are dependent on the type of loading. it will ‘blow-up’. an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). the orthogonality property does not hold. compared to explicit schemes. with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort.33) is only solved for a few modes. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes.2 119 . Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. In applying modal analysis. usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response.5 Time stepping algorithms Now.

well known integrators.39) (9.40b) (9.9 Time-dependent problems A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods.41a) (9.36) and inserting the above result into equation (9.38) 120 Version 0. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable. ˙ Rearranging equation (9. In practice. ˙ 9. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 . a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an . 1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an . and is second-order accurate. ˙ ˙ (9. the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor. For the problems to be considered here.36) gives. 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 ) ˙ ¨ ¨ (9.35). Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different.2 January 21. Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes.5. but only ﬁrst-order accurate.35) where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation. both explicit and implicit. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods.41b) (9. where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an . the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 . In matrix form.40a) (9. ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) .37) (9. 2011 .37). Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method.2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme. ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9.

It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9.46a) (9. This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ). Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences. 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) . The term ω h can be estimated for linear elements as 2c/L. Therefore.5 Time stepping algorithms where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm. c (9.46b).44) where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0. The Newmark method is unconditionally stale for: 2β ≥ γ ≥ 1 2 (9.2 121 .46a) into equation (9.45) which is the Courant. ∆t2 (9. 2 (9. where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element. a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate. it requires the factorisation of a large matrix. 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). Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule.43a) (9. an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 . but as will be shown later. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) .41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method. It is also energy conserving.9. ∆t ≤ L . 2011 Version 0.42) For γ = 1/2.47) This integrator is implicit.43b) It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9. This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate. an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators.46b) Inserting equation (9. It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a. January 21. Its stability properties are attractive. Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition. but it is conditionally stable. Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods.

54) (9. (9. with damping. Given an and an−1 . has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n .52) (9. an+1 can be calculated without solving a system of equations (hence the attractiveness of lumped mass matrices when using explicit time integrators). Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9.50) 2 2∆t 2∆t n−1 ∆t ∆t Recall that the displacement vector a is known at step n and all previous steps.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). it is not necessary to form the stiffness matrix K. M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n . In practice.43). The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn . The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9.53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9. ¨ ˙ (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. and unknown at step n + 1. where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122 Version 0. 2011 . it is possible to calculate an+1 .2 January 21. (9.55) Ω A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation. 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then.51) If both M and C are diagonal matrices.9 Time-dependent problems Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved. the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9.

Furthermore. which are the initial conditions. it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems. This yields. 2011 Version 0. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9. 1 M + K a n +1 = M β∆t2 1 1 1 an + ˙ an − an ˙ ¨ a + 2 n β∆t 2β β∆t +f (9.58b) These equations are then inserted into equation (9. In combination with a lumped mass matrix.43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0).60) which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9. it is second-order accurate.2 123 . M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 + Kan+1 = f n+1 (9.58a) a n +1 = a n ˙ ˙ + ∆t (1 − γ) an + γ ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9. Combining equations (9.59) Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (9. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis.57) Rearranging the expressions in equation (9. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation.61) January 21.41) for β = 0 to express the accelerations and velocity at step n + 1 in terms of step n and earlier.57). The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability. and all known quantities on the RHS. 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 ¨ ˙ (9.5 Time stepping algorithms algorithm at t = 0. For simplicity.9.56) The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure. damping is ignored.

A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping. One such algorithm is the α-Method. If −1/3 < α < 0. Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t).7 Exercises 1. it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. 9.6 Space-time formulations Time as a degree of freedom. With the Newmark scheme. calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations.62) where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t . Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ. which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 . ¨ (9. However. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α .5.2 January 21. 2011 . 2. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one. Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α.41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure. 9. numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2. 1987). Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. 3. Decreasing α increases the dissipation. γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4. Rearrange equation (9. the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme. the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate. If α = 0.3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations.9 Time-dependent problems Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal. At time step n. Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element. 124 Version 0. 9.

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

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