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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

.

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

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Iterative solvers . . . .1 A priori error estimation . . . . .3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . . 9.2 A posteriori error estimation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Contents 6. . . . . . . . . . . 2011 . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . 111 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Space-time formulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Rod elements in space Beams . . . . . . . . . . 8 Solvers for large linear systems 111 8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 6. . . . 91 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . References . . 76 . . . . . . .5 Time stepping algorithms . . . . . . . . Shell elements . . . . . 105 105 107 108 109 7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method 7. 73 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Elastodynamics . . . . .1 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Exercises . . . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Adaptivity . . . 9. . . . . . . . . . Plate . . . . . . .2 Heat equation . . 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 LU-decomposition . . . . . . . . 113 113 116 117 118 119 124 124 125 6 Version 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 . . . . . . .7 Exercises . . 112 9 Time-dependent problems 9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 . . . . . .3 6. 9. . . .4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 January 21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

ai where i runs from one to n.1 Introduction x2 a e2 = [0 1 0] e1 = [1 0 0] x1 e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1.4) The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi . (1. a·b = (1. A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components.3) Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b. 2011 . and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x. which is denoted a · b.6) ∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 . a= a1 .1: Example of orthonormal base vectors. where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3.5) ∑ a i bi . x = √ x · x.2 January 21. i =1 n (1.7) 8 Version 0. i =1 3 (1. In the case n = 2. a2 (1.

0 if i = j.16) (1. which is expressed as D = AB.11) (1. (1. 2011 Version 0.2 9 .8) can be used.13) where n is the dimension of the vector b. a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components. A31 A32 A33 (1. A = Aij . R (1. (1. (1. in the vein of matrix multiplication.1 Tensor basics For an orthonormal basis.1. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 . A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a. Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. K.10) As with vectors. and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj .17) (1.9) Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters.14) January 21. Second-order tensors can be multiplied. allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi . a = Ab = Aij b j = ∑ Aij bj j =1 n (1. M. The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’. It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a. A. ei · e j = δij . Aij .12) Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors. the dot product maybe written as a T b. At times.15) (1. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j.

21) (1. is provided for two second-order tensors. This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij . (1. i =1 j =1 n n (1. (1.28) 10 Version 0. For two second-order tensors in R2 . A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 . It also yields a scalar.23) (1. an inner product.18) The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components.27) This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention.19) Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors. For example. (1. A = a ⊗ b. The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1. this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 .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 operation similar to the dot product of two vectors. For a second-order tensor A in R3 .25) ∑ ∑ Aij Bij . (1. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii . = ai b j . (1. A useful identity involving the transpose is: ( AB) T = B T A T .24) (1. which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j . 2011 .1 Introduction In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji .26) (1.2 January 21.22) Using the trace.

AA−1 = A−1 A = I. and if the permutation {i. (1. If the permutation {i. Eijk = −1.34) (1. multiplied by its inverse A−1 .30) (1. The cross product of two vectors yields a vector. The components of E are given by: [E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek . It is deﬁned for a. 2011 Version 0. or vector. matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal. and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . Eijk = 1. k} is odd. A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A. E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 .2 (1. a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . k} is even.37) 11 . product.1 Tensor basics The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia. The result of the above equation is rather simple. The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . Eijk = 0. Using index notation. j.32) As will be shown in the following section. (1. j. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1 Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation. If any of the indices are repeated. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient.31) Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties. A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor.1. (1. b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1. Another important operation is the cross. is equal to the identity tensor. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E .36) The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here.29) A second-order tensor A. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 .33) (1. January 21. (1.

(1. ′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system. C = Cijkl .38) In elasticity.40) (1. (1. 2011 . For an orthonormal basis. denoted here as C . due to physical symmetries. the stress and strain are second-order tensors. the components in ei system are known. (1.2: Rotation between coordinate systems.41) 12 Version 0. it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly. ′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j . A : B = Aijk Bjk .1 Introduction x2 ′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ] e2 = [0 1] ′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ] θ e1 = [1 0] x1 Figure 1. which is orthogonal. Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1.2 January 21. It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system. in terms of indices.39) Fortunately. Coordinate transformations For many problems. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor.2. Consider that for a vector a. Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q. it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame. Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j . This operation is particularly important when considering moments.

2. (1.48) This notation is used commonly throughout these notes.xyy . 2011 Version 0.xxxx . 0 . Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1. ∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u.44) Therefore.46) Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem.2 (1. ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1.49) 13 . cos θ (1. January 21. It is expressed as: ∇ · a. which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem. components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ .xy . = u. QQ T = Q T Q = I. (1. and A = QA′ Q T . It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 .2 Vector calculus which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a. Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x. 0.2 Vector calculus Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives. (1. 1. = u.xx . Q= ′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2 (1. Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable. An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space. An important operator is the divergence.x . This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u.43) and note that Q is orthogonal. ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u.45) At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another.47) (1.1.42) − sin θ . The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar.

∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z (1.57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14 Version 0. ∇ · a is equal to ∇·a = ∂ai = ai. ∂xi (1. ∂x j (1.1 Introduction In terms of indices.56) which yields a second-order tensor. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1. The gradient of a scalar a is given by: ∇a = ∂a = a. In a three-dimensional space.50) In a three-dimensional space R3 . In a three-dimensional space.54) which yields a vector. ∇a = (1.53) Another important operator is the gradient. ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by: ∇a = ∂ai = ai. ∂x j (1. ∂xi (1. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 .2 January 21.j .i . 2011 . ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x 1 2 (1.i .j .55) ∇a = . ∇·a = ∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + . ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 .52) For a two-dimensional tensor A.51) The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by: ∇·A = ∂Aij = Aij.

(1.59) Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method. It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral. For example. Ω ∇ · a dΩ = ∂Ω a · n dΓ.3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ. (1. ∂x j i ij (1. For a vector a. The divergence theorem states: Ω ∇ · A dΩ = ∂Ω An dΓ.3 Linear algebra n Ω Γ Figure 1. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem). The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω.2 15 . It implies that: Ω a · (∇ · B) dΩ = − Ω ∇ a : B dΩ + ∂Ω a · Bn dΓ. The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n. the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses.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 The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties.60) The above equation also holds for the case in which a is replaced by a scalar and B is replaced by a vector.58) where n is the outward normal to the body Ω. (1. and the January 21.61) and then applying the divergence theorem. 1. 2011 Version 0.1.

and u and f are vectors of length n. For a matrix A. This section is intended to cover only the important concepts which are used later in these notes. For a symmetric matrix. Equation (1. For a 3 × 3 matrix.2 January 21. which guarantees that the inverse of A exists. It is not a comprehensive coverage of the topic. all eigenvalues are real. The polynomial is known as the characteristic equation of A. K will often be referred to as the ‘stiffness matrix’ and f the ‘right-hand side vector’. Solvers for ﬁnite element problems are discussed in Chapter 8. The system of equations is usually solved using a direct method (such as Gauss elimination or LU decomposition) or an approximate iterative method. 1. the roots of a cubic equation must be found.66) 16 Version 0. all eigenvalues are positive and real.63) For a 2 × 2 matrix. Eigenvalue tests are often used in studying the matrices arising in the ﬁnite element method. For large matrices. For a positive deﬁnite matrix A.64) where K is an n × n matrix. of A.j (1. (1. ﬁnding λ requires ﬁnding the roots of a quadratic equation. The solution u is given by: u = K −1 f . the eigenvalues of a matrix indicates if a matrix has a unique inverse. (1. the system of equations in a ﬁnite element equation will be very large. 2011 . and is unique. In the context of the ﬁnite element method.1 Introduction corresponding eigenvectors are the principal stress directions. 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). 2 i. This requires some background in continuum mechanics and linear-elasticity.62) are known as eigenvectors and eigenvalues.i . vectors b and scalars λ which satisfy ( A − λI ) b = 0 (1. special numerical algorithms are used to calculate the eigenvalues.65) Typically. Also. respectively. A system of n linear equations can be expressed as: Ku = f . A zero eigenvalue implies that the matrix A has a linearly dependent column. (1.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics The ﬁnite element method is used in these notes to solve primarily problems in continuum mechanics.62) implies that: det ( A − λI ) = 0. The strain ǫ is deﬁned as the symmetric gradient of the displacement vector: ǫij = 1 u + u j.

2 17 . the strain tensor is symmetric.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1. this reduces to four. In a homogeneous body. In two-dimensions. 2 (1.j (1. January 21. The stress tensor is deﬁned through the traction vector t (force per unit area) on a surface. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i.71) (1. 2 i. For convenience. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1.73) (1.69) where n is the unit normal vector to the surface. Obviously. Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position. Similar to the strain tensor. For solid. linear-elastic continua. as will be shown in the next chapter). In compact notation. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ.72) (1.i .4 Essentials from continuum mechanics which is clearly a second-order tensor.j) = 1 u + u j. in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components. 2011 Version 0.1. the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum. For linear elasticity. σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor. σn = t (1. A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain. or in index notation.70) with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio.67) For convenience. The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants.68) where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient. Due to symmetry.

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

consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω. leading to: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω (1.). Ω r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ + Ω E : σ T dΩ = 0 (1. the integral can be removed from equation(1. Then.80).83) is zero. the ﬁrst term in equation (1.80).79) where b is a body force. For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3. and applying the divergence theorem. Therefore. How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have? January 21. In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. 1. etc. which requires that ∂Ω t dΓ + Ω b dΩ = ∂Ω σn dΓ + Ω b dΩ = 0 (1. if σ is symmetric. since E : σ T = 0. moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric. 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. the partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1. and not speciﬁc to elasticity. Therefore. Considering that t = σn. Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives: Ω ∇ · σ + b dΩ = 0 (1.81) Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum).80)) is satisﬁed.1. This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation.80) Balance of linear momentum should also be satisﬁed for any subdomain of Ω. 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. Note that this equation is general.5 Exercises elastic bodies.5 Exercises 1.82) where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω.2 19 . 2011 Version 0.83) If translational equilibrium (equation (1.

It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇.60).1 Introduction 3.43) is orthogonal. Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (1. Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem. 5. 7. derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1.2 January 21. 6. What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ). Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions 20 Version 0. Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation. 2011 .

For example. The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation. The governing equation can then be expressed as: − Eu. the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts. dx (2. 21 . u = 0 at x=0 (2. For a linear-elastic rod.3) To complete the problem.xx = f .1.4) f 1 0 111 000 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 11111111111 00000000000 h x L x=0 Figure 2. The ﬁnite element method is a variational method.x = f .2) where E is the Young’s modulus. 2. (2.1: One-dimensional bar.x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations An essential step in developing the ﬁnite element method is the identiﬁcation of the governing equation and casting it in its ‘weak form’. The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1.1) where σ. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation. the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du .81)): −σ. To do this.1 One-dimensional bar Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution. (2.

(2. then − wσ.6) are multiplied by a scalar weight function w ∈ V (w ∈ V means that w comes from the appropriately deﬁned space of functions V .5) where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case).x dx = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V .12) where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations prescribes the displacement at one end of the bar in Figure 2.x n = h 0 < x < L. applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u.6) (2. (2. Note that in the strong form. (2. Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function.10) is also true. −wσ. (2.x .x σ dx − wh| x= L ∀w ∈ V .x .x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0.x dx = L 0 w. If equation (2. A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction.7) (2. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.60). equation (2. Multiplying equation (2. solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that L 0 w. 2011 .1) by w.xx = f u=0 Eu. Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu. L 0 (2.10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that: − Eu.x dx = w f dx ∀w ∈ V .x Eu.3).9) where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’. which yields: − L 0 wσ.11) Note the term wEu. This is the weak form of the governing equation. Considering that σ = Eu. after inserting the constitutive relationship (2.8) To develop the weak form of the governing equation. derivatives of order 22 Version 0. which has an inﬁnite number of members).9) must hold point-wise. at x = L. (2.1 to be equal to zero. at x = 0.6).x = w f L 0 ∀w ∈ V .x .2 January 21. σn = h at x = L. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2. Taking guidance from equation (1.8) inserted. both sides of equation (2.

Hence.xx + f ). (2. January 21. 2011 Version 0. Since the weak form is derived from the strong form. For a more elaborate mathematical treatment.2 Continuum elasticity A more complicated example is continuum elasticity. see Brenner and Scott (1994).13) Note again that no terms at x = 0 appear. What remains now is to ensure that the Neumann boundary condition is satisﬁed (Dirichlet boundary conditions are satisﬁed by construction). for any allowable weight function at x = L. only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x appear.xx + f )2 ≥ 0.12). w(0) = 0.2. the above equation can only hold if − Eu. consider a weight function w ∈ V which is equal to φ ( Eu.xx = f .2.x n = h.2 (2.xx + f )2 dx = 0. Eu. Recall that the governing equation is given by: ∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω.xx + f ) Eu.13). (2.17) 23 . (2. The complication arises from the three-dimensional setting. In the weak form (2.16) proving that the Neumann boundary conditions are satisﬁed. Returning to equation (2. where φ is greater than zero over the interval ]0. The basic form of the equations is the same as the one-dimensional bar in the previous section. at least in a generalised sense). Consider now the continuous body in Figure 2. What remains to be shown is that the weak form is equivalent to the strong form (that a solution of the weak form is also a solution of the strong form.x n| x= L = L 0 w f dx + wh| x= L .xx + f ) f dx.xx dx = L 0 φ ( Eu. satisfying the strong governing equation (in a distributional sense). L[ and zero outside (speciﬁcally at x = 0 and x = L). Inserting the weight function into equation (2.xx dx + wEu.13). The strong governing equation for this problem was developed in the previous chapter.2 Continuum elasticity two with respect to x appear.14) which can be rearranged to give L 0 φ ( Eu.12) yields − L 0 wEu. Following Hughes (1987). it follows that a solution of the strong form is also a solution of the weak form. − L 0 φ ( Eu. (2. Assuming that E is constant and integrating by parts the ﬁrst term in (2. as by construction. it is now proven that the ﬁrst term is equal to zero. 2.15) Since φ > 0 and ( Eu.

the weight function w is a vector.2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh .19) On the remaining boundary. the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions). σ = C : ǫ. and integrated over the body. t=h on Γh . On part of the boundary.22) 24 Version 0. (2.21) The ﬁrst term in equation (2. and integrating over the body Ω yields: Ω w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface). Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed. In Figure 2. As in the one-dimensional case. For a linearelastic material. (2. Note that in this case. Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem.17) by w ∈ V .2 January 21. 2011 . First. Γh . (2.21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1. a constitutive relationship is required.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations h Γh Ω Γg n Figure 2. Multiplying equation (2. the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg .2. where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ).18) where C is a fourth-order tensor. yielding: − Ω ∇w : σ dΩ + Ω w · b dΩ + Γh w · h dΓ = 0. the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V . u=g on Γg .60)).20) The boundary-value problem is now complete. To derive the weak form. (2. (2.

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

(2. and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary. 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.28) where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions.27) which prescribes the potential on the boundary.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. The Neumann boundary condition requires that: −q · n = h on Γh (2. such as equilibrium of an elastic body. For Darcy ﬂow. − Ω w (∇ · q) dΩ + Ω w f dΩ = 0 ∀w ∈ V . suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem.2 January 21.2). (2. (2. 2. it is the hydraulic head. there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form. For an elastic body Ω.32) The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld.31) which is the weak form of the Poisson equation.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations As for all previous examples. w = u + v. and consider the potential energy functional I.25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω. In the case of heat conduction. Multiplying equation (2. I (u) = 1 2 Ω ∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω u · b dΩ − ∂Ω u · h dΩ. this is the temperature on the boundary Γg . The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (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 . this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh .4 Minimisation of potential energy For particular equations. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples. (2. For heat conduction. 2011 .33) 26 Version 0.

2 27 . it is clear that it is simple to take the ﬁrst derivative of the function f . which is equal to I (u) ≤ I (u + v) x = I (u) + + 1 2 Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s u dΩ − Ω v · b dΩ − ∂Ω v · h dΩ (2. If a function is C n . Examining now the weak form for the rod (equation (2. 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. In ﬁnite element analysis. the weak form allows for more possible solutions. January 21.34) Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ. Continuity refers to whether or not the derivatives of a function are continuous. this is a commonly used function in ﬁnite element analysis. piecewise linear function. it is clear that it involves only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x of u and w.5 Regularity requirements A common topic in ﬁnite element analysis is continuity.12)). As will be seen in the following chapters. A C0 function is shown in Figure 2. In summary. and is essential for the ﬁnite element method.3)).3. its second derivative does not exist. functions which are C0 are most commonly used.3 is a continuous. in a classical sense.3. 2.3: Example of a C0 function f .23). since for equation (2. 2011 Version 0.x x Figure 2.3) to make sense. Therefore a function like f is a possible solution of the weak form and a possible weight function. It is not a possible solution. and the last term Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ ≥ 0. but their ﬁrst derivatives are not. this means that its nth derivative is continuous.2. This is a classic mathematical property of weak forms. The function shown in Figure 2. Functions are often classiﬁed as being C n continuous. the second derivative of f with respect to x ( f . From Figure 2. However. Consider now if the function f is a possible solution u of the strong equation for a bar (equation (2.xx ) must exist. This means that the functions are continuous. which proves that solution of the weak form corresponds to minimisation of the potential energy.5 Regularity requirements f f .

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

4. ui | Γg = gi } and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V . where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 0). wi | Γg = 0}. Show whether the following functions belong to H 1 on the given domain: a) b) c) d) u = 1/r on 1 < r < 2 u = 1/r on 0 < r < 2 √ u = 1/ r on 0 < r < 2 u = ax for x < 0 and u = bx for x > 0 on −1 < x < 1 (a and b are arbitrary constants. 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. (Hint: use index notation.2 29 . Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r.39) V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) . (2.7 Exercises 1. u ∈ S where S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) . Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2.40) Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method. a = b) 5. 3.) 2. (2. For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices). The Helmholtz equation is given by: ∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0 and is often used in wave propagation problems. is u a possible trial solution? January 21.23) for elasticity using index notation. 2011 Version 0. Derive the weak form.2. prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. 2.

.

x dx ∀w h ∈ V h (3. For example. uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L . uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . 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. The Galerkin method is however more general. the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh .5) 31 . In a multidimensional context.23).3 The Galerkin method The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. uh = L wh where B wh . where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that − L 0 h h w. 3. The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2. respectively. as developed in the previous chapter.3) This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact. Commonly. being able to solve a greater range of problems. The essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation.x Eu. It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations. Furthermore. consider the approximate solution to some problem. uh ∈ S h . Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2. 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 (3.4) L 0 h h w.1 Approximate solution First. (3.x Eu.x dx + w h h| x= L = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . it is generic for a range of different problems.1) where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space. (3. and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions.2) (3. This means that there is a limited number of possibilities.

The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3.9) For generality.2 January 21. e = B wh . this will be investigated using the abstract notation. u − B wh . why it doesn’t work). (3.9) into equation (3. the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3.8) where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. The error analysis will tell how the computed solution uh differs from the actual solution u and why the Galerkin method works (or for problems not considered here.1). e − L wh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3. Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h .3 The Galerkin method where ǫ h = ∇s uh . which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis. u − B wh . u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h .7) The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally. This method is used for special applications. uh = and L wh = Ω Ω ∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ wh · h dΓ.2). B w h . taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. uh = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h (3. A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u. Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented. this implies that: B wh . This is examined in the following section. In the abstract notation of equation 3. piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’.10) Since u is the exact solution. 2011 . B wh .2. uh and w h will be simple continuous.2 Basic error analysis It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution. the Bubnov-Galerkin method) requires that the weight and trial functions come from the same ﬁnite-dimensional space. For the one-dimensional problem. the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. In Petrov-Galerkin method.6) wh · b dΩ + Γh (3. In the ﬁnite element method. 3. B wh . Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis. often in ﬂuid mechanics. Inserting equation (3.11) 32 Version 0.

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

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

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

(3.12)

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

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.13)

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

2 E

= 1 B (v, v) 2

(3.14)

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

E

≤ u − wh

E

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.15)

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

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

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

January 21, 2011

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33

**3 The Galerkin method
**

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

h →0

lim uh = u

(3.16)

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

3.4 Exercises

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

34

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**4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
**

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

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

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

f

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

L Figure 4.1: One-dimensional bar.

35

the strain ﬁeld can be computed easily by taking the derivative of the shape functions.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method nodes.x wi i =1 n E ∑ Nj.x wi i =1 n h dΓ (4.5) and inserting the expression for the expressions for the approximate displacement ﬁeld and the weight function.6) for all possible values of wi . ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni. x i − x i +1 − x i − x i +1 0 otherwise. From this expression.2) where ui is the value of the ﬁeld uh at node i.x u j j =1 n dΩ = Ω ∑ Ni wi i =1 n f dΩ + Γh ∑ Ni. For a one-dimensional bar. dx i i =1 ∑ n (4.4) Recalling the weak form for a one-dimensional elastic rod. (4. it can be taken outside of the integrals. (4. In ﬁnite element analysis. discretised with n nodal points. hence wh = ∑ Ni wi .x Eu. 2011 . Hence. the approximate displacement ﬁeld uh is given by uh = ∑ Ni ( x) ui . i =1 n (4. Ω h h w.x dΩ = Ω w h f dΩ + Γh w h h dΓ ∀ wh ∈ V h . i =1 n (4.x E ∑ Nj. an expression is needed for the weight function w h .x = dNi u. Ω ∑ Ni.3) To develop the Galerkin problem.1) where xi is the coordinate of node i. Given that wi is not a function of spatial position. h ǫh = u. these basis functions are known as ‘shape functions’. the approximate displacement ﬁeld is given in terms of the shape functions and the approximate displacement at a ﬁnite number of points (nodes). is given by x x i −1 − x i −1 < x ≤ x i .2 January 21.7) 36 Version 0. x i − x i −1 x i − x i −1 x i +1 x Ni = x i < x < x i +1 . (4. It is expressed using the same basis functions as the displacement ﬁeld.x u j j =1 n dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. The basis function at node 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.x E Nj. Elements may not overlap. which can be expressed as the system of equations. and n unknowns in the form of ui ). If a boundary condition is applied at node k.x dΩ = ∑ wi i =1 n Ω Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi i =1 n Γh Ni h dΓ. while elements are lines (1D). for each i ∑ uj j =1 n Ω Ni. It is useful to deﬁne shape functions on ﬁnite elements.x E Nj. A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal points and elements. A discussion of more general boundary conditions is delayed until the end of the chapter. this is relatively simple.2 37 .x dΩ (4. Solving this linear system of equations provides u j . Matrices and vectors can be built for each element before being assembled into global matrices and vectors. ∑ wi ∑ u j i =1 j =1 n n Ω Ni. A simple ﬁnite element January 21. and f = f i as the right-hand side (RHS) vector. and hence an expression for the approximate displacement ﬁeld along the rod. then the row and the column k is removed from the stiffness matrix.10) Ni. and the kth term is deleted from the vector f . u j can also be taken outside of the integrals. (4. A mesh divides a body into a number of elements. Kij u j = f i .2 General ﬁnite element basis functions Likewise.4. In order the solve the linear system. Consider the case that all but one wi is equal to zero. For the zero Dirichlet conditions. Dirichlet boundary conditions must be enforced.11) Nj f dΩ + Γh Nj h dΓ (4. The problem has been divided into many quadrilateral elements. surfaces (2D) or volumes (3D) which are constructed by joining nodal points. where Kij = and fi = Ω Ω (4. 4. 2011 Version 0.x dΩ = Ω Ni f dΩ + Γh Ni h dΓ (4.9) must hold. A typical ﬁnite element mesh is shown in Figure 4.8) This equation must hold for all possible combinations of wi . Therefore. This yields n equations (one for each wi .x E Nj.12) The matrix K = Kij is commonly known as the stiffness matrix. Nodes are points in space.2.

2 January 21. 2011 .2: Typical two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh. 6 4 3 4 3 1 2 1 2 5 9 Figure 4. 7 8 5 7 8 6 38 Version 0.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method Figure 4.3: Simple two-dimensional ﬁnite element mesh.

the shape function associated with that node. known as ﬁnite elements. Both nodes and elements are numbered.2 39 . and zero at all other nodes. 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 . Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections. linear one dimensional elements. 4. Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4. Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements.13) January 21. The bar has two nodes.4.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin. As in the one-dimensional case. each multiplied by a nodal value. the amplitude). is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes.2. (4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 2 L x=0 Figure 4. For a node i. 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.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions. In the ﬁnite element method.1.4. Ni .3. as introduced in Section 4. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node. Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’. mesh is shown in Figure 4. Having a compact support. 2011 Version 0. A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached. In Figure 4. the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements. denoted by the solid circles. are examined. the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. Each element has three nodes.3. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node.

ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 . Taking the derivative of equation (4. to solve a problem. The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems.22) (4.18) The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae .20) N2 . 40 Version 0. in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae . as its shape functions are linear polynomials. L L (4. 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. a2 (4. (4.15) x .17) In the case of a linear displacement interpolation. Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries.2 January 21. dx (4. L (4. In matrix-vector notation. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 .19) (4. Now. L This type of element is known as a linear element.16) with respect to x.5. The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence. the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae . It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node).16) x + 1. The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position. 2011 . the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required. where N = N1 and ae = a1 . where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 .14) (4. dx dx 1 dx L L (4. the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element. Therefore.

23) Therefore.4.. 2011 Version 0.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 1 1 1 L1 L2 Figure 4. . In two dimensions. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant. Nnn 0 0 .24) and the B matrix has a similar form. and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae .2. obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear. linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic. For a one-dimensional quadratic element. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 . 4.27) January 21.5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements.2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions. (4. Nnn (4. each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions. Figure 4.2 41 . the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . Higher-order elements simply have more nodes..6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations. More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required.. The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae . i =1 3 (4. the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh = ∑ Ni (x) ai .25) The matrix N contains the element shape functions.. (4.26) (4.

∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle.2 January 21. It is shown in Figure 4.. (4.7. 0 (4. a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y . ann x ann y 42 Version 0. . For a two-dimensional problem.28) B= 0 .. 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 .6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements..29) ae = . 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. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 ...4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 1 1 1 1 2 3 quadratic shape functions 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 cubic shape functions Figure 4. 2011 . . ∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn .. where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element. For two-dimensional problems.

Given the following coordinates of each of where ( xi . 2011 Version 0.7. y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0. N1 ( x2 .8. the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations. (4. It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant. y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1.2 43 . hence the strain in the element is constant. N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 . Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions ( x3 .33) Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1.7: Three-node triangular element. y2 ) Figure 4. yi ) is the location of the ith node.31) (4. Example 4.30) The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4. (4.32) (4. (4.4.1 Consider the element in Figure 4. y3 ) 3 1 2 ( x1 . y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0. y1 ) ( x2 . Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 .8: Shape function for a three-node element. Figure 4. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 .34) c3 x3 y3 1 0 January 21. Consider node 1 in Figure 4. N1 ( x3 .7.

due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions. ﬁnd the shape function for node 2.y N3. 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0.25y + 0.35) It is also know as a bilinear element. 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. Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems.x 0 N2. Unlike the three-node triangle.x N3.x N2. 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. 2) ( x2 .x 0 N1.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method the nodes. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations. y1 ) = (1.10.y A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral.y 0 N2. a system of equations (see equation (4.9.x 0 N3. A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4.y N2. ( x1 . the N and B matrices can be formed. A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4. 3) To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients.y N1. 1) ( x3 . y2 ) = (4.34)) is formed. 2011 .25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node. Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated. the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2.2 January 21. y3 ) = (2. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 .36) 44 Version 0. the strain in this element is not constant.x and the B matrix is of the form: N1.25x − 0.y B= 0 N1. (4.

the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations.11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element. They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange. 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 4.15. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions 4 3 1 2 Figure 4. As with the three-node triangle.13.2 45 . Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4.37) January 21.4. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed. Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order.9: Four-node quadrilateral element. Each time the order of a triangle is increased. a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions. Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1. Figure 4. Linear. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4.14.12). = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1 (4. Note that serendipity 1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 . 2011 Version 0.

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

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 .and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis. (4. . and are therefore not recommended....39) January 21.4.. (4.16. Eight. 2011 Version 0.14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements. y y2 y3 y4 .2 47 . Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.. 1 x x2 x3 x4 . 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 . The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation.15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements... x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 ..2 General ﬁnite element basis functions (a) (b) Figure 4. Figure 4. The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4. elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms.

The computational effort required for three-dimensional analysis can become high. wedge type elements are often used for generating meshes for complex geometries. 4. Commonly used shapes are tetrahedra and bricks. Higher-order version of both tetrahedral and brick elements also exist. y y2 y3 . Not only do the elements tend to have more nodes. . (4..16: Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements.40) Similar to the three-node triangle.2 January 21. They can be formed in the same fashion as one.. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xyz + c2 xy + c3 xz + c4 yz + c5 x + c6 y + c7 z + c8 . The numbers of nodes per element increases rapidly.. they often have more degrees of freedom per node. 48 Version 0.17: Tetrahedral and brick three-dimensional ﬁnite elements. These two elements are shown in Figure 4. The simplest brick element has eight nodes..17. 2011 . .. (4. the derivatives of the shape functions are constant within an element.and two-dimensional elements. xy xy2 xy3 .. Figure 4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 1 x x2 x3 . Figure 4. 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..2. Also.41) This is known as a ‘trilinear element’......3 Three-dimensional elements Three-dimensional elements are increasingly used in engineering analysis. They are of the form: N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 z + c4 .

e N T h dΓ. 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). wh = Nbe .42) (4. (4.18).3 Governing equations x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L Figure 4. What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals.4. the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3.43) ∇ w = Bbe . l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = Γh. Now. The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh .e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary Γh . for the multi-dimensional case within an element. 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. Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4. Therefore.2 49 . (4.44) where the integral over Γh.18: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 .1)) is considered.e N T h dΓ.46) January 21. (4. and can therefore be eliminated. it is known how the displacement and the displacement gradient at a point in space can be expressed in terms of the nodal variables (degrees of freedom). which after some rearranging (using ( Ac) T = c T A T ) leads to: be T l2 l1 B T EB dΩ ae = be T Γh.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ.3 Governing equations At this point. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as: l2 l1 ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh. (4.45) The be terms appear on both sides of the equality. 1989) 4. 2011 Version 0.

For a continuum elasticity problem. 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). local node i has global node number I. and similarly for J. the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3.51) where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. as is discussed in the following section. y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian 50 Version 0. the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ. irrespective of the exact shape of the element. This approach has a number of advantages. the term k ij relates local nodes i and j. Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke .47) is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix.48) (recall that b denotes the body force). It also allows the simple application of numerical integration. A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges. The component k ij is added to the location K I J . An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions. Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The term ke = l2 l1 B T EB dΩ (4. e= f = Ane 1 f e . 4.5). it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element.49) Ωe Γh. 2011 . isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software.2 January 21.4 Isoparametric mapping In practice. In the global mesh. the point ( x.e Ωe Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. From the point of view of implementation. For an element stiffness matrix. (4. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K.50) (4. e= (4.e ( Nbe ) T h dΓ + Ωe ( Nbe ) T b dΩ (4. For a two dimensional problem. This yields: Ωe ( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ = Γh. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.

η ) aix . i =1 nn i =1 (4. i =1 (4.−1) x 1 ξ Figure 4.2 51 . The map ξ is the inverse of x. such as the bi-unit square. derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required. η ) in the bi-unit square. η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’.53) The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ. y) system. The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by: nn uh = ∑ Ni (ξ. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates. η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x. where (ξ.4 Isoparametric mapping x 3 (−1. The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ.−1) y 2 (1. ξ and η. conﬁguration is given by: nn x= y= ∑ Ni (ξ. shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes. η ) xi .4.19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square. consider the application of the product rule for differentia- January 21. η ) yi .52) ∑ Ni (ξ. In the governing weak equations. taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x.1) 2 4 4 3 η ξ 1 (−1.19. Using an isoparametric mapping. 2011 Version 0. To proceed.1) (1. and nn is number of nodes of the element.

(4.52)).2 January 21. ∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . (4.ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52 Version 0. (4.54) (4. ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y J (4.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η J where j = det J. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y. 2011 . ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj.58) In light of the isoparametric mapping (equation (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method tion for a function f . deﬁned in terms of ξ and η. nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x. the terms in the matrix J can be computed. Using the shape function. ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj. ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = . ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian. ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + .57) the derivatives of the shape function of node i with respect to x and y can be computed.η y j = . ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = . from equation (4.60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj.59) Once terms of the matrix J have been formed. ∂η ∂η i i =1 (4.55) (4.η x j ∑nn1 Nj.56) where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix.

and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element. The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r. Consider the triangle in Figure 4. 1996.4 Isoparametric mapping s (0. The latter approach is followed here. s and t. η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) .20. 4 (4. where: t = 1 − r − s.0) r 1 (0. A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates. a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. Now. Hughes.61) Similar formulae can be found for eight. Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements. While this procedure may seen complex.0) 4 2 (1. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion. (4. 2011 Version 0. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4. 1987). once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain.62) January 21.20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates. This way.2 53 .1) 3 3 6 5 2 1 (0.4. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ.19. Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple.0) r Figure 4.and nine-node elements (Hughes. they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration. 1987).0) (1.1) s (0.

N3 = s. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4.66) N3 = 2s2 − s.20 are then: N1 = t. numerical integration is applied.67) i =1 where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain.2 January 21. Before proceeding to the element matrices.68) 54 Version 0.5 Numerical integration At this stage. (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 . To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation). It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements). 1987. s and t on triangles (Hughes. 166). (4. 1 nint −1 f (ξ ) dξ ≃ ∑ f ( ξ i ) wi .20. N2 = 2r − r.3). it convenient to integrate in the (ξ. N2 = r.64) (4. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered. 4.63) (4. There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r. the problem is not yet fully discrete. then the mid-side nodes. N6 = 4st. While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4. (4. 2011 . For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1.21. To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element. 2 N4 = 4rt. For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t. N5 = 4rs. Numerical integration is illustrated in Figure 4. Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration. To do this. (4. p.65) Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4. η ) domain. consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ = 1 1 Ωe −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη. Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point.

The sampling points and weights are listed in Table 4. Full integration means that the stiffness matrix is integrated exactly (assuming j = constant). ηi )T DB (ξ i . For multi-dimensional problems. which when squared give a January 21. it requires the least number of points. (n + 1) integration points are required when using a Newton-Cotes scheme to integrate an nth-order polynomial.5 Numerical integration f −1 ξ1 ξ2 ξ3 ξ4 1 ξ Figure 4. The question that arises in ﬁnite element analysis is: How many integration points should be used? Generally.2 55 . ηi ) j (ξ i . However. evaluated at the point (ξ i . For a (2n − 1)th-order polynomial. ηi ) i n wi . Therefore. the last remaining issue is the selection of an appropriate integration scheme. Application of numerical integration leads to: 1 1 −1 −1 B T DBj dξ dη ≃ ∑ B (ξ i . 2011 Version 0.69) Note that B (ξ i . ηi ) is the usual B matrix. Gauss integration is used. if the shape functions are linear. (4. B contains linear terms. Therefore.1. To perform the numerical integration of the element stiffness matrix.4. the one-dimensional scheme can be extended in each spatial direction. It is also known as ‘Gauss quadrature’. The integrand of the stiffness matrix is B T DB. in multiple dimensions Gauss integration is not necessarily the most efﬁcient scheme. Gauss integration requires n points to integrate the polynomial exactly. A Newton-Cotes scheme uses equally spaced integration points. the terms in B are constant and the stiffness matrix is also constant throughout the element. two and three dimensions). containing derivatives of the shape functions with respect to x and y. If the shape functions are quadratic. The location and weights for Gauss integration in one dimension for up to three points are given in Table 4. j. where B contains derivatives of the shape functions. full integration schemes are recommended for their robustness. Three points integrate as 5th order polynomial exactly in one dimension.21: Numerical integration of the function f . This is simple when using isoparametric elements. Gauss quadrature is the optimal numerical integration scheme for polynomials in one dimension. Most commonly in ﬁnite element analysis. Importantly. ηi ). Note the appearance of the determinant of the Jacobian. This is due to dx dy = j dξ dη (the substitution rule for integration has been applied). Optimal means that to integrate a polynomial exactly. one integration point is sufﬁcient (in one.2.

2011 .4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 1 weight wi 2 1 1 1 3 4 3 1 3 1 4 3 4 3 4 1 4 3 −1 0 1 4 −1 − 1 3 1 3 1 Table 4. 1].2 January 21.2: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1. 1].1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1. 56 Version 0. n 1 2 location ξ i 0 1 −√ 3 1 √ 3 3 − 5 0 3 5 weight wi 2 1 1 5 9 8 9 5 9 3 Table 4.

It is often argued that a zero energy mode will be restrained by neighbouring elements. If a two-dimensional element has more than three zero eigenvalues. The four-node quadrilateral element requires 2 × 2 points for full integration. Figure 4. In summary. quadratic variation. although it is often integrated with just one point. there should only be one zero eigenvalue which corresponds to translation. two points are required in each direction. two relating the translation (x and y directions) and one for rigid body rotation. although a 2 × 2 scheme is often used. This deformation mode can develop in an uncontrolled fashion. the trial functions (uh ) must satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. In one dimension. although it is safer to use full integration. 4. The number of zero eigenvalues indicates the number of rigid body modes . In two dimensions. Reduced integration schemes can improve the performance of some elements for special applications. For some applications it may be advantageous to use reduced integration schemes in combination with particular elements.2 57 .3. They appear naturally in the weak formulation (hence the common name ‘natural boundary conditions’). January 21. the eight-node quadrilateral requires 3 × 3 points for full integration. In the Galerkin method.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions The imposition of Neumann (force) boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method is straightforward.4. This means that a deformation mode exists which does not contribute to the energy. there should be only three zero eigenvalues. Non-zero Dirichlet boundary conditions are more complicated to enforce. there is likely a deﬁciency in the formulation. In solid and structural mechanics.modes which do not contribute to the energy.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions Figure 4.22: Spurious zero energy mode for the eight-node quadrilateral element when using 2 × 2 integration. Similarly. recommended integration schemes for commonly used one. 2011 Version 0. To integrate a quadratic function in two dimensions. The danger of underintegrating elements is that spurious modes may arise.22 shows the classic ‘hour-glass’ spurious mode for an eight-node quadrilateral when using reduced 2 × 2 integration.and twodimensional elements are shown in Table 4. A test for the element stiffness matrix is to calculate its eigenvalues.

2 January 21. 58 Version 0. 2011 .3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method element two-node bar three-node bar integration scheme 1 2 three-node triangle (T3) 1 six-node triangle (T6) or 3 four-node quadrilateral (Q4) 2×2 eight-node quadrilateral(Q8) 3×3 Table 4.

the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector. f ie. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector. Two common approached are outlined below. Since g is known. 2011 Version 0.mod = f ie − nn (4.73) where av is the only unknown.74) j =1 ∑ ke ge . ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv . vv vg In terms of indexes.6. ke av = f e − ke g.72) Since g is known.1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh . vv vg (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.70) where uh is the displacement.71) where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. (4. January 21. ij j (4. and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions. it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved. It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v . 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.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions this means that the uh must satisfy the prescribed displacements where they are speciﬁed.2 59 .4. In discretised form at element level. Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. (4.75) Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed. 4. vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed. 0 (4. ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g = fv fg .

4. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2. which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. The advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. However. 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. 2011 . 2004). The three-node triangle element is often referred to as the ‘constant strain triangle’ (CST).2 January 21.7 Exercises 1. Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3. For a plane elasticity problem. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f . Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5. compare the matrix K for the ﬁnite element method with linear elements and for the secondorder central ﬁnite difference method. 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. and that the value of the Dirichlet boundary condition is returned in the solution vector which simpliﬁes postprocessing. 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. 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. 60 Version 0.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method 4. 4. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart). except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. Show why this is. symmetry is lost. The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k.6. 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.

7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 4.4.7 Exercises 6.2. Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4.1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0. Form the stiffness matrix for a four-node quadrilateral on a bi-unit square. 2011 Version 0. 8. Calculate and plot the shape functions for the eight-node quadrilateral element on a bi-unit square. Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration. 7. January 21. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance.2 61 .

.

Note: Code examples in the chapter does not reﬂect the structure of the current version of the Matlab code used in CT5123.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method This chapter addresses practical aspects of implementing the ﬁnite element method. In large ﬁnite element software packages. The generated mesh ﬁles serve as input for a ﬁnite element program. This step involves generating a ﬁnite element mesh. 5. The notation used in this chapter follows as closely as possible the notation used in the accompanying Matlab code. A typical input ﬁle containing F= 5.1 shows a simple ﬁnite element mesh of four-noded quadrilaterals. a mesh is too complicated to produce by hand. this can be done by hand. Both nodes and elements have been numbered. It is illustrated with schematic extracts of computer code. For simple problems with only a few elements. Mesh generation programs exist which produce meshes suitable for ﬁnite element analysis. This chapter describes how the ﬁnite element method can be implemented in a computer code. Also shown are the applied boundary conditions (both prescribed displacements and the applied force). Figure 5.3 3 4 3 2 5 4 9 8 2 1 6 7 1 Figure 5.1 Preprocessing The ﬁrst step in ﬁnite element analysis is known as preprocessing. 63 . A ﬁnite element mesh consists of nodal coordinates and a connectivity.1: Finite element mesh with elements and nodes numbered. One of the strengths of the ﬁnite element method is the efﬁciency with which it can be implemented in a computer code. often a mesh generator is included. the underlying theory has been addressed and the discretised formulation for individual elements discussed. For problems typically analysed using the ﬁnite element method. To this point.

the is Young’s modulus. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account.3.2 Program ﬂow Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared. The third column gives the degree-of-freedom to which the boundary condition is applied (dof=1 represents the x-direction and dof=2 represents the y-direction). the node numbers are listed. The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition. The connectivity list for Figure 5. 5.1 2. the calculation phase can begin. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. % element 1 2 3 4 node1 2 3 9 5 node 2 1 2 4 6 node 3 6 5 5 7 node 4 5 4 8 8 Figure 5.6 0. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data.0 0.0 2. For each node.2.0 0.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions. The list in Figure 5.4 gives the applied boundary condition.1 is given in Figure 5.0 0. First. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material. For each element. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement.5 0. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness).5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0. The problem in Figure 5.2 January 21.1 y 0. The list can begin with any node of the element. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis.2: Nodal coordinates.1 2. the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5.0 1. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems 64 Version 0. the x and y coordinate is given.3: Element connectivity.0 0.8 2. 2011 . The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0.82 1.0 Figure 5. In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity.76 2.5 2.0 0.7 0.

5.3 Local-global

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

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

5.3 Local-global

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

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5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method

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

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

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

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5.3 Local-global

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

**Figure 5.6: Equation numbering.
**

2(4) 1(9)

4(8) 3 (5)

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

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:) = x(connect(i.8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i. 2011 .2 January 21.j).j).:) % copy nodal postions % copy displacements from global to local array for k=1:dof_per_node % loop over each degree of freedom jj = j*dof_per_node .j).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. 68 Version 0. % 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.dof_per_node + k if ID(connect(i.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method % setup local arrays for element i for j=1:nodes_per_element % loop over each node x_e(j.9: Formation of element stiffness matrix.

i)*g_e(i) end % return to main program Figure 5. 2011 Version 0.dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii. k) kk = j*dof_per_node .5. January 21.j).jj) = K(ii. m) ll = l*dof_per_node .10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions.l).3 Local-global % impose Dirichlet boundary conditions for i=1:nodes_per_element*dof_per_node f_e(:) = f_e(:) .k_e(:.2 69 . % 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.ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program Figure 5.11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays.dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.jj) + k_e(kk.

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

More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. stresses and reaction forces.2 71 . 2011 Version 0.5 Post-processing 5.1) Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied). the internal force vector should be zero where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int . For static problems. January 21. it gives the reaction force at each node. post-processing of the data is required. It is important to realise that the stress computed at a point is not always reliable.5. This means that the body is in equilibrium. The internal force vector for an element is given by: int fe = Ωe B T σ dΩ + Ωe N T b dΩ (5.5 Post-processing After a calculation has been completed.

.

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

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

6) where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4. The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by: h ǫh⋆ = u.19) for a linear element). Ωe ( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ = Γh ( Nbe ) T h dΓ. and eliminating be .7) and (6. h w.9) where the LHS of equation (6. A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure.10) Ωe This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q. (6. It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism. Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar.8) (recall that be is a variation).7) Similarly.6.9) is the stiffness matrix. and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global. the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom. Inserting the relationships in equations (6.12). where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar.5) The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae .x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae (6.1 Rod elements in space and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 .2 75 . the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed. Clearly.8) into the weak governing equation (2. e (6. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar. January 21. Q21 (6. (6. 2011 Version 0.x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆ (6. multidimensional coordinate system. the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ.

2011 . The outward normal is denoted n.x y x Figure 6.3. in-plane beams are considered. Figure 6. which is valid for relatively slender beams. 6. straight.2 January 21.3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 . The second is the Timoshenko beam. For a transverse displacement v. x2 ). The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed.2. is denoted Ω = ( x1 . there are no out-of plane forces or moments.x v. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6. 6.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation.4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2 Figure 6. x2 ). Consistent with previous sections. The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements.1 Kinematics of a beam Beam theory is based upon the assumption that planes which are normal to the beam’s axis remain plane. which takes into account shear deformations. the ‘domain’ of the beam. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam. For simplicity.2 Beams Two types of beams are considered in this section. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam 76 Version 0. v. and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 .

(6.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation. which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1. where n is the outward unit normal vector. It is clear from Figure 6.2 Beams γ v.x y x Figure 6.5.13) Figure 6. In the second method.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam. it is clear January 21. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam.6. as illustrated in Figure 6. which will be followed here. 6. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m= h/2 (6. 2011 Version 0.2 77 .6. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated. equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly.12) and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q= h/2 − h/2 σxy dy.2. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6.2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways. (6.x − γ. Note that M = m n and Q = q n.11) − h/2 σxx y dy. the ﬁbre will not rotate.6 that θ = v.

2011 .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γ θ v.7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.2 January 21. +Q n y n +M x Figure 6. 78 Version 0.x y x Figure 6.

are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories.21d) These equations. Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅. translational equilibrium requires that q.21a) (6. it is clear that Ω Ω q.2 79 .3). on ΓQ .x dΩ + f y dΩ = 0. therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m.18) Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0. (6.x + f y = 0. The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ.14) Noting that q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 . (6.16) dΩ dΩ Ω This expression can be rearranged such that m.21c) (6. Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ.20a) (6. 2011 Version 0. on ΓM . distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6. (6. on Γθ .2 Beams that: q n dΓ + dΩ dΩ Ω f y dΩ = 0. and boundary conditions. For rotational equilibrium.17) (6. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv .x − q = 0.19) (6.21b) (6.20b) Denoting applied end forces Fy .6. Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅ + f y ) x dΩ = (6. (6. Ω (q.x Ω Ω Ω Ω (6. January 21.x dΩ − q dΩ − q.15) Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam.x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0. it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0.

and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6.21c) and (6.27) 80 Version 0.25) by a weight function v. Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6.26) which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam.24) where I is the moment of inertia of the beam.23) The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6. Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2. − EI d4 v + f y = 0.3 Bernoulli-Euler beam A fundamental assumption in the Bernoulli-Euler theory is that a plane which is initially normal to the longitudinal axis remains a plane and normal to the longitudinal axis. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v. 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. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6.25) Assuming EI to be constant. dx4 (6. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero.19) with respect to x.2. the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed. Multiplying equation (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved.22) which also implies that κ= (6. The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions. and then inserting equation (6.21d)). 2011 .16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0. dx2 (6. dx2 d2 v .21b)). from an appropriately deﬁned space. Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6.2 January 21. With appropriate boundary conditions.xx dΩ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0. Being a fourth-order equation. two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam. (6. θ= dv .21a) and (6. dx2 (6. dx d2 v .24).

. has second-order derivatives in its weak form.24). continuity) than for classical continuum problems.xx (6. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . v = 0 on Γv . v.x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.34) which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam.33) δv. 2011 Version 0.x dΩ + Γ ¯ vm. (6. this time to the term Ω ¯ v.31) In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous. January 21. Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω). the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.2 81 . ¯ Ω v. it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’. the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by: S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .21d).x n dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vFy dΓ + Ω ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀v ∈ V . For the weak form to ‘make sense’.x mn dΓ + Γ ¯ vm. after integrating by parts twice. This is in contrast to second-order problems.x = 0 on Γθ .x T dΓ + ΓQ δvFy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6.xx dΩ = − ΓM δv.30) gives: Ω (6. 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.x dΩ.xx EIv. (6.32a) (6.1.x m.x . and v. (6. Note that a fourth-order problem.30) where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.2 Beams Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields: − Ω ¯ v.xx EIv.21c) and (6. (6. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6. v = gv on Γv .xx dΩ − ΓM ¯ v. v.x = gθ on Γθ .29) Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6. For completeness. which require C0 continuity only.6.x m.xx m dΩ − Γ ¯ v. The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv .x = 0 on Γθ . Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6. it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that − Ω ¯ v. which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist. which contains functions satisfying: Ω v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞.28) Applying integrating by parts again.32b) For the case of an elastic continuum.

Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions. Planes must remain plane. 82 Version 0.19) and (6.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx − EI GAs =0 in Ω. 2011 .11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ.38) and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns. This means that shear deformations can be taken into account. dx (6. GAS (6.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ.35) where γ is the rotation due to shear.19) and (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis 6.36) where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam. (6. has been introduced.2 January 21. and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. dx (6. q = GAs γ = GAs (6.40) + fy = 0 which are two coupled second-order equations. the shear strain γ. and the second for the displacement v. but not necessarily normal. Recall from equation (6. an additional unknown.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6. the problem is complete. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent.2.37) dv −θ .39) (6. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q . in Ω. 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. Relative to the Bernoulli-Euler theory.

x − θ. adding the weak forms in equations (6. Ω (6. and then inserting the Neumann boundary conditions yields the weak problem for a Timoshenko beam of: ﬁnd v ∈ Sv and θ ∈ Sθ such that Ω ¯ θ.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation.48) January 21.x ) dΩ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.6. and v = 0 on Γv . (6.x − θ ) dΩ + ΓQ ΓM Ω ¯ θT dΓ = 0.5 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. − Ω δκ m dΩ + Ω δγ q dΩ = − ΓM δθ T dΓ + ΓQ δv Fy dΓ + Ω δv f y dΩ (6. As with all problems.45) (6.x n dΓ − Γ Ω ¯ θGAs (v.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vFy dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0 A more precise deﬁnition of the necessary functions spaces should be provided to ¯ complete the problem.43) (6.x EIθ. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v.39) and (6.2.x − θ ) n x dΓ + ¯ v f y dΩ = 0.2 Beams Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model.42) ¯ vGAs (v.x EIθ.x − θ ) dΩ = 0. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts.x T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ vh Fy dΓ + Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6.xx dΩ − Ω ¯ θGAs (v.40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v.xx dΩ = − ΓM ¯h v.46) − ¯ v.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.47) For many mechanical problems. − Ω Ω ¯ θEIθ. and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition.xx − θ.xx EIv.2 83 . Ω (6.x GAs (v.x − θ ) dΩ + ¯ vGAs (v. 2011 Version 0. ¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv .x dΩ − Ω Ω ¯ θGAs (v. ¯ θ. ¯ ¯ As before.44) − ¯ v. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition. and using γ = v. Applying integration by parts once. 6.x GAs (v.x dΩ − Ω Ω Γ ¯ θEIθ. The test and trial functions should be at least C0 continuous (in contrast to the C1 continuity for the Bernoulli-Euler theory).45) and (6.41) (6.

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

2 85 .56) and the RHS vector by: fe = ΓQ N T Fy dΓ − ΓM N T T dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ. they can be inserted into the Galerkin problem.xx N2.xx can be computed given ae .x and v.xx dΩ ae = − ΓM N.x T T dΓ + ΓQ N T Fy dΓ + Ω N T f y dΩ. Ω N.xx M1. (6.xx = N.57) The operation to form the RHS vector essentially translates the applied loads into equivalent nodal shear forces and moments. (6.55) The element stiffness matrix is given by: ke = Ω N.2 Beams The second derivative of v is given by: v1 θ1 v2 θ2 h v.xx ae = N1. January 21.xx (6.xx M2.xx ae dΩ = − ΓM ( N.xx T EI N. Ω ( N.x be ) T T dΓ + ΓQ ( Nbe ) T Fy dΓ Ω + ( Nbe ) T f y dΩ (6. 2011 Version 0.xx T EI N.54) After some rearranging.53) h h Now that vh . v.6. (6.xx be ) T EI N.xx dΩ.

59a) (6. M2.xx = h2 N1. the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly. Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x.58a) (6.60) Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86 Version 0.59c) (6.x = − . h h (6.xx = 2 + .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (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.x = (6.2 January 21.xx = − .xx = − 3 . 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) .58g) (6. (6. N1.59d) Inserting these terms into equation (6. x1 = − h/2).x = . h3 6x 1 M1. N1. M2.58b) (6. h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) .58e) (6.58c) (6. h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.xx = 2 − .xx = 12x . h 6x 1 M2.59b) (6. h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) .56). h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2.xx = . 2011 .58d) (6.58f) (6. h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2.xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1.50). h h 12x N2.x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) .58h) Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0.

2 87 . due to the second-order nature of the governing equations.66) January 21. Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6.62) h ¯h v.2 Beams to be constant). 2011 Version 0.64b) (6.x − θ h dΩ = Ω ¯ vh f y dΩ + ¯ vh Fy dΓ h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv .x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v.65) Ωe Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e Ωe Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e = Γe. T (6.x − θ h dΩ = − ΓQ ΓM ¯ θ h T dΓ h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ .M N θ T dΓ. e N v bv . − 6EI h2 4EI h (6.62) and (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 .64c) (6. A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ.63) leads to: Bθ EIBθ dΩ aθ + e T Ωe Ωe N θ GAs N θ dΩ aθ − e T Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ av e T =− Γe. (6. h h The Galerkin problem for the Timoshenko beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ Sv and θ h ∈ Sθ such that Ω Ω h ¯h θ. e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh = h h (6.x GAs v.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe N v T f y dΩ. (6.64a) (6. v h = N v av .63) Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ h .x EIθ. e θ θ N be .61) Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple. in terms of shape functions and nodal variable. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4.6.64d) N θ aθ . (6. and corresponding derivatives.

This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish.68) (6. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation.69) (6. N v T f y dΩ. However.Q N v T Fy dΓ + Ωe Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ). Ωe Ωe T T (6. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ. 2011 .2 January 21.70) (6. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 .67) where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ = Ωe Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ. and both short and slender beams could be analysed. Locking Conceptually. the result are plagued by shear locking.M N θ T dΓ. T Bv T GAs Bv dΩ. resulting in an overly stiff response. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality. (6.75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88 Version 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis The stiffness matrix of an element is of the form kθθ kvθ kθv kvv f aθ = θ fv av (6. kθθ = (6.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 . only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice. and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv = Γe.73) Γe. Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions.72) (6. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems. Ideally.71) kθv = − kvθ = − kvv = Ωe N θ GAs Bv dΩ. T T (6.

If the term Ωe N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration T January 21. v2 ≈ 4PL . and a shear load P is applied one end.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 − (6.80) which is independent of I. EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2 − GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L (6.79) If L is large. will yield a very stiff response.81) which is the correct result. this element will exhibit a very stiff response.77) If at one end the beam is clamped. v2 ≈ PL . As L → 0. θ1 = v1 = 0. GAs (6. the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6. GAs (6. 2011 Version 0.2 Beams and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L kvv e (6. Even with a very ﬁne mesh.78) Therefore.2 89 .76) Therefore.

for the one element problem clamped at one end. 90 Version 0.83) If L is very large. The case is similar for quadratic elements. the element stiffness matrix would have the form EI GAs L EI GAs L GAs GAs + − + − L 4 L 4 2 2 EI GAs L GAs L GAs EI GAs + + − − 4 L 4 2 2 L (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis (which is reduced for this term). v2 ≈ PL GAs (6. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2 (6.85) When using reduced integration.2 January 21.84) which qualitatively the desired response. this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6.82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now. where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking response. 2011 . and as L → 0.

summation is implied from one to two. respectively). u2 and u3 when using indexes. The plate has a thickness t. The adopted deﬁnitions simplify the formulation as it will avoid the need for a −1 factor on particular terms. or u1 .86b) where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6. A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. 6. A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories. Also. (1989).8: Coordinate system for a plate.2 91 . y and z directions. 1987. x2 and x3 . The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed.8. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities. More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor.86a) (6. y and z. In plate theory. For convenience. 2011 Version 0. The three coordinates are denoted x. v and w (displacements in the x. the convention differs from the right-hand rule. or x1 . 1991. y) .1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6. this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage. It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation.3 Plate Plates are effectively generalisations of beam elements to two spatial dimensions. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. Similarly. the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. Hughes. y) .3 Plate x3 p θ1 x2 t x1 θ2 Figure 6. Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements. the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented.9). 6.6.3. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. T When using Greek subscripts. are are typically loaded out of plane. (6. displacement may be denoted u. 1996). The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω. Bathe. The rotation of the January 21. and the boundary is Γ. u3 = u3 ( x.

92 Version 0.2 January 21. 2011 .α 1 w x3 xα Figure 6.9: Plate kinematics with shear deformation included.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis γα θ α w.

3 Plate mid-surface of the plate is given by w.89) 6.α 2 (6.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress).β (6.α . From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6.β + θ β.88b) A useful quantity is the curvature.2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates. it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric.3.87) Note that if γα = 0. which is a second-order tensor and at a point is given by: καβ = 1 θ + θ β.2 93 .α − θα .i )). The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations. and lies in the plane of Ω. It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n.j + u j. then θα = w.90) From symmetry of the stress tensor. γα = w. This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for January 21. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σα3 dz (6.α = θ(α. 2 α.91) The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6. the strain ﬁeld can be calculated at any point (recall ǫ = (1/2)(ui. 2011 Version 0.86).88a) (6.β) .α 2 −θα + w. ǫαβ = ǫα3 = −z θα.α . and the shear strain is given by γα . The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as: t/2 −t/2 σαβ z dz (6. (6.6.

92b) (6. 2011 .s = w.92c) (6. (6.92a) (6. ∂mnn .α sα mnn. (6.α nα w. quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα . mns = mαβ n β sα . (6.92g) (6.10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). mns.92d) (6.2 January 21.n = w.α + pz = 0.92f) (6.93) Applying the divergence theorem to the term involving qα leads to Ω qα.94) which must also hold for an inﬁnitesimally small piece of the plate.92e) (6.11.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis q2 m21 m22 m11 x3 m12 x2 θ1 q1 q2 m11 q1 m12 m22 m21 x1 θ2 Figure 6.95) 94 Version 0.s = ∂s qn = qα nα . ∂s ∂mns .α dΩ + Ω pz dΩ = 0. Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that: ∂Ω (6. w. θn = θα nα .s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6. therefore qα.92h) qα nα dΓ + Ω pz dΩ = 0.

2 95 .3 Plate q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1 m12 s mnn n x1 θ2 Figure 6. (6. 2011 Version 0.96) ∂Ω ∂Ω Ω which leads to: Ω mαβ. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). Since translation equilibrium requires that q β.β dΩ − Ω qα dΩ − Ω q β. rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ. To complete the problem.β = q β xα.β xα dΩ − Ω pz xα dΩ = 0. (6.3 Thin plates . (6. constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations.β + pz = 0. hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite January 21.3. is the equation for translational equilibrium. Ironically. and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory.Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam. Considering now rotational equilibrium.PSfrag 6.97) noting that q β xα . mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0.β − qα = 0.α xα .98) The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam.β + q β. 6.α xα = qα + q β. These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories.

103) ¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ). This can be done by differentiating equation (6.αβ + w. equation (6. ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y (6.105) This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’.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. Since shear deformations are zero.βα .2 January 21.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz .102) Cαβγδ = t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ .101) (6. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6.106) As a fourth-order equation.102) into equation (6.100) The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ . and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points 96 Version 0. 2 (6. where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6.αβ + pz = 0. the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w. mαβ.98) and inserting equation (6. Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero. Et3 (6.87) reduces to: θα = w.95). the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w. 2011 .6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis element method. It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 .α (6. The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’. 12 (6.104) Expanding this equation. The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations. ∇4 w = ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 . 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz . Inserting the constitutive relationship (6. After some rearranging. four different types of boundary conditions are possible.

The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ).3 Plate on the boundary. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral.αβ dΩ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.108) where Ω is the surface of the plate. Inserting the above relationship into equation (6.107a) (6.6. 2011 Version 0.n = 0 on Γθ .n mnn dΓ + Γ ¯ w (mns.β dΩ + Γ ¯ wmαβ. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory.β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6.107b) (6. yields Ω ¯ w.20).β nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.100). Weak form The weak form of the governing equation for a thin plate is derived using the same processes applied for second-order problems. The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function. then integrated by parts. and integrating over the surface of the plate.112) January 21.109) Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w.α mαβ n β dΓ = − Γ Γ ¯ w.110) (ignoring the point terms).s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns.111) =− The last term will be ignored. − Γ ¯ w.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6. (6. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions. Integrating the moment term by parts once.n mnn dΓ + Γ Γ ¯ w.n mnn dΓ − ¯ w.2 97 .105) by a weight function w.107d) The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions. Ω ¯ wmαβ. (6.αβ mαβ dΩ − Γ ¯ w. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition.s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6.110) which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending.α mαβ. Ω ¯ w.s + qn ) dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. and integrating over the plate surface Ω.α mαβ n β dΓ + Γ ¯ wmαβ. (6. it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6.107c) (6. − Ω ¯ w. for which w = 0 on Γw and w. (6. Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns.

w. (6. The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature. qα.4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation. For completeness.n = gθ on Γθ . the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows: S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that Ω ¯ w. The problem now involves two different unknowns.3.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions. which in turn involves second derivatives of w. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) .α ). ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw.α as a virtual rotation δθα . As such. w = 0 on Γw . the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement. However. (6.α + pz = 0.αβ as the virtual curvature. and w.115b) Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts. For this theory. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w. The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ. some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates. hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two.116a) (6.2 January 21. δκαβ .2. w = gw on Γw .114) Ω ΓM ΓQ Ω Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature. The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6.115a) (6.3. which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. w. It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam. The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model.n T dΓ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ V . 6.β − qα = 0. Unlike for thin plates.113) where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. (6. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates. 2011 .n = 0 on Γθ . w and θα . the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory. w.116b) 98 Version 0.αβ mαβ dΩ − ΓM ¯ w.

qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w. where Cαβ = ktµδαβ . is a vector.β − θ β dΩ = 0.β − Cαβ w.6.102)). ¯ equation (6.2 99 .119b) are addressed.3 Plate In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6. 2011 Version 0. This is due to θα and w being decoupled.123) January 21.120c) (6. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα . (6. θα . (6.120d) Given that one of the unknowns.120a) (6.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. (6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.αβ − θ β.118) (6. and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6.β − θ β . a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced. both equations (6.119a) (6.β) mαβ dΩ + Γ ¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w.121) Integrating the above equation by parts.119b) (6. on ΓM . The structure of the governing equations for Mindlin-Reissner plates theory offers a greater degree of ﬂexibility in applying boundary conditions than the Kirchhoff theory. mαβ.β dΩ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. on Γθ . The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw . This set of equations cannot be reduced further.119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα . Weak form To derive the weak form.β − θ β = 0 (6. Firstly. − Ω ¯ θ(α. This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form.120b) (6. Ω ¯ θα mαβ.119a) and (6.122) ¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields: − Ω ¯ θα.β − θ β dΩ = 0.α + pz = 0 It is these equations which will be solved. on ΓQ .117) Cαβ w. (6. three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary.

Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα .α Cαβ w.119b) by a ¯ weight function w. (6.αβ − θ( β.124) Ω Ω Integrating the above equation by parts yields: − Ω ¯ w.2 January 21. and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ .127b) Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one.β) and δγα = w.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis which is the weak form of equation (6.β mαβ dΩ + ΓM ¯ θα Tα dΓ − Ω ¯ θα Cαβ w. (6.127a) − Ω ¯ w.127b) by minus one).114). − Ω ¯ w. the highest order derivative appearing for both terms is one. However.127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method. 100 Version 0.α Cαβ w.α Cαβ w. 2011 . ¯ wCαβ w. The weak problem therefore involves: ﬁnd θα ∈ Sθ and w ∈ Sw such that: − Ω ¯ θα. (6. δκαβ = θ(α. C0 shape functions can be applied. It is equations (6.127a) and (6. Multiplying now equation (6.α − θα .119b).β − θ β dΩ = 0.α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.119a). yields: Ω −δκαβ mαβ dΩ + Ω δγα qα dΩ + ΓM δθα Tα dΓ − ΓQ Ω δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6. ¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ (6. the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ).β − θ β dΩ + Γ ¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w.125) ¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed).126) which is the weak form of equation (6.128) − which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0 ¯ ∀w ∈ Vw (6. Hence. Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6.β − θ β dΩ + ΓQ ¯ wQ dΓ + Ω ¯ wpz dΩ = 0.

(6. The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0 Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 ) b ν 0 (1 − ν ) 2 . The element is still useful as it passes the patch test.3 Plate 6.5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity.2 101 .132) (6.129) where m = (m11 . (6. ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements. none of which are of general applicability. some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results. In particular. The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 . 2κ12 ) T . constant strain implies constant curvature. In place of requiring C1 continuity. 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 . m = −Db κ (6.6. January 21. tkµ (6. The complications are rooted in the need for C1 continuity. it tests whether an element can represent rigid body modes and a state of constant strain. a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’. m22 . A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom.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. It does not however satisfy C1 continuity.130) For the shear forces qα . 2011 Version 0. q = D s γ.131) Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable. However. In the context of plates. 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. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 . symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation. There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements.3. κ22 .

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

h θ θ

(6.134) (6.135)

Taking derivatives,

h w,α = Bw aw

(6.136) (6.137)

κ =B a

h

θ θ

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

T T T

Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ aθ − e

Ωe

N θ CBw dΩaw + e

Ωe

N θ CN θ dΩaθ e

=−

ΓM

T Nθ T dΓ

(6.138a)

Ωe

Bw T CBw dΩaw − e

Ωe

Bw T CN θ dΩaθ e

=

ΓQ

N w T Q dΓ +

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

(6.138b)

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

(6.139)

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6.3 Plate

where kww = e

Ωe

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

T T

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

T

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

Ωe ΓQ

Ωe Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ + N w T Q dΓ +

T Nθ T dΓ T

Ωe

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

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

f eθ = −

ΓM

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

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**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

6.4 Shell elements

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

6.5 Exercises

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

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January 21, 2011

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

i (7. For example. Setting n = 1. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by |u|n = Ω ( D n u)2 dΩ 1/2 . (7. An important semi-norm is the energy norm. (7.11) January 21.8) The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method involve n = 0 and n = 1. Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h . setting n = 0 gives: 1/2 e 0 = Ω (e · e) dΩ . Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI m ≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 .6) which involves only a particular order derivative.9) where k is the polynomial order. c is an unknown constant. the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question. k + 1 > m. (7. Inserting now equation (7. rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory. it holds that u − uh E ≤ u − uI E.5) which now includes the gradient of e. Note that to ensure convergence. (7. In this way.10) This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy.7) where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form. uI = ∑ Ni aiI . u − uh 106 r ≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 . (7. Consider the nodal interpolate u I . 1/2 e 1 = Ω (e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ . thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain. Version 0.2 (7. (7.10) into the above expression. and h is a measure of the element size. It is deﬁned by: u 2 E = | u |2 = r Ω ( Dr u)2 dΩ. 2011 .4) which is a measure of the error in the displacements.

If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth. e 1 (7. r = 1.2 107 . there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order. January 21. For k ≥ 1.16) Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses). 2011 Version 0. independent of h. In elasticity. ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached. k = 1. 7. (7. (7. This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing.12) This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order. and O(h) in terms of strains. (7. hence it represents the error in the energy. It leads to the estimate: u − uh s ≤ Ch β |u|k+1 . 1/2 . (7. Of course as h becomes small. For linear elements. For an elasticity problem.14) In terms of the strain. The error in the displacements is given by e 0 . The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution. which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is. For practical purposes. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details). 2(k + 1 − r )).2 A posteriori error estimation Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated. u − uh 0 . Larger a implies faster convergence. this norm is dominated by the error in the strain.15) which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements.2 A posteriori error estimation where C is a constant. e e 0 1 ≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 . It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms. such as the error in the displacement. This is error analysis. the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e 0 ≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 . Therefore.13) where β = min (k + 1 − s. hence u − uh 1 ≤ Chk |u|k+1 . but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution. the greater a the smaller the error.1.7. The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’.

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

January 21.2 109 .7.4 Exercises helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element.7 times smaller? 3.4 Exercises 1.and h-adaptivity. 7. When using Q4 elements. 2011 Version 0. List some advantages and disadvantages of p. Give the order of convergence in terms of the strain for the following element: a) b) c) d) e) T3 Q4 T6 Q8 Q9 2. 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 . Iterative solvers approach the exact solution. the exact structure of the stiffness matrix is not constant. It is particularly effective for solving moderately sized problems where the bandwidth of K is limited (as is the case for a well constructed ﬁnite element mesh). Gauss elimination – number of operations O n3 In ﬁnite element code however. Storing only non-zero elements in the computer memory leads to enormous savings in memory. The motivation is that it is relatively simple to solve triangular matrices. The number of steps performed depends on the desired accuracy. Furthermore. the stiffness matrix is symmetric. Due to the compact support of ﬁnite element shape functions. The ﬁnite element solution of practical problems often leads to very large systems of equations. if nodes are numbered in an efﬁcient manner. Therefore. The system of equations Ka = f is rewritten as: LUa = f (8. 8. Another special property is symmetry. Typically more efﬁcient direct or iterative solvers are used.1 LU-decomposition A commonly used direct solution technique is known as LU-decomposition.1) The stiffness matrix K typically has a number of special properties. Direct solvers yield a result with a known number of steps. the following system needs to be solved: Ka = f (8. This is a consequence of using a Galerkin formulation. the system of equations is sparse. unlike ﬁnite difference methods. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zero elements. This mean that nonzero terms are located close to the diagonal. 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. Further savings can be achieved for symmetric matrices by storing only the diagonal terms and non-zero terms above the diagonal. a general method is required to solve the system of equations. For all problems examined in these notes.8 Solvers for large linear systems Note: This chapter is still being developed. It varies for different meshes. However. To ﬁnd the ﬁnite element solution to a problem. Gauss elimination is rarely used. Large systems require signiﬁcant memory to store the matrices and large computational effort to solve the system.

j) end end end There are several variations on this procedure to improve its performance. 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. The procedure can be implemented in a computer programming surprisingly simply.8 Solvers for large linear systems The ﬁrst step is to factorise the matrix K in L and U. they can become prohibitively expensive for very large problems. yielding considerable computational savings.2 January 21.3) is solved (the ‘result’ being y).k)/A(k. Then.K(i. for symmetric systems the algorithm can be modiﬁed. ‘Pivoting’ is often used to avoid numerical problems associated with large and small terms on the diagonal. iterative solvers are generally faster than direct solvers. An alternative is the use of iterative solvers. The process is stopped when the desired tolerance is reached.2 Iterative solvers Direct solvers are relatively simple to program and are robust. the system of equations: Ly = f (8.n) for i=k+1:min(k+p. 112 Version 0. The following code extracts for solving a banded system are taken from Golub and Loan (1996). 8.k) = K(i. Also.k) end for j=k+1:min(k+q. for k=1:n-1 for i=k+1:min(k+p.n) K(i. it is not possible to compute exactly the required computational effort before starting the computation. although the time required for convergence depends heavily on the nature of the matrix K. The following step. For large system of equations. is then to solve the system: Ua = y (8.4) which yields the solution to the original problem. However.k)*K(k. a. This is step is known as ‘forward substitution. ‘backward substitution’. Iterative solvers ‘iterate’ toward the exact solution.j) = K(i. the factorised matrices can be stored in the memory allocated for K.j) . Unlike direct solvers. 2011 .n) K(i. In a computer implementation.

Elastodynamics involves the second derivative of the displacement with respect to time. In this chapter.9 Time-dependent problems Until now. 0) = v0 ( x) ˙ (9. the unsteady heat equation and elastodynamics are considered in which the time dimension must be addressed. 9. On parts of the boundary. when a load is applied at the 113 . u=g on Γg . All problems up to this chapter were elliptic. 0) = u0 ( x) u ( x. therefore two initial conditions are required: u ( x. (9.2) On other parts of the boundary. relies on linearity of the underlying problem and is suited to vibration analysis. time-dependent Dirichlet boundary conditions are prescribed.1. 9.1) where ρ is the density and u = ∂2 u/∂t2 is the acceleration vector. Initial conditions correspond to the conditions at time zero (t = 0). Similar to static problems.4a) (9.3) Dynamic problems require some ‘extra’ information compared to their quasi-static counterparts. The ﬁrst. With elliptic problems. approach is more general and suited to wave propagation problems. Two approaches will be elaborated. For example.4b) where v is the velocity (v = ∂u/∂t).1 Elastodynamics The majority of this chapter deals with elastodynamics problems. modal analysis. its is complemented by boundary conditions.1 Governing equation and the weak form for elastodynamics The equation of motion is given by: ρu = ∇ · σ + b ¨ (9. The second. this equation differs signiﬁcantly from the static case as the governing equation is hyperbolic. time-dependent Neumann boundary conditions are applied. information travels through the domain immediately. These are initial conditions. σn = h on Γh (9. less subtle. the ﬁnite element method has been applied only for time-independent problems. In mathematical ¨ terms.

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

This property is highly advantageous in combination with some time integration schemes. the mass matrix is symmetric and will have off-diagonal terms. there is some freedom in determining exactly how the lumped mass matrix should be calculated. in the same fashion as for the element stiffness matrix.2 115 . it was not entirely clear how the mass matrix should be formed. this will yield a diagonal mass matrix. The obvious choice from the variational approach is the consistent mass matrix. the lumped mass matrix has non-zero terms only on the diagonal. (9. As with the element stiffness matrix. Mii lump = j =1 cons ∑ Mij n (9. ¨ (9. This is formed similarly to the stiffness matrix.3 Mass matrix There are several methods to form the mass matrix. Since ﬁnite element shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes. Other more January 21. All off-diagonal terms are equal to zero. It is however possible that nodes will have zero or negative masses. 2011 Version 0.12) This is typically formed by integrating numerically. Before the variational basis of the ﬁnite element method was properly understood.1 Elastodynamics This equation is commonly called the ‘semi-discrete’ equation. but with integration points located only at element nodes. 9. Since lumped schemes do not follow naturally from the variational formulation. Another procedure is based on summing rows of the consistent mass matrix. This procedure however can lead to negative masses on the diagonal. for a given time tn M an + Kan = f n . A common approach was to form a lumped mass matrix.11) Before this equation can be solved.9. Once the element contributions have been assembled into the global mass and stiffness matrices and the global RHS vector. as will be discussed in the following sections. cons = Me Ωe ρN T N dΩ. This corresponds to having discrete. lumped masses at each node.10) where Me is the element mass matrix.13) where n is the dimension of the mass matrix.1. a strategy is required to deal with the time derivatives of a. Since shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes. This equation can be written is a shorthand format as: Me a e + k e a e = f e ¨ (9. Perhaps the simplest procedure to form lumped mass matrices is to form the matrices using numerical integration.

Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved. In strong form. unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f . 2011 .15) where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular. Unlike elastodynamics. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK. the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency.16) where in the context of diffusion of heat. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience. 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. The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague. ¨ ˙ (9. There is no rich theory underlying the choices.14) where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure.1.4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f . The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency. and initial conditions.17) 116 Version 0.2 January 21. kappa is the conductivity. only one type of initial condition may be provided. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2. as outlined in Section 2. u ( x. Damping due to the material response can also be included. This is known as Rayleigh damping. 9. (9. (9. Conversely. t) = u0 ( x) . A discussion can be found in Cook et al. namely the temperature at t = 0. or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. c is the ‘capacity’. It can be included through the damping matrix C. (9. q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux. The problem requires boundary conditions. representing the uncertainty in the source of damping. u is the temperature. This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour.3. (1989). 9. it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time.9 Time-dependent problems sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses.3.

Following the usual processes in developing the weak form. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements. it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. ˙ 9.23) where ω are the natural frequencies of the system. ¯ det K − ω 2 M = 0. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n . (9. The eigenvectors are a.19) In matrix form. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n.20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second). (9.22) which is a matrix eigenvalue problem. 2011 Version 0. For the consistent mass matrix. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ.11) and rearranging.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics The heat equation is parabolic. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9. It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) . Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9. 2 det ke − ωe me = 0 (9.18) (9. 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 (9.25) √ for an element of length L. If one end of a rod is heated. ωe = 2 3/L January 21.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms).23) can be very large. (9.24) The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem. which ¯ are also known as natural modes. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) .9. it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem. there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ). The acceleration is therefore given by: (9.21) −ω 2 M + K a = 0. For explicit time integration procedures. this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time. ¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0. For a one-dimensional linear element. its motion is harmonic.2 117 .

¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f i i (9. The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions. separate equations. Inserting equation (9. a (t) = ∑ αi (t) Ψi i (9.26) Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9.9 Time-dependent problems 9. and are known as vibration modes. and ωi are the natural frequencies. it is then possible to treat each mode individually. (9. It is then possible to treat each mode separately. ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f . (9. (9. 2011 .27) where Ψi are eigenvectors.30) 1 0 i = j. (9. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal.33) 118 Version 0.2 January 21.32) The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple. i = j.28) into equation (9.28) where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode.31) Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . (9. Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) . K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0. i = j.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f i i (9.29) Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other. For linear problems. The sum of the modes gives the total displacement.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j.11) .

Given the values of an . but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n.2 119 . the values an+1 . If an integrator is unstable.1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. rapidly diverging from any sensible result. for each mode of interest. This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. this equation can be solved analytically. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached. Therefore. the orthogonality property does not hold. (1989). an and an at time tn (and perhaps also at earlier times ˙ ¨ steps). equation (9. For non-linear problems. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1. and perhaps information at time step n and earlier steps. Explicit schemes can be constructed to have a high degree of accuracy (such as the 4th order Runge-Kutta method. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . equation (9. To do this. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al.9. Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions. For the unforced case. There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes.5 Time stepping algorithms Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort. the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues.5 Time stepping algorithms Now. Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed.33) is only solved for a few modes. Conversely. Typically. usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response. Therefore it is limited to linear analysis. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). it will ‘blow-up’. compared to explicit schemes. The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. 9. the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered. There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. In applying modal analysis. 9. 2011 Version 0.34) Solutions for forced cases are dependent on the type of loading. January 21. implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme.5. ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed. It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics. In structural analysis. Hence. the above equation can be solved. (9. which is O(∆t) accurate).

40b) (9.38) 120 Version 0. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) .41a) (9. both explicit and implicit. Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 . ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9. In matrix form. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable. 1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an .41b) (9. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation. Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method. ˙ 9.2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme.37). but only ﬁrst-order accurate. Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes. the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor. and is second-order accurate.36) gives. ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9. 2011 .9 Time-dependent problems A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods. ˙ Rearranging equation (9.5. a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an . well known integrators.36) and inserting the above result into equation (9.37) (9.2 January 21. where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an .35) where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1. the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 .40a) (9. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable.39) (9. For the problems to be considered here. The Newmark algorithm gives an+1 and an+1 as: ˙ an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ a n +1 ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ((1 − 2β) an + 2β an+1 ) 2 = an + ∆t ((1 − γ) an + γ an+1 ) ˙ ¨ ¨ (9.35). In practice. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods. ˙ ˙ (9.

Therefore. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) . where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element. it requires the factorisation of a large matrix. Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences.46a) into equation (9.9. 2011 Version 0.46b) Inserting equation (9. but it is conditionally stable.46b). It is also energy conserving.43a) (9.41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2. Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition. but as will be shown later.44) where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0. ∆t2 (9.43b) It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9. a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate. This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate.5 Time stepping algorithms where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm.47) This integrator is implicit. ∆t ≤ L .46a) (9. It is clear that this algorithm is explicit – it is possible to express an+1 in terms of quantities at n and earlier times (which are known). Its stability properties are attractive. 2 (9.42) For γ = 1/2. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method. an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 . It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a. It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9. January 21.2 121 . Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule. 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) . an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9.45) which is the Courant. Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators. c (9. The Newmark method is unconditionally stale for: 2β ≥ γ ≥ 1 2 (9. The term ω h can be estimated for linear elements as 2c/L. This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ).

¨ ˙ (9.9 Time-dependent problems Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved. 2011 .48) It is assumed that a and its time derivatives are known at time t and unknown at time t + ∆t (corresponding to n + 1).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.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.43). and unknown at step n + 1. M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n . 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then. it is possible to calculate an+1 . the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9. A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122 Version 0.53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9. (9. it is not necessary to form the stiffness matrix K.52) (9. The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ.51) If both M and C are diagonal matrices. Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9. with damping. In practice. has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n . an+1 can be calculated without solving a system of equations (hence the attractiveness of lumped mass matrices when using explicit time integrators).54) (9. where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n .55) Ω A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation.2 January 21. 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn . (9. Given an and an−1 .

57). 1 M + K a n +1 = M β∆t2 1 1 1 an + ˙ an − an ˙ ¨ a + 2 n β∆t 2β β∆t +f (9.59) Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS.43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0).2 123 . it is second-order accurate.5 Time stepping algorithms algorithm at t = 0. 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. damping is ignored.58b) These equations are then inserted into equation (9.56) The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure. In combination with a lumped mass matrix. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (9.41) for β = 0 to express the accelerations and velocity at step n + 1 in terms of step n and earlier. which are the initial conditions.61) January 21. Furthermore. 2011 Version 0.9. The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9.58a) a n +1 = a n ˙ ˙ + ∆t (1 − γ) an + γ ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9. For simplicity. and all known quantities on the RHS. Combining equations (9.57) Rearranging the expressions in equation (9. M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 + Kan+1 = f n+1 (9. This yields.60) which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation. it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems.

2. 3. Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element.5. the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one. 9.2 January 21.41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure.6 Space-time formulations Time as a degree of freedom.62) where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t . the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate. numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2. Decreasing α increases the dissipation. ¨ (9. If −1/3 < α < 0. it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping. At time step n. However. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α . If α = 0. γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4. Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t). Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 . 2011 . Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α. Rearrange equation (9. calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations. Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution. With the Newmark scheme.9 Time-dependent problems Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal.7 Exercises 1. 1987). One such algorithm is the α-Method. 9. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. 9. 124 Version 0.3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations.

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

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