# The Finite Element Method: An Introduction

Dr. Garth N. Wells

gnw20@cam.ac.uk

University of Cambridge and Delft University of Technology

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

.

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

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

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

a= a1 .
i =1
3
(1.
i =1
n
(1.1 Introduction
x2 a e2 = [0 1 0]
e1 = [1 0 0] x1
e3 = [0 0 1] x3 Figure 1.6)
∑ a i b i = a 1 b1 + a 2 b2 + a 3 b3 . a·b = (1. 2011
. which is denoted a · b. a2 (1. ai where i runs from one to n.3)
Consider the dot product between two vectors a and b. x =
√
x · x.2
January 21. In the case n = 2. and is deﬁned through the operation which gives the length x of a vector x. where repeated indices imply summation: a·b = For n = 3.7)
8
Version 0.5)
∑ a i bi .
(1. A vector a in an n-dimensional space R n can be expressed in terms of its components.4)
The dot product of two vectors is given by: a · b = a i bi .1: Example of orthonormal base vectors.

the dot product maybe written as a T b.17) (1. A second-order tensor A takes the vector b and transforms it into the vector a. K. allowing the base vectors to be discarded and the more familiar notation a · b = ai b j δij = ai bi .13)
where n is the dimension of the vector b.14)
January 21. A. R (1. Consider the case a = ABc = Dc. a second-order tensor A can be expressed in terms of components. ei · e j = δij . At times. and in index notation as Dij = Aik Bkj .2
9
. (1. 0 if i = j. M.11)
(1. in the vein of matrix multiplication.1. a = Ab = Aij b j =
∑ Aij bj
j =1
n
(1.9)
Second-order tensors (which possess some similar properties to matrices) are generally denoted by uppercase bold characters. A = Aij .15) (1. Aij . The transpose of a tensor is denoted by the superscript ‘T’. The second-order tensor A in R3 can be expressed as A11 A12 A13 A = Aij = A21 A22 A23 . It is deﬁned by: a · Bc = Bc · a = c · B T a.8)
can be used. The symbol δij is known as the Kronecker delta: δij = 1 if i = j. (1. Second-order tensors can be multiplied.10)
As with vectors. 2011
Version 0. which is expressed as D = AB.16) (1.1 Tensor basics
For an orthonormal basis. (1.12)
Second-order tensors are linear operators that act upon vectors. A31 A32 A33 (1.

It also yields a scalar. = ai b j .25)
∑ ∑ Aij Bij .23) (1. A : B = A11 B11 + A12 B12 + A21 B21 + A22 B22 . For example. is provided for two second-order tensors. (1.24) (1.1 Introduction
In terms of indices: Aij T = A ji . an operation similar to the dot product of two vectors.18)
The transpose of a second-order tensor implies interchanging the rows and columns of its components. this implies: tr ( A) = A11 + A22 + A33 .20)
The trace of a second-order tensor is essentially the summation of its diagonal components.21) (1.19)
Second-order tensors can be formed through the dyadic production of two vectors.27)
This operation has no equivalent in matrix-vector convention. A useful identity involving the transpose is:
( AB) T = B T A T . For a second-order tensor A in R3 .26) (1. (1. 2011
. This is equivalent to A : B = Aij Bij . It is deﬁned by: A : B = tr A T B . which is equivalent to Aij = ai b j .2
January 21. The repeated i and j indices implies: Aij Bij = (1.
(1. (1.22)
Using the trace. For two second-order tensors in R2 . A = a ⊗ b.28)
10
Version 0. (1. an inner product.
i =1 j =1
n
n
(1. tr ( a ⊗ b) = ai bi and tr ( A) = Aii .

1 Tensor basics
The identity tensor I is deﬁned by: a = Ia.1. (1. k} is odd.
January 21. matrices which rotate the reference frame are orthogonal. b ∈ R3 by: a 2 b3 − a 3 b2 (1.34) (1. A third-order tensor maps a second-order tensor to a ﬁrst order tensor. Eijk = 1.32)
As will be shown in the following section. a 1 b2 − a 2 b1
Such a deﬁnition however is not convenient for manipulation.30) (1. j.36)
The expression for E in terms of the basis ei is lengthy and not shown here.2
(1. The components of E are given by:
[E ] = Eijk = ei · e j × ek . or vector.
E : ( a ⊗ b) = a × b. is equal to the identity tensor.
(1. A matrix A is symmetric if: A T = A. and if the permutation {i. If any of the indices are repeated. A tensor A is orthogonal if: A T = A −1 . Another important operation is the cross. Eijk = 0. a tensor Aij is symmetric if: Aij = A ji . The cross product can be introduced via the third-order tensor E . multiplied by its inverse A−1 . product. (1.35) [ a × b ] = a 3 b1 − a 1 b3 .29)
A second-order tensor A. 2011 Version 0.37)
11
. Eijk = −1. A common third-order tensor is the alternating (or permutation) tensor E . j.31)
Second-order tensors are often characterised by their special properties. Using index notation. It is deﬁned for a. If the permutation {i. A third-order tensor can be deﬁned which will make manipulations more convenient. AA−1 = A−1 A = I. and is equal to I = δij ei ⊗ e j . k} is even. The result of the above equation is rather simple.33) (1. (1. The cross product of two vectors yields a vector.

it is convenient to rotate the coordinate frame. ′ and it would be convenient to have the components in the ei system. They are related to each other via a fourth-order tensor.38)
In elasticity. which is orthogonal. the components in ei system are known. 2011
.40)
(1. This operation is particularly important when considering moments. Consider that for a vector a. Coordinate transformations For many problems. denoted here as C . Vector and tensor components can be rotated (change of basis) using a rotation matrix Q.
A : B = Aijk Bjk .
C = Cijkl .2
January 21. the stress and strain are second-order tensors. Deﬁning Qij by Qij = ei · e′j . It may prove convenient to transform vector components relative to the ei system to components ′ in the ei system.
′ the components ai are given by ′ ai = Q ji a j .39)
Fortunately.
(1.
(1. in terms of indices.1 Introduction
x2
′ e2 = [− sin θ cos θ ]
e2 = [0 1]
′ e1 = [cos θ sin θ ]
θ
e1 = [1 0] x1
Figure 1. it will not be necessary to manipulate fourthorder tensors directly.2: Rotation between coordinate systems.
(1. For an orthonormal basis.2. Consider the orthonormal coordinate systems in Figure 1.41)
12
Version 0. due to physical symmetries.

It is expressed as:
∇ · a. The divergence of a vector ﬁeld a yields a scalar.45)
At times it is necessary to also rotate the components of a second-order tensor from one coordinate system to another. 2011 Version 0.2
(1.xxxx . This is done by the operation: A′ = Q T AQ.xx .
1. (1. It is convenient to rotate the ′ reference such such the position along the bar is given by [ x]′ = x1 . Consider a function u which is dependent on the position x. An important operator is the divergence.1.49)
13
.x .47) (1. QQ T = Q T Q = I.2 Vector calculus
Subscripts are commonly used as a short-hand notation for derivatives.42)
− sin θ . ∂x2 ∂x4 ∂2 u ∂3 u = u. components in the rotated reference frame can be transformed back to the original reference frame by: a = Qa′ . Characters after a comma in the subscript denote differentiation with respect to that variable.
January 21. (1. and A = QA′ Q T . Considering the coordinate systems illustrated in Figure 1.46)
Often coordinate transforms are used to simplify a problem.2. = u.xyy .xy . ∂x∂y ∂x∂y2 (1. Q=
′ e1 · e1 ′ e2 · e1 ′ e1 · e2 cos θ ′ = sin θ e2 · e2
(1. which effectively reduces the three-dimensional problem to a one-dimensional problem.44)
Therefore. = u. 0 . An example is a onedimensional rod element in a three-dimensional space. ∂x ∂4 u ∂2 u = u.43)
and note that Q is orthogonal.48)
This notation is used commonly throughout these notes. 0. (1. Some of its derivatives can be written as: ∂u = u.2 Vector calculus
which can also be expressed as: a′ = Q T a. cos θ
(1.

52)
For a two-dimensional tensor A.51)
The divergence of a second-order tensor is given by:
∇·A =
∂Aij = Aij.j .50)
In a three-dimensional space R3 .
∇·a =
∂ay ∂a ∂a x ∂a ∂az ∂a1 + 2+ 3 = + + . ∂x j
(1.i . ∂xi
(1. In a three-dimensional space. The gradient of a scalar a is given by:
∇a =
∂a = a.j . ∂y ∂a ∂z The gradient of a vector is given by:
∇a =
∂ai = ai.1 Introduction
In terms of indices. ∂A11 + ∂A12 ∂x ∂x2 .55) ∇a = .i .54)
which yields a vector. ∇ · A = ∂A 1 ∂A22 21 ∂x + ∂x
1 2
(1.53)
Another important operator is the gradient. In a three-dimensional space. ∇a = (1. ∇ · a is equal to
∇·a =
∂ai = ai. 2011
.56)
which yields a second-order tensor. ∂x j
(1. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a ∂x ∂a (1.57) ∂y ∂z ∂x ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂a3 ∂x ∂y ∂z 14
Version 0. the components of ∇ a are given by: ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂a1 ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂a2 ∂a2 ∂a2 . ∂xi
(1. ∂x1 ∂x2 ∂x3 ∂x ∂y ∂z
(1.2
January 21.

58)
where n is the outward normal to the body Ω.
(1. The divergence theorem states:
Ω
∇ · A dΩ =
∂Ω
An dΓ. the eigenvalues of the stress tensor are the principal stresses. The surface of Ω is given by ∂Ω.3 Linear algebra
n Ω
Γ
Figure 1.3 Linear algebra
The eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix provide information as to its properties. For example. Consider the body Ω in Figure 1. The boundary of the body Ω is denoted Γ = ∂Ω. For a vector a. The above formula is simple to derive by using the product rule for differentiation to expand
Ω
∇ · ( aB ) dΩ =
Ω
∂ a B dΩ.
(1. An essential theorem in formulating the ﬁnite element method is the divergence theorem (also known as Gauss’s theorem).60)
The above equation also holds for the case in which a is replaced by a scalar and B is replaced by a vector.1.
Ω
∇ · a dΩ =
∂Ω
a · n dΓ.
1. It implies that:
Ω
a · (∇ · B) dΩ = −
Ω
∇ a : B dΩ +
∂Ω
a · Bn dΓ. ∂x j i ij
(1.61)
and then applying the divergence theorem. and the
January 21.3. The outward unit normal to the body is denoted n.
(1.3: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n bounded by Γ. It transforms a volume integral to a surface integral. 2011
Version 0.59)
Integration by parts is used frequently in the formulation of the ﬁnite element method.2
15
.

the eigenvalues of a matrix indicates if a matrix has a unique inverse. respectively.2
January 21. (1. This requires some background in continuum mechanics and linear-elasticity. all eigenvalues are real. 2 i. and u and f are vectors of length n. (1.66)
16
Version 0.j (1. K will often be referred to as the ‘stiffness matrix’ and f the ‘right-hand side vector’. (1. vectors b and scalars λ which satisfy
( A − λI ) b = 0
(1.i . For large matrices.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics
The ﬁnite element method is used in these notes to solve primarily problems in continuum mechanics. of A. This section is intended to cover only the important concepts which are used later in these notes. For a symmetric matrix. The polynomial is known as the characteristic equation of A. It is not a comprehensive coverage of the topic. In the context of the ﬁnite element method. For a matrix A. Solvers for ﬁnite element problems are discussed in Chapter 8.65)
Typically.
1. all eigenvalues are positive and real. Equation (1. 2011
.62)
are known as eigenvectors and eigenvalues. The solution u is given by: u = K −1 f .62) implies that: det ( A − λI ) = 0.64)
where K is an n × n matrix. Also. A zero eigenvalue implies that the matrix A has a linearly dependent column. For a 3 × 3 matrix.63)
For a 2 × 2 matrix. 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). Eigenvalue tests are often used in studying the matrices arising in the ﬁnite element method. For a positive deﬁnite matrix A. the roots of a cubic equation must be found.1 Introduction
corresponding eigenvectors are the principal stress directions. A system of n linear equations can be expressed as: Ku = f . and is unique. special numerical algorithms are used to calculate the eigenvalues. which guarantees that the inverse of A exists. the system of equations in a ﬁnite element equation will be very large. ﬁnding λ requires ﬁnding the roots of a quadratic equation. The system of equations is usually solved using a direct method (such as Gauss elimination or LU decomposition) or an approximate iterative method. The strain ǫ is deﬁned as the symmetric gradient of the displacement vector: ǫij = 1 u + u j.

2 i.71) (1. σn = t (1.1.2
17
. this reduces to four. or in index notation.68)
where the bracket around the subscript denotes the symmetric gradient.74) νE (1 + ν) (1 − 2ν) (1. σij = Cijkl ǫkl where C is a fourth-order tensor. linear-elastic continua. the strain tensor is symmetric.73) (1. this can be written as: σ = C : ǫ.i . in three-dimensions the stress and strain tensors have only six independent components. the stress tensor is symmetric (which can be proved by considering the balance of angular momentum.67)
For convenience. A constitutive equation relates the stresses in a material to the strain. the symmetric gradient using index notation will be expressed as: u(i.70)
with E the Young’s modulus and ν Poisson’s ratio.j) = 1 u + u j. 2011
Version 0. Similar to the strain tensor. For linear elasticity. In a homogeneous body.
January 21. In two-dimensions. Obviously.4 Essentials from continuum mechanics
which is clearly a second-order tensor. For convenience. as will be shown in the next chapter). The constants λ and µ are often referred to as Lam´ constants. the above expression can be written as: ǫ = ∇s u = 1 ∇u + (∇u) T . The stress tensor is deﬁned through the traction vector t (force per unit area) on a surface. For solid.j (1.69)
where n is the unit normal vector to the surface. Due to symmetry.72) (1. Lam´ constants are indepene e dent of the position. In compact notation. it is deﬁned by: Cijkl = µ δik δjl + δil δjk + λδij δkl where λ= and µ= E 2 (1 + ν ) (1. 2 (1.

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

moment equilibrium is satisﬁed if the stress tensor is symmetric. since E : σ T = 0. 2011
Version 0. In order to derive the governing partial differential equation. if σ is symmetric.79)
where b is a body force. etc.5 Exercises
1.80). leading to:
∇ · σ + b = 0 in Ω
(1. consider ﬁrst translational equilibrium (balance of linear momentum) of a body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ = ∂Ω. and applying the divergence theorem.5 Exercises
elastic bodies.80)) is satisﬁed.82)
where r is the position vector of a point on ∂Ω.
1. Note that this equation is general.81)
Consider now moment equilibrium (balance of angular momentum).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. Therefore.83) is zero.).1. and not speciﬁc to elasticity.80). How many independent components does a symmetric second-order tensor in R n have?
January 21. Therefore. the partial differential equation of equilibrium is given by equation (1. For three-dimensions (i = 1 → 3. which requires that
∂Ω
t dΓ +
Ω
b dΩ =
∂Ω
σn dΓ +
Ω
b dΩ = 0
(1. the integral can be removed from equation(1.83)
If translational equilibrium (equation (1. expand the terms: a) b) c) d) e) f) a i bi ai b j Aij Bij Cij bi Cij b j Fik Gkj
2. the ﬁrst term in equation (1.2
19
. Then. Application of the divergence theorem to the integral over ∂Ω gives:
Ω
∇ · σ + b dΩ = 0
(1.
Ω
r × (∇ · σ + b) dΩ +
Ω
E : σ T dΩ = 0
(1. This will also be referred to as the ‘strong’ governing equation. Considering that t = σn.

1 Introduction
3.2
January 21. Derive the isotropic linear-elastic constitutive matrix D for plane stress and plane strain conditions
20
Version 0.43) is orthogonal. 6. It is equivalent to ∇ · ∇. 5. 7.60). Expand ∆u in a three-dimensional space using index notation. 2011
. derive the integration by parts formula in equation (1. Using the product rule for differentiation and the divergence theorem. A common and important operator in applied mathematics (and mechanics) is the Laplace operator ∆ (sometimes denoted ∇2 ). What is the trace of the identity tensor I equal to in R n ? 4. Conﬁrm that the rotation matrix R in equation (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. 21
. This is complemented by a constitutive relationship which gives the stress in the rod in terms of the strain. u = 0 at x=0 (2.
(2. The ﬁnite element method is a variational method. To do this. The governing equation for a onedimensional rod element with unit cross-sectional area is (see equation (1. the normal stress is given by: σ = Eǫ = E du .1: One-dimensional bar. addressing the weak (variational) form of the relevant governing equation.1. the strong form is multiplied by a weight function and integrated by parts.x = f .81)):
−σ.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’.
2.1)
where σ. The governing equation can then be expressed as:
− Eu.1 One-dimensional bar
Consider the one-dimensional bar in Figure 2.3)
To complete the problem. A Dirichlet (essential) boundary condition prescribes the displacement at a point. For a linear-elastic rod.xx = f . The weak form is also commonly known as a the ‘variational form’ or a ‘variational equation’. dx (2. and leads to a form which is convenient for later numerical solution.2)
where E is the Young’s modulus.
(2. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed. This has the effect of reducing the order of the derivatives appearing in the equation.x is the normal stress in the rod and f is a distributed load along the rod. For example.

8)
To develop the weak form of the governing equation.6). Considering that σ = Eu. σn = h at x = L.7) (2. at x = L.3).
(2.5)
where n is the outward normal to the bar (equal to 1 in this case).
−wσ.
(2.xx = f u=0 Eu.10) can be integrated by parts and the Neumann boundary condition from equation (2.x = w f
L 0
∀w ∈ V . Note that in the strong form. the equation must still hold for all admissible weight function (this is a technical point which is discussed in section 2.x dx =
w f dx
∀w ∈ V .
L 0
(2. If equation (2.x n| x=0 is not included as by deﬁnition the weight function w is equal to zero at x = 0. A Neumann (natural) boundary condition prescribes the applied traction. at x = 0. The mathematical problem can now be summarised as: ﬁnd u such that:
− Eu. both sides of equation (2.x dx =
L 0
w. Multiplying equation (2.11)
Note the term wEu. solving the weak form involves: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that
L 0
w. An important requirement on the space V is that functions w be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.12)
where S is an appropriately deﬁned space of functions which satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions.x σ dx − wh| x= L
∀w ∈ V .2
January 21.x . Taking guidance from equation (1.1) by w. 2011
. which has an inﬁnite number of members). which yields:
−
L 0
wσ. equation (2. Since both sides of the equation are multiplied by the weight function.1 to be equal to zero.
(2.8) inserted. Inserting now the constitutive relationship σ = Eu.2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations
prescribes the displacement at one end of the bar in Figure 2. The above boundary condition sets the applied traction at x = L equal to h. (2.6) (2. then
−
wσ.60).9) must hold point-wise.10)
is also true.x .x n = h
0 < x < L. applying a force at the end of the bar is equivalent to prescribing u. derivatives of order
22
Version 0.x dx =
L 0
w f dx + wh| x= L
∀w ∈ V .
(2.9)
where ‘∀w ∈ V ’ means ‘for all w ∈ V ’.6) are multiplied by a scalar weight function w ∈ V (w ∈ V means that w comes from the appropriately deﬁned space of functions V .x .x Eu. This is the weak form of the governing equation. after inserting the constitutive relationship (2.

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

and integrating over the body Ω yields:
Ω
w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ = 0
∀w ∈ V . Boundary conditions are still required to complete the problem. where again V is an appropriately deﬁned function space (w = 0 on Γg ).2: Continuous body Ω ⊂ R n with boundary Γ (Γ = Γg ∪ Γh . Multiplying equation (2.60)). the same steps as in the case of the one-dimensional bar are followed. the weight function w is a vector. (2. On part of the boundary.17) by w ∈ V . (2. yielding:
−
Ω
∇w : σ dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ +
Γh
w · h dΓ = 0. As in the one-dimensional case.21)
The ﬁrst term in equation (2.22)
24
Version 0. In Figure 2.18)
where C is a fourth-order tensor. Γh . u=g on Γg . the governing equation is multiplied by a weight function w ∈ V . 2011
.2. For a linearelastic material.
(2.20)
The boundary-value problem is now complete. a constitutive relationship is required. (2. To derive the weak form.19)
On the remaining boundary. t=h on Γh .2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations
h
Γh Ω
Γg
n
Figure 2. σ = C : ǫ.21) can be integrated by parts (see equation (1.
(2. the part of the boundary where displacements are prescribed is denoted Γg . tractions (potentially zero) are applied (traction ≡ force per unit area on a surface). First. and integrated over the body.2
January 21. Γg ∩ Γh = ∅). the displacements are prescribed (Dirichlet boundary conditions). Note that in this case.

j )
(2. Therefore ∇s w ≡ δǫ. The previous example of continuum elasticity was an example of a system of Poisson equations – one for each spatial direction. the symmetric gradient of w. 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 .23)
where S is an appropriate space of functions which satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. q is the ﬂow rate. Consider the following equation:
−∇ · q + f = 0 in Ω
(2. Consistency can be proven in the same fashion as was used for the onedimensional problem. For an isotropic medium. Inserting now the constitutive relationship from equation (2.26)
where u is a potential. In the case of heat conductivity. A wide range of physical phenomena are governed by this equation. Inserting the constitutive equation into (2. u is the hydraulic head and κ is known as the hydraulic conductivity. There exists a close link between weak forms and virtual work for a range of problems. Here the Poisson equation is addressed in a more generic fashion.
Ω
δǫ : C : ǫ dΩ =
Ω
δu · b dΩ +
Γh
δu · h dΓ. This is the weak equilibrium equation for a stationary continuous elastic body. However.3 Poisson equation
An equation which is often solved using the ﬁnite element method is the Poisson equation.3 Poisson equation
where σn has been replaced by the prescribed traction h (the Neumann boundary condition). the scalar u is the temperature. q is the heat ﬂux vector.
(2. The constitutive relationship depends on the problem being solved. Consider now w as a ‘virtual displacement’ δu.2.25)
where q is a ﬂux vector and f is a source term. the variational framework is more general.18).
January 21. Often the term ∇w is written as ∇s w. It is simple to show that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric (see exercise 1).24)
which is the equation of virtual work. For linear heat conduction.
2. In Darcy’s law. The equation of virtual work is therefore the weak form of the governing equation.2
25
. For Darcy’s law. including steady-state heat conduction and ﬂow in permeable media (Darcy’s law). Inserting this into equation (2. κ = κI. 2011
Version 0. where κ is the thermal conductivity.
(2.25) yields a Poisson equation. The constitutive relationship is given by: q = −κ ∇ u
(qi = −κij u.23).

2 Strong and weak forms of the governing equations
As for all previous examples.
−
Ω
w (∇ · q) dΩ +
Ω
w f dΩ = 0
∀w ∈ V . it is the hydraulic head. For heat conduction. and for Darcy ﬂow is it the inﬂow/outﬂow across a boundary. For an elastic body Ω.31)
which is the weak form of the Poisson equation. For Darcy ﬂow. I (u) = 1 2
Ω
∇s u : C : ∇s u dΩ −
Ω
u · b dΩ −
∂Ω
u · h dΩ. 2011
. The Dirichlet conditions impose: u=g on Γg (2.
(2. this is the temperature on the boundary Γg . The Neumann boundary condition requires that:
−q · n = h on Γh
(2. suppose that u is the solution to the weak problem.33)
26
Version 0. Multiplying equation (2. In the case of heat conduction. the boundary-value problem requires boundary conditions.2
January 21. The weak form of the Poisson equation is derived following the same steps as in the previous two examples.
(2. this imposes the heat ﬂux on Γh . there exists a close link between minimisation of energy and solution of the weak form.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 .4 Minimisation of potential energy
For particular equations.
(2.30)
Inserting now the constitutive relationship and the boundary condition −q · n = h leads to the problem: ﬁnd u ∈ S such that:
−
Ω
∇w · κ∇u dΩ +
Γh
wh dΓ +
Ω
w f dΩ = 0
∀w ∈ V . such as equilibrium of an elastic body. w = u + v.28)
where n is the outward normal to the surface Γh (see Figure 2. 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. and consider the potential energy functional I. (2.27)
which prescribes the potential on the boundary.2).25) by a weight function w and integrating over the body Ω.
2.32)
The potential energy for another displacement ﬁeld.
(2.

which proves that solution of the weak form corresponds to minimisation of the potential energy. but their ﬁrst derivatives are not. In ﬁnite element analysis. this is a commonly used function in ﬁnite element analysis.5 Regularity requirements
A common topic in ﬁnite element analysis is continuity.3. and is essential for the ﬁnite element method. The function shown in Figure 2. its second derivative does not exist.2
27
. If a function is C n .2.3 is a continuous. in a classical sense. 2011
Version 0.
January 21.3)). From Figure 2. Continuity refers to whether or not the derivatives of a function are continuous. it is clear that it involves only ﬁrst derivatives with respect to x of u and w. As will be seen in the following chapters.12)).x
x Figure 2. However. Consider now if the function f is a possible solution u of the strong equation for a bar (equation (2.3) to make sense. This is a classic mathematical property of weak forms. since for equation (2. In summary.
2. which is equal to I (u) ≤ I (u + v)
x
= I (u) + +
1 2
Ω
∇s v : C : ∇s u dΩ −
Ω
v · b dΩ −
∂Ω
v · h dΩ
(2. It is not a possible solution. 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. it is clear that it is simple to take the ﬁrst derivative of the function f . and the last term Ω ∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ ≥ 0.34)
Ω
∇s v : C : ∇s v dΩ. Functions are often classiﬁed as being C n continuous.3. the weak form allows for more possible solutions.23). Therefore a function like f is a possible solution of the weak form and a possible weight function. the second derivative of f with respect to x ( f . this means that its nth derivative is continuous.xx ) must exist. functions which are C0 are most commonly used.5 Regularity requirements
f
f . This means that the functions are continuous. A C0 function is shown in Figure 2.3: Example of a C0 function f . piecewise linear function.

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. Note that C0 functions belong to H 1 . The function space S is deﬁned by:
S = {u | u ∈ H 1 (Ω) . 2011
. It is useful to deﬁne function spaces. That is. This can be seen in the well-known Sobolev embedding theorem.
(2. since a fundamental step in the ﬁnite element method will involve ﬁnite-dimensional function spaces. In physical terms.
28
Version 0. w| Γg = 0}. For multiple spatial dimensions. but this point is not important here). When solving second-order differential equations.
(2.x )2 dΩ < ∞
(2.2
January 21.
(2.37)
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. which is denoted H 1 (Ω). an inﬁnite number of different functions belong to a given Sobolev space.35)
Functions which are square integrable come from the Hilbert space known as L2 (Ω). The weight functions come from the space V (w ∈ V ). Trial functions u come from the space S (u ∈ S ).
2. u| Γg = g}. from which the trial and weight functions come.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 is of crucial importance. such functions may be discontinuous. Importantly. there do however exist functions from H 1 (Ω) which are not C0 continuous. functions which have square-integrable derivatives are of interest. Sobolev spaces are inﬁnite-dimensional. which is deﬁned by:
V = {w | w ∈ H 1 (Ω) . The notation u ∈ H 1 means that u comes from (is an element of) H 1 . the requirement that the trial functions be square-integrable implies that energy must be ﬁnite. A function u is said to be square integrable if:
Ω
(u)2 dx < ∞. Consider ﬁrst a scalar problem in an n-dimensional domain Ω.36)
are known as members of the Sobolev space on degree one. Functions spaces can be considered the ‘family’ of functions from which u and w can come. Functions for which:
Ω
(u)2 + (u.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’. Clearly.

a = b)
5. Solutions for the displacement ﬁeld from linear-elastic fracture mechanics often √ involve a term r.39)
V = {wi | wi ∈ H 1 (Ω) . Derive the weak form.
(2.2
29
.
(2. 2011
Version 0. Derive the weak equilibrium equation (2. wi | Γg = 0}. ui | Γg = gi }
and similarly for weight functions w ∈ V . 3. 4. u ∈ S where
S = {ui | ui ∈ H 1 (Ω) . 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).40)
Further details can be found in texts on functional analysis and the mathematical analysis of the ﬁnite element method. For 3 × 3 second-order tensors (matrices).
2. 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.) 2.7 Exercises
1. is u a possible trial solution?
January 21.7 Exercises
In multiple dimensions. The Helmholtz equation is given by:
∇ · (∇φ) + kφ = 0
and is often used in wave propagation problems.2. (Hint: use index notation. prove that ∇w : σ = ∇s w : σ if σ is symmetric. where r is the distance from the crack tip (r ≥ 0).23) for elasticity using index notation.

.

Commonly. 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 essence of the Galerkin method involves taking the weak form of the governing equation. For example.3)
This abstract format is introduced to keep the derivation of some later developments compact. uh could be a combination of low order polynomial functions. uh ∈ S h . The Galerkin method is however more general.12)) involves: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that
−
L 0
h h w.
(3. respectively.5)
31
. the ﬁnite-dimensional trial and weight functions are denoted uh and wh . consider the approximate solution to some problem. the above equation is expressed in the abstract format as: ﬁnd uh ∈ S h such that B wh . it is generic for a range of different problems. named after the Russian engineer Galerkin. Considering now the elasticity problem in equation (2. and ﬁnding the best solution to a problem given a collection of functions.x dx
∀w h ∈ V h
(3.23).4)
L 0 h h w.2)
(3. Furthermore. being able to solve a greater range of problems. as developed in the previous chapter. where S h ⊂ S is a ﬁnite-dimensional space. It is a method for ﬁnding approximate solutions to partial differential equations.1 Approximate solution
First. In a multidimensional context.x Eu. The Galerkin problem for an elastic bar (equation (2.x dx + w h h| x= L = 0
∀w h ∈ V h . This means that there is a limited number of possibilities. 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.x Eu.
3.3 The Galerkin method
The ﬁnite element method is one particular Galerkin method. uh = L wh where B wh . uh = and L wh = wh h| x= L . (3.1)
where V h ⊂ V is a ﬁnite dimensional space.

B wh . Given a ﬁnite number of possibilities in S h . u − B wh .2). uh = and L wh =
Ω Ω
∇s wh : C : ǫh dΩ
wh · h dΓ. 2011
.2
January 21. Different Galerkin-based methods are deﬁned by how the unknown ﬁeld uh is represented.
(3. This is examined in the following section. Inserting equation (3. why it doesn’t work). the error in the displacement e at a point is deﬁned by: e = u − uh (3.6)
wh · b dΩ +
Γh
(3. B w h .
3.8)
where u is the exact solution and uh is the solution to equation (3. In Petrov-Galerkin method.3 The Galerkin method
where ǫ h = ∇s uh .10)
Since u is the exact solution.2 Basic error analysis
It is interesting to check how the solution computed using the Galerkin procedure compares to the exact solution.11)
32
Version 0. piecewise low-order polynomials deﬁned on ‘ﬁnite elements’. uh = 0
∀w h ∈ V h
(3.9) into equation (3.2. often in ﬂuid mechanics. the Bubnov-Galerkin method) requires that the weight and trial functions come from the same ﬁnite-dimensional space. e − L wh = 0
∀w h ∈ V h
(3. In the abstract notation of equation 3.7)
The Galerkin method (more speciﬁcally. For the one-dimensional problem. Spectral Galerkin methods for example use a truncated Fourier series as the basis. This method is used for special applications. uh and w h will be simple continuous.9)
For generality. taking into account the special requirements on the weight and trial functions where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. The approximate solution is therefore equal to: uh = u − e (3. this implies that: B wh . u − L w h = 0 ∀w h ∈ V h . A basic question which arises when computing an approximate solution is how uh relates to the exact solution u. B wh .1). In the ﬁnite element method. u − B wh . this will be investigated using the abstract notation. which solution does the method seek? Understanding this requires some basic error analysis. 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. the weight functions come from a different function space than the trial functions. e = B wh .

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

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

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

(3.12)

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

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.13)

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

2 E

= 1 B (v, v) 2

(3.14)

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

E

≤ u − wh

E

∀w h ∈ V h

(3.15)

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

**3.3 Convergence of the Galerkin method
**

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

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

33

**3 The Galerkin method
**

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

h →0

lim uh = u

(3.16)

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

3.4 Exercises

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

34

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

**4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
**

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

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

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

f

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

L Figure 4.1: One-dimensional bar.

35

Ω
∑ Ni.x E
∑ Nj. the approximate displacement ﬁeld is given in terms of the shape functions and the approximate displacement at a ﬁnite number of points (nodes).
h ǫh = u. Hence.x u j
j =1
n
dΩ
=
Ω
∑ Ni wi
i =1
n
f dΩ +
Γh
∑ Ni.x u j
j =1
n
dΩ =
∑ wi
i =1
n
Ω
Ni f dΩ + ∑ wi
i =1
n
Γh
Ni h dΓ. From this expression. It is expressed using the same basis functions as the displacement ﬁeld.
(4.3)
To develop the Galerkin problem. an expression is needed for the weight function w h .
(4. x i − x i −1 x i − x i −1 x i +1 x Ni = x i < x < x i +1 .
i =1
n
(4. x i − x i +1 − x i − x i +1 0 otherwise. the strain ﬁeld can be computed easily by taking the derivative of the shape functions.7)
36
Version 0.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
nodes. discretised with n nodal points.
∑ wi
i =1
n
Ω
Ni.
(4. it can be taken outside of the integrals.
Ω h h w.x =
dNi u. Given that wi is not a function of spatial position. hence wh =
∑ Ni wi .4)
Recalling the weak form for a one-dimensional elastic rod. the approximate displacement ﬁeld uh is given by uh =
∑ Ni ( x) ui .2)
where ui is the value of the ﬁeld uh at node i. these basis functions are known as ‘shape functions’.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.2
January 21. is given by x x i −1 − x i −1 < x ≤ x i . dx i i =1
∑
n
(4. For a one-dimensional bar.1)
where xi is the coordinate of node i.x dΩ = Ω
w h f dΩ +
Γh
w h h dΓ
∀ wh ∈ V h .6)
for all possible values of wi .
i =1
n
(4. 2011
. The basis function at node i.x wi
i =1
n
E
∑ Nj. In ﬁnite element analysis.x Eu.

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

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

as introduced in Section 4. the discretised ﬁeld can be inserted into the weak governing equations. each multiplied by a nodal value. The bar has two nodes.4: One-dimensional linear bar element and associated shape functions. the unknown (displacement) ﬁeld uh is discretised by developing a method in which the displacement at any point in a body is determined in terms of a discrete number of values which are stored at the nodes (known as degrees of freedom) and basis functions.3. Having a compact support. 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 . Each element has three nodes. In the ﬁnite element method.3. Once the displacement ﬁeld uh and its derivatives ∇uh can be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns. (4. shape functions are non-zero only close to their node. For a node i.2.
mesh is shown in Figure 4. Finite element shape functions are typically piecewise continuous polynomial functions with a ‘compact support’. is equal to one at the node and zero at all other nodes. They are characterised by being equal to unity at their node.4. known as ﬁnite elements. Ni . linear one dimensional elements.4. denoted by the solid circles.13)
January 21.1. and zero at all other nodes. A ﬁnite element shape function is only non-zero on elements to which it is attached. As in the one-dimensional case. Both nodes and elements are numbered. Shape functions for various elements are discussed in detail in the following sections. the basis functions are deﬁned on simple geometric elements. the amplitude).2
39
. the mesh is constructed with triangular elements.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
1
1
1
2
L x=0
Figure 4. Each shape function Ni is associated with a node i. 2011
Version 0. The displacement ﬁeld is given by a linear combination of a ﬁnite number of basis functions (a summation of the basis functions.
4. are examined.1 One-dimensional bar elements To begin. Consider the one-dimensional bar element in Figure 4. the shape function associated with that node. In Figure 4.

where the matrix B is equal to: B= dN1 dx dN2 . the displacement ﬁeld is expressed as: uh = Nae . where N = N1 and ae = a1 .4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
where ai is the displacement at node i (it is ‘stored’ at the node). as its shape functions are linear polynomials. Taking the derivative of equation (4. In matrix-vector notation. the displacement and strain can be calculated in any part of the element. It does however make the generalisation to multiple dimensions simple. a2 (4.21)
The shape functions for two linear elements are shown in Figure 4. Now.18)
The strain is given by: ǫh = Bae . (4. L (4.16) with respect to x.2
January 21. L L (4. uh = − x x + 1 a1 + a2 .14) (4. the derivative of the shape function with respect to x is a constant function within an element. Note also that these shape functions posses C0 continuity – they are continuous but their derivatives involve jumps across element boundaries.20) N2 . The shape functions corresponding to each node are given by: N1 = − N2 = Hence. The matrix-vector notation for uh and ǫh may seem trivial for one-dimensional problems. ǫh = duh dN1 dN2 1 1 = a + a2 = − a1 + a2 .22) (4.19) (4. dx dx 1 dx L L (4.17)
In the case of a linear displacement interpolation. 2011
. L
This type of element is known as a linear element. Therefore.
40
Version 0.16) x + 1. in terms of nodal degrees of freedom ae .15)
x . to solve a problem.5. dx (4. the derivative of the displacement ﬁeld with respect to x (the strain) is required. The weak form of the governing equations involves derivatives with respect to the spatial position.

(4. (4. linear and quadratic (and even higher) variations in the unknown ﬁeld can be described within an element.. Figure 4.26) (4. The interpolation basis for higher-order elements is richer since both constant. it has the form: N= N1 0 0 N1 N2 0 0 N2 . Nnn (4. Higher-order elements simply have more nodes. the N matrix has the form: N = N1 N2 N3 . and the strain ﬁeld (using engineering notation) is given by: ǫ h = Bae . obviously the strain ﬁeld is linear. 4.. Since the displacement ﬁeld is quadratic. Nnn 0 0 . . the displacement ﬁeld is given by: uh =
∑ Ni (x) ai .. The displacement ﬁeld for an element is given by: uh = Nae .27)
January 21.2.23)
Therefore. For a one-dimensional quadratic element.25)
The matrix N contains the element shape functions. More nodes through which the shape function must interpolate naturally means a higher-order polynomial is required.2 Two-dimensional continuum elasticity elements In two or more dimensions.24)
and the B matrix has a similar form..2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
1
1
1
L1
L2
Figure 4.6 illustrates shape functions for quadratic and cubic elements. each unknown ﬁeld (such as displacement in each direction) is interpolated using the polynomial shape functions. 2011
Version 0. Higher-order one-dimensional elements It is possible to develop one-dimensional elements with higher-order polynomial interpolations.2
41
.5: Shape functions for two one-dimensional linear bar elements.4.
i =1
3
(4. In two dimensions.

where nn is the numbers of nodes of the element. the matrix B has the form: ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂N1 0 0 . 0 ∂x ∂x ∂x ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂Nnn 0 . .7.. For two-dimensional problems. ∂y ∂y ∂y ∂N1 ∂N1 ∂N2 ∂N2 ∂Nnn ∂Nnn . .28) B= 0 .2
January 21. For a two-dimensional problem... a1 x a 1y a2 x a2 y .29) ae = . ann x ann y
42
Version 0. It is shown in Figure 4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
1
1
1
1
2
3
quadratic shape functions
1
1
1
1
1
2
3
4
cubic shape functions Figure 4.. 0 (4... 2011
. (4. ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x ∂y ∂x
The simplest element in two-dimensions is the three-node triangle.6: Higher-order one-dimensional elements. 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.

2011
Version 0. y3 ) = c1 x3 + c2 y3 + c3 = 0. y2 )
Figure 4.30)
The shape function for a node is illustrated in Figure 4. This can be cast in a matrix form as: x 1 y 1 1 c 1 1 x2 y2 1 c2 = 0 . y2 ) = c1 x2 + c2 y2 + c3 = 0. It is clear from the linear form of the shape functions for the three-node triangle that the derivatives are constant.2
43
.32) (4.34) c3 x3 y3 1 0
January 21. yi ) is the location of the ith node. Consider node 1 in Figure 4. y1 )
( x2 .33)
Solving the above system of equations yields the coefﬁcients for the shape function of node 1. the coefﬁcients c can be found by solving a linear system of equations.8: Shape function for a three-node element. Example 4. N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 . (4. hence the strain in the element is constant. Its shape function must satisfy: N1 ( x1 . (4. y3 )
3
1 2
( x1 .
Figure 4. y1 ) = c1 x1 + c2 y2 + c3 = 1. N1 ( x2 .31) (4. N1 ( x3 .7: Three-node triangular element.4.7. (4.8. Given the following coordinates of each of
where ( xi .1 Consider the element in Figure 4.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
( x3 .7. Given that a shape function should have a value of unity at its node and zero at other nodes.

the only non-zero term on the RHS corresponds to node 2.y 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 (4.25y + 0. A shape function for a four-node element is shown in Figure 4. y1 ) = (1.y N1. y2 ) = (4.y 0 N2.36)
44
Version 0. a system of equations (see equation (4. 1 2 1 c1 0 4 1 1 c 2 = 1 c3 2 3 1 0 Solving this system of equations gives: N2 = 0. the strain in this element is not constant. 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. 3)
To ﬁnd the coefﬁcients. Since the shape function for node 2 is being calculated.x N2.25 Once the shape functions have been computed for each node.25x − 0. Higher-order solid elements As in one-dimensional problems. 1) ( x3 . A four-node quadrilateral element is shown in Figure 4. plane and three-dimensional elements can have higher-order interpolations.
( x1 .x
N3.x 0 N2. (4. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xy + c2 x + c3 y + c4 . ﬁnd the shape function for node 2. y3 ) = (2. due to the presence of the xy terms in the shape functions.10. Unlike the three-node triangle.2
January 21. the N and B matrices can be formed.34)) is formed. 2011
.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
the nodes.y N3.x 0 N1.x 0 N3.y
A very commonly used element in ﬁnite element analysis is the four-node quadrilateral. 2) ( x2 .35)
It is also know as a bilinear element.x
and the B matrix is of the form: N1.y B= 0 N1.9.

Serendipity elements have nodes only on element boundaries. Each time the order of a triangle is increased.15. As with the three-node triangle. = 1 c4 0 1 c5 0 c6 0 1
(4. Note that serendipity
1 c1 1 1 c2 0 c 0 1 3 .4. whereas Lagrange elements have nodes on the element interior. A Pascal triangle for serendipity elements is shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4.2
45
. Solving the below system of equations would yield the coefﬁcients for node 1.13. the coefﬁcients can be found by solving a linear system of equations. Several serendipity and Lagrange ﬁnite elements are shown in Figure 4.14.37)
January 21. a new ‘row’ of terms from the Pascal triangle is added to the shape functions. quadratic and cubic triangular elements are shown in Figure 4.10: A shape function for four-node quadrilateral element.
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. Higher-order quadrilateral elements can also be constructed.11 The polynomial terms needed for triangular elements can be taken from a Pascal triangle (see Figure 4.12). They belong to one of two families: serendipity or Lagrange. Linear.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
4 3 1
2 Figure 4.9: Four-node quadrilateral element. 2011
Version 0. Note that triangular elements are complete – that is the shape functions contain all polynomial terms up to a given order.

..12: Pascal triangle – polynomial terms for triangular elements of order n..13: Linear.. .
46
Version 0.11: Two shape functions for a six-node triangular element. xy xy2 xy3 . .
1 x x2 x3 x4 ..
Figure 4. y y2 y3 y4 ......4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
Figure 4.2
January 21... quadratic and cubic triangular elements... 2011
.
Figure 4. x2 y x 2 y2 . x3 y .

elements of order higher than three ’miss’ polynomial terms.and nine-node quadrilateral elements are commonly used in ﬁnite element analysis. 1 x x2 x3 x4 ..39)
January 21.14: Serendipity (a) and Lagrange (b) quadrilateral ﬁnite elements.16.
Figure 4... Eight.. (4. x3 y x2 y xy xy2 xy3 .. y y2 y3 y4 .15: Pascal triangle for serendipity elements.2
47
.. The shape functions for the eight-node serendipity quadrilateral have the form: N = c1 x2 y + c2 xy2 + c3 x2 + c4 y2 + c5 xy + c6 x + c7 y + c8 .4. and are therefore not recommended.. (4. 2011
Version 0.2 General ﬁnite element basis functions
(a)
(b) Figure 4. The elements do not suffer from the limitation of missing polynomial terms for any order interpolation. Internal nodes must be introduced to ensure all polynomial terms are included.. The Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements is shown in Figure 4.38)
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 . .

17. 4. The numbers of nodes per element increases rapidly. 2011
.. A four-node tetrahedral element has linear shape functions.2. (4. xy xy2 xy3 . Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 xyz + c2 xy + c3 xz + c4 yz + c5 x + c6 y + c7 z + c8 .. the derivatives of the shape functions are constant within an element.. Also. These two elements are shown in Figure 4.. Commonly used shapes are tetrahedra and bricks. They can be formed in the same fashion as one..
Figure 4.
48
Version 0. Higher-order version of both tetrahedral and brick elements also exist.3 Three-dimensional elements Three-dimensional elements are increasingly used in engineering analysis..2
January 21. The computational effort required for three-dimensional analysis can become high.
Figure 4.41)
This is known as a ‘trilinear element’..4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
1 x x2 x3 .40)
Similar to the three-node triangle.17: Tetrahedral and brick three-dimensional ﬁnite elements. Not only do the elements tend to have more nodes. ... wedge type elements are often used for generating meshes for complex geometries. they often have more degrees of freedom per node...and two-dimensional elements. y y2 y3 . . They are of the form: N = c1 x + c2 y + c3 z + c4 .. (4. The simplest brick element has eight nodes.16: Pascal triangle for Lagrange elements. x3 y x 3 y2 x 3 y3 x2 y x 2 y2 x 2 y3 .

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. the one-dimensional governing equation for an elastic rod (equation (3.
(4. The discrete nodal values can be removed from the integrals.4.3 Governing equations
x=0 x x = l1 x = l2 x=L
Figure 4.18: One-dimensional bar showing the element that extends from x = l1 to x = l2 .e
N T h dΓ. 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).e
N T h dΓ. 1989)
4.3 Governing equations
At this point.e
( Nbe ) T h dΓ.46)
January 21.44)
where the integral over Γh. wh = Nbe .2
49
. Now.
(4.42) (4.45)
The be terms appear on both sides of the equality.1)) is considered. for the multi-dimensional case within an element.e is only non-zero if the boundary of the element coincides with the boundary Γh . (4. 2011
Version 0. What remains is the insertion of the discretised ﬁeld uh into the governing weak equation. The discretised governing equation for the element is expressed as:
l2 l1
( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ =
Γh. Therefore. 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. The weight (test) functions are discretised in the same fashion as the unknown ﬁeld uh . and can therefore be eliminated.18).43)
∇ w = Bbe . Take a single element (of any order) which extends from l1 to l2 (see Figure 4.
s
h
where the notation has been ‘abused’ as ∇s wh is being expressed as a vector (recall that this is possible due to symmetry).
(4.
l2 l1
B T EB dΩ ae =
Γh.

the discretised displacement and strain ﬁelds are inserted into equation (3. e= (4.47)
is known as the ‘element stiffness matrix’.50) (4. A third advantage is that isoparametric mapping allows higher-order elements to have curved edges.
4. the point ( x. The component k ij is added to the location K I J . e= f = Ane 1 f e . isoparametric elements are used in ﬁnite element software. The assembly process is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5. For a two dimensional problem.49)
Ωe
Γh. Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for an element. local node i has global node number I. Following the same steps as for the onedimensional problem.4 Isoparametric mapping
In practice. it requires the programming of only one function to evaluate the shape functions of a type of element. (4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
The term ke =
l2 l1
B T EB dΩ
(4. 2011
. its contribution is added to the ‘global’ stiffness matrix K.51)
where A represents the assembly operation and ne is the number of elements in the mesh. For a continuum elasticity problem. the element stiffness matrix is expressed as: B T DB dΩ ae = N T h dΓ + N T b dΩ.e
( Nbe ) T h dΓ +
Ωe
( Nbe ) T b dΩ
(4. An isoparametric mapping is deﬁned via a mapping using the nodal shape functions. the term k ij relates local nodes i and j. This is denoted symbolically by the operation: K = Ane 1 ke .48)
(recall that b denotes the body force). as is discussed in the following section. it must be assembled into the global stiffness matrix. 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). and similarly for J. It also allows the simple application of numerical integration. y) in the ‘physical’ Cartesian
50
Version 0. From the point of view of implementation.2
January 21. This yields:
Ωe
( Bbe ) T DBae dΩ =
Γh.5). irrespective of the exact shape of the element.e
Ωe
Once the stiffness matrix has been formed for each element in the problem. For an element stiffness matrix. This approach has a number of advantages. In the global mesh.

The mapping for a four-node quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 4. To proceed. y) system. η ) yi . derivatives of the unknown ﬁeld with respect to x and y are required.4. y) system and mapping to a point (ξ.52)
∑ Ni (ξ. η ) domain and maps it to a point in the ‘real’ element in the Cartesian ( x.
i =1 nn i =1
(4. The map x takes a point within the bi-unit square in the (ξ. In the governing weak equations.2
51
. For example the displacement in the x-direction at a point is given by:
nn
uh =
∑ Ni (ξ. 2011
Version 0.1)
2 4
4
3
η ξ
1
(−1.19: Isoparametric mapping for a bi-unit square. η ) xi .−1)
y
2
(1. η ) aix . η ) are known as the ‘natural coordinates’.
conﬁguration is given by:
nn
x= y=
∑ Ni (ξ.
where (ξ.−1)
x
1
ξ
Figure 4. and nn is number of nodes of the element. taking a point in the real Cartesian ( x. Using an isoparametric mapping.53)
The difﬁculty that arises is when computing derivatives with respect to the real coordinates. shape functions can be deﬁned on simple shapes. as the shape functions are deﬁned in terms of the natural coordinates. The map ξ is the inverse of x.4 Isoparametric mapping
x
3
(−1. consider the application of the product rule for differentia-
January 21.1) (1. such as the bi-unit square. The position on the bi-unit square is given by the natural coordinates.19. ξ and η.
i =1
(4. η ) in the bi-unit square.

∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂y ∂Ni =∑ y.ξ x j ∂Ni j =1 j= ∂y ∂η 52
Version 0.57) ∂x ∂ f ∂f j ∂x − ∂y ∂η ∂ξ ∂η
J
where j = det J.2
January 21.η y j = .
nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.52)). ∂ξ ∂ξ i i =1 nn ∂x ∂Ni =∑ x.58)
In light of the isoparametric mapping (equation (4. (4. deﬁned in terms of ξ and η.60) ∂Ni j − ∑nn Nj. the terms in the matrix J can be computed.56)
where the matrix J is commonly known as the Jacobian matrix. ∂y ∂ f ∂y ∂f − ∂x ∂ξ ∂ξ 1 ∂η = . 2011
.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
tion for a function f .ξ y j ∂ξ ∂x 1 ∑ j=1 Nj. ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . ∂ f ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂η ∂η ∂η ∂y
J
(4. ∂η ∂x ∂η ∂y ∂η This can be written in matrix form as: ∂x ∂y ∂ f ∂f ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂ξ ∂x = . ∂ξ ∂x ∂ξ ∂y ∂ξ ∂f ∂ f ∂x ∂ f ∂y = + . (4. Using the shape function. (4.59)
Once terms of the matrix J have been formed.54) (4. ∂η ∂η i i =1 nn ∂Ni ∂y =∑ y.55)
(4.η x j ∑nn1 Nj. ∂η ∂η i i =1
(4. ∂Ni nn ∂Ni nn − ∑ j=1 Nj.57) the derivatives of the shape function of node i with respect to x and y can be computed. Taking the inverse of the Jacobian. from equation (4.

Hughes.19. η ) = 1 (1 + ξ i ξ ) (1 + ηi η ) .
Now.0)
r
Figure 4. Consider the triangle in Figure 4.4 Isoparametric mapping
s
(0.62)
January 21.20: Three-node and six-node triangles using area coordinates. it can be implemented in a computer code in a simple and compact fashion.0)
r
1 (0. 4 (4. 1987). A popular approach is to ‘degenerate’ a quadrilateral element to a triangular element (Bathe. s and t. (4. they can be calculated for the real conﬁguration. a four-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a threenode triangular element. 1987).
Quadrilateral elements The shape functions for quadrilateral elements on a bi-unit square is particularly simple.2
53
. where: t = 1 − r − s. While this procedure may seen complex. the shape function of the ith node is given by: Ni (ξ.1)
s
(0. For the bi-unit quadrilateral in Figure 4. 1996.
Triangular elements Isoparametric mappings are also applied for triangular elements. This way.4.0) 4
2 (1. Triangular elements are often described using area coordinates. The position of a point inside the triangle is given by r.20. once the derivatives of the shape functions have been calculated on the simple isoparametric domain. The latter approach is followed here.1)
3
3
6
5
2 1 (0. and an eight-node quadrilateral element can be reduced to a six-node triangular element.61)
Similar formulae can be found for eight. 2011
Version 0.0) (1.and nine-node elements (Hughes. Is is also possible to directly address isoparametric triangular elements.

To evaluate the stiffness matrix of an element.20 are then: N1 = t. Different integration schemes specify where the points are located and the weight associated with each point.64) (4.66)
N3 = 2s2 − s.
1 nint
−1
f (ξ ) dξ ≃
∑ f ( ξ i ) wi . (4. 166).2
January 21. η ) domain. N2 = r. then the mid-side nodes.5 Numerical integration
At this stage. s and t on triangles (Hughes.20. 2011
.
(4. numerical integration is applied. To do this. numerical integration in one-dimension is considered. consider in two dimensions that: B T DB dΩ =
1 1
Ωe
−1 −1
B T DBj dξ dη. Numerical integration is illustrated in Figure 4. (4.
2
N4 = 4rt.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
The shape functions for the nodes of the element in Figure 4. While the displacement ﬁeld has been discretised. 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 . N6 = 4st.
4.65)
Note the numbering of the nodes for the quadratic triangle in Figure 4.68)
54
Version 0. it convenient to integrate in the (ξ.
(4. the problem is not yet fully discrete. N5 = 4rs.21. For the integration of a function f (ξ ) from −1 to 1. It is common for higher-order elements that the apexes are ﬁrst numbered (corner nodes in the case of quadrilateral elements).
N2 = 2r − r.
There is a formula for the shape functions of arbitrary order in terms of r. To make the formulation fully discrete (and amendable to computer implementation). Two schemes which arise in ﬁnite element analysis are Newton-Cotes and Gauss integration.67)
i =1
where ξ i are discrete points on the integral domain. p. For a quadratic (six-node) triangular element. 1987. Before proceeding to the element matrices. the shape functions are equal to: N1 = 2t2 − t. N3 = s.63) (4. the element stiffness matrices and RHS vectors still involve integration over volumes and surfaces (see section 4.3).

2
55
. Optimal means that to integrate a polynomial exactly. The sampling points and weights are listed in Table 4. B contains linear terms.4. the last remaining issue is the selection of an appropriate integration scheme. ηi ). ηi )
i
n
wi . However. It is also known as ‘Gauss quadrature’. in multiple dimensions Gauss integration is not necessarily the most efﬁcient scheme. If the shape functions are quadratic.1. Importantly. The question that arises in ﬁnite element analysis is: How many integration points should be used? Generally. where B contains derivatives of the shape functions. Three points integrate as 5th order polynomial exactly in one dimension. (n + 1) integration points are required when using a Newton-Cotes scheme to integrate an nth-order polynomial. Application of numerical integration leads to:
1 1
−1 −1
B T DBj dξ dη ≃
∑ B (ξ i .
(4. 2011
Version 0. ηi ) is the usual B matrix. the one-dimensional scheme can be extended in each spatial direction. it requires the least number of points. Gauss quadrature is the optimal numerical integration scheme for polynomials in one dimension.5 Numerical integration
f
−1
ξ1
ξ2
ξ3
ξ4
1
ξ
Figure 4. Full integration means that the stiffness matrix is integrated exactly (assuming j = constant). ηi )T DB (ξ i .69)
Note that B (ξ i . Therefore. To perform the numerical integration of the element stiffness matrix. This is simple when using isoparametric elements. The integrand of the stiffness matrix is B T DB. Gauss integration is used. two and three dimensions). j. which when squared give a
January 21. one integration point is sufﬁcient (in one. Most commonly in ﬁnite element analysis. Gauss integration requires n points to integrate the polynomial exactly.2.21: Numerical integration of the function f . if the shape functions are linear. Therefore. full integration schemes are recommended for their robustness. 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. For a (2n − 1)th-order polynomial. The location and weights for Gauss integration in one dimension for up to three points are given in Table 4. This is due to dx dy = j dξ dη (the substitution rule for integration has been applied). ηi ) j (ξ i . containing derivatives of the shape functions with respect to x and y. evaluated at the point (ξ i . Note the appearance of the determinant of the Jacobian. For multi-dimensional problems.

1].
56
Version 0. 1].2
January 21.1: Newton-Cotes integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.2: Gauss integration rules for one dimension on the domain [−1.
n 1 2
location ξ i 0 1 −√ 3 1 √ 3 3 − 5 0 3 5
weight wi 2 1 1 5 9 8 9 5 9
3
Table 4.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
n 1 2
location ξ i 0 1 1
weight wi 2 1 1 1 3 4 3 1 3 1 4 3 4 3 4 1 4
3
−1
0 1
4
−1 −
1 3 1 3 1
Table 4. 2011
.

It is often argued that a zero energy mode will be restrained by neighbouring elements. Figure 4. the eight-node quadrilateral requires 3 × 3 points for full integration. In two dimensions.4.2
57
. there should be only three zero eigenvalues. although it is safer to use full integration.3. The four-node quadrilateral element requires 2 × 2 points for full integration. A test for the element stiffness matrix is to calculate its eigenvalues.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions
Figure 4. the trial functions (uh ) must satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. there is likely a deﬁciency in the formulation. Reduced integration schemes can improve the performance of some elements for special applications. They appear naturally in the weak formulation (hence the common name ‘natural boundary conditions’). 2011
Version 0.22 shows the classic ‘hour-glass’ spurious mode for an eight-node quadrilateral when using reduced 2 × 2 integration. quadratic variation.and twodimensional elements are shown in Table 4.modes which do not contribute to the energy. If a two-dimensional element has more than three zero eigenvalues. In one dimension.
4. This means that a deformation mode exists which does not contribute to the energy. In summary.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions
The imposition of Neumann (force) boundary conditions in the ﬁnite element method is straightforward. although it is often integrated with just one point. To integrate a quadratic function in two dimensions. although a 2 × 2 scheme is often used. In the Galerkin method.22: Spurious zero energy mode for the eight-node quadrilateral element when using 2 × 2 integration. For some applications it may be advantageous to use reduced integration schemes in combination with particular elements.
January 21. there should only be one zero eigenvalue which corresponds to translation. recommended integration schemes for commonly used one. This deformation mode can develop in an uncontrolled fashion. two points are required in each direction. The danger of underintegrating elements is that spurious modes may arise. In solid and structural mechanics. Similarly. Non-zero Dirichlet boundary conditions are more complicated to enforce. two relating the translation (x and y directions) and one for rigid body rotation. The number of zero eigenvalues indicates the number of rigid body modes .

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 4.3: Recommended integration schemes for commonly used elements. 2011
.2
January 21.
58
Version 0.

the element RHS vector can be modiﬁed to enforce Dirichlet boundary conditions before assembly into the global RHS vector.2
59
. It is possible to write: ke av + ke g = f v . and g are the applied Dirichlet boundary conditions. ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g
=
fv . In discretised form at element level. Dirichlet boundary conditions can be enforced by modifying the RHS vector. vv vg In terms of indexes.
January 21. the element RHS vector is modiﬁed. it is not included in the global system of equations to be solved.75)
Once the element stiffness matrix has been formed.72)
Since g is known.mod = f ie −
nn
(4. 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. vv vg (4. ij j
(4.1 Elimination of ‘Dirichlet’ degrees of freedom The displacement ﬁeld can be expressed by: uh = vh + gh . ke a = ke vv ke gv ke vg ke gg av g
=
fv fg
.70)
where uh is the displacement. 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.6 Imposition of Dirichlet boundary conditions
this means that the uh must satisfy the prescribed displacements where they are speciﬁed. ke av = f e − ke g.73)
where av is the only unknown. Since the weight function is deﬁned to be zero where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied.71)
where av are the nodal unknowns at nodes where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. vh is equal to zero where Dirichlet (displacement) boundary conditions are applied and gh satisﬁes the Dirichlet boundary conditions. Two common approached are outlined below. 0
(4.
(4. 2011
Version 0. 4.6. f ie. Since g is known.4.74)
j =1
∑ ke ge . (4.

6. The value of Dirichlet boundary condition is then inserted into the vector f at position k. The three-node triangle element is often referred to as the ‘constant strain triangle’ (CST). modern iterative linear solvers can deal with the consequences of boundary conditions being applied in this fashion is a very efﬁcient manner (Ern and Guermond. except the diagonal term which is set equal to one. The second-order ﬁnite difference equation for the second derivative is: d2 u dx2
=
i
ui−1 − 2ui + ui+1 h2
For unequally spaced nodes.4 Formulation of the ﬁnite element method
4.2
January 21. and that the value of the Dirichlet boundary condition is returned in the solution vector which simpliﬁes postprocessing. 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. both the ﬁnite element method and the ﬁnite difference method require the solution of a system of equations Ka = f . compare the matrix K for the ﬁnite element method with linear elements and for the secondorder central ﬁnite difference method. at which points is the stress from the ﬁnite element solution not uniquely deﬁned when using C0 elements? 2.2 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 advantage of this scheme is its simplicity. Under what conditions the matrix B T DB is symmetric? 5. 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. Form the shape functions for a Lagrange nine-node quadrilateral element 3. 2004).
4. 2011
. For a plane elasticity problem. However. which is given by: ∆u = ∇ · (∇u) = 0 To solve this problem. symmetry is lost.7 Exercises
1.
60
Version 0. 4. Consider the Laplace equation. Show why this is. In one dimension and for equally spaced nodal points (nodes are a distance h apart).

Calculate and plot the shape functions for the eight-node quadrilateral element on a bi-unit square.4.7 using the nodal coordinates in Example 4. 2011
Version 0.2
61
. Form the stiffness matrix for a four-node quadrilateral on a bi-unit square. Formulate the stiffness matrix for the element in Figure 4. Calculate the eigenvalues of the stiffness matrix and comment on their signiﬁcance.7 Exercises
6.1 and for E = 1 and ν = 0. 8. 7.
January 21. Calculate its eigenvalues using one-point and 2 × 2 integration.2.

.

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

The ﬁnal column is the value of the applied boundary condition.2.0 0.0 0.
% element 1 2 3 4 node1 2 3 9 5 node 2 1 2 4 6 node 3 6 5 5 7 node 4 5 4 8 8
Figure 5. The outline of a typical ﬁnite element program for linear static problems
64
Version 0.
5. The list in Figure 5.7 0.0 1.0 0.2 Program ﬂow
Once the input for a ﬁnite element analysis has been prepared. the node numbers are listed.76 2.1 is given in Figure 5. 2011
.8 2. the x and y coordinate is given. The third column gives the degree-of-freedom to which the boundary condition is applied (dof=1 represents the x-direction and dof=2 represents the y-direction).2
January 21.0
Figure 5. For each node.1 involves both Dirichlet (displacement) and Neumann (force) boundary conditions. although the numbering must process in an anti-clockwise direction (to avoid calculating a negative volume and hence a negative element stiffness).1 y 0. The connectivity list for Figure 5.0 0.4 gives the applied boundary condition.5 2. The second column gives the boundary condition type: Dirichlet (displacement) = 1 and Neumann (force) = 0.0 2.0 0.6 0. For an isotropic linear-elastic analysis.82 1. boundary conditions must be speciﬁed.2: Nodal coordinates.1 2. This is either a prescribed force or the prescribed displacement. The problem in Figure 5.5 0. the node to which a boundary condition is applied is listed. The density is necessary when taking the self-weight into account. the calculation phase can begin. the is Young’s modulus. For each element. In addition to nodal coordinates and the connectivity. First. The list can begin with any node of the element.1 2. the Poisson’s ratio and the density of the material.3: Element connectivity. The preprocessing is completed by specify the material data.3.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method
% node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 x 0. the nodal coordinates is shown in Figure 5.

5.3 Local-global

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

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

5.3 Local-global

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

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

65

5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method

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

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

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

66

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

5.3 Local-global

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

**Figure 5.6: Equation numbering.
**

2(4) 1(9)

4(8) 3 (5)

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

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

67

9: Formation of element stiffness matrix.j). k) ) else a_e(jj) = g_e(jj) % displacement is prescribed end end end % return to main program
Figure 5.2
January 21.dof_per_node + k if ID(connect(i.
% form element stiffness matrix ip_scheme % determine integration scheme
for i=1:number_ip_points % loop over integration points ip_location % calculate position of integration point shape_function % evaluate shape functions at integration point form_B_matrix form_D_matrix k_e = k_e + B’*D*B*w(i)*xj(i) % add contribution of ip to k_e f_e = f_e + N’*b*w(i)*xj(i) % add contribution of ip to f_e if postprocess == true % if stress is required stress(i) = D*B*a_e end end % return to main program
Figure 5.5 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.:) % 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 .k) ~= 0 a_e(jj) = a( ID(connect(i.
68
Version 0.j).j).:) = x(connect(i.8: Set-up of local element arrays for element i. 2011
.

jj) + k_e(kk.l).dof_per_node + k for l=1:nodes_per_element for m=1:dof_per_node jj = ID(connect(i.jj) = K(ii.11: Assembly of local arrays into global arrays.10: Imposing Dirichlet boundary conditions.5.dof_per_node + m if ii~=0 & jj~=0 K(ii.j). m) ll = l*dof_per_node .
January 21.k_e(:.ll) end end end if ii ~= 0 f(ii) = f(ii) + f_e(kk) end end end % return to main program
Figure 5.
% assemble k_e and f_e for element i into K and f for j=1:nodes_per_element for k=1:dof_per_node ii = ID(connect(i.i)*g_e(i) end % return to main program
Figure 5. 2011
Version 0.2
69
. k) kk = j*dof_per_node .3 Local-global
% impose Dirichlet boundary conditions for i=1:nodes_per_element*dof_per_node f_e(:) = f_e(:) .

12 is well-numbered.12 represents graphically the structure of the stiffness matrix for a problem involving 700 four-noded quadrilateral elements. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zeros.5 Implementation of the ﬁnite element method
0
500
1000
1500 0 500 1000 1500
Figure 5. Non-zero terms are marked by a dot. This essentially requires that the node numbers of nodes which are close to each should also be close. mesh generation programs will label nodes optimally. The stiffness matrix in Figure 5.12: Graphical representation of a stiffness matrix
5. both in terms of memory and computational time. Taking advantage of the sparse nature of the stiffness matrix yields signiﬁcant computational savings. Many ﬁnite element programs store the stiffness matrix in a skyline format.4 Stiﬀness matrix storage
A feature of the ﬁnite element method is that the stiffness matrix is sparse. storing the whole matrix would require almost 18 megabytes of memory. and hence the computational time. 2011
. Figure 5. only 23 638 entries are non-zero (1% of the total matrix elements).2
January 21. For this method to be efﬁcient. Typically. The dimension of the matrix is 1530 × 1530 (giving a total of 2 340 900 entries). solvers are implemented such that operations are not performed on non-zero terms which reduces the number of ﬂoating point operations required. However. as all non-zero terms are close to the diagonal which minimises the bandwidth. signiﬁcantly. or have the option to relabel nodes to minimise the stiffness matrix bandwidth.
70
Version 0. Assuming double precision storage. This is relatively small for a ﬁnite element analysis. the mesh must be constructed in an ‘optimal’ fashion to minimise the bandwidth of the stiffness matrix. Storing only the non zero terms requires on 283 kilobytes of memory! In addition. Yet further savings can be achieved by taking into account symmetry of the stiffness matrix.

For static problems. Three quantities of potential interest from a linear-elastic calculation are displacements. it gives the reaction force at each node.5 Post-processing
5. The internal force vector for an element is given by:
int fe =
Ωe
B T σ dΩ +
Ωe
N T b dΩ
(5.1)
Once assembled for all elements (at all nodes. More reliable are the reaction forces at nodes where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. the internal force vector should be zero where no Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied. Reaction forces can be evaluates by calculating the so-called internal force vector f int . 2011
Version 0. 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. stresses and reaction forces.5 Post-processing
After a calculation has been completed.
January 21. post-processing of the data is required. including where Dirichlet boundary conditions are applied).2
71
.

.

1. A particular problem is that classical thin bending problems in structural mechanics are governed by fourth-order equations. Consider the truss element in Figure 6. The most convenient system is one in which the axis of the truss element is aligned with the x coordinate axis. which is oriented in the three-dimensional space. Each element is rotated to a convenient coordinate system.
73
. The formulation of structural elements tends to be more complex than continuum elements. a ﬁnite element model will require two degrees of freedom at each node. The use of truss elements in a two. These elements are derived from different governing equations.2. 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. It is however possible to assemble this element into a truss structure in two or three dimensions. Their governing equations derive from the governing equation of elastostatics.or three dimensional structure relies upon a rotation between different coordinate systems. plate and shell elements.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Special ﬁnite elements are often used in structural mechanics. Joints (nodes) of the truss can translate in both the x. in contrast to continuum elasticity problems which involve only second-order derivatives. That is. Hence. Examples are beam.
6. They are used in situations where conventional solid elements perform poorly with a practicably allowable number of elements.1 Rod elements in space
In Chapter 4.1: Two-dimensional truss structure. A simple two-dimensional truss structure is shown in Figure 6.and y-directions. which are closely related to classical equations from structural mechanics. For a truss structure in
F
Figure 6. with simpliﬁcations and assumptions which are applicable for common structural problems. This has serious consequences for the shape functions which can be employed. the strong governing equations involve fourth-order derivatives. a one-dimensional rod element was developed that could only transmit normal forces.

and y⋆ -directions are given by: Q Q21 0 0 a1x a1x⋆ ⋆ 11 a1y Q Q22 0 0 a1y = 12 . Therefore. Given that the only displacements of interest are the in x ⋆ -direction. of a linear bar. The displacements at nodes one and two. The only displacement of any consequence for an element is in the x ⋆ -direction.4)
The following deﬁnitions are now adopted:
74
Version 0. the vector ae has four components (a component in the x and y direction at each node). Denoting the angle between the x-axis and the x ⋆ -axis as θ. two degrees of freedom. the rotation matrix has the form: QT = cos θ − sin θ sin θ cos θ (6. a node will have three degrees of freedom.1)
The vector ae holds the displacement components at the nodes of an element.2: Linear truss element in three-dimensional space.3) = a2x⋆ 0 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2y a⋆ = e a1x⋆ a2x⋆ . three dimensions. and in two dimensions. the rotation is particularly simple. 2011
. Since truss elements are based on the assumption that only normal forces (σx⋆ ) can be transmitted. The displacement components can be rotated using the matrix Q (see section 1.2
January 21. the above problem can be reduced to give: a1x a1y a1x⋆ Q11 Q21 0 0 . (6. displacements in the y⋆ -direction are not resisted by an element. (6. For a two dimensional truss structure. (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Fx* x*
y*
y z* z x
Figure 6.2) 0 Q11 Q21 a2x a2x⋆ 0 ⋆ 0 0 Q12 Q22 a2y a2y where Qij are components of the matrix Q.1) to give the nodal displacements in terms of the coordinate system aligned with the axis of the truss element. in the x ⋆ .

(6.6. The strain in the x ⋆ -direction is therefore given by:
h ǫh⋆ = u. and eliminating be .5)
The displacement in the x ⋆ -direction along the bar is therefore given by: uh⋆ = N ⋆ a⋆ = N ⋆ qae .12).1 Rod elements in space
and q= Q11 0 Q21 0 0 Q11 0 .
(6.
Ωe
( Bbe ) T EBae dΩ =
Γh
( Nbe ) T h dΓ. where k⋆ is the standard one-dimensional stiffness e e matrix for a bar. Inserting the relationships in equations (6.7)
Similarly.19) for a linear element). the element stiffness matrix is equal to: ke = q T B⋆ T EB⋆ q dΩ. Q21 (6.
January 21. Inserting now the discretised ﬁelds into the weak governing equation for a onedimensional bar.9) is the stiffness matrix. A classic sign of a mechanism is singularity of the global stiffness matrix of the structure.x⋆⋆ = B⋆ qae
(6.x⋆ = B⋆ qbe ⋆
(6.
h w. multidimensional coordinate system. 2011
Version 0. Clearly.6)
where N ⋆ contains the shape functions for a one-dimensional bar (see equation (4. The ‘star’ denotes that the shape functions are constructed relative to the coordinate system on the bar.9)
where the LHS of equation (6.8) into the weak governing equation (2. the stiffness matrix for a one-dimensional element can be formed.2
75
.7) and (6. It is important to ensure that a truss structure does not form a mechanism. e (6. the derivative of a weight function w can be expressed in the local coordinate system in terms of the global degrees of freedom. and with the aid of the matrix q it can be transformed into the global.10)
Ωe
This is equivalent to ke = q T k⋆ q.8)
(recall that be is a variation).

and its ends (the boundary of Ω) are denoted Γ = x1 ∪ x2 . Consistent with previous sections. The governing equation is identiﬁed and then the weak form developed.3.x y
x
Figure 6. The development of beam elements follows the same steps as for continuum elements. 2011
. is denoted Ω = ( x1 . 6. v. straight. Consider now a ﬁbre in a beam
76
Version 0. The second is the Timoshenko beam. The outward normal is denoted n. For simplicity. which is valid for relatively slender beams. For a transverse displacement v. there are no out-of plane forces or moments.x
v.2 Beams
Two types of beams are considered in this section. in-plane beams are considered.4: Rotation of a line normal to the axis in a beam segment.2. the ‘domain’ of the beam. which takes into account shear deformations. Figure 6.4 shows the rotation of the plane due to a rigid body rotation. The ﬁrst is the classic BernoulliEuler beam.2
January 21. x2 ).1 Kinematics of a beam Beam theory is based upon the assumption that planes which are normal to the beam’s axis remain plane.3: Plane beam element Ω = ( x1 .
6. x2 ).6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
y fy Fy x T x = x1 x = x2
Figure 6. Such a beam is illustrated in Figure 6.

equilibrium of a beam can be considered directly.x y
x Figure 6. 6.x − γ. where n is the outward unit normal vector.13)
Figure 6.
(6. Note that M = m n and Q = q n. Considering translational equilibrium of a beam segment Ω.2 Beams
γ
v. the ﬁbre will not rotate. it is clear
January 21.5: Beam segment subjected to pure shear.6.2 Equilibrium of a beam The equilibrium equations for a beam can be developed in two ways. Subjecting a segment from a beam to pure shear. which will be followed here. In the second method.2
77
. For a beam segment subjected to both rotation and shear deformation. as illustrated in Figure 6.
(6.7 show the ‘resultant’ force Q and moment M due to a moment m and a shear force q in a beam. The ﬁbre is indicated by the heavy line.11)
− h/2
σxx y dy. a plane which remains perpendicular to the axis undergoes a rotation γ. The ﬁrst is to elaborate the kinematics of the beam.5. the rotation θ of a ﬁbre which is initially perpendicular to the beam’s axis is shown in Figure 6. It is clear from Figure 6. which is initially perpendicular to the beam axis. 2011
Version 0. The bending moment m in a beam is deﬁned as m=
h/2
(6.12)
and the shear stress q is deﬁned by q=
h/2
− h/2
σxy dy.2.6. Relative to the ﬁbre which has not rotated.6 that θ = v. which together with some assumptions as to the stress in different directions can be inserted into the elasticity equations from Chapter 1.

2
January 21.6: Rotation of ﬁbre in a beam.x y
x
Figure 6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
γ
θ
v.
78
Version 0.
+Q
n y n
+M
x
Figure 6. 2011
.7: Sign conventions for a bending moment and shear force resultant.

Γθ ∩ ΓM = ∅
+ f y ) x dΩ =
(6. distributed loads f y and applied moments T (all shown in Figure 6.18)
Satisfaction of the translational equilibrium equation implies that 0.x + f y = 0. and boundary conditions. the boundary conditions are v = gv θn = gθ mn = T q n = Fy on Γv .x dΩ +
f y dΩ = 0. are valid for both Bernoulli-Euler and Timoshenko beam theories.21b) (6. on Γθ . (6.16)
dΩ
dΩ
Ω
This expression can be rearranged such that m. it is clear that
Ω
Ω
q.6.21c) (6.2 Beams
that: q n dΓ +
dΩ
dΩ
Ω
f y dΩ = 0.19)
(6.2
79
.20a) (6.x − q = 0. translational equilibrium requires that q.14)
Noting that
q n dΓ = q| x= L2 − q| x= L1 . The boundary Γ of a beam is partitioned such that: Γv ∪ ΓQ = Γ. 2011
Version 0.21d)
These equations.17) (6.
(6.x
Ω
Ω
Ω
Ω
(6. on ΓM .3).x x dΩ − f y x dΩ = 0. therefore rotational equilibrium requires that m. Γv ∩ ΓQ = ∅.20b)
Denoting applied end forces Fy .21a) (6. Γθ ∪ ΓM = Γ.
Ω (q.x dΩ − q dΩ − q. it is required that: m n dΓ − q nx dΓ − f y x dΩ = 0.15)
Since equilibrium must hold for an inﬁnitely small segment of a beam.
January 21. on ΓQ . (6.
(6. For rotational equilibrium.

and then inserting equation (6.27)
80
Version 0. the boundary value problem is complete and can be solved. and Neumann involve either the shear force or moment (equations (6.16) yields: d2 m + f y = 0. Dirichlet boundary conditions involve the prescription of the displacement or the rotation (equations (6. With appropriate boundary conditions. dx2 d2 v .
(6.25) by a weight function v.xx dΩ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0. dx4
(6. This assumption implies that the shear rotation γ is equal to zero.21c) and (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
6. dx2 (6. dx d2 v .21b)).26)
which is the strong equation of equilibrium for a Bernoulli-Euler beam.21d)). two boundary conditions are required at both ends of the beam. dx2 (6. Weak governing equation Following the procedures from Chapter 2.21a) and (6. which is equal to zero where Dirichlet (kinematic) boundary conditions are applied (the bar is used in this section to denote a weight function) and integration over the beam Ω yields:
Ω
¯ vm.2
January 21.24). θ= dv . the weak form of equilibrium for a beam ¯ can be developed. so the rotation can be directly related to the displacement v. 2011
.24)
where I is the moment of inertia of the beam.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.23)
The bending moment in the beam is related to the curvature by: m = − EIκ = − EI (6. Being a fourth-order equation. Taking now the derivative of all terms in equation (6. The negative sign is due to the sign convention in which the rotation and the resultant moment are in opposite directions.25)
Assuming EI to be constant.2. from an appropriately deﬁned space.22)
which also implies that κ= (6. and inserting the constitutive relationship from equation (6.
− EI
d4 v + f y = 0. Multiplying equation (6.19) with respect to x.

Consider now: ¯ v ≡ δv Inserting this relationship into equation (6.x n dΓ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.33)
δv.28)
Applying integrating by parts again.2
81
.x = 0 on Γθ .29)
Inserting now the Neumann (natural) boundary conditions from equations (6.6.xx dΩ = −
ΓM
δv. The existence of second-order derivatives in the weak form deserves some special attention.xx EIv. and v.
(6. The integration domain for the ¯ ¯ boundary integrals has been changed since v = 0 on Γv . (6.
January 21. which require C0 continuity only. ¯ Ω v.x = gθ on Γθ .21c) and (6. Consistency of the above weak form can be proven following the same procedure as in in Section 2.2 Beams
Integrating by parts the term involving the moment M once yields:
−
Ω
¯ v.34)
which is the equation of virtual work for a Bernoulli-Euler beam beam.24). the spaces S and V are formally deﬁned by:
S = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) . 2011
Version 0. it was shown that if the weight function could be considered as a ‘virtual displacement’.32a) (6.x dΩ. v.x .x T dΓ +
ΓQ
¯ vFy dΓ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0
¯ ∀v ∈ V . after integrating by parts twice. has second-order derivatives in its weak form.30) gives:
Ω
(6. the trial functions (v ∈ S ) and the ¯ weight (test) functions (v ∈ V ) must possess a higher degree of regularity (roughly speaking.xx dΩ −
ΓM
¯ v.31)
In one dimension this is equivalent to the trial and test functions being at least C1 continuous. For completeness. continuity) than for classical continuum problems.x = 0 on Γθ .xx EIv.x n dΓ +
Ω
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.21d).
(6.1.x m. which means that both their ﬁrst and second derivatives exist. v = gv on Γv . this time to the term
Ω
¯ v.30)
where S and V are appropriately deﬁned spaces.
¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = v | v ∈ H 2 (Ω) .x mn dΓ +
Γ
¯ vm. Note that a fourth-order problem.x m.x dΩ +
Γ
¯ vm. v. v = 0 on Γv .
(6.x T dΓ +
ΓQ
δvFy dΓ +
Ω
δv f y dΩ
(6.32b)
For the case of an elastic continuum.xx m dΩ −
Γ
¯ v. solving the governing weak equation for a beam involves: ﬁnd v ∈ S such that
−
Ω
¯ v. Both S and V must be subspaces of the Sobolev space H 2 (Ω).xx
(6. and inserting the constitutive relation in equation (6. This is in contrast to second-order problems. For the weak form to ‘make sense’. it implies that the weak form of the governing equation is identical to the equation of virtual work. . which contains functions satisfying:
Ω
v2 + v2 + v2 dx < ∞.

Recall from equation (6. has been introduced.
82
Version 0. and are hence suitable for relatively short beams. 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. The governing equations are given by the equilibrium conditions in equations (6.38)
and considering v and θ to be the fundamental unknowns. the shear strain γ. Relative to the Bernoulli-Euler theory. Planes must remain plane. dx (6.36)
where G is the shear modulus and As is the effective shear area. it is related to the shear force by the constitutive relationship: γ= q . dx (6. 2011
.19) and (6. the problem is complete. Inserting the constitutive relationships into the equilibrium equations in (6.
(6. an additional unknown.19) and (6. They also provide a solid introduction to moderately thick plate theories where the advantage of shear deformable theories will become more apparent. Together with the previously deﬁned boundary conditions.40)
+ fy = 0
which are two coupled second-order equations. the ﬁrst for the rotation θ.4 Timoshenko beam Timoshenko beams are more general Bernoulli-Euler beams as they allow for shear deformation. and the second for the displacement v.35)
where γ is the rotation due to shear.2. GAS (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
6. in Ω.11) that rotation θ of a plane is given by θ= dv − γ.39) (6. In terms of the shear force and properties of the beam.2
January 21.16) with the constitutive relationships m = − EIκ. This means that shear deformations can be taken into account. but not necessarily normal.37) dv −θ . q = GAs γ = GAs (6.16) leads to: d2 θ − GAs dx2 dθ d2 v − dx dx2 dv −θ dx
− EI
GAs
=0
in Ω.

x − θ ) dΩ = 0.x EIθ.47)
For many mechanical problems.48)
January 21.x ) dΩ +
¯ v f y dΩ = 0.xx dΩ = − ΓM
¯h v.
(6. It is however assumed that θ = 0 on Γθ and that θ satisﬁes ¯ the rotation boundary condition.
Ω
(6.x GAs (v.2
83
.39) and (6.x EIθ.45) and (6.
and then inserting the Neumann boundary conditions yields the weak problem for a Timoshenko beam of: ﬁnd v ∈ Sv and θ ∈ Sθ such that
Ω
¯ θ.41) (6. and v satisﬁes the transverse displacement boundary condition.46)
−
¯ v.
¯ ∀θ ∈ Vθ ¯ ∀v ∈ Vv . 6.x n dΓ −
Γ
Ω
¯ θGAs (v. and v = 0 on Γv .40) by appropriately deﬁned weight functions θ ¯ and v. and using γ = v.xx − θ.
−
Ω
Ω
¯ θEIθ.x − θ.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.44)
−
¯ v.xx dΩ −
Ω
¯ θGAs (v.
Ω
(6.43) (6. considering δθ ≡ θ and δv ≡ v. consistency can be proven through the application of integration by parts.xx EIv.x dΩ −
Ω
Ω
¯ θGAs (v.x GAs (v.45) (6.
Applying integration by parts once.2 Beams
Weak governing equations ¯ Multiplying equations (6. ¯ ¯ As before.x T dΓ +
ΓQ
¯ vh Fy dΓ +
Ω
¯ vh f y dΩ = 0
¯ ∀vh ∈ V h (6. As with all problems. 2011
Version 0.x − θ ) dΩ +
¯ vGAs (v.2.x − θ ) n x dΓ +
¯ v f y dΩ = 0. the weak form or virtual work expressions appear naturally and can be used as a starting point in developing a ﬁnite element model. The test and trial functions should be at least C0 continuous (in contrast to the C1 continuity for the Bernoulli-Euler theory).x dΩ −
Ω
Ω
Γ
¯ θEIθ. adding the weak forms in equations (6.46) is equivalent to the virtual work equation.x − θ ) dΩ +
ΓQ
ΓM Ω
¯ θT dΓ = 0.42)
¯ vGAs (v.6.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.
−
Ω
δκ m dΩ +
Ω
δγ q dΩ = −
ΓM
δθ T dΓ +
ΓQ
δv Fy dΓ +
Ω
δv f y dΩ (6. ¯ θ.x − θ ) dΩ = 0.

Hermitian polynomials are C1 functions.
i 2
(6. The solution is to use C1 shape functions. we wish to express the displacement ﬁeld v in terms of shape functions and nodal degrees of freedom. 2011
.50b) h3 ( x − x1 ) ( x − x2 ) 2 (6. and involve both displacement and rotational degrees of freedom.50c) M1 = h2 ( x − x1 )2 ( x − x2 ) M2 = (6.49)
where vi and θi are degrees of freedom associated with node i. The use of C0 interpolations for fourth-order problems is not mathematically consistent and can lead to unpredictable results. and the shape functions are equal to:
− ( x − x2 )2 (− h + 2 ( x1 − x )) (6.51) v = Nae = N1 M1 N2 M2 v2 θ2
N1 =
It is necessary to compute both the ﬁrst and second derivatives of v with respect to x. convergence of the solution is not assured for interpolations with insufﬁcient continuity.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
where S h ⊂ S and V h ⊂ V are ﬁnite-dimensional spaces.x N2. The problem that arises is that simple C0 ﬁnite element shape functions are not suitable. The displacement at a point in the beam is given by: v1 θ1 h (6. the second derivative of a C0 continuous function does not exist in a classical sense. The above equation requires the evaluation of the second derivative of the interpolated displacement ﬁeld.x M1. The ﬁrst derivative is given by: v1 θ1 h (6.52) v. However.x v2 θ2 84
Version 0.x ae = N1.50d) h2 for an element of length h with ends from x1 to x2 (x2 > x1 ).50a) h3 ( x − x1 )2 ( h + 2 ( x2 − x )) N2 = (6. The displacement ﬁeld vh is given by: vh ( x ) = ∑ ( Ni ( x ) vi + Mi ( x ) θi ) . Such shape functions can be constructed relatively easily in one dimension (the extension to multiple dimensions is however far from trivial). Crucially.x = N. This results in a cubic interpolation of the displacement along the element. A Hermitian beam element with two nodes has four degrees of freedom (two displacement degrees of freedom and two rotation degrees of freedom).x M2.2
January 21. As for continuum elements.

xx
M2.xx can be computed given ae .x and v.x be ) T T dΓ +
ΓQ
( Nbe ) T Fy dΓ
Ω
+
( Nbe ) T f y dΩ (6.xx T EI N.xx T EI N.xx
N2. v.
(6.xx ae dΩ = −
ΓM
( N.xx dΩ.6.xx dΩ ae = −
ΓM
N.xx
M1.57)
The operation to form the RHS vector essentially translates the applied loads into equivalent nodal shear forces and moments.56)
and the RHS vector by:
fe =
ΓQ
N T Fy dΓ −
ΓM
N T T dΓ +
Ω
N T f y dΩ.xx = N.xx
(6.55)
The element stiffness matrix is given by:
ke =
Ω
N.2
85
.
Ω
N.xx be ) T EI N.
(6.53)
h h Now that vh .x T T dΓ +
ΓQ
N T Fy dΓ
+
Ω
N T f y dΩ.xx ae = N1.
Ω
( N.
(6. they can be inserted into the Galerkin problem.54)
After some rearranging.2 Beams
The second derivative of v is given by: v1 θ1 v2 θ2
h v. 2011
Version 0.
January 21.

the above equations can be simpliﬁed signiﬁcantly.58d) (6. h3 2 (6x + h − 2x1 − 4x2 ) .58g) (6.59a) (6. h h (6. h3 6x 1 M1. h h 12x N2.
(6.x = h2 2 (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) . 2011
.58h)
Assuming the centre of the element is at x = 0 (x2 + x1 = 0.58f) (6. M2.59d)
Inserting these terms into equation (6.x = . h3 2 (6x − h − 4x1 − 2x2 ) N2. N1.xx = 2 − . h3 ( x − x1 ) (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) .xx = h3 ( x − x2 ) (3x − 2x1 − x2 ) M1.xx = − . N1.60)
Integrating the terms in the stiffness matrix exactly from − h/2 to h/2 (assuming EI 86
Version 0.56).58a) (6. h2 2 (3x − x1 − 2x2 ) M1.50). 2 ( x − x2 ) (3x + h − 2x1 − x2 ) .59b) (6.59c) (6. Considering just the second derivatives with respect to x. the stiffness matrix is of the form: 12x h3 6x 1 h/2 2 − h EI 12x h ke = h3 − h/2 − 12x h3 6x 1 + h h2
6x 1 − h h2
−
12x h3
6x 1 + h h2
dx. x1 = − h/2). h 6x 1 M2.xx = .58c) (6.2
January 21.58b) (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Taking derivatives of the Hermitian shape functions in equation (6. M2.xx = 12x . h2 2 ( x − x1 ) (3x − h − x1 − 2x2 ) N2.58e) (6.xx = − 3 .xx = 2 + .x = (6.xx = h2 N1.x = − .

62) and (6.6. 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 . v h = N v av . in terms of shape functions and nodal variable.x EIθ. This will allow the use of the standard shape functions introduced in Chapter 4. due to the second-order nature of the governing equations.x − θ h
dΩ =
Ω
¯ vh f y dΩ +
¯ vh Fy dΓ
h ¯ ∀v h ∈ Vv .2
87
. Inserting the expressions for the unknown ﬁelds in terms of nodal variables and variations into equations (6. 2011
Version 0.61)
Timoshenko beams The ﬁnite element formulation for the Timoshenko beam is relatively simple. (6. e N v bv .x − θ h
dΩ = −
ΓQ
ΓM
¯ θ h T dΓ
h ¯ ∀θ h ∈ Vθ .
T
(6. and corresponding derivatives.M
N θ T dΓ.66)
January 21.x GAs v.64d)
N θ aθ .Q
N v T Fy dΓ +
Ωe
N v T f y dΩ.63)
Consider the representation of the ﬁelds vh and θ h .2 Beams
to be constant).64b) (6.x dΩ − Ω h ¯ θ h GAs v.64c) (6.65)
Ωe
Bv T GAs Bv dΩav − e
Ωe
Bv T GAs N θ dΩaθ e
=
Γe.62)
h ¯h v.64a) (6. − 6EI h2 4EI h
(6.63) leads to: Bθ EIBθ dΩ aθ + e
T
Ωe
Ωe
N θ GAs N θ dΩ aθ − e
T
Ωe
N θ GAs Bv dΩ av e
T
=−
Γe. e θ θ N be . e θ = ¯ v = ¯ θh =
h h
(6. h h The Galerkin problem for the Timoshenko beam involves: ﬁnd vh ∈ Sv and θ h ∈ Sθ such that
Ω Ω h ¯h θ.
A distinction is made between the shape functions for vh and θ h as these may differ.
(6.
(6.

Locking Conceptually. 2011
. This would be advantageous from the point of view of generality.73)
Γe.74) e EI GAs L GAs L EI + − + L 6 L 3 GAs GAs − 2 2 .71)
kθv = − kvθ = − kvv =
Ωe
N θ GAs Bv dΩ.
Ωe Ωe
T
T
(6. kθθ = (6. Bv T GAs N θ dΩ. Ideally. the result are plagued by shear locking. and both short and slender beams could be analysed. and for simplicity as the Timoshenko element used C0 shape functions.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. with linear shape functions for both the displacement and rotation.Q
N v T Fy dΓ +
Ωe
Note that the stiffness matrix is symmetric (kθv = kvθ ).70) (6.2
January 21.75) kθv = e GA GAs s − 2 2 88
Version 0. (6. However. only a Timoshenko beam element would be necessary in practice.67)
where the components of the the element stiffness matrix are given by kθθ =
Ωe
Bθ EIBθ + N θ GAs N θ dΩ.
T
T
(6. This is the effect in which the shear contribution to the energy does not vanish.
T
Bv T GAs Bv dΩ. Consider a Timoshenko beam element of length L.68) (6. N v T f y dΩ. The components of the stiffness matrix are given by: GAs L EI GAs L EI − + L + 3 L 6 . resulting in an overly stiff response.
and components of the element RHS vector are given by fθ = − fv =
Γe. when applying Timoshenko elements for thin bending problems.M
N θ T dΓ.69) (6.72) (6. Timoshenko beam theory is superior to the Bernoulli-Euler theory in that it is valid for both short and slender beams.

will yield a very stiff response.2
89
.78)
Therefore. v2 ≈ 4PL . the displacement v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/3) EIGAs /L2 + G2 A2 /12 s (6.76)
Therefore. As L → 0. Even with a very ﬁne mesh. this element will exhibit a very stiff response. If the term
Ωe
N θT GAs N θ dΩ is evaluated using one-point numerical integration
T
January 21. v2 ≈ PL . GAs (6. θ1 = v1 = 0. the stiffness matrix is of the form EI GAs L L + 3 EI GAs L + − 6 L ke = GAs 2 GAs − 2
−
EI GAs L + L 6 EI GAs L + L 3 GAs 2 GAs − 2
GAs 2 GAs 2 GAs L GAs − L
−
(6.81)
which is the correct result.77)
If at one end the beam is clamped. and a shear load P is applied one end.2 Beams
and GAs L = GA s − L GAs − L GAs L GAs 2 GAs − 2 GAs − L GAs L
kvv e
(6. GAs (6. EI GAs L L + 3 ke = GAs − 2
−
GAs θ 0 2 2 = GAs v2 P L
(6.80)
which is independent of I.79)
If L is large. 2011
Version 0.6.

82) ke = GAs GAs GAs GAs − 2 2 L L GAs GAs GAs GAs − − − 2 2 L L Now. the element stiffness matrix would have the form EI GAs L EI GAs L GAs GAs + − + − L 4 L 4 2 2 EI GAs L GAs L GAs EI GAs + + − − 4 L 4 2 2 L (6. v2 is equal to v2 = P ( EI/L + GAs L/4) EIGAs /L2
(6.
90
Version 0. and as L → 0.85)
When using reduced integration. this element performs quite well when the mesh is sufﬁciently well-reﬁned. The case is similar for quadratic elements. 2011
. for the one element problem clamped at one end.84)
which qualitatively the desired response.2
January 21. v2 ≈ PL GAs (6. v2 ≈ PL3 4EI (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
(which is reduced for this term).83)
If L is very large. where selective integration (two-point) leads to a dramatic reduction in locking response.

A particularly accessible account can be found in Cook et al. The plate has a thickness t. (1989). The basic governing equations of shell and plate elements and the most common ﬁnite element approaches are discussed.86a) (6. 1996). Bathe. respectively). x2 and x3 . and the boundary is Γ. are are typically loaded out of plane. the convention differs from the right-hand rule. More detailed coverage can be found in a number of books (Zienkiewicz and Taylor.86b)
where θα is the rotation of a ﬁbre in the plate (see Figure 6. the displacement of a point is given by: uα = −zθα ( x. It is convenient to express many relationships for plates using index notation. The surface of the plate in the x1 –x2 plane is denoted Ω.3 Plate
Plates are effectively generalisations of beam elements to two spatial dimensions. Similarly.
6.6.1 Plate kinematics The adopted coordinate system and sign convention for rotations θα for plates is shown in Figure 6. u2 and u3 when using indexes. v and w (displacements in the x. Also. For convenience. or x1 . summation is implied from one to two.3. and the coordinate z = 0 corresponds to the mid-surface of the plate. The rotation of the
January 21. Plate ﬁnite elements can be extremely complex and are an area of ongoing research. 6. Given the enormous number of different plate and shell elements. u3 = u3 ( x. A serious problem stems from the need for C1 interpolations in the classic thin plate and shell bending theories. y and z.9). y and z directions. the relevant dangers in analysing plate and shell structures with the ﬁnite element method are presented. They are ﬂat two-dimensional entities.8: Coordinate system for a plate. Hughes.2
91
. (6. 1987.3 Plate
x3
p θ1 x2 t
x1 θ2
Figure 6. The adopted deﬁnitions simplify the formulation as it will avoid the need for a −1 factor on particular terms.8. 1991. or u1 . 2011
Version 0. y) . T When using Greek subscripts. In plate theory. The three coordinates are denoted x. displacement may be denoted u. y) . this section does not provide an exhaustive coverage.

92
Version 0.9: Plate kinematics with shear deformation included.2
January 21.α 1 w
x3
xα
Figure 6. 2011
.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
γα θ α
w.

ǫαβ = ǫα3 =
−z θα.α . which is a second-order tensor and at a point is given by: καβ = 1 θ + θ β.89)
6.88a) (6.6.i )). (6. The moment tensor mαβ in a plate is deﬁned as:
t/2
−t/2
σαβ z dz
(6. This allows the deﬁnition of following notation for
January 21. and lies in the plane of Ω.α 2 −θα + w.10 (‘resultants’ are forces which are equivalent to a moment or shear stress).90)
From symmetry of the stress tensor. 2011
Version 0. and the shear strain is given by γα . it is clear that the moment tensor is symmetric.j + u j.α 2
(6. The alternative approach would be to insert the plate kinematics into the elasticity equations.β + θ β. The shear force vector qα is deﬁned as:
t/2
−t/2
σα3 dz
(6.88b)
A useful quantity is the curvature. It is useful to deﬁne a vector s which is normal to the vector n. γα = w. 2 α.2
93
. the strain ﬁeld can be calculated at any point (recall ǫ = (1/2)(ui.α = θ(α.α .91)
The different resultant moments and transverse forces acting on cross-sections of a plate are shown in Figure 6. From the displacement ﬁeld in equations (6.2 Equilibrium of a plate The equilibrium equations for a plate are developed here in the same fashion as for plates.3.87)
Note that if γα = 0.β) .α − θα . then θα = w.3 Plate
mid-surface of the plate is given by w.86).β
(6.

92b) (6.s = w.n = w.α + pz = 0.94)
which must also hold for an inﬁnitesimally small piece of the plate.95)
94
Version 0.92a) (6.s = ∂s qn = qα nα .α nα w.s = The quantities are illustrated in Figure 6.92g) (6. quantities relative to an arbitrarily oriented plate edge: mnn = mαβ n β nα . 2011
.11. θn = θα nα .10: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on cross-sections of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). (6. mns.
(6. ∂s ∂mns . Translation equilibrium of a plate requires that:
∂Ω
(6.α sα mnn. ∂mnn .92d) (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
q2 m21 m22 m11 x3 m12 x2 θ1 q1 q2 m11 q1
m12 m22
m21
x1 θ2
Figure 6.92e) (6.2
January 21.92f) (6. mns = mαβ n β sα . therefore qα.α dΩ +
Ω
pz dΩ = 0. w.
(6.93)
Applying the divergence theorem to the term involving qα leads to
Ω
qα.92h)
qα nα dΓ +
Ω
pz dΩ = 0.92c) (6.

6. 2011
Version 0.97)
noting that q β xα . and are speciﬁc to the considered plate theory.98)
The boundary conditions for a plate are more complicated that for a beam.β + q β.β dΩ −
Ω
qα dΩ −
Ω
q β.β − qα = 0.PSfrag
6. (6. the outwardly simplest plate theory presents the most problems when formulating the ﬁnite
January 21.Kirchhoﬀ theory The Kirchhoff plate model theory is analogous to the Bernoulli-Euler beam. hence boundary conditions are elaborated upon in the context of a given theory.β + pz = 0.3. It is applicable for thin plates where shear deformations are negligible. mαβ n β dΓ − q β n β xα dΩ − pz xα dΩ = 0.3 Plate
q2 m21 m22 qn x3 x2 θ1 mns m11 q1
m12 s mnn n
x1 θ2
Figure 6.β xα dΩ −
Ω
pz xα dΩ = 0. is the equation for translational equilibrium.2
95
. Ironically. Since translation equilibrium requires that q β. Considering now rotational equilibrium. rotational equilibrium requires that mαβ. constitutive relationships are required which relate the moment tensor and the shear force to deformations.α xα = qα + q β.96)
∂Ω
∂Ω
Ω
which leads to:
Ω
mαβ.
(6. To complete the problem.3 Thin plates .β = q β xα.11: Moment and transverse shear force resultants acting on an edge of a plate (adapted from Hughes (1987)). These constitutive relationships will also be elaborated upon in the context of the different theories.α xα . (6.

the governing equation can be expressed in a particularly convenient form: w. four different types of boundary conditions are possible. This can be done by differentiating equation (6. 12
(6. where the constitutive tensor is equal to: (6.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
element method.104)
Expanding this equation.ααββ = 12 1 − ν2 pz . Inserting the constitutive relationship (6. the curvature κ is equal to: καβ = 1 w.100) yields a fourthorder partial differential equation. mαβ. 12 1 − ν2 ∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 = pz . ∂x y ∂x4 ∂y
(6.99)
which corresponds to the classical theory for beams and plates which assumes ﬁbres which are initially normal to the mid-surface remain normal to the mid-surface.αβ + w. Assuming transverse shear deformations are zero. and the Kirchhoff plate model requires two boundary conditions at all points
96
Version 0.95).100)
The moment is related to the curvature by mαβ = −Cαβγδ κγδ . Since shear deformations are zero.105)
This equation is known as the ‘biharmonic equation’.102) into equation (6. 2 (6.
∇4 w =
∂4 w ∂4 w ∂4 w +2 2 2 + 4 . The goal is now to eliminate qα from the governing equations. It is often written in a shorthand format using the biharmonic operator ∇4 . The shear force qα is no longer ‘independent’.101) (6.α (6. ∂x y Et3 ∂x4 ∂y (6. 2011
.βα .αβ + pz = 0.2
January 21.98) and inserting equation (6.102)
Cαβγδ =
t3 ¯ µ δαβ δβδ + δαδ δβγ + λδαβ δγδ . equation (6.103)
¯ where λ = 2λµ/ (λ + 2µ). After some rearranging. Et3 (6.106)
As a fourth-order equation.87) reduces to: θα = w.

6. Integrating the moment term by parts once.αβ dΩ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.2
97
.
Ω
¯ wmαβ.s dΓ − wmns | B A (6. The governing equation is multiplied by a weight function. and leads to the well known ‘corner forces’ in thin plate theory. Multiplying by a weight ¯ function w.αβ mαβ dΩ −
Γ
¯ w.n mnn dΓ +
Γ
¯ w (mns. and the last two are Neumann boundary conditions.β dΩ +
Γ
¯ wmαβ.α mαβ. Inserting the above relationship into equation (6.3 Plate
on the boundary.110)
which is the weak form of the governing equation for thin plate bending. 2011
Version 0.112)
January 21.107b) (6.β nα dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.
−
Γ
¯ w.108)
where Ω is the surface of the plate. it is convenient to carry out the process on equation (6.107c) (6. Weak form The weak form of the governing equation for a thin plate is derived using the same processes applied for second-order problems. and integrating over the surface of the plate.109)
Using integration by parts again on the ﬁrst term.105) by a weight function w.107a) (6.n = 0 on Γθ . then integrated by parts.110) (ignoring the point terms).s = Q on Γw on Γθ on ΓM on ΓQ (6. Considering the partition of the boundary in equation (6.β nα dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.
(6.α mαβ n β dΓ = −
Γ Γ
¯ w. for which w = 0 on Γw and w.
Ω
¯ w. The problem here is that too many boundary terms appear in the ﬁrst boundary integral.107d)
The ﬁrst two boundary conditions are Dirichlet boundary conditions.s + qn ) dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.αβ mαβ dΩ −
Γ
¯ w. the boundary conditions are given by: w = gw θ n = gθ mnn = T qn + mns.α mαβ n β dΓ +
Γ
¯ wmαβ.
(6.20).n mnn dΓ +
Γ Γ
¯ w.100).111)
=−
The last term will be ignored. (6. (6. yields
Ω
¯ w. Rather than multiplying the governing ¯ equation (6.s mns dΓ ¯ ¯ wmns. The last boundary condition is known as the ‘modiﬁed shear’ boundary condition.
−
Ω
¯ w. The moment can only be applied normal to the boundary (mαβ n β nα ).n mnn dΓ − ¯ w. and integrating over the plate surface Ω.

3. some serious practical problems arise in ﬁnite element analysis when applying Reissner-Mindlin elements for the analysis of thin plates. which depends on θα which is no longer calculated directly from w (θα = w. w = gw on Γw .
(6.α as a virtual rotation δθα .α + pz = 0. As such. w. the spaces S and V for the weak form of Kirchhoff plate theory are deﬁned as follows:
S = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) .115a) (6. it is applicable for both thick and thin plates.116b)
98
Version 0. 6. δκαβ .2
January 21. (6. 2011
.
¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ V = w | w ∈ H 2 (Ω) . The equations of equilibrium are: mαβ. the governing equations for equilibrium are the same as for the Kirchhoff theory. (6. solving the weak problems then involves: ﬁnd w ∈ S such that
Ω
¯ w.αβ mαβ dΩ −
ΓM
¯ w. w. The problem now involves two different unknowns. the above equation is the equation of virtual work for a plate: δκαβ mαβ dΩ − δθn T dΓ + δwQ dΓ + δwpz dΩ = 0 (6.113)
where the functions in S satisfy the Dirichlet boundary conditions. and w. w and θα . qα.114)
Ω
ΓM
ΓQ
Ω
Recall that the bending moment mαβ is a function of the curvature. w. The key to the success of this approach in a ﬁnite element context is that the moment tensor mαβ is calculated from the curvature. which in turn involves second derivatives of w. The governing equations for a thick plate are those given in Section 6. For completeness.2. The difference lies in the kinematics and the constitutive model.4 Moderately thick plates – Reissner-Mindlin theory The Reissner-Mindlin theory for plates includes shear deformation.n = 0 on Γθ .α ).115b)
Consistency can proven through the repeated application of integration by parts.αβ as the virtual curvature. It is analogous to the Timoshenko beam.n = gθ on Γθ .3. w = 0 on Γw . hence the highest order derivatives in the weak governing equation are order two. For this theory. ¯ ¯ ¯ Considering w as a virtual displacement δw. the governing equations cannot be further reduced since θα is not a direct function of w.n T dΓ +
ΓQ
¯ wQ dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0
¯ ∀w ∈ V . Unlike for thin plates.116a) (6. However. The rotation of the plate cannot be calculated simply as a derivative of the transverse displacement.β − qα = 0.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
Inserting the Neumann boundary conditions.

119b) (6. Firstly.121)
Integrating the above equation by parts. 2011
Version 0.β − θ β dΩ = 0. qα = Cαβ γβ = Cαβ w.119a) (6. ¯ equation (6.119a) is multiplied by a weight function θα .
Ω
¯ θα mαβ.
(6. and k is a correction factor which is equal to 5/6.α + pz = 0
It is these equations which will be solved.β) mαβ dΩ +
Γ
¯ θα mαβ n β dΓ −
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.2
99
. both equations (6. a constitutive relation relating the shear forces to the shear strain is introduced. This set of equations can be reduced by eliminating qα . θα .120c) (6. on Γθ .6.β − θ β dΩ = 0.119b) are addressed.β dΩ −
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w. This is due to θα and w being decoupled. where Cαβ = ktµδαβ .αβ − θ β.118) (6. This means than the governing equations are being solved in their irreducible form.3 Plate
In addition to the constitutive relationship relating moment and curvature (equation (6.117)
Cαβ w.β − θ β .
−
Ω
¯ θ(α. Weak form To derive the weak form. 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.122)
¯ Inserting now Neumann boundary conditions (θα = 0 where θα is prescribed) yields:
−
Ω
¯ θα.102)).β − θ β = 0 (6. mαβ. on ΓM .
(6.120a) (6.β mαβ dΩ +
ΓM
¯ θα Tα dΓ −
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.β − θ β dΩ = 0. on ΓQ .β − Cαβ w.120b) (6. This set of equations cannot be reduced further.119a) and (6. (6.123)
January 21. is a vector. three boundary conditions must be applied at all points on the boundary.
(6. The ‘naturally’ occurring boundary conditions involve w = gw θα = gαθ mαn = Tα qn = Q on Γw .120d)
Given that one of the unknowns.

δκαβ = θ(α.β) and δγα = w. The weak problem therefore involves: ﬁnd θα ∈ Sθ and w ∈ Sw such that:
−
Ω
¯ θα.αβ − θ( β.128)
−
which is the equation of virtual work for a Reissner-Mindlin plate. 2011
. It is equations (6.119b).
¯ ∀θα ∈ Vθ
(6.β − θ β dΩ +
ΓQ
¯ wQ dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.125)
¯ Inserting again Neumann boundary conditions (w = 0 where w is prescribed). the highest order derivative appearing for both terms is one.126)
which is the weak form of equation (6. the above equation includes a contribution to the energy due to shear ( Ω δγα qα dΩ). Combining both equations (multiplying equation (6.127b) that are solved using the ﬁnite element method.119a).
(6.
100
Version 0.α − θα .β − θ β dΩ +
ΓQ
¯ wQ dΓ
+
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0
¯ ∀w ∈ Vw
(6.α Cαβ w.β mαβ dΩ +
ΓM
¯ θα Tα dΓ
−
Ω
¯ θα Cαβ w.β − θ β dΩ = 0.2
January 21.α Cαβ w. Hence. yields:
Ω
−δκαβ mαβ dΩ +
Ω
δγα qα dΩ +
ΓM
δθα Tα dΓ −
ΓQ Ω
δwQ dΓ δwpz dΩ = 0 (6.α) dΩ + ¯ wpz dΩ = 0. Multiplying now equation (6.β − θ β dΩ +
Γ
¯ wCαβ γβ nα dΓ +
Ω
¯ wpz dΩ = 0.127a)
−
Ω
¯ w.α Cαβ w.
−
Ω
¯ w.119b) by a ¯ weight function w.127b) by minus one).
(6. C0 shape functions can be applied.124)
Ω
Ω
Integrating the above equation by parts yields:
−
Ω
¯ w. This will require the interpolation of both the transverse displacement w and the rotation θα .127a) and (6. However.6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
which is the weak form of equation (6. (6. Note that different to the virtual work equation for a Kirchhoff plate (6.114). and taking advantage of the symmetry of mαβ . adopting ¯ ¯ ¯ the notation δw = w.127b)
Note that both weak equations contains derivatives no higher than order one. ¯ wCαβ w.

131)
Kirchhoﬀ plate elements There are few reliable. constant strain implies constant curvature.3 Plate
6.130)
For the shear forces qα . a less severe requirement is that elements satisfy a ‘patch test’. In place of requiring C1 continuity. The complications are rooted in the need for C1 continuity. 2κ12 ) T . 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.2
101
.
(6. κ22 . 2011
Version 0. some non-conforming elements yield satisfactory results.3. In the context of plates. ﬂexible and robust Kirchhoff plate elements.132) (6.5 Plate ﬁnite elements As in elasticity.
(6. However.129)
where m = (m11 . The majority of Kirchhoff plate elements are non-conforming – this means that they do not satisfy C1 continuity. q = D s γ. tkµ (6. There exists a range of Kirchhoff plate elements.133)
The applicability of this element is however limited by its inability to satisfy the patch test as a quadrilateral – the element can only be used as a rectangle. where Ds = tkµ 0 0 .
January 21. It does not however satisfy C1 continuity.6. symmetry of mαβ and καβ allows the use of simpliﬁed ‘engineering’ notation. m22 . In particular. none of which are of general applicability. A common Kirchhoff plate element is rectangular and has four nodes and twelve degrees of freedom. m = −Db κ (6. m12 ) T and κ = (κ11 . it tests whether an element can represent rigid body modes and a state of constant strain. Its shape functions are of the form: N = c1 x3 y + c2 xy3 + c3 x3 + c4 y3 + c5 x2 y + c6 xy2 + c7 x2 + c8 y2 + c9 xy + c10 x + c11 y + c12 . The element is still useful as it passes the patch test. The matrix D b has the form: 1 ν 1 0 0 0
Et3 D = 12 (1 − ν2 )
b
ν 0
(1 − ν ) 2
.

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

h θ θ

(6.134) (6.135)

Taking derivatives,

h w,α = Bw aw

(6.136) (6.137)

κ =B a

h

θ θ

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

T T T

Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ aθ − e

Ωe

N θ CBw dΩaw + e

Ωe

N θ CN θ dΩaθ e

=−

ΓM

T Nθ T dΓ

(6.138a)

Ωe

Bw T CBw dΩaw − e

Ωe

Bw T CN θ dΩaθ e

=

ΓQ

N w T Q dΓ +

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

(6.138b)

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

(6.139)

102

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

6.3 Plate

where kww = e

Ωe

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

T T

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

T

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

Ωe ΓQ

Ωe Ωe

Bθ D b Bθ dΩ + N w T Q dΓ +

T Nθ T dΓ T

Ωe

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

Ωe

N w T pz dΩ

f eθ = −

ΓM

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

January 21, 2011

Version 0.2

103

**6 Structural elements for ﬁnite element analysis
**

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

6.4 Shell elements

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

6.5 Exercises

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

104

Version 0.2

January 21, 2011

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

Inserting now equation (7.10)
This means that the ﬁnite element solution is at least as accurate as the nodal interpolate in terms if energy.5)
which now includes the gradient of e.
(7. Given that a ﬁnite solution is known to be the best possible solution from the ﬁnite-dimensional space S h .
1/2
e
1
=
Ω
(e · e + ∇e : ∇e) dΩ
. 2011
.
i
(7. c is an unknown constant. In this way. It is deﬁned by: u
2 E
= | u |2 = r
Ω
( Dr u)2 dΩ.7 Analysis of the ﬁnite element method
involve n = 0 and n = 1. rather a question which can be answered from interpolation theory.
(7. Interpolation theory provides the inequality u − uI
m
≤ chk+1−m |u|k+1 . thereby introducing a measure of the error in the strain.10) into the above expression.2
(7.
Version 0.
(7. Consider the nodal interpolate u I . For example.6)
which involves only a particular order derivative. u − uh 106
r
≤ Chk+1−r |u|k+1 . the question of determining an error estimate is no longer a ﬁnite element question. Note that to ensure convergence.8)
The nodal interpolate is equal to the exact solution at the nodes (u − u I = 0 at the nodes). and h is a measure of the element size. Setting n = 1. it holds that u − uh
E
≤ u − uI
E. k + 1 > m. hence it interpolates the exact solution using the provided shape functions.4)
which is a measure of the error in the displacements.
(7. A Sobolev semi-norm is given by
|u|n =
Ω
( D n u)2 dΩ
1/2
.
(7.7)
where r is the order of the derivatives appearing in the weak form. setting n = 0 gives:
1/2
e
0
=
Ω
(e · e) dΩ
. uI =
∑ Ni aiI .9)
where k is the polynomial order.11)
January 21.
(7. An important semi-norm is the energy norm.

The notation O(h a ) means that the error is ‘of the order h a ’. If the exact solution is not sufﬁciently smooth. hence it represents the error in the energy. An estimate can be obtained using ‘Nitsche’s trick’ (see Strang and Fix (1973) for details). 2011
Version 0. there may be no gain in accuracy through increasing the polynomial order. k = 1.
January 21.15)
which implies that the approximate strains converge to the exact result slower than the approximate displacements. but does not tell how far the computed solution is from the exact solution. This result is however conditional upon the seminorm |u|k+1 existing. the two quantities of special interest are the displacements and the strains (and hence the stresses). the greater a the smaller the error. The order of convergence of a particular element type indicates how quickly the exact solution is approached. e e
0 1
≤ Ch2 |u|2 ≤ Ch|u|2 . Larger a implies faster convergence. independent of h. This is error analysis. It would be useful to ﬁnd an estimate in terms of lower norms.
7.
(7. For an elasticity problem.1. such as the error in the displacement. The error in the displacements is given by e 0 . It leads to the estimate: u − uh
s
≤ Ch β |u|k+1 . and O(h) in terms of strains.2 A posteriori error estimation
Once a ﬁnite element solution has been calculated. the displacement error is: which is equal to Ω e · e dΩ e
0
≤ Chk+1 |u|k+1 .2 A posteriori error estimation
where C is a constant. The convergence order for different polynomial orders is given in Table 7. e
1
(7.14)
In terms of the strain. a natural question is how close the solution is to the exact solution.12)
This implies that the solution converges in this norm at a rate equal to the polynomial order.
(7. For linear elements. this norm is dominated by the error in the strain.2
107
. ≤ Chk |u|k+1 .
(7. hence u − uh
1
≤ Chk |u|k+1 . 2(k + 1 − r )).
(7. r = 1. which tells ‘how good’ the calculated solution is. Therefore. u − uh 0 . In elasticity. Of course as h becomes small.7. 1/2 .16)
Hence linear elements are known as being O(h2 ) in terms of displacements. For practical purposes.13)
where β = min (k + 1 − s. For k ≥ 1.

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

When using Q4 elements.and h-adaptivity.7 times smaller? 3.
7. how much smaller would you expect the error in the displacements and the stresses to be if all the elements are made 2.7.4 Exercises
1. 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.
January 21.4 Exercises
helps to know how quickly the error reduces for a particular element.2
109
. 2011
Version 0. List some advantages and disadvantages of p.

.

Gauss elimination is rarely used. a general method is required to solve the system of equations. The motivation is that it is relatively simple to solve triangular matrices. the exact structure of the stiffness matrix is not constant. This mean that nonzero terms are located close to the diagonal. Typically more efﬁcient direct or iterative solvers are used. The system of equations Ka = f is rewritten as: LUa = f (8. unlike ﬁnite difference methods. Therefore. the following system needs to be solved: Ka = f (8.
111
. 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). Iterative solvers approach the exact solution. The number of steps performed depends on the desired accuracy. This is a consequence of using a Galerkin formulation. This means that the stiffness matrix contains many zero elements. Direct solvers yield a result with a known number of steps. Another special property is symmetry. Large systems require signiﬁcant memory to store the matrices and large computational effort to solve the system.
8.2)
where L is a lower triangular matrix with ones on the diagonal and U is an upper diagonal matrix. the matrix is also banded.8 Solvers for large linear systems
Note: This chapter is still being developed. It varies for different meshes. Furthermore. The ﬁnite element solution of practical problems often leads to very large systems of equations. To ﬁnd the ﬁnite element solution to a problem. Storing only non-zero elements in the computer memory leads to enormous savings in memory.1 LU-decomposition
A commonly used direct solution technique is known as LU-decomposition. However. Further savings can be achieved for symmetric matrices by storing only the diagonal terms and non-zero terms above the diagonal. the stiffness matrix is symmetric.1)
The stiffness matrix K typically has a number of special properties. the system of equations is sparse. Due to the compact support of ﬁnite element shape functions. For all problems examined in these notes. if nodes are numbered in an efﬁcient manner. Gauss elimination – number of operations O n3 In ﬁnite element code however.

the factorised matrices can be stored in the memory allocated for K. they can become prohibitively expensive for very large problems. Iterative solvers ‘iterate’ toward the exact solution. This is step is known as ‘forward substitution.n) for i=k+1:min(k+p. for symmetric systems the algorithm can be modiﬁed. iterative solvers are generally faster than direct solvers. it is not possible to compute exactly the required computational effort before starting the computation. For large system of equations.8 Solvers for large linear systems
The ﬁrst step is to factorise the matrix K in L and U.
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Version 0. 2011
. In a computer implementation. 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. ‘backward substitution’. a.3) is solved (the ‘result’ being y). Unlike direct solvers.2
January 21.2 Iterative solvers
Direct solvers are relatively simple to program and are robust.
8. Also.j) . ‘Pivoting’ is often used to avoid numerical problems associated with large and small terms on the diagonal.k) = K(i. for k=1:n-1 for i=k+1:min(k+p.K(i.j) end end end There are several variations on this procedure to improve its performance.4) which yields the solution to the original problem.k) end for j=k+1:min(k+q. Then. However.n) K(i. although the time required for convergence depends heavily on the nature of the matrix K. The following code extracts for solving a banded system are taken from Golub and Loan (1996). The following step. The procedure can be implemented in a computer programming surprisingly simply.j) = K(i. yielding considerable computational savings. is then to solve the system: Ua = y (8.n) K(i.k)/A(k. An alternative is the use of iterative solvers.k)*K(k. The process is stopped when the desired tolerance is reached. the system of equations: Ly = f (8.

The ﬁrst. All problems up to this chapter were elliptic. u=g on Γg . this equation differs signiﬁcantly from the static case as the governing equation is hyperbolic. 0) = u0 ( x) u ( x. The second.4b)
where v is the velocity (v = ∂u/∂t). 9. These are initial conditions. Similar to static problems. In mathematical ¨ terms. when a load is applied at the
113
. approach is more general and suited to wave propagation problems. modal analysis.2)
On other parts of the boundary. Initial conditions correspond to the conditions at time zero (t = 0). 0) = v0 ( x) ˙ (9. In this chapter. the ﬁnite element method has been applied only for time-independent problems. its is complemented by boundary conditions. time-dependent Dirichlet boundary conditions are prescribed.1 Elastodynamics
The majority of this chapter deals with elastodynamics problems. information travels through the domain immediately. relies on linearity of the underlying problem and is suited to vibration analysis.1 Governing equation and the weak form for elastodynamics The equation of motion is given by: ρu = ∇ · σ + b ¨ (9. For example. With elliptic problems. therefore two initial conditions are required: u ( x. On parts of the boundary. Elastodynamics involves the second derivative of the displacement with respect to time.1. less subtle. time-dependent Neumann boundary conditions are applied. (9.1)
where ρ is the density and u = ∂2 u/∂t2 is the acceleration vector.
9. Two approaches will be elaborated.3)
Dynamic problems require some ‘extra’ information compared to their quasi-static counterparts.4a) (9.9 Time-dependent problems
Until now. σn = h on Γh (9. the unsteady heat equation and elastodynamics are considered in which the time dimension must be addressed.

a stress wave will travel through the bar and a force at the restrained end will not be felt until the stress wave arrives. Multiplying equation (9. restrained at one end. From the weak from in the previous section. the ﬁnite-dimensional velocity and acceleration ﬁelds in an element are given by: uh = N ae . The velocity and acceleration ﬁelds are represented using the shape functions.7)
which is known as ‘semi-discrete’. The equations for elastodynamics are hyperbolic. Inserting the discretised displacement ﬁeld ˙ ¨ and the expression for the acceleration ﬁeld into equation (9. (9. a reaction force is felt immediately at the other end. for an element. the Galerkin form must be developed.7) and rearranging.1) by a weight function w. which when considering the semidiscrete formulations are constant in time.8b)
where ae = dae /dt and ae = d2 ae /dt2 . This stems from the fact that the dependence on time t has not been addressed in the same fashion as the spatial dependency x.8a) (9. 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 . This is again done using ﬁnite element shape functions.2 Semi-discrete Galerkin form To reach a ﬁnite element formulation. like for the static case the governing equation must be expressed in terms of nodal unknowns and basis functions.6)
9. is hit with a hammer at the free end.e
N T h dΓ. ˙ ˙ u = N ae . Therefore.1. and inserting Neumann boundary conditions. 2011
. Deriving the weak form for dynamic problems follows the familiar procedure. To solve dynamic problems using a computer. using the same steps outlined in Chapter 2.5)
Integrating by parts.9)
114
Version 0. and integrating gives:
Ω
ρw · u dΩ = ¨
Ω
w · (∇ · σ ) dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ
(9. The time dimension is left continuous. If a bar. ﬁnd u ∈ S such that
Ω
ρw · u dΩ = − ¨
Ω
∇s w : σ dΩ +
Ω
w · b dΩ +
Γh
w · h dΓ
∀w ∈ V . (9.9 Time-dependent problems
free end of a restrained rod.
(9.2
January 21. With hyperbolic problems ‘information’ travels at ﬁnite speeds. which is independent of time. ¨ ¨
h
(9.
Ωe
N T ρN dΩ ae = − ¨
Ωe
B T DB dΩ ae +
Ωe
N T b dΩ +
Γh. solving the weak form involves: for a given t > 0.

This is formed similarly to the stiffness matrix. 9. All off-diagonal terms are equal to zero. but with integration points located only at element nodes. This procedure however can lead to negative masses on the diagonal.1 Elastodynamics
This equation is commonly called the ‘semi-discrete’ equation. this will yield a diagonal mass matrix.
(9. Before the variational basis of the ﬁnite element method was properly understood. It is however possible that nodes will have zero or negative masses. in the same fashion as for the element stiffness matrix.1.13)
where n is the dimension of the mass matrix. the mass matrix is symmetric and will have off-diagonal terms. lumped masses at each node. it was not entirely clear how the mass matrix should be formed. there is some freedom in determining exactly how the lumped mass matrix should be calculated. for a given time tn M an + Kan = f n . This equation can be written is a shorthand format as: Me a e + k e a e = f e ¨ (9.3 Mass matrix There are several methods to form the mass matrix. This corresponds to having discrete. As with the element stiffness matrix. 2011
Version 0. Perhaps the simplest procedure to form lumped mass matrices is to form the matrices using numerical integration. The obvious choice from the variational approach is the consistent mass matrix.
cons = Me Ωe
ρN T N dΩ. ¨ (9.11)
Before this equation can be solved.9. Since lumped schemes do not follow naturally from the variational formulation. the lumped mass matrix has non-zero terms only on the diagonal. Other more
January 21.2
115
. A common approach was to form a lumped mass matrix. This property is highly advantageous in combination with some time integration schemes.12)
This is typically formed by integrating numerically. a strategy is required to deal with the time derivatives of a. Since ﬁnite element shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes.10)
where Me is the element mass matrix. Once the element contributions have been assembled into the global mass and stiffness matrices and the global RHS vector. Mii
lump
=
j =1
cons ∑ Mij
n
(9. Another procedure is based on summing rows of the consistent mass matrix. as will be discussed in the following sections. Since shape functions are equal to unity at their node and zero at all other nodes.

This topic is left to other courses which address non-linear material behaviour. (9. representing the uncertainty in the source of damping. 9. The choice of the parameters τ and ψ is certainly arbitrary. as outlined in Section 2. u ( x. it involves ﬁrst order derivatives with respect to time.9 Time-dependent problems
sophisticated lumping schemes are possible which will avoid negative masses. Conversely. Damping is often included by adding the term C a to the governing equations. In strong form. kappa is the conductivity. A simple method of introducing damping is to say: C = τM + ψK.4 Damping Problems in structural dynamics often involve damping.3. Damping due to the material response can also be included. namely the temperature at t = 0. Unlike elastodynamics. c is the ‘capacity’. (9. and initial conditions. It can be included through the damping matrix C. This is known as Rayleigh damping. Given that only the ﬁrst derivative with respect to time is involved. The steady-state version of the equation was introduced in Section 2. the contribution of the mass matrix increases damping with decreasing frequency. The problem requires boundary conditions. t) = u0 ( x) . unsteady heat diffusion is governed by: ˙ ρcu + ∇ · q = f .14)
where the matrix C represents the sources of damping in the structure. ¨ ˙ (9.2 Heat equation
The heat equation is introduced here as a step to the problems in elastodynamics.15)
where τ and ψ are user chosen parameters. 2011
. ˙ M a + C a + Ka = f .
9. They two key points are that zero and negative masses on the diagonal should be avoided. or through the constitutive model relating stress and strain. (1989). The precise source of damping and its mathematical form is often vague. q = −κ ∇u is the heat ﬂux.17)
116
Version 0. It will become clear when addressing particular time integration schemes why lumped mass matrices are popular.2
January 21. The contribution of the stiffness matrix to the damping matrix increases damping with increasing frequency.1.3. u is the temperature. The performance of lumped mass matrices is guided primarily by experience. (9. A discussion can be found in Cook et al. only one type of initial condition may be provided.16)
where in the context of diffusion of heat. There is no rich theory underlying the choices.

For the consistent mass matrix.23)
where ω are the natural frequencies of the system.9.23) can be very large. For explicit time integration procedures. this is immediately felt (an inﬁnitesimal amount) and increases with time. If one end of a rod is heated. The eigenvectors are a. the semi-discrete Galerkin problem for the heat equation involves: for a given t > 0.2
117
. For a one-dimensional linear element. The acceleration is therefore given by: (9. the highest frequency is equal to: ωe = 2 L E ρ E/ρ. The displacements at the nodes can be described by a = a cos (ωt − α) . ˙
9. (9. there are n eigenvalues λ (λ = ω 2 ).11) and rearranging. it is relatively simple to calculate the natural frequencies. it is important to know the highest natural frequency of the discrete problem. ¯
det K − ω 2 M = 0.20) where ω is the frequency (radians per second).3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics
If an undamped system is allowed to vibrate freely (no forcing terms). ωe = 2 3/L
January 21. 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 (9.3 Frequency analysis for elastodynamics
The heat equation is parabolic. If stiffness and mass matrices are of dimension n. 2011
Version 0. which ¯ are also known as natural modes. Following the usual processes in developing the weak form. The difﬁculty is that the size of the problem in equation (9.
2 det ke − ωe me = 0
(9.19)
In matrix form.
(9. ¨ ¯ Inserting these results into equation (9. this can be expressed at time tn as: M an + Kan = f n .25)
√ for an element of length L. An upper bound to the highest frequency can be found by calculating the frequencies for all individual elements. Non-trivial solutions (a = 0) require that: ¯ (9. ¯ a = −ω 2 a cos (ωt − α) . (9.18)
(9.22)
which is a matrix eigenvalue problem. its motion is harmonic.24)
The highest frequency from all elements provides an upper bound to the highest frequency of the problem. It turns out that for a lumped mass matrix.21)
−ω 2 M + K a = 0.

and ωi are the natural frequencies. A special property of the eigenmodes Ψi is that they are orthogonal.30) 1 0 i = j. (9.28) into equation (9.2
January 21. i = j. This means that: Ψi T MΨj = and Ψi T KΨj = ωi2 0 i = j.28)
where αi (t) is the amplitude of the ith eigenmode.11) . (9. ¨ αi + ωi2 αi = Ψi T f . 2011
. Inserting equation (9.33)
118
Version 0. The nodal displacements can be expressed as a summation of eigenfunctions.29)
Orthogonality implies that the vibration modes do not interact with each other.9 Time-dependent problems
9.11) yields: ¨ M ∑ αi Ψi + K ∑ αi Ψi = f
i i
(9. a (t) =
∑ αi (t) Ψi
i
(9. (9. Consider a solution a = ψi cos (ωi t + θi ) . For linear problems.32)
The orthogonality property means that the equation has been decoupled into nm simple. (9. it is then possible to treat each mode individually. i = j.27)
where Ψi are eigenvectors. separate equations. K − ωi2 M Ψi = 0.31)
Pre-multiplying both sides of this equation by Ψj T . The sum of the modes gives the total displacement. and are known as vibration modes. (9. It is then possible to treat each mode separately.26)
Inserting the above equation into the unforced version ( f = 0) of equation (9. ¨ Ψj T M ∑ αi Ψi + Ψj T K ∑ αi Ψi = Ψj T f
i i
(9.4 Modal analysis for elastodynamics
Modal analysis involves the dividing of the response of a structure into a number of modes.

Given the values of an . This means a system of equations must be solved for implicit schemes. compared to explicit schemes. rapidly diverging from any sensible result. Therefore. ˙ ¨ a time stepping scheme is needed.1 One-step algorithms for the heat equation To introduce time stepping algorithms. equation (9. this equation can be solved analytically. To do this. If an integrator is unstable. For the unforced case. but due to their extremely poor stability properties they are useless.5. Hence. Therefore it is limited to linear analysis. Time stepping schemes are distinguished by being either explicit or implicit. Conversely. which is O(∆t) accurate). and perhaps information at time step n and earlier steps. for each mode of interest. the computational effort lies in ﬁnding the eigenvectors and eigenvalues.9. and perhaps earlier steps (such as n − 1) to compute the solution at time step n + 1. which is O(∆t4 ) accurate). usually only the low frequency modes have a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the structural response. Typically. 9. implicit schemes generally require signiﬁcantly extra computational effort. the above equation can be solved. Explicit integrators rely only on information at time step n. implicit schemes may have a low degree of accuracy (such as the backward Euler scheme.34)
Solutions for forced cases are dependent on the type of loading.2
119
. an and an at time tn (and perhaps also at earlier times ˙ ¨ steps). the unsteady heat equation is ﬁrst considered. There are known schemes of exceptional accuracy. The difference between explicit and implicit schemes lies in stability. In applying modal analysis. Stability means the range of time steps ∆t for which an integrator will calculate a stable result (small errors do not grow exponentially). the values an+1 . an+1 and an+1 at time tn+1 = tn + ∆t are needed.
January 21. Time is then incremented until the desired time is reached. (9. In structural analysis.
9.33) is a homogeneous ordinary partial differential equation. with the solution αi = c1 sin (ωi t) + c2 cos (ωi t) . For non-linear problems. Further discussion of modal methods can be found in Craig (1981) and Cook et al.5 Time stepping algorithms
Now. 2011
Version 0.33) is only solved for a few modes. It provides a step towards the more complicated schemes for elastodynamics. the orthogonality property does not hold.5 Time stepping algorithms
Time stepping algorithms involve schemes to increment the time in discrete steps ∆t. equation (9. Explicit schemes can be constructed to have a high degree of accuracy (such as the 4th order Runge-Kutta method. Accuracy is not the difference between explicit and implicit schemes. it will ‘blow-up’. Implicit schemes rely on information at time step n + 1. There are no known unconditionally stable explicit schemes. (1989). Modal analysis relies on the orthogonality property of the eigenfunctions.

the forward Euler is not particularly useful as its stability properties are poor. Newmark time integrators are a family of schemes. They involve: an+1 = an + ∆t ((1 − θ ) an + θ an+1 ) . a n +1 = ˙ 1 1 (1 − θ ) a − an − an .2 One-step algorithms for elastodynamics The most commonly used time integration scheme in solid and structural mechanics is the generalised Newmark scheme. For the problems to be considered here. and the implicit trapezoidal (θ = 1/2) and backward Euler (θ = 1) methods.39) (9.9 Time-dependent problems
A popular family of algorithms are ‘generalised trapezoidal’ methods. ˙ ˙ (9. the problem to solve an+1 has become ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 .40a) (9. ˙ θ∆t n+1 θ∆t θ (9. ˙ Rearranging equation (9.35)
where 0 ≤ θ ≤ 1. where 1 ˆ K= M+K θ∆t 1 (1 − θ ) fˆn+1 = f n+1 + Man + M an .35).37). 1 1 (1 − θ ) M + K a n +1 = f n +1 + Man + M an . ˙ θ∆t θ and an is computed from equation (9. In practice. the heat equation at time tn+1 must satisfy: M an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 . In matrix form. and is second-order accurate.40b) (9.36) gives. Well known methods are the explicit forward Euler (θ = 0) method. Choosing parameters appropriately for a Newmark algorithm yields a number of different. The Newmark algorithm gives an+1 and an+1 as: ˙ an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ a n +1 ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ((1 − 2β) an + 2β an+1 ) 2 = an + ∆t ((1 − γ) an + γ an+1 ) ˙ ¨ ¨ (9.37) (9. well known integrators. 2011
. ˙ 9.41a) (9. The backward Euler method is also unconditionally stable. ˙ θ∆t θ∆t θ In compact notation.5. but only ﬁrst-order accurate.41b) (9.2
January 21.38)
120
Version 0. the trapezoidal method is particularly attractive as it is unconditionally stable.36)
and inserting the above result into equation (9. both explicit and implicit.

it requires the factorisation of a large matrix. a Newmark scheme is second-order accurate. 2 (9.41) for β = 0 and γ = 1/2. where c is the dilatational wave speed (c = E/ρ) and L is the length of an element.46a) into equation (9.47)
This integrator is implicit. Calculating the necessary terms using ˙ ¨ central differences.5 Time stepping algorithms
where β and γ are parameters which deﬁne the nature and properties of the algorithm. but it is conditionally stable. an+1 = an + ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) 4 (9. It is stable for: ∆t ≤ 2 ωh (9. ∆t2 (9. Another commonly used time integrator is based on the trapezoidal rule. c (9.
January 21. It corresponds to β = 1/4 and γ = 1/2 in the Newmark family of integrators. Friedrichs and Lewy (CFL) stability condition.45)
which is the Courant. A commonly used time integrator is the central difference method. This scheme is O(∆t2 ) accurate. It is necessary to express the terms a and a in terms of a.9.46a) (9. Therefore. 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).46b). an = ˙ an = ¨ a n +1 − a n −1 2∆t an−1 − 2an + an+1 . 2011
Version 0. but as will be shown later. a n +1 = a n + ˙ ˙ a n +1 ∆t ¨ ¨ ( a n + a n +1 ) . 2 ∆t ˙ ˙ = an + ( a n + a n +1 ) .43a) (9. This method is unconditionally stable and the accuracy is O(∆t2 ). ∆t ≤ L .2
121
.42)
For γ = 1/2.46b)
Inserting equation (9.44)
where ω h is the highest natural frequency (highest value from det K − ω 2 M = 0. It is also energy conserving. Appropriate choices of β and γ yield well known integration methods. Its stability properties are attractive. 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.43b)
It is possible to rearrange these terms and show that they are equivalent to equation (9.

Given an and an−1 . 1 1 1 1 M+ C an+1 = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . it is possible to calculate an+1 . where ˆ M= and 1 1 fˆn = 2 M (2an − an−1 ) + Ca − Kan + f n . In practice.51)
If both M and C are diagonal matrices. has the appearance: M an + C an + Kan = f n . 2011
.53) 1 1 C M+ 2 2∆t ∆t (9.54) (9.48)
It is assumed that a and its time derivatives are known at time t and unknown at time t + ∆t (corresponding to n + 1). (9. (9.2
January 21.52) (9. an+1 can be calculated without solving a system of equations (hence the attractiveness of lumped mass matrices when using explicit time integrators). it is not necessary to form the stiffness matrix K. 2∆t n−1 ∆t Then. The above equations can be written in a shorthand format as: ˆ Man+1 = fˆn . A procedure is required to ‘start’ the 122
Version 0.43).55)
Ω
A difﬁculty with explicit central-difference time integration is the need for information at n − 1 when starting a calculation.9 Time-dependent problems
Explicit time integration – central diﬀerence approach The system of equations to be solved. The term Kan is equivalent to: Kan = B T σn dΩ. Inserting the central difference expressions from equation (9.49)
Rearranging the above equation such that all terms at t + ∆t are on the LHS and all terms at time t are on the RHS. + C n +1 2 2∆t ∆t (9. with damping. the displacement vector a at step n + 1 is given by: ˆ an+1 = M −1 fˆn (9. and unknown at step n + 1.50) 2 2∆t 2∆t n−1 ∆t ∆t Recall that the displacement vector a is known at step n and all previous steps. M an−1 − 2an + an+1 a − a n −1 + Kan = f n . ¨ ˙ (9.

The signiﬁcant drawback is the conditional stability.60)
which in a short-hand notation can be expressed as: ˆ Kan+1 = fˆn+1 (9. Implicit time integration – the Newmark family Formulation of a Newmark scheme starts by inserting the expressions for the velocity and accelerations into: M an+1 + C an+1 + Kan+1 = f n+1 ¨ ˙ (9. For simplicity. The time step must be chosen carefully for a particular discretisation.59)
Rearranging such that all unknown quantities appear on the LHS.58b)
These equations are then inserted into equation (9. an−1 = an − ∆t an + ˙ ∆t2 an ¨ 2 (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. This yields. In combination with a lumped mass matrix. 2011
Version 0.5 Time stepping algorithms
algorithm at t = 0.57).43) it is possible to express an−1 in terms of quantities at n (time t = 0).41) for β = 0 to express the accelerations and velocity at step n + 1 in terms of step n and earlier. 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. Combining equations (9.61)
January 21.9. it is second-order accurate. a n +1 = ¨ 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2 (9. M 1 1 1 an − ˙ an + an ¨ ¨ ( a n +1 − a n ) − β∆t 2β β∆t2
+ Kan+1 = f n+1
(9.57)
Rearranging the expressions in equation (9. which are the initial conditions.2
123
. The central difference procedure is popular in ﬁnite element analysis.56)
The vector an−1 can be used to start the time integration procedure. Furthermore. damping is ignored. it is very efﬁcient and suitable for very large problems. and all known quantities on the RHS.

Numerical damping aids in controlling undesirable spurious high frequency modes in the solution. At time step n. choosing γ = 1/2 reduces the integration scheme to ﬁrst order accuracy O(t). it is usually desirable to introduce some numerical damping to suppress spurious high-frequency modes. 9. A number of algorithms have been developed to preserve second-order accuracy while allowing for the introduction of numerical damping.2
January 21. the algorithm is unconditionally stable and second-order accurate. Note that calculating the ‘new’ an+1 introduces a dependency ˙ on the parameter γ. ¨ (9.7 Exercises
1. Rearrange equation (9. Solving the resulting system of equations yields an+1 .41) to show for β = 0 and γ = 1/2 the scheme is equivalent to a central-difference procedure.
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Version 0. which is also known as the Hilber-Hughes-Taylor Method (Hughes. Calculate the consistent and lumped mass matrices for the four-noded quadrilateral element.3 α-Method for elastodynamics In dynamic simulations. calculating an requires the solution of a system of equations. The problem with the Newmark scheme is that the introduction of any numerical damping reduces the order of accuracy from two to one.9 Time-dependent problems
Since the stiffness matrix K is not diagonal.62)
where f n+1+α = f n+1+θ∆t . Numerical dissipation can be controlled through the parameter α.
9. It involves using a Newmark scheme to solve : M an+1 + (1 − α) Kan+1 − αKan = f n+1+α . the α-Method reduces to the Newmark scheme. 1987). If α = 0. However. With the Newmark scheme.
9. 2011
. the vector fˆ can be calculated from an . numerical damping can be introduced by choosing γ > 1/2. Derive the mass matrix for a two-noded beam element. Decreasing α increases the dissipation.5. the terms in f are prescribed and both M and K can be formed. One such algorithm is the α-Method. 2. 3.6 Space-time formulations
Time as a degree of freedom. If −1/3 < α < 0. γ = (1 − 2α) /2 and β = (1 − α)2 /4.

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