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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 52:287–342 (DOI: 10.

1002/nme.339)

Classic Reprints Series

Displacement and equilibrium models in the ÿnite element method by B. Fraeijs de Veubeke, Chapter 9, Pages 145–197 of Stress Analysis, Edited by O. C. Zienkiewicz and G. S. Holister, Published by John Wiley & Sons, 1965
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY O. C. ZIENKIEWICZ A few years ago we took the editorial decision to introduce a series called ‘Classic Reprints’ in which from time-to-time we shall record papers which have contributed signiÿcantly to the development of the subject and which are not easy to locate in standard archival journals. We opened the series with the paper by Courant of 1943 to celebrate 50 years of his work and to allow access for our readers to this well-known contribution in which the linear triangular element was used for the ÿrst time. The present reprint of the paper by Professor Fraeijs de Veubeke which was presented in 1963 and published in 1965 is the second of this series. The reason for the choice of this paper is not only that it contains very many seminal ideas but also because the location of this paper is not widely accessible.

Baudouin Fraeijs de Veubeke 1917–1976
Correspondence to: O. C. Zienkiewicz, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, U.K. E-mail: olek@901792295676

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O. C. ZIENKIEWICZ

The paper was published in 1965 as part of a book in which both numerical and experimental methods of stress analysis were presented by various authorities dealing with the subject. Ten of these papers were concerned with numerical analysis and in the appendix to this introduction we give the list of contents listing chapters one to ten and dealing with ÿnite di erence, ÿnite element methods and the boundary integral procedures. One of the reasons for that particular publication was that at the time the subject of numerical analysis was still at the cross roads and the three alternatives of ÿnite di erences, ÿnite elements and boundary integral methods were making inroads into the computer-based activity. Which procedure was the best? This was obviously the question which at that time we felt needed to be addressed. This question of course did not possess a single answer. Professor Fraeijs de Veubeke, at that time a colleague of Professor Massonnet, was suggested to us by him as a very suitable presenter of the subject. His paper was certainly not disappointing; indeed, the archival value of his chapter which we reproduce here was so great that it has been widely cited. Unfortunately, the book itself after limited printing of 3000 copies was exhausted and is now no longer in print. Thus I am presenting the paper here to allow those who cannot ÿnd its origin to read it. The paper (or rather chapter) was well ahead of its time and in addition to presenting a comprehensive look at the formulation of ÿnite elements, it included many ideas expressed and recorded for the ÿrst time. These are: 1. The introduction of the so-called equilibrating elements based on complementary energy principle. 2. The realization that the standard potential energy formulation and the complementary energy formulation provide bounds to the energy of the system, the ÿrst from the lower and the second from the upper limit. The bounding thus is an extremely useful practical measure for assessing the accuracy of any particular solution. 3. The chapter introduces for the ÿrst time a quadratic element (here the two-dimensional six-node triangle) which later was to become extremely popular. 4. It introduces mixed formulations which are for the ÿrst time discussed in detail. 5. Of particular importance is the introduction of the limitation principle for mixed formulation which failed to draw the attention of many later investigators and was only incorporated into texts in the late 1980s. Others may ÿnd di erent aspects of this paper to comment on. It seems to me, however, that the ÿve items mentioned indicate that the paper deserves to be put in the classic category. In some detail perhaps it is worthwhile to mention that the ideas introduced for achieving the complementary energy formulations were not widely developed in the form suggested here. Later de Veubeke and Zienkiewicz [1] introduced an alternative way of approaching the same subject via stress function formulations. However, it is of importance to realize that the idea of bounds is unique and for the ÿrst time introduced here seriously. Whilst introduction of a quadratic element is novel it proceeded by several years the use of such elements and isoparametric forms with polynomial powers going as high as four. However, it is the quadratic triangle which provides one of the most versatile and useful elements and perhaps deserves the name of the Veubeke triangle just as the linear triangle is often associated with the name of Turner. Finally, the limitation principle which, as I mentioned earlier, waited for some years before being recognized provides to me the reason why so many mixed formulations have proved
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to be less than miraculous. To many it seems that the addition of free stress variable would provide a great freedom of representing that of the stresses in complex structure and thus greatly improved the accuracy. This only was to be the case if the limitation principle is not violated. What the principle says is simply that if the mixed formulation is capable of producing the same approximation of that produced by direct displacement form then it will in fact reproduce that form exactly and give identical and therefore not improved results. Any student considering for instance the addition of many higher order polynomials representing stress distribution in a linear triangle will soon ÿnd out that although the formulation is correct nothing is gained by its use as all the higher-order terms disappear. Fraeijs de Veubeke contributed many other papers during his career and indeed established a very successful Department of Aeronautics at the University of Lià ge which at present e continues as one of the European centres of ÿnite element analysis. Unfortunately, Fraeijs died at a relatively early age in 1976 and his contributions were cut o . This note has been written by his friend in sincere appreciation of his various contributions and of his personality. Contents Part I. Numerical methods Chapter 1 Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter The ÿnite-di erence approach D. N. de G. Allen and D. W. Windle 2 Two-dimensional stress analysis and plate exure by ÿnite di erences O. C. Zienkiewicz 3 Stress analysis of shells I Introduction: a lead from plate theory D. N. de G. Allen 4 Stress analysis of shells II Basic (plane strain) theory D. N. de G. Allen and G. M. Birtwistle 5 Stress analysis of shells III Basic (plane stress) theory D. N. de G. Allen and G. M. Birtwistle 6 Stress analysis of shells IV Boundary conditions D. N. de G. Allen and G. M. Birtwistle 7 The ÿnite element method in structural mechanics R. W. Clough 8 Finite element procedures in the solution of plate and shell problems O. C. Zienkiewicz 9 Displacement and equilibrium models in the ÿnite element method B. Fraeijs de Veubeke 10 Numerical use of integral procedures C. E. Massonnet 3 20 41 52 72 79 85 120 145 198 APPENDIX

REFERENCES 1. de Veubeke B Fraeijs, Zienkiewicz OC. Strain energy bounds in ÿnite element analysis. Journal of Strain Analysis 1967; 2:265–271.

O. C. ZIENKIEWICZ Department of Civil Engineering, University of Wales Swansea, Swansea SA2 8PP, U.K.
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