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Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi

1. INTRODUCTION TO FEA 1.1. The basis of the finite element method

- discretization, - the structure is divided into smaller regular elements, - these elements are connected at nodes, - the assembly provides a model of the structure, - within each element the displacement (or temperature, etc.) field is approximated by a linear, quadratic, , function, - results (displacement, stress and strain or temperature, etc.) are nodal quantities, - the error of the results depends on the size of the elements and the degree of approximation, - finer mesh and/or higher degree elements provide more accurate results, - different types of elements are formulated (truss, beam, 2D, 3D, shell,.) to describe the structural behaviour in a simplified way, - FE model consist of - geometric model (elements and nodes), - loading model, - material model, - boundary condition.

1.2. The analysis procedure

- initial planning, - important variables for evaluation (max. stress, average stress, strain, location of stress concentration, temperature, natural frequency, etc.), - accuracy requirements, - approximate engineering analysis (load conditions, material data, etc.), - approximate results are accurate enough? - preparing a conceptual model: - choosing element type(s), - designing mesh structure, - symmetry conditions, - boundary conditions, - 2D simplification at first, - if material or geometric non-linearities exists, start with a linear solution, - preparing first model: detailed mesh plan, boundary conditions, loading and material properties, - check the deformed shape, at first, - examine stress results, compare them to the analytical results, - first model was correct? - accuracy study: where to refine the mesh? (high stress region, rapid variation of the results), - refinement raises the max. stresses, - comparison of the stress distributions helps decide if further refinement is needed, - conclusions on the component design.

Define Analysis Problem Identify Key Variables Perform Approximate Engineering Analysis Is finite element analysis needed? yes Develop Conceptual Model Chose The Computer Program Prepare First Model Run The Analysis Evaluate Results


Prepare Refined Model Run The Analysis Evaluate Results Is further refinement needed? no DEVELOP REPORT AND RECOMMANDATION The analysis Step-by-step yes

1.3. Preparing a simple FE model

Problem: Cantilever beam subjected to a concentric force Preparing a structural model
h l

Data: l, h, v, furthermore E, and F Selecting a proper element type 2D problem, plane strain or plane stress, depending on v (thickness) Preparing the geometric model - dividing into elements; - elements are connected at nodes,
y 6 1 1 2 7 2 3 8 3 4 9 4 5 10 x

- defining nodal coordinates

Node 1 2 10 X 0 Y 0 Z 0 0 0 0 0

- defining elements by their connectivity

Element 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 2 3 4 5 Nodes 7 8 9 10 6 7 8 9

Boundary conditions
Fixing nodes according to certain degrees of freedom Node 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ux 0 0 uy 0 0 0 0 0 uz Rx Ry Rz

At node 10 force in y direction

Material properties (Linear elastic problem) - modulus of elasticity: E

- Poissons ratio:

1.4. The structural and FE model (an example)

Modeling the vicinity of a starting fracture


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi


- 3D structures can often be modelled by simpler way, by using element types, like trusses, beams, 2D elements, plates or shells, etc. - element formulations follow the traditional structural classification, - proper element type selection depends on the geometry, boundary conditions, loading and material models, - short review for linear elastic elements, assuming small deformation.

2.1. Trusses
- length is much greater then its transversal dimensions, - can support tensile or compressive loads axially, along the length, - members are joined by pins so no flexural loading transmits between them, - cross section and material properties are constant along its length, - the member is equivalent to a one dimensional spring (stiffness along its axis), - the displacement along an element is a linear function of position, so the strain and stress are constant, - loads must apply to the nodes, - each member of the structure becomes one element (not more), - results are displacements and forces.

2.2 Beams
- length is much greater then its transversal dimensions, - six degrees of freedom at each node, - loads: tension/compression, shear, bending moment and torsion, - FE formulation is a cubic displacement form (exact if no distributed load),

- one element per member if no distributed load, - extra node, where point load is applied or where different members connect, - input data: mat. properties and description of sectional properties, - results: displacements (including rotations), axial and shear forces, torque and bending moments, - stresses in beams by superposition (simple assumption in cross section).


2D solids

- geometry and the applied load lie in a plane, - plane stress condition: small thickness, - plane strain condition: thickness is very large, - two displacement components describe the movement of any point (three strain and three stress components), - simplest displacement approximation is linear (constant strain and stress), - element shape: triangular and quadrilateral, - accuracy problems especially for lin. triangular elements, - pressure loading is reduced to the related nodes, as concentric force.

2.4. 3D solids
- for any arbitrary geometry and arbitrary loads, - simplest element is the four node tetrahedron; perform poorly, requires a fine mesh, - ten node (quadratic) tetrahedron performs well, - better element is the eight node hexahedron (relative to the four node tetrahedron), - in 3D we have larger models, more elements and nodes, higher CPU time, - automatic mesh generation can usually generate tetrahedron elements, - symmetry conditions to reduce the size of the FE model.

2.5. Axisymmetric solids

- 3D body of revolution, - axisymmetric loads and boundary conditions, - many applications (ex. pressure vessels), - cylindrical coordinate system is preferred (r, !, z), - solution is independent of the ! position, - displacement in the r z plane, - close to the 2D formulation (two displacement components and four strain and four stress components), - usually an option within the 2D elements.

2.6. Plates
- plate geometry lies in a plane, but the load act normal to the plane, - size of the plate are very large compared to its thickness, - 2D state of stress, however the components vary linearly through the thickness, - if the plate lies in the x y plane, then w defines the displacement of the midsurface, - geometry is described by the in-plane geometry and thickness, - the formulation for shell will perform for plate as well as shell structures, - many different plate and shell formulations are existing, - the membrane effect is missing from the linear plate theory, - usually 5 DOF, rotation about z axis is missing,

2.7. Shell
- similar to plates, but they have a curved surface, - the thickness is very small relative to the main dimensions, - nodes have a minimum of 3 displacement components and 2 rotational components in the surface tangent plane.


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi


- The FE solution is based on approximate functions, describing the behaviour of each element (displacement function or temperature functions, etc.) - these solutions are combined to obtain the solution of the whole system, - short review of FEM for a 2D linear elastic problem assuming linear distribution of the displacement components (simplest element type), - further assumptions: small deformation, homogen and isotropic body, - the present approach is based on the principle of virtual work (the virtual work done by the external forces is equal to the virtual strain energy of internal stresses),

- FEM assigns parameters both to the nodes and elements, - The aim of the FE evaluation is to find the nodal displacements, as well as strains and stresses for each element.

- The nodal displacement of element e are - ueT =[ui, vi, uj, vj, uk, vk,], - where ui, uj and uk are the displacements in x direction at nodes i, j and k, vi, vj and vk are the displacements in y direction at nodes i, j and k. - Within an element area the displacement function is assumed to be u(x,y)=1+2x+3y v(x,y)=4+5x+6y in x and y directions. - The linear approximation within an element may produce smaller or larger error depending on the size of the specific element and the location of it, ie. if it is in or out of a stress concentration zone. - Eq. (2) contains 6 constants and there are 6 nodal displacement values (3 nodes 2 DOF). - The new form of Eq. 2 are u(x,y)=f(u i , u j , u k , x i , yi , x j , y j , x k , yk , x, y), (3a) v(x,y)=f(v i , v j , v k , x i , yi , x j , y j , x k , yk , x, y), (3b) - by using matrix motion, (2a) (2b)

u ( x , y) u ( x , y) = = Nu e , v( x , y)
- where N is the shape function matrix.


- The displacement field is continuous between the neighbouring elements, but the derivates of it (i.e. the strains and stresses) are not, they are constant over one element (if linear approximation is used).

- The strain displacement equations for the present case studied:

u x x v ! = y = , y xy u v + y x


- and in matrix form: - =Bue, - where B is the strain-displacement matrix. - The stress strain relationship for the present case:
1 E (1 ) D= (1 + )(1 2 ) 1 0


1 0

= D ,

0 1 2 2(1 ) 0


where D is the material matrix. - The nodal forces of element e are F eT =[F i x F iy Fjx Fjy Fkx F ky ], (8) - the virtual work principle states that the work done by external forces,

1 W = u eT F e , 2
- equals to the virtual strain energy of the internal stresses:


U =

1 T dV. 2
1 U = u eT B T DBdV u e , 2


- After substituting Eqs. (6) and (7) into Eq. (10), then


- finally
Fe =

( B

DBdV u e = K e u e ,


where Ke is the element stiffness matrix.

- The structural stiffness matrix is:

K = Ke,


- in a similar way, the structural load vector and the nodal displacement vector are as follows:

F = Fe


u = ue.


- After applying the principle of virtual work for each element, we have Ku = F, (15)

that is a large set of algebraic equation system for the nodal displacement vector. - Last step is evaluating the strains and stresses for each element.


INPUT DATA Control Data, Materials, Node and Element Definition, Boundary Conditions, Loads Element File Load File

FORM ELEMENT [k] Read Element Data, Calculate Element Stiffnes Matrix, [k] Element File

FORM SYSTEM [k] Assemble Element [k]s to Form the System Stiffness Matrix, [K]


COMPUTE DISPLACEMENTS Solve the System Equations [K]{D} = {F} for the Displacements {D} = [K]-1{F} Load File

COMPUTE STRESSES Calculate Stresses and Output Files for Postprocessor Plotting

Displacement, Stress Files

POSTPROCESSOR Finite Element Computer Program Block Diagram


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi

4. MODELLING QUESTIONS 4.1. Meshing techniques

3 sided planar surface

4 sided planar surface

3 sided non-planar surface

4 sided non-planar surface

6 sided volumes

Parametric Meshing

Automatic Meshing

Triangular Mesh

Quadrilateral Mesh

Original Mesh

After Local Mesh Refinement using CTDENSITY

4.2. H and P refinements

- The goal is to provide the automatic convergence of FEA, - mesh refinement is based on error estimation (for strain energy density, displacements or stresses), - repeated solutions until a low error level is reached, - h refinement: reduces the element sizes in the identified area (Zienkiewicz), - p refinement: the polynomial order of approximation increases in the identified area by using hierarchic element formation up to tent order polynomials (B. Szab), - combination of h and p refinements speeds up convergence. Problem: Shaft shoulder subjected to tension (using axisymmetric elements)

Application of HP- and P-methods in adaptive analysis

Plate With Hole Under Uniform Tension

Finite Element Mesh of a Quarter of the Model

Adaptive HP-Method

Adaptive P-Method


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi


- The aim is to determine the temperature distribution both for steady state and transient thermal problems, - In the case of many engineering problems temperature distribution is a preliminary information in order to select the proper material properties and to find the thermal strains and stresses (due to thermal expansion!), - Thermal material properties required: + k thermal conductivity, + c specific heat, + h heat transfer coefficient, + density, + heat expansion coefficient. - The differential equation of the transient heat conduction: T c (kT ) q 0 = 0 , t

T + h(T TK ) = 0 n where T = T ( x, y, z, t ) is the temperature field, TK is the temperature of the

k surrounding fluid, q 0 is the internal heat rate per unit volume. - Tipical solution technique of the transient thermal problems is the direct integration (stable solution requires time steps less than the critical one)

and the boundary condition:

Matrix form of the heat transfer governing equation

[C]T + ([K cond ] + [K conv ] + [K rad ]){T} = {f q }+ {f c } + {f r } + {f h }


= = = = = = = = = =

Temperature Vector Time Rate of Change of Temperature Vector Heat Capacitance Matrix Conduction Matrix Convection Matrix Radiation Matrix Heat Generation Load Vector Convection Load Vector Radiation Load Vector Heat Flux Load Vector

[C] [Kcond] [Kconv] [Krad] {fq} {fc} {fr} {fh}

Boundary conditions associated with the heat conduction equation:

- specified temperature - convection:
Heat flux = q = hc(T-T:) hc = Heat transfer coefficient T = Local surface temperature T: = Ambient temperature

- radiation:
4 4 Heat flux = q = " ! T T

= Stefan-Boltzmann constant = Emissivity T = Surface temperature T: = Ambient temperature

- applied heat flux:

Applied heat flux = q = k

T n

k = Thermal conductivity

T = Normal temperaure gradient n

Problem: Transient heat conduction in a bearing ring-tube shaft system

- Initial temperature of the shaft is T=20C, - Initial temperature of the bearing ring is T=#20C, - Heat conduction between the shaft and the bearing ring and heat transfer (convection) around the boundary surfaces are assumed.


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi


- When the applied loading varies with time, the structural response will also vary. - If the load is cyclic and the freqvency of the loading is less than about one third of the lowest natural freqvency of the structure, the static approach is acceptable. - Governing equation of structural dynamics (diff. equation of motion)

M u + Cu + Ku = f
where M structural mass matrix, nodal acceleration vector, structural damping matrix, nodal velocity vector, structural stiffness matrix, nodal displacement vector, time varying nodal load vector.


K u f

Natural frekvency on eigenvalue analysis - we are interisted in the values of the natural frekvencies of vibration for a structure. - undamped free vibration response of the system caused by an initial disturbance. - zero damping coefficients and applied forces. - initial condition of displacement, velocity or acceleration.

- motion of every node of the model is a sinusoidal function of the peak displacement simplitude:

u = A sin (! t )
where A ! vector of peak displacement, circular freqvency of vibration,

- eigenvalue equation

(K M )A = 0

- same number of independent eigenvalues as the total DOF of the FE model, - each of the eigenvalues has an independent eigenvektor or mode shape, - we usually need a few of the lowest eigenvalues of the model. Frequency response analysis - steady state response of the structure to a harmonic force input at a given frequency:

F = F0 e it
- the displacement response is also harmonic and occurs at the same frequency, - solution for the displacement amplitudes, - most structures are lightly damped and thus we may neglect the damping, - an input frequency equal to a natural frequency produces an infinite displacement response when there is no damping. Buckling analysis - beams, plate- and frame-structures may be sensitive for buckling,

- buckling occurs if the acting force completely reduces the bending stiffness of the structure, - EXAMPLE: Data: l=100 mm, axb=1x1 mm 2 , E=210000 MPa Fkrit

analitical solution:

Fkrit =

2 EI 4l 2

=4.4 N


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi


- Main objective is to shorten the product-development time, - Earlier approach: automatic mesh generation by the CAD system, - Present aim: to provide an automated design environment, - Designers tasks: - modeling the 3D object, - analysis type specification, - discretization of the FE model, - applying load and boundary conditions, - FE results interpretation, - repeating the above steps, until acceptable results are obtained. - FEA is now integrated and driven by the CAD system; it is advisable to transfer the most complete geometric information to the FE system, - An appropriate, reduced FE model is necessary based on the original object model (simplified geometry, ignoring sub-critical geometric features), - The system consists of an object oriented CAD environment, FE package, expert system shell and intelligent interface modules, - The interpretation of the FE results needs an expert system for analyzing the results.

Source: Roy, U. - Bharadway, B. - Ludden, C.: "Unification of CAD and FEM using Knowledge Engineering", Concurrent Engineering, Research and Application, 2 (1994), 7 - 15.


Lecture note by Prof. K. Vradi

- from design aspects, - in many cases the main goal is to lower the total cost. - Design objectives: - reliability, - life time (fatigue), - minimal weight, - minimal cost, - etc. - Design variables: to be optimized (geometry, material, topology), - Design parameters: selected values (geometry, material, topology), - Constrains (inequality conditions), - Global or local minimums, Linear programming (object functions and constrains are linear functions) - design variables: x1, x2 ,... , - object function: f ( x1 , x2 ,...) min. or max., - constrains:
g1: g1 ( x1 , x2 ,...) <0 g2 : g 2 ( x1 , x2 ,...) <0


- optimal solution at any of the intersection points (simplex algorithm) - Gradient methods: search for direction, - Sensitivity analysis, - Random searching techniques. Designing optimal structures - functional requirements, - objectives: * minimal weight, * minimal max. stress, * minimal displacement, * stability criterion, * dynamic behavior, * loadability, * failure criterion, - structural model. Optimization of typical structures: - Truss: size: (A), discrete optimization - Beam: size: (b, h), discrete optimization - Plate or shell (v), discrete optimization

- 2D, 3D bodies: shape optimization, continuous, Optimal design of engineering structures - more object functions, - the behavior of the design variables is not known, - approximate techniques: "quick and dirty" methods, searching for the dominant variables iterative solutions (heuristic) Main steps of optimal design: - specifying design problem, - selecting design variables and parameters, - assumptions, - specifying the object function(s) and constrains, - selecting optimization algorithm, - specifying convergence criterion, - optimization calculations, - analyzing results, comparing with approximation solutions, critique of the assumptions. Approximate techniques - usually results for global minimum, - partial minimum, optimal evaluation of the design variables one by one, - monotonity study: checking the effect of the design variables on the object function, i.e. increasing or decreasing effect, - standard sizes, not continuous functions - simple lower limit: only the dominant design variables are kept.


A=10 mm2 max=20 MPa E=70000 MPa
4 1 5 2

Amin=0.1 mm2 min=-20 MPa =0.1 N/mm3


l=360 mm F=100 N


7 5 8 10 9 6
1500 3000

2 100 N

3 100 N

W = l ( A i + 2 A i ) , iteration: A new =
i =1 i=7



A , (approximation)

1 2 3 4 5 6 1..6 7 8 9 10 2 7..10 + W Displ.

A 10 10 10 10 10 10 60 10 10 10 10 56.66 116.66 4199

Step 1 Stress 19.5 4 -20.4 -6 3.5 4 14.8 -13.5 8.5 -5.7

Step 2 A stress 9.75 19 2 15.1 10.2 -21 3 -23.2 1.75 9.3 2 15.1 7.4 6.75 4.25 2.85 21.8 -18 23.2 -15

2115 0.57

Step 3 A stress 9.26 19.5 1.51 15.3 10.71 -20.5 3.48 -22.1 0.813 4.9 1.51 15.3 27.28 8.1 20.8 6.07 -18.8 4.93 22.0 2.14 -15.3 30 57.28 2062 0.84

Shape optimization of a connecting rod subjected to tension

original shape and bending stress distribution

optimal shape and bending stress distribution

Shape optimization of a shaft shoulder subjected to torsion and bending

- original shape, equivalent stress

- modified shape, equivalent stress


Lecture note
by Prof. K. Vradi

3. CONTACT CONDITIONS AND THE SOLUTION TECHNIQUES The aim of evaluating contact problems is to find the location of the contact area, the contact pressure distribution and the normal approach. The geometric and stress type contact conditions

Starting from a single point contact, the normal load produces normal approach of , a contact area between N1 and N2 as well as a contact pressure distribution. The geometric conditions of contact inside the contact area: i = ui(1) + hi(1) + ui( 2 ) + hi( 2 ) , (i=N1,...,N2), (1) where

ui(1) elastic displacement of point i of body (1),

hi(1) initial clearance between point i of body (1) and the midplane, ui( 2 ) elastic displacement of point i of body (2), hi( 2 ) initial clearance between point i of body (2) and the midplane,

N1 starting point of the contact area, N2 end point of the contact area. The geometric conditions of contact outside the contact area:

i < ui(1) + hi(1) + ui( 2 ) + hi( 2 ) , (i=1,...,N1-1 and i=N2+1,...,N) , (2)

where N number of points within the potential contact area.

The stress conditions of contact inside the contact area:

pi >0, (i=N1+1,...,N2-1),

(3) (4)

at the edges of the contact area:

pN 1 0 and pN 2 0,

The stress conditions of contact outside the contact area:

pi 0, (i=1,...,N1-1 and i=N2+1,...,N).


The influence matrix and the iterative solution The elastic displacement at point i of body (1)

(1) i



(1 ) ij

p j , (i=1,...,N).


(1 ) where wij the elastic displacement of i due to a unit pressure acting at j.

The geometric conditions of contact inside the contact area, by using the influence matrix:

i = h + h +
(1) i (1) i




p j , (i=N1,...,N2),


(1) (2) , (i=N1,...,N2) and (j=N1,...,N2). wij = wij + wij


From Eq.(7)

pj =


(w ) (
N2 1 ij

hi(1) hi( 2 ) ), (j=N1,...,N2),


where (wij)-1 denotes the inverse of the influence matrix. The elements of influence matrix can are obtained by half-space solutions or FE evaluations for bodies with global deformation or with anisotropic material properties. Iterative solution of the contact conditions Assuming a given normal approach of i =const., the contact problem is solved for an assumed pressure distribution, yielding to a certain i values, according to Eq. (7). The contact pressure distribution for step (n+1), at point iC

n +1 i

i in =p 1 + C , (i=1,...,N), i
n i


C is a parameter controlling the speed of iteration. where At the edges of the (actual) contact area the contact pressure should be
practically zero. If not the actual contact area should be modified by changing the locations of N1 or/and N2. At the end of the iteration:

i in max < , (i=1,...,N), i



is a given small value (pl. 0.01).

FE contact considerations

In the models of load transmission between engineering components, the connection of the multiple parts by bonding is usually not acceptable, relative motion should be allowed.

Contact problems are non-linear ones; as the load gradually increases, the contact area is increasing also, because of the material deformation. To model contact problems special elements, so called gap-elements are used. They are similar to truss elements, having stiffness against axial motion, simulating frictionless contact. A compressive force in the gap element maintains contact, but if the force becomes tensile, the gap element should be free to separate (high stiffness in compression and zero stiffness in tension). Additional lateral stiffness models friction effect along the interface (shear force to normal force ratio equals to the static coefficient of friction). Newer contact algorithms introduced node-to-line and node-to-surface elements (contact nodes and target surfaces). If spring stiffness is too high, equations may become ill conditioned.

Two surfaces connected by truss gap elements

Bilinear normal and lateral stiffness of truss gap elements

Using one node contact elements


Lecture note
by Prof. K. Vradi

4. NON-LINEAR PROBLEMS - Frequently used assumptions: - small deformation, - stress is proportional to strain, - loads maintains their original directions as the structures deforms, - displacements are obtained in a single step of equation-solving, - many problems are different: - contact problems, - non-linear material behavior, - buckling or failure, - displacements may become large, so equations must be written for the deformed configuration, - in these cases the load-displacement behavior is not linear anymore, - geometric non-linearity, if there are significant changes in the geometry of the structure, - material non-linearity, if the material has a non-linear stress-strain behavior, - contact non-linearity: the contact area grows as load increases, yielding to a non-linear force-displacement behavior, - these are more complicated problems than the linear ones, because the actual configuration, the state of stress, the contact area, are not known until the solution is not completed, - several steps are needed, using approximate solutions, until converge conditions are fulfilled,

- the principle of superposition does not apply, - each different load case requires a separate solution. Solution algorithms - example of a non-linear spring: as displacement increases stiffness may increases or decreases, - force-displacement for any load can be calculated by a sequence of linear steps,

- solving by incremental method and by using tangent stiffness, - at u=0 the initial tangent stiffness kt0, - solving a lin. equation for increment P1 results in A, - next step at u=ua the tangent stiffness kta, - and solving a lin. equation for increment P2 results in B, - at point A and B the errors are euA and euB as well as ePA and ePB, - using the spring stiffness at ua the resisting force is ra =k ua, and the difference PA-ra= ePA is a force imbalance, - by doing equilibrium iterations, the applied force is kept constant (Newton-Raphson method),

- each equilibrium iteration reduces the force imbalance, - when the force difference is small enough, the next load is applied with a newer equilibrium iteration,

- tangent stiffness matrix must be constructed in every iteration, - alternative way is the modified Newton-Raphson method, using the same tangent stiffness matrix for the given load step, requiring much more iteration steps, - convergence criteria to stop iteration if the solution is close enough - error is the norm of the load imbalances for all DOF divided by the norm of the total load (similar definition for the displacements), 2A. Material non-linearity - Material behavior is characterised by a straight line and a curve with a tangent modulus, - non-linear elastic behavior: unloading follows the same path as loading,

- elastic-plastic behavior: elastic up to point A and plastic above it; unloading from point such as C follows a different path than loading and results in permanent deformation when load has been removed, - piecewise linear stress-strain relation can also be given, - when part of a structure yields there is a transfer of load to other parts of the structure, - Yield criterion: relates the start of yielding to the stress state; Von Mises criterion, if equivalent stress reaches the yield strength, determined from a uniaxial test of the material, - Flow rule: relates the stress increment, the strain increment and stress state in the plastic range (ex. Prandtl-Reuss relation), - Hardening rule: describes how the yield surface grows and moves as plastic strain accumulate; ex. kinematic hardening, elastic range 2F is preserved after yielding, - the solution algorithm tracks the change of yielding (at the sampling points, like Gauss points) and reports the stress and deformation at each load level, - plastic analysis may requires a finer mesh than in the case of a linear elastic analysis

Remarks and modelling considerations - An initial linear analysis is usually appropriate, - an attempt to solve a non-linear problem in one go is likely to fail, - a simplified preliminary analysis is advisable, - too large a load step may produce convergence failure, - sufficient data should be stored to allow restart from the current load level, - the initial load step in elastic-plastic analysis can be large, if it takes the structure to the initiation of yield, but not beyond. 2B. Geometric non-linearity - In the case of small deformation the equilibrium equations are fulfilled on the original (undeformed) configuration, - for large displacement problems the static equilibrium should be satisfied on the deformed state, - the equilibrium equations must be written with respect to the deformed geometry, which is not known in advance, - iteration: to find the displacement state in which the deformed structure is in equilibrium, - solution methods are the same as for material nonlinearity, - - stiffness matrix should be formed in the current configuration, - update the configuration at each time step, - check the equilibrium, - local element stiffness changes due to the change in the element shape,

- transformation of the element local stiffness into global stiffness changes, - combination with material nonlinearity is simple. Finite strain analysis - As the structure deforms, the localized deformations are large, producing relatively large strains, - the element shape is adjusted according to the strains, - typical for rubber-like materials,

Large deflection analysis - The change of the elements in their spatial orientation is large, but the strains remain small, - the global stiffness of the element changes, - it is considered by updating the element orientation, - required for example in the case of snap-through buckling analysis - usually displacement control or arc-length control strategy is recommended.