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# INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING

## Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)

Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/nme.5510

## Assumed stress quasi-conforming technique for static and free

vibration analysis of ReissnerMindlin plates
Changsheng Wang, Xuan Wang , Xiangkui Zhang*, and Ping Hu
School of Automotive Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Dalian
University of Technology, Dalian, 116023, China

SUMMARY
This paper presents a novel formulation based on Hellinger Reissner variational principle in the frame-
work of quasi-conforming method for static and free vibration analysis of Reissner Mindlin plates. The
formulation starts from polynomial approximation of stresses, which satisfy the equilibrium equations of
Reissner Mindlin plate theory. Then the stress matrix is treated as the weighted function to weaken the strain-
displacement equations after the strains are derived by using the constitutive equations. Finally, the string-net
functions are introduced to calculate strain integration. As examples, two new plate bending elements, a
4-node quadrilateral element QC-P4-11 and a 3-node triangular element QC-P3-7, are proposed. Several
benchmark examples are demonstrated to show the performance of the elements, and the results obtained are
compared with other available ones. Numerical results have proved that both elements possess excellent pre-
cision. In particular, the quadrilateral element performs well even when the element shape degenerates into
a triangle or concave quadrangle. Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

## Received 10 September 2016; Revised 9 January 2017; Accepted 10 January 2017

KEY WORDS: finite element methods; quasi-conforming; Reissner Mindlin plate theory; fundamental
analytical solutions; Hellinger Reissner variational principle

1. INTRODUCTION

Finite element analysis of plate structures play an increasing important role in engineering appli-
cations because the plate is one of the most widely used structural components. A considerable
amount of research has been devoted to the analysis of plate structures. A state-of-the-art review
and some recent developments in this field can be found in  and the references therein. The
displacement-based plate deformation theories can be divided into two categories: the Kirchhoff plate
theory  and the Reissner Mindlin plate theory . The Kirchhoff plate theory is a com-
mon approach used to attain quick and simple predictions especially for the behavior of thin plated
structures. However, the development of Kirchhoff plate elements is restricted because C1 continu-
ity between adjacent elements is required. Besides, it is well known from experimental observations
that the Kirchhoff plate theory neglects transverse shear strains, which brings about considerable
errors in deflections, stresses, and natural frequencies for the analysis of laminated plates .
The plate elements based on Reissner Mindlin plate theory, which considers the role of transverse
shear deformations, are attractive for that only C0 continuity is required and can be used to simulate
both the thin and moderately thick plates .
However, when the thickness of the plate is decreasing, shear locking phenomenon is observed.
For this problem to be overcome, various effective approaches and schemes have been proposed.
Refer to  for a summary. Commonly adopted techniques to handle shear locking are reduced
integration [19, 20] and selective integration techniques [21, 22]. Unfortunately, these elements are

*Correspondence to: Xiangkui Zhang, School of Automotive Engineering, Dalian University of Technology. No.2
Linggong Road, Ganjingzi District, Dalian, Liaoning Province, 116023, China.
E-mail: zhangxk@dlut.edu.cn

## Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

C. WANG ET AL.

still subjected to some other drawbacks, such as instability for rank deficiency, zero energy modes, or
severe accuracy loss on the occasion of mesh distortions. To yield a much higher accuracy and stabil-
ity of numerical methods, many new formulations, such as the assumed natural strain (ANS) method
, the mixed shear projected approach [26, 27], and the discrete shear gap (DSG) method 
have been developed. Other models, including the improved shear strain interpolations approaches
derived from Timoshenkos beam function [29, 30], the enhanced assumed strain methods [31, 32],
the mixed interpolated tensorial components (MITC) technique  and its extension [37, 38]
have also been introduced for the linear and nonlinear analysis of plates and shells.
To further advance finite element technologies, Chen and Cheung  developed a series
of triangular and quadrilateral plate/shell elements based on the refined non-conforming element
method. In their work, the exact displacement function of the Timoshenkos beam is used to derive the
element displacements. Numerical examples demonstrated the proposed model is not only free from
shear locking but also indeed possesses higher accuracy for both thin and thick plates. The smoothed
finite element methods (S-FEM) based on strain smoothing technique , including the cell-based
S-FEM (CS-FEM) , the node-based S-FEM (NS-FEM) , the edge-based S-FEM (ES-FEM)
, were first introduced by Liu et al.  into the analysis of plate and shell structures .
Cen et al.  proposed a hybrid displacement function method based on Reissner Mindlin
plate theory, in which the displacement function  satisfying all governing equations are used to
derive displacement components. Numerical examples had proved that the element models presented
in their works perform well even when a severely distorted mesh is employed and can effectively
handle the edge effect  caused by certain boundary conditions. Belinha et al. [52, 53] provided
an innovative numerical approach to the elastostatic analysis of thick plates and composite laminated
plates, which combining the simplicity of low-order finite elements connectivity with the geometric
flexibility of meshless. More recently, the isogeometric analysis method, which was first proposed
by Hughes et al. , has been applied successfully to bending and free vibration analysis of the
Kirchhoff plate  and Reissner Mindlin plate [56, 57]. For an excellent review of isogeometric
analysis, see Nguyen et al. .
The Quasi-Conforming (QC) technique was first proposed by Tang et al.  to meet the challenge
of inter-elements conforming problems. In the QC technique, the strain-displacement functions as
well as the equilibrium functions are weakened by integrations, and multiple sets of approximating
functions are used for displacement fields on the element boundary and the inner-element. Many
plane elements [60, 61] and plate/shell elements  based on the QC technique have been devel-
oped during past few decades, and the readers can refer to the review articles [64, 68]. Kim et al. [63,
64] presented a 4-node QC shell element based on assumed strain QC technique for linear and nonlin-
ear analysis of plates and shells. Hu et al.  developed a four-node quadrilateral flat shell element
based on assumed displacement QC technique, in which the complete quadratic polynomials were
used to discrete membrane and bending displacement fields. Wang et al. [66, 67] proposed 4-node
quadrilateral and 3-node triangular Reissner Mindlin shell elements by using Timoshenkos beam
function within the framework of assumed displacement QC technique. Good results are obtained
in their works, and the differences between the assumed strains QC technique and the assumed dis-
placements QC technique are detailed in [65, 66]. The assumed stress QC technique was proposed
in [61, 69], which are formulated for plane and couple stress issues.
In this paper, we introduce two QC plate elements in the framework of assumed stress QC tech-
nique for static and free vibration analysis of Reissner Mindlin plates. The shear locking can be
overcome in the QC method by the use of different displacement interpolations for each group of
strain components. Spurious zero energy mode, which may also be a challenge in finite elements with
reduced integration, is avoided here by an appropriate choice of the initial polynomials approxima-
tion of strain. Another advantage of the QC technique, when compared with the more widely used
selective integration method, is the fact that the stiffness matrix of the element is given explicitly.
A good plate bending element should possesses the general characteristics: free from shear locking
and zero energy modes, insensitive to mesh distortion, high-accuracy solutions for both displace-
ment and stress. In this paper, a novel formulation based on Hellinger Reissner variational principle
within the framework of QC method is proposed. The formulation starts from polynomial approx-
imation of stresses which derived from a displacement function F. Then the strain-displacement

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

equations are weakened by using the stress matrix. Finally, the Timoshenkos beam functions are
used as the string-net functions to calculate strain integration. As examples, new 4-node quadrilat-
eral and 3-node triangular elements are developed. Both elements can not only yield high-accuracy
solutions in static and free vibration analysis but also are free form shear locking and insensitive to
mesh distortion. In particular, the quadrilateral element is a shape-free element and can perform well
even when the distorted mesh element degenerates into a concave quadrangle element or triangular
element.
The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, the governing equations are reviewed, and the
displacement function of the Reissner Mindlin plate is introduced. Section 3 details the formula-
tions of assumed stress QC plate elements, including the Hellinger Reissner variational principle,
initial assumed stress, and strain integrations. Several numerical examples are provided in Section
4 to illustrate the effectiveness of the new elements for static and free vibration analysis. Finally,
concluding remarks are given in Section 5.

## 2. GOVERNING EQUATIONS AND THE DISPLACEMENT FUNCTION OF THE

REISSNERMINDLIN PLATE THEORY

The Reissner Mindlin plate theory takes into account the effects of a constant transverse shear stress
state by removing the normality conditions from the kinematic assumptions of classical Kirchoff-
Love plate theory. The displacement components at an arbitrary point of the plate are

## u = zx , v = zy , w = w(x, y) (t2 z t2) (1)

The governing equations of the Reissner Mindlin plate theory can be given as follows:
The equilibrium equations:

Mx Mxy
+ Tx = 0
x y
Mxy My
+ Ty = 0 (2)
x y
Tx Ty
+ +q=0
x y

in which = (Mx , My , Mxy , Tx , Ty )T is moment vector, Mx , My , Mxy , Tx , and Ty are the bend-
ing moments, twisting moments, and shear forces, respectively. q is a uniformly distributed
transverse load.
The strain-displacement equations:

x
kx =
x = w
y x x
x
ky = y w (3)
( ) y = y
k = x + y y
xy y x

in which = (kx , ky , kxy , x , y )T is strain vector, kx , ky and kxy are the curvatures, and x and y
are the transverse shear strains.
The constitutive equations:

= D (4)

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

D D 0 0 0
D D 0 0 0
1
D= 0 0 2
D 0 0 (5)
0 0 0 C 0
0 0 0 0 C

Et3 5
D= , C= Gt (6)
12(1 2 ) 6

in which D is the material matrix related to the Youngs modulus E, Poissons ratio , and plate
thickness t. G = E(2(1 + )) is the shear modulus.
Boundary conditions:
a. displacement (essential) boundary condition
u=u on Su (7)

## b. traction (natural) boundary condition

ng = t on St (8)
in which ng is the matrix depending on the outward normal of the surface under consideration
such that n g constitutes the surface traction, and t is the prescribed boundary traction. Su and
St (Su St = V, Su St = 0) denote the portions of boundary on which displacement and
traction boundary conditions are prescribed respectively.
Inspired by the seminal work , the displacement function F firstly given by Hu  is used to
express the transverse deflection w and the rotations x , y :
D 2 F F
w=F F, x = , y = (9)
C x y
in which F should satisfy the following equation:
D2 2 F = q (10)
Substituting equation (9) into Equations (3) and (4) yields

( )
Mx 2F 2F
= D +
x2 y2
( 2 )
My F 2F
= D 2 + 2
x y

Mxy F
2
(11)
= D(1 )
xy

Tx = D (2 F)
x
Ty
= D (2 F)
y

It can be proved that Equation (11) satisfies the equilibrium Equation (2).
The displacement function F in Equation (9) can be divided into two parts
F = F0 + F (12)
0 *
in which F is the homogeneous solution of equation (10), and F the particular solution of
Equation (10).
D2 2 F 0 = 0 (13)

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

Table I. The first 11 fundamental analytical solutions for the homogeneous biharmonic equation and
resulting resultant stresses.

i 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
DFi0 x2 xy y2 x3 x2 y xy2 y3

Mxi0 2 0 2 6x 2y 2x 6y
Myi0 2 0 2 6x 2y 2x 6y
Mxyi0
0 1 0 0 2(1 )x 2(1 )y 0
0
Txi 0 0 0 6 0 2 0
Tyi0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0

i 8 9 10 11
DFi0 x3 y xy3 x4 y4 6x2 y2 x4 y4

## Mxi0 6xy 6xy 12(x2 y2 ) 12(1 )( y2 x2 )

Myi0 6xy 6xy 12( y2 x2 ) 12(1 )(x2 y2 )
Mxyi0
3(1 )x 2
3(1 )y 2
0 24(1 )xy
Txi0 6y 6y 24x 0
Tyi0 6x 6x 24y 0

D2 2 F = q (14)

Actually, there are numerous polynomials that can satisfy homogeneous biharmonic equation (13),
and the derivation can be found in Reference . The first 11 fundamental analytical solutions of
DFi0 (i = 1 11) and resulting stresses are listed in Table I, which will be used as the initial
assumed stress of QC elements.
For a uniformly distributed transverse load q, the particular solution F* in Equation (14) can be
determined as
q
F = (x4 + y4 ) (15)
48D
then the corresponding particular solutions of the resultant stresses can be expressed by using
Equation (11)
q 2
Mx 4q (x 2+ y2 )
2

My 4 (x + y )
= Mxy

T
= 0 (16)

x q
x
Ty
2
qy
2

## 3. THE FORMULATIONS OF ASSUMED STRESS QC ELEMENTS

3.1. The basic formulations of 4-node quadrilateral and 3-node triangular QC plate elements
Supposing that the displacement boundary conditions of the system are satisfied, then the energy
functional of Hellinger Reissner variational principle can be written as
( )
1
HR = T D1 + T D1 (LT u) qw dxdy tudS (17)
2 S

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

where L is the differential operator matrix associated with strain . u and t are the displacement
vector and the prescribed boundary traction force vector, respectively. According to the discussions
of Section 2, the initial assumed stresses of Reissner Mindlin plate elements can be divided into
two parts: the homogeneous solution part and particular solution part
= 0 + = Q + (18)
in which is the undetermined element stresses parameter vector of the homogeneous part, * is
the particular solution defined in Equation (16). The expression of matrix Q can be written as
0 0 0 0
Mx1 Mx2 Mx3 MxN
M0 0
My2 0
My3 0
MyN
0y1 0 0 0
Q = Mxy1 Mxy2 Mxy3 MxyN (19)
T0 0
Tx2 0
Tx3 0
TxN
Tx1
0 0 0 0
y1 Ty2 Ty3 TyN
where N is the number of the analytical solutions used in the finite element formulation. By using
the constitutive Equations (4), the strains can be denoted as
= D1 = D1 (Q + ) (20)
The matrix Q T is used as the weighted function to weaken the Equation (20)

## QT dxdy = QT (D1 (Q + ))dxdy

(21)
= QT D1 Qdxdy + QT D1 dxdy

where represents the element domain. Then can be determined by carrying out the integrations:
= A1 (Cqe G) (22)
in which

A= QT D1 Qdxdy (23)

## Cqe = QT dxdy (24)

G= QT D1 dxdy (25)

( )T
qe = w1 x1 y1 wN xN yN (26)
where qe is element nodal displacement vector, N=4 for 4-node quadrilateral element and N=3 for
3-node triangular element.
Substituting Equation (22) into (18) yields
= 0 + = QA1 (Cqe G) + (27)
By the substitution of Equations (27) into (41), the energy functional can be rewritten as
1
HR = (QA1 (Cqe G) + )T D1 (QA1 (Cqe G) + )dxdy
2
+ (QA1 (Cqe G) + )T D1 (LT u) qeT udxdy tudS (28)
S
1 eT T 1 e 1 1
= q C A Cq GT A1 Cqe + Vqe + GT A1 G H tudS
2 2 2 S

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

in which

## Vqe = T (LT u)dxdy qwdxdy (29)

H= T D1 dxdy (30)

Making HR qe = 0, we obtain

Ke qe = Pe (31)

where Ke and Pe are, respectively, the element stiffness matrix and equivalent nodal forces

Ke = CT A1 C (32)

Pe = VT GA1 CT + fb (33)

## f b is the remaining part of P e subjected to prescribed boundary loads.

It is noted that the integral term of matrices A and G defined in Equations (23) and (25) are
polynomials, which can be evaluated easily. Thus, the essential work is the evaluation of C and V
defined in Equations (24) and (29).

## 3.2. Initial assumed stresses and strain integrations

The crucial step in new formulation of QC method is the initial assumption of stresses. The terms of
initial stresses are a primary consideration, which must satisfy rank analysis. The number of neces-
sary terms (not adequate) to prevent numerical deficiency of the rank of element stiffness matrix is
given in following condition:

mng (34)

where m is the number of initial terms of assumed stresses, n and g are number of unknown element
nodal displacements and number of rigid body modes, respectively.
In this paper, two QC plate elements, 4-node quadrilateral and 3-node triangular elements, are
constructed based on the formulation in Section 3.1, as shown in Figure 1. N in Equation (19) is set
to be 11 for 4-node quadrilateral element and 7 for 3-node triangular element. The corresponding
stresses Mxi , Myi , Mxyi , Txi and Txi (i = 1 N) are given in Table I.

## Figure 1. Models of quadrilateral and triangular quasi-conforming elements.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

The Greens theorem is used here for strain integration, and take the first-order derivative x /x
as an example
x
dxdy = x nx dS
x S
x
xdxdy = x nx xdS dxdy (35)
x S x
x
ydxdy = x nx ydS
x S
We can proof that, if the initial assumed stresses in Equation (18) satisfy equilibrium equations
defined by Equation (2), no inner-field functions are needed for the strain integration. The detailed
derivation can be found in Appendices A and B.
For the boundary integrations, the following transformation equations are needed
( ) ( )( )
x nx ny s
= (36)
y ny nx n

where nx =cos( n,x ), ny =cos( n, y ), n is the outer normal direction of element boundary. Then the
tangential rotation angles and deflections are chosen as the Timoshenkos beam functions, and the
normal rotation angle is chosen as a linear function. For instance, along the 1-2 boundary

## s = (6L1 L2 S1 )1 w1 + L1 (1 31 L2 )s1 + (6L1 L2 S1 )1 w2 + L2 (1 31 L1 )s2 (37)

n = L1 n1 + L2 n2 (38)

## w= (L1 + 1 L1 L2 (L1 L2 ))w1 + (L1 L2 + 1 L1 L2 (L1 L2 ))S1 2s1

(39)
+ (L2 + 1 L1 L2 (L2 L1 ))w2 + (L1 L2 + 1 L1 L2 (L1 L2 ))S1 2s2

## Figure 2. Constant stress/strain patch test.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

1 t2
1 = 1 = (40)
1 + 121 5S12 (1 )
with L1 = 1 sS1 , L2 = sS1 . s is the coordinate along the boundary, and S1 is the 1-2 boundary
length. si , ni , and wi are the tangential slopes, normal slopes and deflections at the node i(i = 1, 2)
on the boundary. The boundary string-net functions are adopted for both 4-node quadrilateral and
3-node triangular QC plate elements.

## 3.3. Free vibration analysis

Inspired by the seminal work , the energy functional of Hellinger Reissner variational principle
for the free vibration analysis can be written as
( ) u u
1
HR = T D1 + T D1 (LT u) dxdy . dxdy (41)
2 2 t t

Table II. Numerical results for constant stress/strain patch test (Figure 2).

## Node coordinates Results (exact solution)

Mesh x y w x y Mx My Mxy Tx Ty

0.04 0.02 0.00140 0.050 0.040 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
Mesh A 0.18 0.03 0.01935 0.195 0.120 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
convex 0.16 0.08 0.02240 0.200 0.160 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
0.08 0.08 0.00960 0.120 0.120 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0

0.04 0.02 0.00140 0.050 0.040 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
Mesh B 0.20 0.04 0.02480 0.220 0.140 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
triangular 0.16 0.08 0.02240 0.200 0.160 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
0.12 0.06 0.01260 0.150 0.120 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0

0.04 0.02 0.00140 0.050 0.040 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
Mesh C 0.18 0.03 0.01935 0.195 0.120 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
concave 0.16 0.08 0.02240 0.200 0.160 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0
0.15 0.05 0.01625 0.175 0.125 0.011111 0.011111 0.00333 0.0 0.0

## Figure 3. Mesh 4 4 for Razzaques 60 skew plate.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Making HR qe = 0, the discretized equation for free vibration analysis of Reissner Mindlin
plate can be given as
(K 2I M)dI = 0, I = 1, 2 , Nf (42)
where K is the global stiffness matrix assembled from element stiffness matrix Ke
defined by
equation (32), I and d I are the I-th natural frequency and vibration mode, respectively. M is the
global mass matrix assembled from element mass matrix Me defined by Equation (43)

## Me =NT mNdxdy (43)

where m is the matrix containing the mass density of the material and thickness t as
t 0 0
m = 0 t3 12 0 (44)
0 0 t3 12

Table III. Deflections and moments at point C for the Razzaques skew plate.

22 44 66 88 12 12 16 16

## (a) Central deflection wc 109

MITC4 [33, 74] 0.3856 0.6723 0.7357 0.7592 0.7765 0.7827
DKQ [39, 73] 0.6667 0.7696 0.7830 0.7877 0.7909
DKMQ  0.6666 0.7695 0.7829 0.7876 0.7908
MiSP4  0.5120 0.7259 0.7781 0.7894
MiSP4+  0.7015 0.7690 0.7875 0.7925
RDKQM  0.6667 0.7696 0.7830 0.7877 0.7909
AC-MQ4  0.7579 0.7905 0.7924 0.7930 0.7933 0.7934
MISC2  0.3741 0.6725 0.7377 0.7610 0.7776 0.7834
HSF-P4-11  0.7646 0.7890 0.7903 0.7908 0.7910 0.7911
QC-P4-11 0.7647 0.7890 0.7903 0.7908 0.7910 0.7911

## DKT [40, 76] 0.7527 0.7742 0.7822 0.7881

DKMT  0.7527 0.7742 0.7822 0.7881
RDKTM  0.7527 0.7742 0.7822 0.7881
MiSP3  0.5663 0.7400 0.7805 0.7894
QC-P3-7 0.7190 0.7735 0.7831 0.7865 0.7889 0.7898
Reference  0.7945

## (b) Central moment My 103

MITC4 [33, 74] 0.4688 0.8256 0.8976 0.9242 0.9439 0.9510
DKMQ  0.9220 0.9600 0.9610 0.9610 0.9600
MiSP4  0.6066 0.8774 0.9423 0.9567
MiSP4+  0.7200 0.9085 0.9510 0.9575
AC-MQ4  1.0128 1.1071 1.0295 0.9994 0.9779 0.9702
MISC2  0.4688 0.8301 0.9005 0.9260 0.9448 0.9515
HSF-P4-11  0.9592 0.9811 0.9563 0.9616 0.9606 0.9603
QC-P4-11 0.9592 0.9811 0.9563 0.9615 0.9606 0.9603

## MiSP3  0.6668 0.8930 0.9454 0.9571

QC-P3-7 0.8923 0.9506 0.9569 0.9588 0.9595 0.9597
Reference  0.9589

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

As for free vibration analysis, 4-node serendipity shape function and 3-node area-coordinate function
are used to interpolate the displacement components w, x and y . Take w as an example

4
Ni wi , for 4 node quadrilateral element
i=1
w= 3 (45)

Li wi , for 3 node triangular element
i=1

Figure 4. Convergence test for central deflections and moments of Razzaques 60 skew plate.

## Figure 6. Typical meshes used by a quarter of square plate.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Table IV. Results of deflections (w(qL4 1000D)) at the center of Morleys 30 skew plate with
different aspect ratios.

## Methods Lt = 100 Lt = 1000

44 88 16 16 32 32 44 88 16 16 32 32

MITC4 [33, 39] 0.359 0.357 0.383 0.403 0.358 0.343 0.343 0.359
DKMQ  0.757 0.504 0.441 0.423 0.760 0.507 0.443 0.425
DKQ [39, 73] 0.760 0.507 0.443 0.426 0.760 0.507 0.443 0.423
RDKQM  0.757 0.504 0.441 0.423 0.760 0.507 0.443 0.424
HSF-P4-11  0.463 0.427 0.421 0.420 0.462 0.426 0.420 0.416
QC-P4-11 0.463 0.427 0.421 0.420 0.462 0.426 0.419 0.416

DKT [40, 76] 0.453 0.424 0.419 0.417 0.453 0.424 0.419 0.417
DKMT  0.374 0.403 0.415 0.418 0.357 0.339 0.353 0.382
RDKTM  0.454 0.425 0.421 0.419 0.453 0.424 0.419 0.417
QC-P3-7 0.454 0.423 0.419 0.418 0.453 0.422 0.417 0.415
Reference  0.408 0.408

where Ni = 14 (1 + i )(1 + i ) is the shape function of the 4-node serendipity element, Li is 3-node
area-coordinate shape function.

4. NUMERICAL EXAMPLES

So as to demonstrate the accuracy, validity, and applicability of the proposed QC elements for linear
static bending and free vibration analysis of Reissner Mindlin plates, several numerical examples
with different geometry and boundary conditions are investigated in this section. The results obtained
by present 4-node quadrilateral and 3-node triangular QC elements are verified by comparing with
other numerical and analytical solutions available in the literatures. The proposed 4-node quadrilat-
eral and 3-node triangular elements are denoted by QC-P4-11 and QC-P3-7, respectively. Unless
otherwise specified, the actual computations are carried out using dimensionless units.
4.1. Static analysis

4.1.1. Patch test. As the first example, the patch test is adopted here to examine the convergence of
QC elements. It is checked to ensure that the elements can reproduce a constant distribution of all
quantities for arbitrary meshes. The geometry and meshes for the patch test are depicted in Figure 2,
as well as nodal coordinates. Meshes A, B, and C are used for quadrilateral element, and mesh A
is also used for triangular element. The analytic displacement field for plate bending is given by the
following formula:
w = 1 (x2 + xy + y2 )
2
w 1
x = x = 2 (2x + y) (46)

y = w = 1 (2y + x)
y 2
And the corresponding exact moment solutions are
Mx = My = 0.011111, Mxy = 0.00333, Tx = T y = 0 (47)
The deflections and rotations of boundary nodes are fixed as the boundary conditions, and their values
of the inner nodes will be evaluated. The numerical results of the patch test are listed in Table II.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

It can be observed that both the triangular and quadrilateral QC element can pass the patch test,
and the obtained displacement and stress results agree well with the exact solutions. Moreover, the
quadrilateral element exhibits better performance in both displacement and stress solutions even the
element shape degenerated into a concave quadrangle or triangular element.

4.1.2. Skew plate. In this section, two thin skew plates subjected to a uniform transverse load q = 1
are considered: Razzaques skew plate and Morleys skew plate. First, the Razzaques skew plate
with skew angle = 60 is considered. And the geometry and material parameters are depicted in
Figure 3. Uniform meshes N N with N = 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 are used, and two opposite edges are free,
whereas the other two edges are soft simply supported (SS1) (w = 0).
Numerical results of transversal deflection w and the bending moment My are tabulated in Table III
and compared with the analytic solution  and other available results obtained by quadrilateral
elements [15, 26, 27, 33, , 7375] and triangular elements [16, 26, 40, 76] in the published
references. It can be seen that both QC elements show remarkably excellent performance compared
with other elements. For a better view, Figure 4 shows the convergence test for central deflections
and moments of the Razzaques 60 skew thin plate of quadrilateral elements, in (a) and (b). As

Table V. Central deflections wc (qL4 100D) and moments for SS1 square plate.

Mesh density

## (a) QC-P4-11 wc (qL4 100D)

1030 0.001 A-regular 0.40646 0.40622 0.40623 0.40623 0.40624 0.40624 0.4062
B-distorted 0.41250 0.40650 0.40628 0.40625 0.40624 0.40624
0.01 A-regular 0.40674 0.40647 0.40648 0.40650 0.40654 0.40674 0.4062
B-distorted 0.41296 0.40682 0.40659 0.40659 0.40664 0.40694
0.1 A-regular 0.43652 0.44668 0.45375 0.45702 0.45866 0.46049 0.4617
B-distorted 0.45502 0.45014 0.45482 0.45752 0.45896 0.46061
Mc (qL2 10)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.47471 0.47883 0.47886 0.47886 0.47886 0.47886 0.4789
B-distorted 0.48860 0.48068 0.47943 0.47911 0.47899 0.47889
0.01 A-regular 0.47457 0.47870 0.47874 0.47877 0.47881 0.47904 0.4789
B-distorted 0.48827 0.48039 0.47924 0.47900 0.47899 0.47924
0.1 A-regular 0.46911 0.49335 0.50140 0.50483 0.50651 0.50837 0.5096
B-distorted 0.48810 0.49639 0.50240 0.50527 0.50677 0.50847
(b) QC-P3-7 wc (qL4 100D)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.40317 0.40588 0.40611 0.40618 0.40620 0.40622 0.4062
B-distorted 0.40102 0.40503 0.40572 0.40596 0.40606 0.40617
0.01 A-regular 0.40337 0.40607 0.40632 0.40639 0.40643 0.40656 0.4062
B-distorted 0.40129 0.40527 0.40596 0.40621 0.40634 0.40664
0.1 A-regular 0.42208 0.43475 0.44385 0.44960 0.45313 0.45790 0.4617
B-distorted 0.43137 0.44070 0.44778 0.45228 0.45504 0.45876
Mc (qL2 10)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.50082 0.48781 0.48373 0.48198 0.48105 0.47988 0.4789
B-distorted 0.49890 0.48647 0.48309 0.48155 0.48071 0.47969
0.01 A-regular 0.50084 0.48789 0.48382 0.48207 0.48115 0.48005 0.4789
B-distorted 0.49903 0.48656 0.48318 0.48166 0.48084 0.47993
0.1 A-regular 0.50219 0.49801 0.50058 0.50321 0.50502 0.50758 0.5096
B-distorted 0.51405 0.50133 0.50211 0.50407 0.50557 0.50778

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

can be observed from Figure 4, the results of present quadrilateral QC element are in very excellent
agreement with the exact solutions and are more accurate than those of other elements for both the
central deflections and moments.
As to the Morleys skew plate with skew angle = 30 depicted in Figure 5, all four edges of this
plate are soft simply supported (SS1). This problem is a more critical test for singularity appears in
the bending moment at the obtuse corner. Two span-thickness ratios (Lt = 1000 and Lt = 100) are
considered. Table IV presents the dimensionless results of central deflections obtained by the new QC
elements and other quadrilateral elements [15, 33, 39, 73] and triangular elements [16, 40, 76, 77].
For comparison, the solutions obtained by Morley  are also presented. It can be found that present
models exhibit good agreement with other elements with the same refinement meshes.

4.1.3. Square plates. In this example, a classical benchmark of square plate bending problem sub-
jected to a uniform load q = 1 is investigated. Two mesh types are used for this example, as shown in
Figure 6. Three different boundary condition cases are discussed: the clamped boundary condition
(w = 0, n = 0 and s = 0); the soft simply supported (SS1) boundary condition (w = 0); the hard

Table VI. Central deflections wc (qL4 100D) and moments for SS2 square plate.

Mesh density

## (a) QC-P4-11 wc (qL4 100D)

1030 0.001 A-regular 0.40516 0.40617 0.40622 0.40623 0.40624 0.40624 0.4062
B-distorted 0.40200 0.40596 0.40618 0.40622 0.40623 0.40624
0.01 A-regular 0.40538 0.40638 0.40643 0.40644 0.40644 0.40644 0.4064
B-distorted 0.40226 0.40618 0.40639 0.40643 0.40643 0.40644
0.1 A-regular 0.42654 0.42659 0.42682 0.42697 0.42707 0.42719 0.4273
B-distorted 0.42477 0.42643 0.42667 0.42687 0.42699 0.42716
Mc (qL2 10)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.47857 0.47884 0.47886 0.47886 0.47886 0.47886 0.4789
B-distorted 0.48653 0.48043 0.47939 0.47909 0.47898 0.47889
0.01 A-regular 0.47846 0.47870 0.47871 0.47872 0.47874 0.47877 0.4789
B-distorted 0.48606 0.48006 0.47912 0.47888 0.47882 0.47882
0.1 A-regular 0.47289 0.47663 0.47786 0.47831 0.47852 0.47873 0.4789
B-distorted 0.47489 0.47763 0.47823 0.47847 0.47860 0.47875

## (b) QC-P3-7 wc (qL4 100D)

1030 0.001 A-regular 0.40257 0.40580 0.40609 0.40617 0.40620 0.40622 0.4062
B-distorted 0.39915 0.40488 0.40569 0.40595 0.40606 0.40617
0.01 A-regular 0.40277 0.40601 0.40630 0.40638 0.40640 0.40643 0.4064
B-distorted 0.39939 0.40510 0.40590 0.40615 0.40626 0.40637
0.1 A-regular 0.42081 0.42547 0.42629 0.42666 0.42686 0.42710 0.4273
B-distorted 0.42047 0.42516 0.42612 0.42655 0.42679 0.42708
Mc (qL2 10)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.49975 0.48764 0.48369 0.48197 0.48105 0.47988 0.4789
B-distorted 0.49801 0.48634 0.48307 0.48154 0.48071 0.47968
0.01 A-regular 0.49978 0.4.8774 0.48380 0.48206 0.48113 0.47994 0.4789
B-distorted 0.49810 0.48641 0.48314 0.48161 0.48077 0.47970
0.1 A-regular 0.50083 0.48917 0.48440 0.48235 0.48127 0.47995 0.4789
B-distorted 0.50457 0.48728 0.48274 0.48111 0.48035 0.47950

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

simply supported (SS2) boundary condition (w = 0 and s = 0). The following material parameters
are used: Youngs modulus E = 10.92, Poissons ratio = 0.3, and the edge length and thickness
of the square plate are denoted by L and t, respectively. The dimensionless results of deflections and
moments at the center of the plate are presented in Tables V VII, which has considered the effects
of different thickness-to-length ratios tL. To verify the validity of the proposed elements, the exact
solutions  are also listed for comparison.
First, we can observe that the results of the new QC elements show an excellent convergence to
the exact solutions for different boundary conditions and thickness-to-length ratios even with very
rough refinement mesh (2 2), which demonstrates the proposed QC elements exhibit excellent
performance in the precision. Another observation is that the discrepancies between the results of
the present elements based on the regular meshes and distorted meshes are small and can be ignored.
This also certifies the new elements provide a reliable and robust means for the state bending analysis
of plates.
In next, the sensitivity test to the mesh distortion for quadrilateral element QC-P4-11 is con-
ducted, which was first studied in reference  by Weissman and Taylor. The following geometric
and material parameters are used: the edge length L = 10, the thickness t = 0.01, the Youngs mod-
ulus E = 10.92, and Poissons ratio = 0.3. As shown in Figure 7, a quarter of clamped square
plate is modeled by two types of distortion meshes. In the mesh A(symmetric), the central node of
the mesh is moved along the main diagonal of the plate. When the absolute value of the distortion
parameter reaches 1.25, one element of the mesh will degenerate into a triangle, and when the

Table VII. Central deflections wc (qL4 100D) and moments for clamped square plate.

Mesh density
tL Mesh type 22 44 66 88 10 10 16 16 Reference 
4
(a) QC-P4-11 wc (qL 100D)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.12389 0.12601 0.12636 0.12646 0.12649 0.12652 0.1265
B-distorted 0.12378 0.12585 0.12630 0.12643 0.12648 0.12652
0.01 A-regular 0.12418 0.12630 0.12664 0.12673 0.12676 0.12678 0.1267
B-distorted 0.12407 0.12615 0.12658 0.12670 0.12675 0.12678
0.1 A-regular 0.15040 0.15066 0.15054 0.15050 0.15048 0.15047 0.1499
B-distorted 0.14991 0.15057 0.15049 0.15047 0.15047 0.15046
Mc (qL2 10)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.22108 0.22844 0.22887 0.22897 0.22901 0.22904 0.2291
B-distorted 0.23176 0.22984 0.22927 0.22914 0.22909 0.22906
0.01 A-regular 0.22114 0.22842 0.22884 0.22894 0.22897 0.22902 0.2291
B-distorted 0.23160 0.22967 0.22915 0.22905 0.22904 0.22905
0.1 A-regular 0.22706 0.23098 0.23151 0.23173 0.23183 0.23194 0.231
B-distorted 0.22890 0.23176 0.23183 0.23191 0.23194 0.23198

## (b) QC-P3-7 wc (qL4 100D)

1030 0.001 A-regular 0.10789 0.12204 0.12452 0.12540 0.12581 0.12625 0.1265
B-distorted 0.11619 0.12297 0.12481 0.12555 0.12590 0.12629
0.01 A-regular 0.10807 0.12228 0.12477 0.12565 0.12606 0.12650 0.1267
B-distorted 0.11644 0.12323 0.12508 0.12581 0.12616 0.12654
0.1 A-regular 0.12540 0.14405 0.14746 0.14872 0.14932 0.15000 0.1499
B-distorted 0.13859 0.14640 0.14842 0.14923 0.14964 0.15013
Mc (qL2 10)
1030 0.001 A-regular 0.22167 0.23020 0.22973 0.22958 0.22947 0.22929 0.2291
B-distorted 0.23308 0.23155 0.23017 0.22977 0.22956 0.22929
0.01 A-regular 0.22154 0.23024 0.22981 0.22966 0.22955 0.22936 0.2291
B-distorted 0.23302 0.23164 0.23026 0.22985 0.22963 0.22934
0.1 A-regular 0.21497 0.23130 0.23236 0.23245 0.23240 0.23225 0.231
B-distorted 0.22980 0.23349 0.23275 0.23246 0.23233 0.23216

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

## Figure 7. Sensitivity test to mesh distortion. Mesh A: symmetric; Mesh B: asymmetric.

Table VIII. Results of the central deflections wc (ql4 100D) for symmetric mesh distortion.

## CRB1 CRB2 S1 S4R DKQ AC-MQ4 MITC4 MISC2 QC-P4-11

       

1.75 0.1192
1.50 0.1214
1.25 0.1229
1.249 0.1381 0.2423 0.1105 0.1337 0.1694 0.1240 0.0973 0.1151 0.1229
1.00 0.1390 0.1935 0.1160 0.1369 0.1658 0.1269 0.1032 0.1164 0.1238
0.50 0.1247 0.1284 0.1209 0.1354 0.1543 0.1264 0.1133 0.1207 0.1245
0.00 0.1212 0.1212 0.1211 0.1295 0.1460 0.1245 0.1211 0.1266 0.1239
0.50 0.1347 0.1331 0.1165 0.1234 0.1418 0.1224 0.1245 0.1323 0.1227
1.00 0.1343 0.1647 0.1059 0.1192 0.1427 0.1183 0.1189 0.1331 0.1218
1.249 0.1262 0.1947 0.0975 0.1180 0.1398 0.1193 0.1087 0.1287 0.1218
1.25 0.1218
1.50 0.1221
1.75 0.1232
The reference solution of wc (ql4 100D) is 0.1265.

parameter exceeds 1.25, the element will degenerate into a concave quadrangle. Most elements
suffer from severe accuracy loss under these situations, and the calculation will even fail. However,
the proposed element QC-P4-11 performs well. Results of deflections at node C (the central point
of the plate) obtained by the proposed element QC-P4-11 as well as other methods [33, 73 75, 80,
81] are listed in Table VIII and plotted in Figure 8. In the mesh B (asymmetric), the central node is
moved parallel to the edge, and the results are given in Table IX and plotted in Figure 9.
It is clear that the proposed quadrilateral element QC-P4-11 gains the highest accuracy, and the
obtained results are better than those of other elements [33, 73 75, 80, 81] when compared with the
exact solutions. The central deflections variation with respect to distortion parameters is so small
that it can be neglected, which indicates the present element QC-P4-11 is insensitivity to mesh
distortions.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

Figure 8. Central deflections for the sensitivity test to symmetric mesh distortion.

Table IX. Results of the central deflections wc (ql4 100D) for asymmetric mesh distortion.

## CRB1 CRB2 S1 S4R DKQ AC-MQ4 QC-P4-11

     

## 0.00 0.1212 0.1212 0.1211 0.1295 0.1460 0.1245 0.1239

0.02 0.1166 0.1165 0.1196 0.1279 0.1458 0.1245 0.1239
0.04 0.1075 0.1074 0.1154 0.1234 0.1457 0.1244 0.1239
0.06 0.0998 0.0997 0.1091 0.1165 0.1456 0.1244 0.1238
0.08 0.0947 0.0946 0.1013 0.1081 0.1455 0.1244 0.1238
0.10 0.0915 0.0914 0.0927 0.0989 0.1455 0.1244 0.1238
0.15 0.0878 0.0877 0.0716 0.0761 0.1451 0.1244 0.1237
0.20 0.0868 0.0867 0.0542 0.0573 0.1448 0.1243 0.1237
0.30 0.0872 0.0871 0.0318 0.0333 0.1443 0.1242 0.1236
0.50 0.0907 0.0912 0.0135 0.0138 0.1435 0.1240 0.1234
0.80 0.0973 0.1009 0.0055 0.0054 0.1428 0.1230 0.1233
1.00 0.1010 0.1094 0.0035 0.0034 0.1426 0.1216 0.1233
1.50 0.1008 0.1390 0.0015 0.0014 0.1431 0.1158 0.1235
2.00 0.0766 0.1695 0.0008 0.0007 0.1449 0.1085 0.1236
2.49 0.0425 0.1967 0.0005 0.0005 0.1469 0.1011 0.1224
The reference solution of wc (ql4 100D) is 0.1265.

4.1.4. A more complex bending problem. To further demonstrate the convergence of the proposed
methods, a more complex bending problem with explicit analytical solution is performed. This exam-
ple has been tested by a number of methods [56, 8284]. The model problem consists in a clamped
square plate [0, 1]2 , subject to the distributed load

Et3
q(x, y) = (12y(y 1)(5x2 5x + 1)(2y2 (y 1)2 + x(x 1)(5y2 5y + 1))
12(1 2 ) (48)
+ 12x(x 1)(5y2 5y + 1)(2x2 (x 1)2 + y(y 1)(5x2 5x + 1))).

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Figure 9. Central deflections for the sensitivity test to asymmetric mesh distortion.

Figure 10. Relative error of clamped square plates for different values of thickness.

## The analytical solution is given by

x = y3 (y 1)3 x2 (x 1)2 (2x 1)
(49)
y = x3 (x 1)3 y2 (y 1)2 (2y 1)

1 3
w(x, y) = x (x 1)3 y3 (y 1)3
3
2t2 (50)
(y3 (y 1)3 x(x 1)(5x2 5x + 1)
5(1 )
+ x3 (x 1)3 y(y 1)(5y2 5y + 1)).
The error of a discrete solution is measured through the discrete relative rotation error E and the
discrete relative displacement error Ew , defined as 

(((x (Ni ) xh (Ni ))2 + (y (Ni ) yh (Ni ))2 )
Ni
E2 = (51)
(x2 (Ni ) + y2 (Ni ))
Ni

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

Figure 11. Quadrilateral and triangular meshes of symmetrical quadrants of a circular plate.

Table X. Central deflections and moments for a simply supported circular plate with a uniform load
(quadrilateral elements).

Rt = 2 Rt = 5 Rt = 50

3 12 48 3 12 48 3 12 48

## (a) Central deflection

Q4-R 2.646 3.071 3.217 32.450 38.787 40.912 30773 37052 39148
DKQ [39, 73] 2.439 2.522 2.542 38.118 39.409 39.720 38118 39408 39720
RDKQM  3.083 3.217 3.251 39.664 41.093 41.470 38133 39423 39735
MITC4 [33, 39] 2.994 3.197 3.246 38.132 40.766 41.395 39430 39037 39634
QCS2  3.234 3.254 3.261 41.393 41.615 41.597 39723 39917 39851
QC-P4-11 3.270 3.263 3.262 42.454 41.797 41.644 40790 40088 39898
Reference 3.262 41.599 39831
(b) Central moment
Q4-R 4.193 4.916 5.094 4.193 4.935 5.095 4.193 5.004 5.151
DKQ [39, 73] 5.386 5.201 5.170 5.386 5.201 5.169 5.386 5.201 5.169
RDKQM  5.444 5.243 5.177 5.402 5.229 5.176 5.386 5.201 5.170
MITC4 [33, 39] 4.818 5.097 5.140 4.783 5.098 5.139 4.729 5.124 5.137
QCS2  5.623 5.272 5.184 5.459 5.268 5.184 5.303 5.263 5.181
QC-P4-11 5.223 5.169 5.159 5.243 5.171 5.159 5.288 5.179 5.162
Reference 5.16 5.16 5.16

((w(Ni ) wh (Ni ))2 )
Ni
Ew2 = 2 (52)
(w (Ni ))
Ni

in which x (Ni ), y (Ni ) and w(Ni ) are exact solutions at Ni , xh (Ni ), yh (Ni ) and wh (Ni ) are solutions
of proposed elements at node (Ni ).
We analyze the convergence properties of the quadrilateral QC element QC-P4-11 by considering
different values of thickness, that is, t {102 , 103 , 105 }. For simplicity, the relative error of
triangular element QC-P3-7 is not reported here. Actually, the same property can be observed for
the triangular element.
Figure 10 shows the relative displacement error Ew and the relative rotation error E versus the
number of nodes per side, in (a) and (b). As can be seen in the figure, the present quadrilateral
element QC-P4-11 demonstrates the appropriate convergence rate for both vertical displacements

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

and rotations. Another observation is that the error graphs for different values of thickness appear
nearly superposed. This behavior testifies the proposed element is insensitive to the variation of
thickness, which also demonstrates that the proposed QC element is locking free and can be used
for both thick and thin plate problems.

4.1.5. Circular plates. In this section, a simply supported or clamped circular plate subjected to uni-
form transverse load q = 1 is analyzed to demonstrate more features of the present elements. By mak-
ing use of the symmetry, one quarter of the circular plate is modeled with three different mesh of 3, 12,
and 48 for quadrilateral element (6, 24. and 96 for triangular element), as depicted in Figure 11. The

Table XI. Central deflections and moments for a clamped circular plate with a uniform load (quadrilateral
elements).

Rt = 2.5 Rt = 5 Rt = 50

3 12 48 3 12 48 3 12 48

## (a) Central deflection

Q4-R 1.895 2.048 2.093 10.079 11.125 11.405 8402.7 9392.0 9641.1
DKQ [39, 73] 1.345 1.258 1.232 10.756 10.064 9.854 10756.1 10064.1 9854.2
RDKQM  2.143 2.123 2.117 12.303 11.748 11.604 10770.9 10079.3 9869.5
MITC4 [33, 39] 1.996 2.084 2.108 10.755 11.421 11.529 9068.1 9693.3 9768.7
QCS2  2.199 2.142 2.120 12.469 11.857 11.620 10811.2 10159.2 9874.4
QC-P4-11 1.799 2.028 2.092 9.471 10.987 11.403 7806.6 9277.4 9657.6
Reference 2.114 11.551 9783.5
(b) Central moment
Q4-R 1.723 1.964 2.014 1.723 1.967 2.015 1.723 2.010 2.035
DKQ [39, 73] 2.543 2.149 2.063 2.543 2.149 2.063 2.543 2.149 2.063
RDKQM  2.457 2.189 2.071 2.557 2.178 2.070 2.542 2.149 2.064
MITC4 [33, 39] 2.589 2.045 2.034 1.927 2.046 2.033 1.883 2.075 2.031
QCS2  2.531 2.178 2.067 2.445 2.174 2.067 2.312 2.163 2.063
QC-P4-11 1.795 1.965 2.014 1.812 1.967 2.014 1.856 1.975 2.017
Reference 2.03 2.03 2.03

Figure 12. Convergence of central deflections and moments of simply supported circular plate (Rt = 2). (a)
Convergence of central deflections. (b) Convergence of central moments.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

radius of the plate is set to be R = 5. The Youngs modulus and Poissons ratio are assumed as E =
10.92, = 0.3, respectively. To investigate the influences of radius-to-thickness ratios on the central
deflections and moments of circular plate, four different values of radius-to-thickness ratios Rt =
2, 2.5, 5, 50 are considered. Numerical results of central deflections and moments of simply supported
and clamped circular plate obtained by the proposed QC elements are tabulated in Tables X XIII.
The results are compared with the exact solutions and other numerical results obtained by quadri-
lateral elements [33, 39, 66, 73] and triangular elements [40, 67, 76]. The convergence tests of
central deflections and moments of simply supported circular plate (Rt = 2) are given in Figure 12
(a) and (b).
It can be seen that the results of the proposed triangular and quadrilateral elements agree well
with those of other elements [33, 39, 40, 66, 67, 73, 76]. In addition, we can find that the radius-

Table XII. Central deflections and moments for a simply supported circular plate with a uniform
load(triangular elements).

Rt = 2 Rt = 5 Rt = 50

6 24 96 6 24 96 6 24 96

## (a) Central deflection

DKT [40, 76] 2.421 2.520 2.524 37.833 39.378 39.714 37832.7 39378.2 39714.1
RDKTM  3.091 3.224 3.254 39.463 41.089 41.473 37848.5 39394.3 39730.2
QCS31  3.086 3.224 3.254 39.387 41.042 41.467 37771.3 39326.9 39716.2
QC-P3-7 3.282 3.273 3.266 42.536 41.838 41.656 40921.3 40124.4 39905.7
Reference 3.262 41.599 39831
(b) Central moment
DKT [40, 76] 5.259 5.203 5.205 5.259 5.203 5.182 5.259 5.203 5.182
RDKTM  5.393 5.270 5.204 5.306 5.239 5.201 5.259 5.204 5.183
QCS31  5.431 5.312 5.210 5.332 5.275 5.220 5.279 5.221 5.183
QC-P3-7 5.231 5.205 5.174 5.218 5.193 5.171 5.258 5.207 5.171
Reference 5.16 5.16 5.16

Table XIII. Central deflections and moments for a clamped circular plate with a uniform load (triangular
elements).

Rt = 2.5 Rt = 5 Rt = 50

6 24 96 6 24 96 6 24 96

## (a) Central deflection

DKT [40, 76] 1.286 1.246 1.229 10.291 9.966 9.835 10290.7 9966.1 9835.5
RDKTM  2.119 2.124 2.119 11.921 11.687 11.598 10306.5 9982.4 9851.7
QCS31  2.077 2.123 2.118 11.591 11.656 11.581 9972.5 9940.2 9827.3
QC-P3-7 1.816 2.043 2.097 9.558 11.032 11.416 7933.68 9314.2 9665.7
Reference 2.114 11.551 9783.5
(b) Central moment
DKT [40, 76] 2.397 2.147 2.074 2.397 2.147 2.074 2.397 2.147 2.074
RDKTM  2.506 2.209 2.097 2.451 2.185 2.097 2.398 2.148 2.076
QCS31  2.514 2.250 2.101 2.440 2.219 2.098 2.386 2.165 2.075
QC-P3-7 1.794 2.001 2.029 1.788 1.990 2.026 1.827 2.003 2.026
Reference 2.03 2.03 2.03

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Figure 13. Convergence study of fundamental frequency for fully clamped plate with different thickness-to-
length ratios tL. (a) tL = 0.005; (b) tL = 0.1).

Figure 14. The first six mode shapes for the fully clamped square plate (tL = 0.005).

to-thickness ratios have a great influence on the central deflections for both clamped and simply
supported boundary conditions, and a low radius-to-thickness ratio leads to a smaller central deflec-
tion value. In contrast, the radius-to-thickness ratios have a very small effect on the central moments
of clamped and simply supported circular plates.

## 4.2. Free vibration analysis

In this section, we examine the efficiency and the applicability of the 4-node quadrilateral and 3-node
triangular QC elements in analyzing natural frequencies of free vibration of plates. The effects of var-
ious slenderness ratios, skew angles, and boundary conditions on the frequencies are also discussed.
Unless other stated, the following material parameters are used: Youngs modulus E = 2.0 1011 ,
Poissons ratio = 0.3, and the mass density = 8000. For the convenience, the boundaries of

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

## Table XIV. Convergence of six lowest non-dimensional frequency parameters of a CCCC

thin square plate (tL = 0.005).

## Mode sequence number

Meshing Methods 1 2 3 4 5 6

## 44 DSG3  8.4197 12.7720 14.9652 17.2579 21.3890 21.7600

ES-DSG3  6.9741 10.1934 11.4756 13.0548 15.4035 15.9360
QC-P4-11 6.3273 9.4939 9.4939 12.0178 12.9286 12.9445
QC-P3-7 6.5146 9.9991 10.4806 12.9428 14.7752 15.0647

## 88 DSG3  6.7161 9.7867 10.5673 12.9981 14.5306 15.3143

ES-DSG3  6.1982 9.0117 9.2894 11.5616 12.7950 13.0357
QC-P4-11 6.0945 8.8804 8.8804 11.0094 12.2499 12.2621
QC-P3-7 6.1282 8.9302 9.04649 11.1099 12.5623 12.6208

## 16 16 DSG3  6.1786 8.8759 9.0680 11.2452 12.2182 12.2992

ES-DSG3  6.0355 8.6535 8.7081 10.6584 11.7430 11.7720
QC-P4-11 6.0220 8.6454 8.6454 10.5544 11.6723 11.6972
QC-P3-7 6.0300 8.6543 8.6830 10.5801 11.7316 11.7594

## 22 22 DSG3  6.0889 8.7239 8.8202 10.8567 11.8519 11.8845

ES-DSG3  6.0158 8.6075 8.6353 10.5252 11.6032 11.6293
QC-P4-11 6.0106 8.6074 8.6074 10.4806 11.5753 11.6014
QC-P3-7 6.0148 8.6118 8.6269 10.4946 11.6053 11.6322

## Figure 15. The plate with skew angle = 60 .

the plates are denoted as follows: completely free (F), fully clamped (C), and simply supported
(S) edges. For example, the symbol, CFSF, represents clamped, free, simply supported, and free
boundary condition along the four edges of a rectangular plate.

4.2.1. Square plates. First, the convergence of the present quadrilateral QC elements for the free
vibration analysis is testified by fully clamped square plates with two different thickness-to-length
ratios tL = 0.005 and tL = 0.1, which exists exact solution for this case. The plate is discretized by
four different uniform refine meshes with 4 4, 8 8, 16 16, and 22 22. For comparison, the non-
( )14
dimensional frequencies parameter = 2 L4 tD is used, in which D = Et3 (12(1 2 )) is
the flexural rigidity of the plate. Numerical results of the first six frequencies calculated by the pro-

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Figure 16. The first three mode shapes for the parallelogram plate with CCCC and CFFF boundary conditions
(ta = 0.01).

14
CCCC =30
SSSS 35
=45
12 CFFF
Fundamental frequency

30
=60
10
25
8
20
6
15
4
10
2
5
0
1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5

## Aspect ratios (a/b) Aspect ratios (a/b)

Figure 17. Effects of boundary condition and skew angles on the fundamental frequency of a parallelogram
plate. (a) Boundary condition effect; (b) skew angle effect.

Figure 18. The cantilever (CFF) triangular plates with various shape geometries.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

## Table XV. Convergence of six lowest nondimensional frequency parameters of a CCCC

thick square plate (tL = 0.1).

## Mode sequence number

Meshing Methods 1 2 3 4 5 6

## 44 DSG3  6.8748 9.8938 11.0847 12.6362 15.1032 15.6402

ES-DSG3  6.2662 8.7952 9.6625 10.9112 12.6101 13.1360
QC-P4-11 5.9642 8.6215 8.6215 10.5569 11.4361 11.4398
QC-P3-7 6.1388 8.8996 9.3054 11.1655 12.2653 12.5207

## 88 DSG3  5.9547 8.3618 8.6293 10.2985 11.3415 11.5397

ES-DSG3  5.8068 8.0861 8.2701 9.8397 10.7600 10.8960
QC-P4-11 5.7775 8.1095 8.1095 9.72733 10.6662 10.7063
QC-P3-7 5.8176 8.1559 8.2598 9.86158 10.8496 10.9334

## 16 16 DSG3  5.7616 7.9935 8.0525 9.5772 10.4153 10.4697

ES-DSG3  5.7250 7.9211 7.9627 9.4499 10.2631 10.3126
QC-P4-11 5.7223 7.9369 7.9369 9.42914 10.2635 10.3107
QC-P3-7 5.7338 7.9511 7.9766 9.46916 10.3138 10.3648

## 22 22 DSG3  5.7337 7.9381 7.9686 9.4589 10.2758 10.3246

ES-DSG3  5.7141 7.8990 7.9206 9.3896 10.1935 10.2411
QC-P4-11 5.7133 7.9086 7.9086 9.38020 10.1968 10.2445
QC-P3-7 5.7196 7.9167 7.9301 9.40242 10.2244 10.2735

## Reference  5.7100 7.8800 7.8800 9.3300 10.1300 10.1800

posed QC elements are presented in Tables XIV and XV. To validate the proposed formulation, the
exact solutions  and the numerical results obtained by smoothed finite element method with stabi-
lized discrete shear gap technique (DSG3, ES-DSG3)  are also listed for comparisons. Figure 13
also illustrates clearly the convergence of fundamental frequency for different thickness-to-length
ratios tL.
From Tables XIV and XV and Figure 13, it can be seen that the frequencies obtained by
the proposed QC elements show a very good convergence to the exact solution  with sub-
division of the mesh. And the present QC elements are more accurate than the DSG3 and the
ES-DSG3 elements , especially when an relatively coarse gridding is used. This holds both
for thin and thick plates, which demonstrate that the proposed 4-node quadrilateral and 3-node
triangular QC elements are free of shear locking problems when the plate thickness becomes
small. In addition, Figure 14 shows the first six mode shapes for the fully clamped (CCCC)
square plate with the thickness-to-length tL = 0.005. It is observed that the mode shapes
can express exactly the real physical modes of the square plate under fully clamped boundary
condition.
To investigate the influence of boundary condition on the frequencies of free vibration, five
different boundary conditions are considered: SSSF, SFSF, CCCF, CFCF, and CFSF. Table XVI
shows the first six non-dimensional frequencies of a thin square plate with thickness-to-length ratio
tL = 0.005, which is obtained by the proposed QC elements based on 22 22 uniform discretiza-
tions mesh. It can be observed, for different boundary conditions, that the results of the proposed
QC elements agree well with the exact solution . Besides, we can find that the boundary con-
dition has a profound influence on the natural frequencies. The more fixed degrees of freedom,
the higher the vibrating frequency values when we compared the results for different boundary
conditions.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Table XVI. Six lowest non-dimensional frequency parameters = L2 tD of a thin
square plate (tL = 0.005) discretized by a uniform mesh 22 22and with various boundary
conditions (BC).

## Mode sequence number

BC Methods 1 2 3 4 5 6

## SSSF QC-P4-11 11.7025 27.8576 41.4526 59.5810 62.4090 91.5688

QC-P3-7 11.7096 27.8701 41.5289 59.6609 62.4710 91.9116
Reference  11.6850 27.7560 41.1970 59.0660

## SFSF QC-P4-11 9.64463 16.1597 36.8694 39.1773 47.0270 71.3832

QC-P3-7 9.65026 16.1735 36.8906 39.2502 47.1409 71.5165
Reference  9.63100 16.1350 36.7260 38.9450

## CCCF QC-P4-11 23.9607 40.1633 63.6592 77.4460 81.3547 118.4469

QC-P3-7 24.0148 40.2426 63.9358 77.6249 81.6666 118.8179
Reference  24.0200 40.0390 63.4930 76.7610
CFCF QC-P4-11 22.2016 26.4529 43.7835 61.5852 67.6430 80.5955
QC-P3-7 22.2477 26.5265 43.8806 61.8481 67.9814 80.7502
Reference  22.2720 26.5290 43.6640 64.4660

## CFSF QC-P4-11 15.2156 20.6191 39.8995 49.7635 56.6504 78.0636

QC-P3-7 15.2351 20.6551 39.9504 49.9112 56.8558 78.1507
Reference  15.2850 20.6730 39.8820 49.5000

Figure 19. Comparison of the first four frequencies of a thin triangular plate with different skew angles.

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

Table XVII. Dimensionless frequency parameters = (wa2 2 ) tD of a CFFF
parallelogram plate with different thickness-to-length (ab = 1).

## Mode sequence number

ta Elements 1 2 3 4 5 6

## 0.001 QC-P4-11 0.3981 0.9547 2.5692 2.6364 4.2041 5.1685

QC-P3-7 0.3984 0.9552 2.5738 2.6360 4.2048 5.1661
DSG3  0.3988 0.9580 2.5996 2.6562 4.2551 5.2267
ES-DSG3  0.3976 0.9532 2.5785 2.6400 4.2209 5.1825
pb-2 Ritz  0.398 0.954 2.564 2.627 4.189 5.131

## 0.01 QC-P4-11 0.3979 0.9540 2.5663 2.6345 4.1992 5.1624

QC-P3-7 0.3983 0.9547 2.5714 2.6342 4.2005 5.1504

## 0.2 QC-P4-11 0.3772 0.8184 1.9854 2.1730 3.1163 3.7833

QC-P3-7 0.3777 0.8196 1.9900 2.1730 3.1198 3.7800
DSG3  0.3785 0.8262 2.0109 2.1918 3.1631 3.8302
ES-DSG3  0.3772 0.8192 1.9933 2.1785 3.1296 3.7937
pb-2 Ritz  0.377 0.817 1.981 2.166 3.104 3.760

Table XVIII. Comparison of the fundamental frequencies of parallelogram plate under different
boundary conditions (tb = 0.1).

ab = 1 ab = 5

## QC-P4-11 30 9.3807 5.4988 0.5119 36.1056 18.9447 2.6597

45 5.6411 3.1796 0.4452 20.0622 9.8751 2.3241
60 4.1367 2.3215 0.3912 13.9561 6.7189 2.0376
QC-P3-7 30 9.3679 5.4992 0.5141 36.3645 19.0072 2.7606
45 5.6396 3.1846 0.4462 20.1689 9.9023 2.3811
60 4.1388 2.3281 0.3917 14.0212 6.7369 2.0566

4.2.2. Parallelogram plates. The free vibration of a cantilever rhombic (CFFF) plate with slen-
derness ratio ab = 1 is studied in this section, which considers the influence of three different
thickness-to-length ta = 0.001, 0.1, 0.2 on the natural frequencies. The geometry of the considered
plate with skew angle = 60 is sketched
in Figure 15. For comparison, the non-dimensional fre-
quencies parameter = (a2 2 ) tD is used. Numerical results of the first six non-dimensional
frequencies of the cantilever rhombic plate under mesh 22 22 are presented in Table XVII.
First, an excellent agreement between the results of the proposed QC elements (QC-P4-11 and
QC-P3-7) and the semi-analytical solutions using the pb-2 Ritz method  can be observed, which
indicates that the proposed QC elements are reliable and robust for the free vibration analysis plate.
When comparing the results of cantilever rhombic plate with different thickness-to-length ratios, we
can know that the natural frequencies decrease slightly with the increase of the thickness-to-length
ratio. Figure 16 shows the first three mode shapes for the fully clamped (CCCC) and cantilever
(CFFF parallelogram plate with the thickness-to-length ta = 0.01, where the figures on the left side
are the modes for CCCC boundary condition and those on the right side show the modes for CFFF
boundary condition.
So as to investigate the effects of the slenderness ratio, skew angle and boundary condition on the
natural frequency, a parallelogram plate with thickness-to-length ta = 0.001 is considered. In Table

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

( )
Table XIX. The first six dimensionless natural frequencies = L2 2 tD of thin
triangular plates with different skew angles (tL = 0.001).

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.6241 2.3970 3.3631 5.7976 7.9696 10.5356

CS-DSG3  0.6223 2.3417 3.2130 5.5353 7.5546 9.5093
0 Pb2-Ritz  0.6250 2.3770 3.3100 5.6890 7.7430
ANS4  0.6240 2.3790 3.3170 5.7240 7.7940 10.2000
QC-P4-11 0.6242 2.3806 3.3158 5.7185 7.8113 1.0160
QC-P3-7 0.6245 2.3807 3.3192 5.7250 7.8084 1.0179

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5843 2.1979 3.4937 5.3893 7.4745 10.4532

CS-DSG3  0.5824 2.1513 3.3332 5.1162 7.1483 9.4382
15 Pb2-Ritz  0.5860 2.1820 3.4120 5.2790 7.2630
ANS4  0.5830 2.1810 3.4130 5.3030 7.2890 10.0950
QC-P4-11 0.5842 2.1836 3.4243 5.3015 7.3235 10.0839
QC-P3-7 0.5846 2.1839 3.4271 5.3073 7.3236 10.1049

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5795 2.1881 3.7620 5.6464 7.3608 10.9609

CS-DSG3  0.5775 2.1438 3.5999 5.3124 7.0329 10.0153
30 Pb2-Ritz  0.5780 2.178 3.6570 5.5180 7.1090
ANS4  0.5750 2.1740 3.6380 5.5340 7.1390 10.4770
QC-P4-11 0.5770 2.1772 3.6633 5.5402 7.1647 10.4951
QC-P3-7 0.5778 2.1779 3.6701 5.5523 7.1646 10.5068

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.6001 2.3557 4.2652 6.6442 7.9210 11.8923

CS-DSG3  0.5980 2.3111 4.0824 6.2188 7.5023 10.9670
45 Pb2-Ritz  0.5930 2.3350 4.2220 6.4870 7.6090
ANS4  0.5880 2.3240 4.1260 6.3810 7.6140 11.2240
QC-P4-11 0.5928 2.3358 4.1641 6.4593 7.6462 11.2890
QC-P3-7 0.5943 2.3389 4.1680 6.4830 7.6482 11.2881

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.6371 2.6804 5.4909 8.1353 10.6516 14.5225

CS-DSG3  0.6363 2.6332 5.2717 7.5684 9.9321 13.3019
60 Pb2-Ritz  0.6360 2.6180 5.5210 8.2540 10.395
ANS4  0.6130 2.5640 5.3530 7.4600 10.3060 12.9420
QC-P4-11 0.6237 2.6017 5.3948 7.6471 10.3686 13.1511
QC-P3-7 0.6261 2.6097 5.4030 7.6571 10.3826 13.1317

XVIII, the non-dimensional frequency parameters = (a2 2 ) tD are given for parallelogram
plate with two different slenderness ratios ab = 1, 5 and the skew angle from 30 to 60 , which also
considers three different boundary conditions: CCCC, SSSS, and CFFF. For a better view, Figure
17 shows the boundary condition and skew angles on the natural frequency, respectively, in (a) and
(b). For the Figure 17(a), the results with three different combinations of boundary condition are
presented for parallelogram plate with the skew angle = 60 . For Figure 17(b), the results are
presented for fully clamped parallelogram plate with three different skew angles = 30 , 45 , 60 .
It can be seen that a low skew angle leads to a larger growth rate of the frequencies for parallelogram
plates. Besides, the growth rate of the frequencies for clamped (CCCC) boundary is the largest than
that of the simply supported (SSSS) and cantilever (CFFF) parallelogram plates.

4.2.3. Triangular plates. In this section, the performance of the proposed QC elements (QC-P4-
11 and QC-P3-7) for free vibration analysis is tested by a cantilever (CFF) triangular plates with

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

( )
Table XX. The first six dimensionless natural frequencies = L2 2 tD of thick
triangular plates with different skew angles (tL = 0.2).

1 2 3 4 5 6

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5856 1.9376 2.4411 4.0678 5.1289 6.1359

CS-DSG3  0.5820 1.8779 2.3706 3.8693 4.8877 5.6733
0 Pb2-Ritz  0.5820 1.9000 2.4080 3.9360
ANS4  0.5820 1.9150 2.4280 3.9840 5.0180 5.9440
QC-P4-11 0.5825 1.9044 2.4115 3.9562 5.0157 5.8904
QC-P3-7 0.5831 1.9074 2.4220 3.9683 5.0298 5.9236

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5457 1.8018 2.4121 3.7529 4.9317 5.8327

CS-DSG3  0.5441 1.7537 2.3499 3.5681 4.7392 5.3382
15 Pb2-Ritz  0.5440 1.7710 2.3860 3.6280
ANS4  0.5450 1.7640 2.4200 3.6080 4.8200 5.4310
QC-P4-11 0.5445 1.7746 2.3942 3.6439 4.8423 5.5096
QC-P3-7 0.5452 1.7777 2.4030 3.6565 4.8565 5.5652

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5329 1.7963 2.4552 3.6902 4.8717 5.6942

CS-DSG3  0.5341 1.7573 2.3918 3.5104 4.6891 5.2078
30 Pb2-Ritz  0.5330 1.7720 2.4190 3.5650
ANS4  0.5320 1.7730 2.4370 3.5910 4.7650 5.3230
QC-P4-11 0.5332 1.7745 2.4277 3.5791 4.7604 5.2766
QC-P3-7 0.5344 1.7784 2.4425 3.5967 4.7835 5.3939

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5380 1.9002 2.5682 3.8239 4.9806 5.6000

CS-DSG3  0.5427 1.8795 2.4780 3.6580 4.7406 5.2482
45 Pb2-Ritz  0.5400 1.8850 2.4890 3.6740
ANS4  0.5410 1.8840 2.5180 3.7480 4.7400 5.2920
QC-P4-11 0.5394 1.8872 2.4957 3.6791 4.6143 5.1383
QC-P3-7 0.5418 1.8939 2.5261 3.7302 4.7937 5.3358

## ES-DSG3 [74, 77] 0.5569 2.0692 2.5955 4.1109 4.7967 6.0192

CS-DSG3  0.5655 2.0801 2.4891 4.0448 4.7230 5.9321
60 Pb2-Ritz  0.5590 2.0590 2.3960 3.5900
ANS4 0.5590 2.0950 2.4830 3.9100 4.5170 5.7630
QC-P4-11 0.5581 2.0570 2.3680 3.5418 4.2743 5.3743
QC-P3-7 0.5611 2.0676 2.4885 3.9668 4.5343 5.8041

various shape geometries; see Figure 18. The triangular plate is discretized into 848 quadrilateral
elements and 848*2 triangular elements. Two different thinkness-to-length ratios tL = 0.001, 0.2
and various skew angles = 0 , 15 , 30 , 45 , 60 are discussed. Numerical results of the natural
frequencies are presented in Tables XIX and XX. To testify the validity of the present QC elements,
the other available results obtained by smoothed finite element method with stabilized discrete shear
gap technique (ES-DSG3 and CS-DSG3) [74, 77], the assumed natural transverse shear strain ele-
ment (ANS4) , and the Pb-2 Ritz method  are also presented for comparison. For a better
view, the convergence of the first four frequencies is also illustrated in Figure 19.
From Tables XIX and XX and Figure 19, it can be observed that the results of the present QC
elements (QC-P4-11 and QC-P3-7) are found closer to those of the other models and bounded
by the solutions of the ES-DSG3 and CS-DSG3 elements, which show that the proposed QC ele-

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

Figure 20. Comparison of the first six frequencies of the thin and thick triangular plate with skew angle
= 30 , 60 .

ments (QC-P4-11 and QC-P3-7) work well for the free vibration of both thin and thick triangular
plates.
Figure 20 shows the first six dimensionless frequencies of a thin plate tL = 0.001 and a thick
plate tL = 0.2 with the skew angle = 30 , 60 obtained by different methods. When comparing
the results of the thin plate with skew angle = 30 , 60 , we can find that the growth rate of the
frequencies for the 60 thin plate is faster than that of the 30 thin plate. On the contrary, the skew
angle has little effect on the frequencies of thick plate.

5. CONCLUSIONS

Quasi-conforming analysis is an important and characteristic finite element method, and the basic
idea of the QC method is that the strain-displacement equations are weakened as well as the equi-
librium equations. In this paper, a new formulation of QC method is proposed. The formulation
starts from initial assumed stress of polynomial form, and the strain can be derived according to
the constitutive equations. Then the stress matrix is treated as the weighted function to weaken the
strain-displacement equations. Finally, the string-net functions are introduced to calculate strain inte-
gration. It can be proofed that if the initial assumed stresses satisfied the equilibrium equations, then
no inner-field functions are needed in the process of strain integration.
According to the new QC formulation, two QC elements QC-P4-11 and QC-P3-7 with only
three primitive DOFs at each node are proposed for the linear static and free vibration analysis of
Reissner Mindlin plates. Numerical examples with different geometry and boundary conditions,

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

including patch test, are performed and, whenever possible, compared with the analytical solution
and other available results in the published references. It can be seen that both the two QC elements
exhibit good agreement with other elements and are shear-locking free, very stable, insensitivity to
mesh distortions. No spurious zero energy modes are observed for the free vibration analysis for
both elements. In additions, the quadrilateral element performs well even when the element shape
degenerates into a triangular or concave quadrangle.

## APPENDIX A THE PROOF OF NO INNER-FIELD FUNCTIONS ARE NEEDED

In the plate bending problem based on the Reissner Mindlin plate theory , the ith stress component
solutions of homogeneous equilibrium Equations (2) can be expressed as

( )
2 Fi0 2 Fi0
Mxi = D +
x2 y2
( )
M 2 Fi0 2 Fi0
= D +
yi x2 y2

2 Fi0 (A.1)
Mxyi = D(1 )
xy
2 0
Txi = D ( Fi )
x

Tyi
= D (2 Fi0 )
y

in which DFi0 is the ith polynomial analytical stress solution, then ith component of matrix C in
equation (24) can be expressed as

## Ci q = D(Ci1 q + Ci2 q + Ci3 q Ci4 q Ci5 q) (A.2)

( )
x 2 Fi0 2 Fi0
Ci1 q = + dxdy
x x2 y2
( )
y 2 Fi0 2 Fi0
Ci2 q = 2 + dxdy
y x y2
( )
x y 2 Fi0 (A.3)
Ci3 q = + (1 ) dxdy
y x xy
( )
w 2 0
Ci4 q = x ( Fi )dxdy
x x
( )
w 2 0
Ci5 q = y ( Fi )dxdy
y y

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
C. WANG ET AL.

## By using Greens theorem

( ) ( )
2 Fi0 2 Fi0 3 Fi0 3 Fi0
Ci1 q = + 2 x nx dS + x dxdy
S x2 y x3 xy2
( ) ( )
2 Fi0 2 Fi0 3 Fi0 3 Fi0
Ci2 q = 2 + y ny dS 2 + y dxdy
S x y2 x y y3
( )
2 Fi0 3 Fi0 3 Fi0 (A.4)
Ci3 q = (1 ) ( n + y nx )dS (1 ) x + y 2 dxdy
S xy x y xy2 x y
2 0 2 2 0 2 0
Ci4 q = ( Fi )wnx dS ( Fi )wdxdy ( Fi )x dxdy
S x x2 x
2 0 2 2 0 2 0
Ci4 q = ( Fi )wny dS ( Fi )wdxdy ( Fi )y dxdy
S y y2 y

Substituting Equations (A.4) into (A.2), and note that 2 2 Fi0 = 0, we can see that only the
string-net functions on the boundary of the element are needed in the process of strain integration.

## The evaluation of matrix Vq in Equation (29) can be disassembled as

Vq = V1 q + V2 q + V3 q + V4 q qwdxdy (B.1)

q 2 x
V1 q = (x + y2 ) dxdy
4 x
q y
V2 q = (x2 + y2 ) dxdy
4 y
q w( ) (B.2)
V3 q = x x dxdy
2 x
( )
q w
V4 q = y y dxdy
2 y

## By using Greens theorem

q 2 q
V1 q = (x + y2 )x nx dS x 2xdxdy
S 4 4
q q
V2 q = (x2 + y2 )y ny dS y 2ydxdy
S 4 4
(B.3)
q 1 q
V3 q = xwnx dS + q wdxdy + xx dxdy
S 2 2 2
q 1 q
V4 q = ywny dS + q wdxdy + y dxdy
S 2 2 2 y

Substituting Equations (B.3) into (B.1), we can see that all the area integrations are eliminated by
each other, and only the string-net functions on the boundary of the element are needed for evaluation
of matrix Vq in Equation (29).

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The project was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
(DUT16LK27) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 11472071).

Copyright 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng (2017)
DOI: 10.1002/nme
QUASI-CONFORMING ELEMENTS BASED ON REISSNER MINDLIN PLATE THEORY

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