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# The Finite Element Method

A Practical Course
FEM FOR PLATES & SHELLS
CHAPTER 7:
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
PLATE ELEMENTS
Shape functions
Element matrices
SHELL ELEMENTS
Elements in local coordinate system
Elements in global coordinate system
Remarks
CASE STUDY
INTRODUCTION
FE equations based on Reissner-Mindlin plate
theory will be developed.
FE equations of shells will be formulated by
superimposing matrices of plates and that of 2D
solids.
Computationally tedious due to more DOFs.
PLATE ELEMENTS
Geometrically similar to 2D plane stress solids
to bending.
2D equivalent of the beam element.
Rectangular plate elements based on Reissner-
Mindlin plate theory will be developed
conforming element.
Many software like ABAQUS do not offer plate
elements, only the general shell element.
PLATE ELEMENTS
Consider a plate structure:

x
y
z, w
h
fz
Middle plane

Middle
plane
(Reissner-Mindlin plate
theory)
PLATE ELEMENTS
Reissner-Mindlin plate theory:
( , , ) ( , )
( , , ) ( , )
y
x
u x y z z x y
v x y z z x y
u
u
=
=
z = In-plane strain:

Middle
plane
where

c c c c
c c
c c
= =
y x
y
x
y x
x
y
u u
u
u
L (Curvature)
0

0

x
y
y x
c
c
c
c
c c
c c
(

(
(
(
=
(
(
(

(
(

L
in which
PLATE ELEMENTS
Off-plane shear strain:

c
c
+
c
c
+
=
)
`

=
y
w
x
w
x
y
yz
xz
u
u

## Potential (strain) energy:

/ 2 / 2
/ 2 / 2
1 1
d d d d
2 2
e e
h h
T T
e
A h A h
U A z A z

= +
} } } }

In-plane stress &
strain
Off-plane shear
stress & strain
c
s
yz
xz
G
G
k k
t
t
=
(

=
)
`

=
0
0
2
/12 or 5/6 k t =
PLATE ELEMENTS
Substituting z =
,
A h A
h
U
e e
A
s
T
A
T
e
d
2
1
d
12 2
1
3
} }
+ = c c k
c
s
yz
xz
G
G
k k
t
t
=
(

=
)
`

=
0
0
Kinetic energy:
2 2 2
1
( )d
2
e
e
V
T u v w V = + +
}
3 3
2 2
2
1 1
( )d ( )d
2 12 12 2
e e
T
e x y
A A
h h
T hw A A u u = + + =
} }
d I d
( , , ) ( , )
( , , ) ( , )
y
x
u x y z z x y
v x y z z x y
u
u
=
=
Substituting
PLATE ELEMENTS
3 3
2 2 2
1 1
( )d ( )d
2 12 12 2
e e
T
e x y
A A
h h
T hw A A u u = + + =
} }
d I d
x
y
w
u
u

=
`

)
d
3
3
0 0
0 0
12
0 0
12
h
h
h

(
(
(
(
=
(
(
(
(

I
where ,
Shape functions
Note that rotation is independent of deflection w
, ,
4
1
4
1
4
1
i
y i
i
y i x i
i
x i i
i
N N w N w u u u u

= = =
= = =
) 1 )( 1 (
4
1
q q
i i i
N + + = where
(Same as rectangular
2D solid)
Shape functions
h
x e
y
w
u
u

=
`

)
Nd
1
1
1
2
2
2
3
3
3
4
4
4
displacement at node 1
displacement at node 2
displacement at node 3
displacement at node 4
x
y
x
y
e
x
y
x
y
e
w
w
w
w
u
u
u
u
u
u
u
u

`

)

`

)
=
`

`

)

`

) )
d
where
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
1 2 3 4
Node 1 Node 2 Node 3 Node 4
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

N N N N
N N N N
N N N N
(
(
=
(
(

N

1 (1, 1)
(w
1
,u
x1
, u
y1
)
2 (1, 1)
(w
2
,u
x2
, u
y2
)
3 (1, +1)
(w
3
,u
x3
, u
y3
)
2
4 (1, +1)
(w
4
,u
x4
, u
y4
)
2
q

z, w
Element matrices
Substitute
h
x e
y
w
u
u

= =
`

)
d Nd into
e e
T
e e
T d m d

2
1
=
1
( )d
2
e
T
e
A
T A =
}
d I d

where
T
d
e
e
A
A =
}
m N I N
Recall that:
3
3
0 0
0 0
12
0 0
12
h
h
h

(
(
(
(
=
(
(
(
(

I
(Can be evaluated
analytically but in practice,
use Gauss integration)
Element matrices
A h A
h
s
A A
e
e e
d ] [ d ] [
12
O T O I T I
3
B c B cB B k
} }
+ = k
Substitute
h
x e
y
w
u
u

= =
`

)
d Nd into potential energy function
from which we obtain
| |
I
4
I
3
I
2
I I
1
B B B B B =
(
(
(

c c c c
c c
c c
=
y N x N
y N
x N
j j
j
j
0
0 0
0 0
I
j
B
i i
j j
i i
j j
b y
N
y
N
a x
N
x
N
q
q
q
q q

) 1 (
4
1
) 1 (
4
1
+ =
c
c
c
c
=
c
c
+ =
c
c
c
c
=
c
c
, b y a x = = q Note:
Element matrices
| |
O
4
O
3
O
2
O O
1
B B B B B =
(

c c
c c
=
0
0
O
j
j j
j j
N y N
N x N
B
(m
e
can be solved
analytically but practically
solved using Gauss
integration)
A
f
e
A
z
e
d
0
0
T
}

)

= N f
{ } 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
z
T
e
abf = f
SHELL ELEMENTS
Bending, twisting and in-plane deformation
Combination of 2D solid elements (membrane
effects) and plate elements (bending effect).
Common to use shell elements to model plate
structures in commercial software packages.
Elements in local coordinate system

1 (1, 1)
(u
1
, v
1
, w
1
,
u
x1
, u
y1
, u
z1
)
2 (1, 1)
(u
2
, v
2
, w
2
,
u
x2
, u
y2
, u
z2
)
3 (1, +1)
(u
3
, v
3
, w
3
,
u
x3
, u
y3
, u
z3
)
2
4 (1, +1)
(u
4
, v
4
, w
4
,
u
x4
, u
y4
, u
z4
)
2
q

z, w
Consider a flat shell element
4 node
3 node
2 node
1 node
4
3
2
1

=
e
e
e
e
e
d
d
d
d
d
displacement in direction
displacement in direction
displacement in direction
i
i
i
ei
xi
yi
zi
u x
v y
w z
x
y
z
u
u
u

=
`

)
d
Elements in local coordinate system
Membrane stiffness (2D solid element):

4 node
3 node
2 node
1 node
node4 node3 node2 node1
44
34
24
14
43
33
23
13
42
32
22
12
41
31
21
11
(
(
(
(

=
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
m
e
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
Bending stiffness (plate element):

4 node
3 node
2 node
1 node
node4 node3 node2 node1
44
34
24
14
43
33
23
13
42
32
22
12
41
31
21
11
(
(
(
(

=
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
b
e
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
k
(2x2)
(3x3)
Elements in local coordinate system

4 node
3 node
2 node
1 node
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
4 node

0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
3 node

0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
2 node

0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
1 node

44
44
34
34
24
24
14
14
43
43
33
33
23
23
13
13
42
42
32
32
22
22
12
12
41
41
31
31
21
21
11
11

(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(

=
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
e
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k 0
0 k
k

(24x24)
Components
related to the
DOF u
z
, are
zeros in local
coordinate
system.
Elements in local coordinate system
Membrane mass matrix (2D solid element):
13 11 12 14
23 21 22 24
33 31 32 34
43 41 42 44
node3 node1 node2 node4

node 1
node 2
node 3
node 4
m m m m
m m m m m
e
m m m m
m m m m
(
(
=
(
(
(

m m m m
m m m m m
m m m m
m m m m
Bending mass matrix (plate element):
13 11 12 14
23 21 22 24
33 31 32 34
43 41 42 44
node3 node1 node2 node4

node 1
node 2
node 3
node 4
b b b b
b b b b b
e
b b b b
b b b b
(
(
=
(
(
(

m m m m
m m m m m
m m m m
m m m m
Elements in local coordinate system

4 node
3 node
2 node
1 node
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
4 node

0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
3 node

0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
2 node

0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
0 0 0
0
0
1 node

44
44
34
34
24
24
14
14
43
43
33
33
23
23
13
13
42
42
32
32
22
22
12
12
41
41
31
31
21
21
11
11

(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(

=
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
b
m
e
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m 0
0 m
m

Components
related to the
DOF u
z
, are
zeros in local
coordinate
system.

(24x24)
Elements in global coordinate system
T k T K
e
T
e
=
T m T M
e
T
e
=
e
T
e
f T F =
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(
(

=
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
T 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 T 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 T 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 T 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 T 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 T 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 T 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 T
T
(
(
(

=
z z z
y y y
x x x
n m l
n m l
n m l
3
T
where
Remarks
The membrane effects are assumed to be
uncoupled with the bending effects in the element
level.
This implies that the membrane forces will not
result in any bending deformation, and vice versa.
For shell structure in space, membrane and
bending effects are actually coupled (especially
for large curvature), therefore finer element mesh
may have to be used.
CASE STUDY
Natural frequencies of micro-motor
CASE
STUDY
Mode

Natural Frequencies (MHz)

768 triangular
elements with
480 nodes

elements with
480 nodes

1280
elements with
1472 nodes

1

7.67

5.08

4.86

2

7.67

5.08

4.86

3

7.87

7.44

7.41

4

10.58

8.52

8.30

5

10.58

8.52

8.30

6

13.84

11.69

11.44

7

13.84

11.69

11.44

8

14.86

12.45

12.17

CASE STUDY
Mode 1:
Mode 2:
CASE STUDY
Mode 3:
Mode 4:
CASE STUDY
Mode 5:
Mode 6:
CASE STUDY
Mode 7:
Mode 8:
CASE STUDY
Transient analysis of micro-motor
F
F
F
x
x
Node 210
Node 300
CASE STUDY
CASE STUDY
CASE STUDY