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# MANE 4240 & CIVL 4240

## Introduction to Finite Elements

Prof. Suvranu De

Constant Strain
Triangle (CST)

Logan 6.2-6.5 + Lecture notes
Summary:
Computation of shape functions for constant strain triangle
Properties of the shape functions
Computation of strain-displacement matrix
Computation of element stiffness matrix
Computation of nodal loads due to body forces
Computation of nodal loads due to traction
Recommendations for use
Example problems

## Finite element formulation for 2D:

Step 1: Divide the body into finite elements connected to each
other through special points (nodes)
py
v3
3
px
4
3
u3

v4
2

v2
Element e
v

1
4

u
u4
ST

v1
2 u2

y
d
x
y

Su
u1

v
x
x

u1
v1

u2

v2

u3
v3

u4

v
4

## u (x, y) N1(x, y) u 1 N 2 (x, y) u 2 N 3 (x, y) u 3 N 4 (x, y) u 4

v (x, y) N1(x, y) v1 N 2 (x, y) v 2 N 3 (x, y) v 3 N 4 (x, y) v 4
u1
v
1
u2
N1
u (x, y)
u

v (x, y)
0

0
N1

N2
0

0
N2

N3
0

0
N3

N4
0

0
N 4

v2

u3

v3

uNd

u4
v
4

## TASK 2: APPROXIMATE THE STRAIN and STRESS WITHIN

EACH ELEMENT
Approximation of the strain in element e
N 3 (x, y)
N 2 (x, y)
N 4 (x, y)
u (x, y) N 1(x, y)
x

u1
u2
u3
u4
x
x
x
x
x
N 3 (x, y)
N 2 (x, y)
N 4 (x, y)
v (x, y) N 1(x, y)
y

v1
v2
v3
v4
y
y
y
y
y
N1(x, y)
u (x, y) v (x, y) N1(x, y)
xy

u1
v1 ......
y
x
y
x

y
xy

N 1(x, y)

N 2 (x, y)
x

N 3 (x, y)
x

N 4 (x, y)
x

u1
v
1

u2

N
(x,
y)

N
(x,
y)

N
(x,
y)

N
(x,
y)
3
1
2
4
v2

0
0
0
0

y
y
y
y u 3
N (x, y) N (x, y) N (x, y)
N 2 (x, y) N 3 (x, y) N 3 (x, y) N 4 (x, y) N 4 (x, y) v
1
1
2

3
y
x
y
x
y
x
y
x u

4
B
v
4

Bd

## Summary: For each element

Displacement approximation in terms of shape functions

uNd
Strain approximation in terms of strain-displacement matrix
Bd

Stress approximation
DB d
Element stiffness matrix

k e B D B dV
T

f e N X dV e N T S dS
V
ST
T

v1
1
(x1,y1)
y

v2

u1
v

(x,y)

v3
(x3,y3)
3

u3

u2

2 (x2,y2)
x

## 3 nodes per element

2 dofs per node (each node can move in x- and y- directions)
Hence 6 dofs per element

## The displacement approximation in terms of shape functions is

u (x,y) N1u1 N 2 u 2 N 3u 3
v(x,y) N1v1 N 2 v 2 N 3 v 3
N1
u (x, y)
u

v (x, y)
0

0
N1

N2
0

0
N2

N3
0

u 21 N 26 d 61

N1
N
0

0
N1

N2
0

0
N2

N3
0

0
N 3

0
N 3

u1
v
1
u 2

v
2
u3

v 3

## Formula for the shape functions are

v1
v3
1
u1
(x3,y3)
(x1,y1)
u3
v2 v
u
3
y
(x,y)

where

u2

2 (x2,y2)
x

a1 b1 x c1 y
N1
2A
a 2 b2 x c 2 y
N2
2A
a3 b3 x c3 y
N3
2A

1 x1
1
A area of triangle det 1 x 2
2
1 x 3

y1

y 2
y 3

a1 x 2 y 3 x3 y 2

b1 y 2 y 3

c1 x3 x 2

a 2 x3 y1 x1 y 3

b2 y 3 y1

c 2 x1 x3

a3 x1 y 2 x 2 y1

b3 y1 y 2

c3 x 2 x1

## Properties of the shape functions:

1. The shape functions N1, N2 and N3 are linear functions of x
and y
N2
N3
N1
1

1
1

3
3

Ni
0 at other nodes

N
i 1

N x
i 1

N y
i 1

x
y

## 3. Geometric interpretation of the shape functions

At any point P(x,y) that the shape functions are evaluated,

P (x,y)

1
A3

A2
A1

2
x

A1
N1
A
A2
N2
A
A3
N3
A

## Approximation of the strains

u
x

u v
y x

y

xy

N1(x, y)

N 1(x, y)
y
N1(x, y) N 1(x, y)
y
x

Bd

N 2 (x, y)
x

0
N 2 (x, y)
y

b1 0 b2 0 b3 0
1
0 c1 0 c 2 0 c3
2A
c1 b1 c 2 b2 c3 b3

0
N 2 (x, y)
y
N 2 (x, y)
x

N 3 (x, y)
x

N 3 (x, y)
y
N 3 (x, y) N 3 (x, y)

y
x

## Inside each element, all components of strain are constant: hence

the name Constant Strain Triangle

## Element stresses (constant inside each element)

DB d

IMPORTANT NOTE:
1. The displacement field is continuous across element
boundaries
2. The strains and stresses are NOT continuous across element
boundaries

## Element stiffness matrix

t

k e B D B dV
T

Since B is constant

k B D B e dV B D B At
T

## t=thickness of the element

A=surface area of the element

f e N X dV e N T S dS
V
ST
T

## Element nodal load vector due to body forces

f b e N X dV t e N X dA
T

fb1y
1

fb2y

fb1x
Xb
(x,y)

Xa

fb2x

2
x

f b1x
f
b1 y

fb3y
3

fb3x

t N X dA
e 1 a

t N X dA
e 1 b

t N X
f b 2 x
Ae 2 a
fb

f
b2 y
t Ae N 2 X b
f b3 x

t Ae N 3 X a
f b 3 y

t Ae N 3 X b

dA

dA

dA

dA

EXAMPLE:
If Xa=1 and Xb=0

f b1x
f
b1 y

t N X dA
e 1 a

t N dA
e 1

t N X dA
e 1 b
A

t N X
f b 2 x
Ae 2 a
fb

f b2 y
t Ae N 2 X b
f b3x

t Ae N 3 X a
f b 3 y

t Ae N 3 X b

dA

dA

dA

dA

t e N 2 dA
A

t e N 3 dA
A

0
0

tA
3
0
tA

3
0
tA
3
0

f

e N T S dS
T

ST

EXAMPLE:

fS1y

fS3y

fS1x
3

y
2
x

fS3x

l1 3

N
e

T
along 13

T S dS

## Element nodal load vector due to traction

EXAMPLE:

f S t

fS2y
2
y

fS3y
1
(0,0)

3
(2,0)

(2,2)

l 2 3

fS2x

1
TS
0
fS3x

N
e

f S2 x t

l23

T
along 2 3

Similarly, compute

f S3 x t
f S3 y 0

N 2 along 23 (1) dy
e

1
t 2 1 t
2
f S2 y 0

T S dS

## Recommendations for use of CST

1. Use in areas where strain gradients are small
2. Use in mesh transition areas (fine mesh to coarse mesh)
3. Avoid CST in critical areas of structures (e.g., stress
concentrations, edges of holes, corners)
4. In general CSTs are not recommended for general analysis
purposes as a very large number of these elements are required
for reasonable accuracy.

Example
y

1000 lb
300 psi

El 2
2 in
El 1
4

3 in

E= 30106 psi
=0.25

## (a) Compute the unknown nodal displacements.

(b) Compute the stresses in the two elements.

Realize that this is a plane stress problem and therefore we need to use

0 3 .2 0 .8 0
E
0.8 3.2 0 107 psi

D
0

1 2
1
0 1.2
0 0
0

2
1
1

## Step 1: Node-element connectivity chart

ELEMENT

Node 1

Node 2

Node 3

Area
(sqin)

Node

Nodal coordinates

## Step 2: Compute strain-displacement matrices for the elements

Recall

b1 0 b2 0 b3 0
1
B 0 c1 0 c2 0 c3
2A
c1 b1 c2 b2 c3 b3

## For Element #1:

2(2)

with

b1 y2 y3
c1 x3 x2

b2 y3 y1 b3 y1 y2
c2 x1 x3 c3 x2 x1

y1 0; y2 2; y3 0
x1 3; x2 3; x3 0
Hence b 2
1

b2 0 b3 2
c1 3 c2 3 c3 0

4(3)
1(1) Therefore
(local numbers within brackets)
For Element #2:

2 0 0 0 2 0
1
( 2)
B 0 3 0 3 0 0
6
3 2 3 0 0 2

2 0 0 0 2 0
1
(1)
B 0 3 0 3 0 0
6
3 2 3 0 0 2

(1)

k At B

(1) T

(1)

D B (3)(0.5)B

(1) T

DB

(1)

1
.
4
0
.
3

1
.
2
0
.
2

0
.
2

0.45

0
1.2

u2

v2

u1

v1

0
0 .2
0.5333
u4

0.3
7

10

0
0

0.2
v4

( 2)

At B

( 2) T

( 2)

D B (3)(0.5)B

( 2) T

DB

( 2)

## 0.9833 0.5 0.45 0.2 0.5333 0.3

1
.
4
0
.
3

1
.
2
0
.
2

0
.
2

0.45

0
1.2

u4

v4

u3

v3

0
0 .2
0.5333
u2

0.3
7

10

0
0

0.2
v2

Step 4: Assemble the global stiffness matrix corresponding to the nonzero degrees of
freedom
Notice that

u3 v3 u4 v4 v1 0

## Hence we need to calculate only a small (3x3) stiffness matrix

u1
0.983 0.45 0.2
K 0.45 0.983 0 107 u2
0.2
0
1.4
v2
u1

u2

v2

## Step 5: Compute consistent nodal loads

f1x
0

f f2x 0
f
f
2
y

2y
f 2 y 1000 f S 2 y
The consistent nodal load due to traction on the edge 3-2

f S2 y

x 0

N 3 3 2 (300)tdx

(300)(0.5)

x 0

x
150
dx
x 0 3
3

x
3

N 3 3 2 dx

x2
50

N 2 3 2

9
50 225 lb
2

Hence

f 2 y 1000 f S 2 y
1225 lb
Step 6: Solve the system equations to obtain the unknown nodal loads

Kd f
0
0.983 0.45 0.2 u1

10 7 0.45 0.983 0 u2
0
1225
0.2
0
1.4 v2

Solve to get

0.2337 10 4 in
u1

4
u2 0.1069 10 in
v
0.9084 10 4 in
2

## Step 7: Compute the stresses in the elements

In Element #1

(1)

(1)

DB d

(1)

With

(1) T

u1 v1 u2 v2 u4 v4

0.2337 10 4 0 0.1069 10 4
Calculate

(1)

114 .1
1391.1 psi
76.1

0.9084 10 4 0 0

In Element #2

( 2)

( 2)

DB d

( 2)

With

( 2)T

u3 v3 u4 v4 u2 v2

0 0 0 0 0.1069 10 4

0.9084 10 4

Calculate

( 2)

114 .1
28.52
363.35

psi