The equilibrium finite elements in computation of elastic structures
A problem of elastic structures stress-strain field determination is considered in this article. A theoretical background and computation algorithms of equilibrium finite element method are presented there. The different external effects are estimated, namely: load, prestressing, inicial strains and support settlements. The dual relationships (equilibrium and geometrical equations, stiffness and flexibility equations) of equilibrium element, also the expressions of stiffness and flexibility matrices are given. These relationships describe the stress-strain field of the finite element and allow to transforme the flexibility matrix to the stiffness matrix and on the contrary. There are presented direct and variational formulations of the problem. The algorithms of the forces method and displacements method are made for their solution. Easier is the algorithm of displacements method, because making equations of the forces method needs to solve the system of equilibrium equations. But the formulation and solving of the displacements equations can be changed by direct formulation of global flexibility matrix of the structure. In these cases, when the degree of static indeterminacy of the discrete model of structure is quite less than the number of freedom degrees, suth the change can be effective.
The computational results illustrate the high accuracy of equilibrium elements not only with respect to forces, but also to displacements. The direct stiffness method in equilibrium elements makes it possible not only to simplify significantly implementation of the equilibrium element method, but also to include equilibrium elements in libraries of geometrically compatible elements.
First Published Online: 26 Jul 2012
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