Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The patch test is shown to be contained in the variational formulations of the finite element methods at the assembling level, all of which require the vanishing of the virtual work of interface connection loads. By a systematic introduction of stress generating functions, attention is drawn to the fact that any given finite element model can be assembled in two different ways: either by identification of a set of boundary displacements (leading to the direct stiffness method), or by identification of a set of local stress function values (leading to the dual direct flexibility method). Looking at any conjugate couple (generalized displacement-generalized surface traction) at an interface, one is strongly transmitted, the other weakly. Discretization of the zero virtual work condition at an interface of plate bending models, by means of Legendre polynomial expansions, allows a systematic construction of so-called ‘non-conforming’ elements that pass the patch test. They are in fact identified with weakly conforming, but strongly diffusive, hybrids, and the lowest degree element (quadratic) is in fact the Morley constant-moment element. Examples are given for higher degree displacement fields.The case of plate stretching elements can be handled by duality, the difficulties being here associated with the requirements for diffusivity. Non-diffusive elements that pass the zero interface virtual work test can be constructed systematically and are identifiable with weakly diffusive, but strongly conforming, hybrids of the type first proposed by T. H. H. Pian.
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