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## MANE 4240 & CIVL 4240

Introduction to Finite Elements
Constant Strain
Triangle (CST)
Prof. Suvranu De
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)
x
y
S
u
S
T
u
v
x
p
x
p
y
Element e
3
2
1
4
y
x
v
u
1
2
3
4
u
1
u
2
u
3
u
4
v
4
v
3
v
2
v
1

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

=
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
4 3 2 1
4 3 2 1
v
u
v
u
v
u
v
u
N 0 N 0 N 0 N 0
0 N 0 N 0 N 0 N
y) (x, v
y) (x, u
u
d N u =
2
TASK 2: APPROXIMATE THE STRAIN and STRESS WITHIN
EACH ELEMENT
...... v
y) (x, N
u
y) (x, N y) (x, v y) (x, u
v
y) (x, N
v
y) (x, N
v
y) (x, N
v
y) (x, N y) (x, v
u
y) (x, N
u
y) (x, N
u
y) (x, N
u
y) (x, N y) (x, u
1
1
1
1
xy
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
y
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
x
+

=
x y x y
y y y y y
x x x x x

## Approximation of the strain in element e

=
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
B
4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1
4 3 2 1
4 3 2 1
xy
v
u
v
u
v
u
v
u
y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N

x y x y x y x y
y y y y
x x x x
y
x

d B =
Displacement approximation in terms of shape functions
Strain approximation in terms of strain-displacement matrix
Stress approximation
Summary: For each element
Element stiffness matrix
d N u =
d B D =
d B =

=
e
V
k dV B D B
T

S
e
T
b
e
f
S
S
T
f
V
T
dS T dV X f

+ = N N
Constant Strain Triangle (CST) : Simplest 2D finite element
3 nodes per element
2 dofs per node (each node can move in x- and y- directions)
Hence 6 dofs per element
x
y
u
3
v
3
v
1
u
1
u
2
v
2
2
3
1
(x,y)
v
u
(x
1
,y
1
)
(x
2
,y
2
)
(x
3
,y
3
)
3
1 6 6 2 1 2
d N u

=

=
3
3
2
2
1
1
3 2 1
3 2 1
v
u
v
u
v
u
N 0 N 0 N 0
0 N 0 N 0 N
y) (x, v
y) (x, u
u
The displacement approximation in terms of shape functions is

=
3 2 1
3 2 1
N 0 N 0 N 0
0 N 0 N 0 N
N
1 1 2 2 3 3
u (x,y) u u u N N N + +
1 1 2 2 3 3
v(x,y) v v v N N N + +
Formula for the shape functions are
A
y c x b a
N
A
y c x b a
N
A
y c x b a
N
2
2
2
3 3 3
3
2 2 2
2
1 1 1
1
+ +
=
+ +
=
+ +
=
1 2 3 2 1 3 1 2 2 1 3
3 1 2 1 3 2 3 1 1 3 2
2 3 1 3 2 1 2 3 3 2 1
3 3
2 2
1 1
x 1
x 1
x 1
det
2
1
x x c y y b y x y x a
x x c y y b y x y x a
x x c y y b y x y x a
y
y
y
triangle of area A
= = =
= = =
= = =

= =
where
x
y
u
3
v
3
v
1
u
1
u
2
v
2
2
3
1
(x,y)
v
u
(x
1
,y
1
)
(x
2
,y
2
)
(x
3
,y
3
)
Properties of the shape functions:
1. The shape functions N
1
, N
2
and N
3
are linear functions of x
and y
x
y
2
3
1
1
N
1
2
3
1
N
2
1
2
3
1
1
N
3

=
nodes other at
i node at
0
' ' 1
N
i
2. At every point in the domain
y y
x x
i
i
=
=
=

=
=
=
3
1 i
i
3
1 i
i
3
1 i
i
N
N
1 N
4
3. Geometric interpretation of the shape functions
At any point P(x,y) that the shape functions are evaluated,
x
y
2
3
1
P (x,y)
A
1
A
3
A
2
A
A
A
A
A
A
3
3
2
2
1
1
N
N
N
=
=
=
Approximation of the strains
xy
u
v
u v
x
y
x
Bd
y
y x

= =

=
3 3 2 2 1 1
3 2 1
3 2 1
3 3 2 2 1 1
3 2 1
3 2 1
0 0 0
0 0 0
2
1
y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N y) (x, N
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
0
y) (x, N
b c b c b c
c c c
b b b
A
x y x y x y
y y y
x x x
B
Element stresses (constant inside each element)
d B D =
Inside each element, all components of strain are constant: hence
the name Constant Strain Triangle
IMPORTANT NOTE:
1. The displacement field is continuous across element
boundaries
2. The strains and stresses are NOT continuous across element
boundaries
5
Element stiffness matrix

=
e
V
k dV B D B
T
At k
e
V
B D B dV B D B
T T
= =

t=thickness of the element
A=surface area of the element
Since B is constant
t
A

S
e
T
b
e
f
S
S
T
f
V
T
dS T dV X f

+ = N N
Element nodal load vector due to body forces

= =
e e
A
T
V
T
b
dA X t dV X f N N

e
e
e
e
e
e
A
b
A
a
A
b
A
a
A
b
A
a
y b
x b
y b
x b
y b
x b
b
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
f
f
f
f
f
f
f
3
3
2
2
1
1
3
3
2
2
1
1
x
y
f
b3x
f
b3y
f
b1y
f
b1x
f
b2x
f
b2y
2
3
1
(x,y)
X
b
X
a
EXAMPLE:
If X
a
=1 and X
b
=0

0
3
0
3
0
3
0
0
0
3
2
1
3
3
2
2
1
1
3
3
2
2
1
1
tA
tA
tA
dA N t
dA N t
dA N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
dA X N t
f
f
f
f
f
f
f
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
e
A
A
A
A
b
A
a
A
b
A
a
A
b
A
a
y b
x b
y b
x b
y b
x b
b
6
Element nodal load vector due to traction

=
e
T
S
S
T
S
dS T f N
EXAMPLE:
x
y
f
S3x
f
S3y
f
S1y
f
S1x
2
3
1

=
e
l
S
along
T
S
dS T t f
3 1 3 1
N
Element nodal load vector due to traction
EXAMPLE:
x
y
f
S3x
2
3
1

=
e
l
S
along
T
S
dS T t f
3 2 3 2
N
f
S3y
f
S2x
f
S2y
(2,0)
(2,2)
(0,0)

=
0
1
S
T
t t
dy N t f
e
x
l
along
S
=

=
=

1 2
2
1
) 1 (
3 2
2 3 2
2
0
0
3
3
2
=
=
=
y
x
y
S
S
S
f
t f
f
Similarly, compute
1
2
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
x
y
El 1
El 2
1
2 3
4
300 psi
1000 lb
3 in
2 in
Thickness (t) = 0.5 in
E= 3010
6
psi
=0.25
(a) Compute the unknown nodal displacements.
(b) Compute the stresses in the two elements.
7
Realize that this is a plane stress problem and therefore we need to use
psi
E
D
7
2
10
2 . 1 0 0
0 2 . 3 8 . 0
0 8 . 0 2 . 3
2
1
0 0
0 1
0 1
1

## Step 1: Node-element connectivity chart

2
4
Node 3
3
3
Area
(sqin)
4
2
Node 2
3 2
1 1
Node 1 ELEMENT
0 0 4
2 0 3
2 3 2
0 3 1
y x Node
Nodal coordinates
Step 2: Compute strain-displacement matrices for the elements

=
3 3 2 2 1 1
3 2 1
3 2 1
0 0 0
0 0 0
2
1
b c b c b c
c c c
b b b
A
B
Recall
1 2 3 3 1 2 2 3 1
2 1 3 1 3 2 3 2 1
x x c x x c x x c
y y b y y b y y b
= = =
= = =
with
For Element #1:
1(1)
2(2)
4(3)
(local numbers within brackets)
0 ; 3 ; 3
0 ; 2 ; 0
3 2 1
3 2 1
= = =
= = =
x x x
y y y
Hence
0 3 3
2 0 2
3 2 1
3 2 1
= = =
= = =
c c c
b b b

=
2 0 0 3 2 3
0 0 3 0 3 0
0 2 0 0 0 2
6
1 ) 1 (
B
Therefore
For Element #2:

=
2 0 0 3 2 3
0 0 3 0 3 0
0 2 0 0 0 2
6
1 ) 2 (
B
Step 3: Compute element stiffness matrices
7
) 1 (
T
) 1 ( ) 1 (
T
) 1 ( ) 1 (
10
2 . 0
0 5333 . 0
0 2 . 0 2 . 1
3 . 0 0 0 45 . 0
2 . 0 2 . 0 2 . 1 3 . 0 4 . 1
3 . 0 5333 . 0 2 . 0 45 . 0 5 . 0 9833 . 0
B D B ) 5 . 0 )( 3 ( B D B

=
= = At k
u
1
u
2
u
4
v
4
v
2
v
1
7
) 2 (
T
) 2 ( ) 2 (
T
) 2 ( ) 2 (
10
2 . 0
0 5333 . 0
0 2 . 0 2 . 1
3 . 0 0 0 45 . 0
2 . 0 2 . 0 2 . 1 3 . 0 4 . 1
3 . 0 5333 . 0 2 . 0 45 . 0 5 . 0 9833 . 0
B D B ) 5 . 0 )( 3 ( B D B

=
= = At k
u
3
u
4
u
2
v
2
v
4
v
3
8
Step 4: Assemble the global stiffness matrix corresponding to the nonzero degrees of
freedom
0
1 4 4 3 3
= = = = = v v u v u
Notice that
Hence we need to calculate only a small (3x3) stiffness matrix
7
10
4 . 1 0 2 . 0
0 983 . 0 45 . 0
2 . 0 45 . 0 983 . 0

= K
u
1
u
2
v
2
u
1
u
2
v
2
Step 5: Compute consistent nodal loads

=
y
x
x
f
f
f
f
2
2
1

=
y
f
2
0
0
y S y
f f
2
1000
2
+ =
The consistent nodal load due to traction on the edge 3-2
lb
x
dx
x
dx N
tdx N f
x
x
x
S y
225
2
9
50
2
50
3
150
) 5 . 0 )( 300 (
) 300 (
3
0
2
3
0
3
0 2 3 3
3
0 2 3 3 2
=

=
=
=
=

=
=
=
3 2
3
2 3 2
x
N =

lb
f f
y S y
1225
1000
2 2
=
+ =
Hence
Step 6: Solve the system equations to obtain the unknown nodal loads
f d K =

1225
0
0
4 . 1 0 2 . 0
0 983 . 0 45 . 0
2 . 0 45 . 0 983 . 0
10
2
2
1
7
v
u
u
Solve to get

in
in
in
v
u
u
4
4
4
2
2
1
10 9084 . 0
10 1069 . 0
10 2337 . 0
Step 7: Compute the stresses in the elements
) 1 ( ) 1 ( ) 1 (
d B D =
With
[ ]
[ ] 0 0 10 9084 . 0 10 1069 . 0 0 10 2337 . 0
d
4 4 4
4 4 2 2 1 1
) 1 (

=
= v u v u v u
T
Calculate
psi

=
1 . 76
1 . 1391
1 . 114
) 1 (

In Element #1
9
) 2 ( ) 2 ( ) 2 (
d B D =
With
[ ]
[ ]
4 4
2 2 4 4 3 3
) 2 (
10 9084 . 0 10 1069 . 0 0 0 0 0
d

=
= v u v u v u
T
Calculate
psi

=
35 . 363
52 . 28
1 . 114
) 2 (

In Element #2
Notice that the stresses are constant in each element