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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

Lecture 6: Matrices and vectors of an element (stiffness matrix, load


vector)
In this lecture we analyze only one finite element. We assume that we know at this element
the vectors p, u , , 0 , , the matrices L , D , and
a./ we know the exact shape of the element, assigned the nodes, choose a local
coordinate system (if it is a parametric local system, than we defined already the
Jacobian matrix J and its inverse), we have determined with these coordinates the
necessary shape functions, and we have generated also the interpolation equation
u N ve
(6.1)
too. According to these preparations in the following operations:
b./ we generate the strain matrix B of the element, then
c./ we determine the stiffness matrix K e of the element, and finally
d./ we reduce the external loads of the element to the nodes, namely we express the
reduced load vector q e .

Calculation of the strain matrices


The geometrical equation of any structure is the following one:
Lu
(6.2)
If we substitute here the interpolation of the displacements (equation (6.1)) we obtain the
equation:
LN v e Bv e .
(6.3)
We introduced here a new symbol B LN , where B is called the strain matrix of the
element in the forthcoming, because it yields the connection between strain-vector and the
nodal displacement vector.
If we can write the shape functions in a global coordinate-system, then the calculation of B
is relatively simple, because we must derive the polynoms by their any variables. If we have
rotated the coordinate-system, then this statement is not true at first sight, although at
isotropic material we can take off the directional derivatives in the operator L by the local
coordinate-system. In these cases we shall rotate the elementary stiffness matrix and the
reduced load vector into the global coordinate system.
We illustrate the calculation of B with some examples.

Example 6.1
Determine the matrix B at two and three-node bar element and illustrate their physical
meanings!

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

The operator L and the matrix N are given from our earlier calculations. So at a twonode element:
d x x x x1 1 1
B LN 2
,

l l l
dx l
and a three-node element:
x x1 x x3 x x1 x x2
d x x2 x x3
B

dx x1 x2 x1 x3 x2 x1 x2 x3 x3 x1 x3 x2

2 x x2 x3
2 x x1 x3
2 x x1 x2

.
x1 x2 x1 x3 x2 x1 x2 x3 x3 x1 x3 x2
We show in figure 6.1 that at a two-node element we obtain zero strains if we
T
prescribe the same dislocations in both nodes, namely v e u u , since
1 1 u
Bv e
0.
l l u
If the dislocations are different, the strain will be constant on the whole element:
1 1 u1 u 2 u1
Bv e
.
l
l l u 2

Figure 6.1: The strain-functions at two different bar element


According to the figure 6.1/b at the three-node element with rigid body motion the
strain vector will be
u
2 x x2 x3
2 x x1 x3
2 x x1 x2
Bv e
u 0 ,
x1 x2 x1 x3 x2 x1 x2 x3 x3 x1 x3 x2 u

and with nodal displacements originated from a linear displacement function:

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

u1

B u1 a x2 x1 a ,
u1 a x3 x1
so the strain will be constant. In a general case we obtain a linear strain function,
because the elements of the matrix are linear functions and we describe the linear
combinations of them.
We can find from this example that the matrix B is the function of the variable x (this is the
basic variable), but its elements might be constants in a specific case.
In case of parametric coordinates we must apply the chain rule at the differentiation of the
shape functions. For instance at a two-variable shape function:
N i , N i N i
.
(6.4)

x
x x

Example 6.2
Determine the strain matrix of a triangular plate element (see the example of figure 4.8)!
We have seen already in the example 4.2 that with the help of the shape functions
N1 1 , N 2 , N 3 we can calculate the Jacobian-matrix and its inverse:
4
2

x x
1
34 34 .
J
7 5
y y 34 34
So the derivatives of the shape functions by the chain rule:
N1 1
N1
4
2
6
7
5
2
,

1 1 ,
1
1
x
x
34
34
34
y
34
34 34
N 2
N 2
4
2
4
7
5
7
,

1 0
1
0 ,
x
x
34
34 34
y
34
34
34
N 3
N 3
4
2
2
7
5
5
,
.

0 1
0
1
x
x
34
34 34
y
34
34 34
Applying the operator L of a plate:

N1
y

N2
N1

N3
N2

4
2
6
1
2
7
5 .

N 3 34
2 6 7 4 5 2

We can find two conclusions to a plate with n nodes: on the one hand the derivatives of the
shape functions can be expressed from the general relationship:

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis



N n
N1


x
x
1

J N1 N n ,

N1 N n

y

y

on the other hand the matrix B contains n blocks with similar internal structure:

Lecture 6

(6.5)

B B1 B n ,

(6.6)

N i

Bi

N i
y

(6.7)

where

N i
.
y
N i
x

At the application of the natural coordinates we must use the chain rule. For instance at a
four-variable shape function the necessary expression is the following one:
N i L1 , L2 , L3 , L4 N i L1 N i L2 N i L3 N i L4
.
(6.8)

x
L1 x L2 x
L3 x L4 x
The derivatives of the natural coordinates by x, y and z we can generate from the previous
mentioned equation. Because it shows linear connection, the desired derivatives will be the
1
elements of the last three columns of the inverse matrix A (the first column shows the
natural coordinates of the origin):
L1 L1 L1

L10 x
y
z

L2 L2 L2

L20 x
y
z
1
.
A
(6.9)
L3 L3 L3

L30 x
y
z

L4 L4 L4

L40 x
y
z

Example 6.3
Determine the strain matrix of this tetrahedron element!

Figure 6.2:
Tetrahedron element.

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

Because we can write the shape functions of a four-node tetrahedron element in the
expression N i Li , in the inverse matrix only the i-th term will be different from
zero, actually the first parameter of this term is 1. In this case the last three columns of
1
the inverse matrix A give immediately the derivatives of the shape functions:
1

1 1 1 1
6
0 2 0 0

1
1 0
A
0 0 3 3
6 0

0 0 0 1
0
The strain matrix with the help of the vector

B
612

L1
z

3 2 0
3 0 0
.
0 2 6

0 0 6
u and the operator L :

L2
L1

L3
L2

L1

L4
L3

L2

L4
L3

L4

3
0
0
3

2
0
2
0

0
0
6
6
1

.
0 3
2
0
0 0
6 2 3
0
3 0
3 6
0 6
0

0 2
0 0
6 2
6 0

We can find that at a tetrahedron this matrix contains so many blocks as the number
of the nodes and the structure of these blocks is also similar. We wrote here the
nontrivial zero elements to emphasize the structure of blocks.
If we express the shape functions so
1
T
T
n x B ,

(6.10)

so the matrix B is easier to determine from multiplication of two matrices. If the vector u
contains only one function, then N n , so
T

1
1
T
B LN Lx B B o B .

(6.11)

The calculation B 0 needs fewer calculation, because the vector x contains only mononoms,
and the size of the matrix B 0 does not depend on the size of the elements.

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

Example 6.4
Determine the B 0 strain matrix of a classical non-conform triangular plate bending
element with 15 degrees of freedom!
We use total fourth-order polynom to the element with 15 degrees of freedom, so
2
y 2

2
B o 2 1 x y x 2 xy y 2 x 3 x 2 y xy 2 y 3 x 4 x 3 y x 2 y 2 xy 3 y 4
x
2
2

xy
0 0 0 0 0 2
0
0
2x 6 y
0
0
2 x 2 6 xy 12 y 2

0 0 0 2 0 0 6 x 2 y 0
0 12 x 2 6 xy 2 y 2
0
0 .
0 0 0 0 2 0
0
4x 4 y 0
0
6x2
8 xy 6 y 2
0

This principle is applicable in those cases, if the vector u has more elements. We illustrate
this with a new example.

Example 6.5
Let us analyze a Timoshenko beam, where we approximate the two shape functions with
second-order C(o) continuous functions.
We suppose in the forthcoming that the three shape functions can be expressed in this
way:
1
T
T
n x B .
The two functions can be approximated also in this expression
v1
v
2
1
2

B
v3

v 1 x x


1 1
1 x x2

B

2

3
because we wrote under each other the two well-known interpolation equations. We
note that the displacements of the nodal points are written mostly in different order,
but returning to a conventional method we must change the columns of the middle
parameter:

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

v 1 x

x2
1 x

g1

x 2

Lecture 6

g2
g1

g3
g2

v1

1
v2
,
g 3 2
v3

3

1
where g i means the i-th column of he matrix B . If the we write the previous

equation as
1
T
u X B v e ,

then
1
1
T
B L X B B o B .

So finally

d
dx
Bo

1
1 x

d
dx

x2
1 x

0 1 2 x 1 x x 2

.
x2
0
1
2x

Stiffness matrices
We have seen in the previous example that the stiffness matrix of an element can be
expressed by the general equation
T
(6.12)
K e B DB d 1.
e

The different types of the material stiffness matrix D are given for example in the book 1 ,
and the calculation of the matrix B was discussed already in the previous points. Now as a
summary we explain the different specific cases of the calculation of the stiffness matrices.
From the analysis of the equation (6.12) we can find that the stiffness matrix of the elements
is always symmetric, because the matrix D is symmetric, and the transposed of a
multiplication will be the multiplied value of the individual transposed terms in reversed
order, namely:

DB

B DB ,
T

(6.13)

and the integration does not destroy the symmetry of course.

The matrices with constant elements


In linear finite element solution we take generally the elements with constant material
parameters in one element, namely the material stiffness matrix D is constant. We have seen
in the previous example that in the case of specific approximations the matrix B is also
constant. In that case the matrix multiplication we can pick up the matrix-product before the
1

We note the integration will always depend in concrete 1, 2D or 3D cases on the type of the given
example: practically we must integrate over the length, area or volume of the element.
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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

symbol of the integral, and the residuum integral will exactly be the volume of the element
(or its area or length). So in the case of matrices with constant elements we can express the
stiffness matrix by the equations:
T
T
T
K e B DBVe , K e B DB Ae , K e B DB le
(6.14)

Example 6.6
Determine the stiffness matrix of a two-node bar element! It has the length l.
With standard relationships:
1
l
EA 1 1
1 1
K e EA
l

.
l 1 1
l l
1
l
In the case of rigid body motion the nodal forces will be exactly zero:
EA 1 1 u 0

,
q e K e v e
l 1 1 u 0
and the forces will opposite with applications of the general dislocations:
EA 1 1 u1 EA u1 u2 1

q e K e v e
1 .
l 1 1 u2
l

Example 6.7
Determine the stiffness matrix of a three-node triangular element in the case of plane stress
state (see the example 6.2)! The Poissons ratio is 0,2.
The area of the triangle is 17 (the half of the Jacobian-determinant).
2
6

2 6

4
2
1 0,2
6

7 Eh
1
1 4

0,2 1
2
7
5 17=
Ke =

7 4 1 0,2
34
1 0,2 34 2 6 7 4 5 2

2
5
2

5
2

11,6
8 4,4
37,6 7,2 29,6
7, 2
18,4
18,4 23,6 11,2
5,2

18,4
35,6 16,8
6 1,6
Eh 29,6
=

.
55,4
5,2 31,8
68 0,96 11,6 23,6 16,8
8 11,2
6
5,2
14
6

5,2
1,6 31,8
6 26,6
4,4

Example 6.8
Let us write the details of the calculation of a stiffness matrix of a tetrahedron element (see
the example 6.3)! The Poissons ratio is 0,3.
The volume of a tetrahedron is exactly 1 (the Jacobian-determinant/6), so:
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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

2 0
3

2
3

0
3

0
0
3

0
3

0
3
1
K e =
2 6
6 0

2
0

6
0

0
0
6

0
0

6
0
3
3

2
0

0
1

0 3
6 2 3
0
3 0

0 2
0

0
2

0,7

0,3
0

0
E 0,3
1,3 0,4

6
0
0
2
0
6
2
0
3 6
0
0
6 2

Lecture 6

0,3 0,3
0,7 0,3
0,3 0,7

0,2

0,2

0,2

0
6
1 .
0 0
6
0

6 0
0

Integration with global coordinates


If the matrix B (or perhaps D ) is the function of the global coordinates, then in simpler cases
T

the elements of the product of B DB can be expressed with simple expressions and they are
integrable one by one.

Example 6.9
Determine the stiffness matrix of a three-node bar element!

Figure 6.3: Three-node bar element

x 9
1
1
K e 16 2 x EA x 9 16 2 x x 7dx
4
4
6
x 7
x 2 18 x 81 2 x 2 34 x 144
x 2 16 x 63
10

EA

4x 2 64 x 256 2 x 2 30 x 112 dx

16 6

x 2 14 x 49
symm.
10

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

4
2
28 32
14 16
EA
EA
16
32
64 32 =
32 16 .
=
48
24
4 32
2 16
28
14

Example 6.10
Introduce the steps of the calculation of the stiffness matrix of a four-node rectangle with
plane strain state (see figure 6.4)!

Figure 6.4: Four-node rectangular element


The matrix B contains four blocks with similar structures:
B B1

B2

B3

B 4 .

The matrix D is:

Eh

.
1
D=

1 1 2
1 2

The stiffness matrix of the element:


B1T
K e11 K e12
T
K
b a
K e 22
B2

K e T D B1 B 2 B 3 B 4 dxdy e 21
K e 31 K e 32
0 0 B3

BT
K e 41 K e 42
4
where a general block is:

K e13
K e 23
K e 33
K e 43

K e14
K e 24
,
K e 34

K e 44

b a

K eij B i DB j dxdy .
T

0 0

In the calculation of the blocks B i we determine the shape function as in the example
6.2:
xy
x y
,
N2
N1 1 ,
ab
ab
x y
x y
N 3 1 ,
N 4 1 1 .
a b
a b
Let us determine as an example the block K e12 !
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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

a x
1
Eh
1 y

1
x dxdy =
K e12

a x y 1 1 2
ab
0 0
1 2 ab x y

1 2

2 1 2
b a 1 y
ay xy
ax x 2
xy

Eh
2
2
= 2 2
dxdy

1 2 2
2

a b 1 1 2 0 0 ay xy
1 ax x
xy
y
2
2

1 4
1b 1 2 a

3a 12b

Eh
8

1 a 1 2 b .
4 1
1 1 2
8
6b
6a

We note that at a general rectangle or triangle the boundaries of the integrations might be
functions too, for this reason we should divide the region of the elements into different parts.
In these cases the numerical integration is more practical.
b a

Integration with parametric coordinates


If the matrix B (or perhaps D ) is the function of parametric coordinates, then to the direct
T

calculation of the matrix K e is not enough the knowledge the matrix-product B DB ,


because this value is the function of the local coordinates and we must integrate by the
global parameters. We can step over to the local variables with the help of the Jacobian
determinant:
dV dxdydz J d d d ,
(6.15/a)

dA dxdy J d d ,

(6.15/b)

dl dx J d .
(6.15/c)
In the case of parametric local coordinate-system the boundaries of the integrals are
regulars:
1

- at line element:

fd ,

(rarely:

fd ),

(6.16/a)

0
1 1

- at triangular element:

fdd ,

(6.16/b)

0 0

1 1

- at rectangular element:

fdd ,

11

(rarely:

11
1 1 1

- at tetrahedron element:

(6.16/d)

fddd ,

111

(6.16/c)

00

fddd ,
0 0
1 1 1

- at hexahedron element:

fdd ),

111

(rarely:

fddd ).

(6.16/e)

000

In the case of curvilinear coordinate system the elements of the Jacobian-matrix will be
functions of , , , so the determinant of J might be a higher-order polynom, and its
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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

inverse (which is necessary to calculation of B ) is a fraction-function, so the analytic


integration is mostly very difficult. We suggest here also the numerical integration.

Example 6.11
Determine the stiffness matrix of a three-node bar element (see the example 6.9) with
analytic and numerical integrations!
1
1
N1 1 , N 2 1 2 , N 3 1 ,
2
2
3

x xi N i 8 2 ,
i 1

dx
1
J 0,5 ,
J 2,
D EA ,
d

1
1

B 0,5 2 0 ,5 0 ,5 ,
2
2

1
4
2
14 16
1
1 2

EA
1
1
T
16
32 16 .
K e B DB J d EA

2d

2 4
24
2 4
1
1
2 16
14
1

2 4
With two-point numerical integration (the exact places of the integration points2 are:
1, 2 1 / 3 , both weights are: 1):
K e 1 BT DB J
=
T

1 / 3 1 B DB J 1 / 3
1
1
2 3 4

EA 1 1 1 1 1 2 +
=

2 3 4

3
3
2 3 4

1
1

2 3 4
1
1
2 3 4
2
14 16

EA
1
1
1
1
1
1

EA
16
32 16 .
+

2 =

24

3
3 2 3 4
2 3 4
2 16
14
1
1

2 3 4

We emphasize that we have the same results in both solutions (we have substituted the exact
values of the Gauss points at the numerical integration to show this fact), the stiffness matrix
does not depend on the coordinate-system. We obtained a correct result with the numerical
integration because the matrix B is first-order one, the Jacobian matrix J is constant, so the
2

See the book 1 , Appendix C.

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Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

final matrix at integration was second-order, and in this case the Gauss-Legendre method
yields exact result with two integration points.
It is an important question, how many points are necessary to a good numerical integration?
The increasing of the integration points increases (generally) the exactness, but of course the
computation time also will increase. The radical decreasing of the number of points my ley
lead to a very dangerous case, the so-called mechanisms3 may arise in the finite element
calculation and we have a wrong result. The mechanisms are such a specific deformation
modes of the element, where the values of the displacement functions will be zero at all
integration points, so we cannot express the effect of deformations. Irons suggested an
empirical equation to the number of possible mechanisms:
(6.17)
M d N R r n,
where
d the degree of freedom of nodes,
N the number of nodes,
R the number of independent rigid body motions,
r the rank of the matrix D ,
n the number of integration points.
We have to choose the value of n that will not cause mechanisms, namely M 0 .

Example 6.12
Analyze the possibility wonder we use at an 8-node serendipity plate element a numerical
integration with 2 x 2 points?
The Irons formula:

M 2 8 3 32 2 1 .
Because M > 0, mechanism may arise at the element, so it is not enough to apply 4
integration points.

Integration by natural coordinates


We can use natural coordinates only with simplex elements. In the mathematics there are
well-known expressions for the integrations of functions with natural coordinates:
p!q!r!
p!q!
p q r
p q
(6.18)
L1 L2 L3dx p q r 2! 2 A ,
L1 L2 dx p q 1! l ,
A
l

p!q!r!s!

L1 L2 L3 L4 dx p q r s 3! 6V .
p q r

Do not forget the calculation of the factorials: 0!=1 and n!=n(n-1)! . We emphasize that these
expressions are valid for simplexes with general shape.

Example 6.13
Determine the stiffness matrix of a two-node Timoshenko-beam in the plane xy!
We have generated already the shape functions. Because we approximated here also
two displacement functions with C(0) continuous shape functions, the structure of the
3

The English scientist Irons published this phenomenon in 1970, so it is called Irons-mechanisms.

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13

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

matrix N will be similar to matrices of plate elements, only we have here two nodes.
With these approximations we have:
N2
N

N 1
,
N1 L1 ,
N 2 L2 ,
N1
N 2

1
1
1 x l 1
1
A
A 1
,
,

1
l x1
x1 x1 l
d

1
1

dx 1 L1
L2
l L1 l L2
B LN
=
,

1
1
L1
L2
d

l
l

dx
1

1
1

L 1

L
L2
1
1
G
A

l y
l
l
dx =
Ke

1
1
EI
1
z
l


l
l

1
L2

GAy

GAy
GAy
GAy
L1
2
L2
2

l
l
l
l

GAy
EI z
EI z
2

GA
L

GA
L
L

y 1
1
y 1 2
2
2
l
l
l

dx =

GAy
GAy
l

L
2
l
l2

EI z
2

GA
L
symm.
y 2
l2

GAy

GAy
GAy
GAy

2
l
2
l

GAy
EI z GAy l
EI z GAy

l
3
2
l
6

=
.

GAy
GAy

l
2

EI z GAy l
symm.

l
3

Example 6.14
Determine the stiffness matrix of a two-node classical beam element in the plane xy!
N 2 L1 , L2 l L12 L13 ,

N 3 L1 , L2 3L22

N4

07.06.13.

L , L l L L ,

N1 L1 , L2 3L12 2 L13 ,

2 L32 ,

2
2

3
2

14

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

N N1 L1 N 2 L1 N 3 L2 N 4 L2 .
1
1
1 x l 1
1
A
A 1
,
,

1
l x1
x1 x1 l

d2
L 2,
D EI z .
dx
All shape functions depend on one natural coordinate. The natural coordinates are
linear functions of x, so their second derivatives by x will be zero, namely the second
derivatives of the shape functions can be expressed easier. For instance:
d 2 N1 L1 d 2 N1 dL1
1

6 12 L1 .
2
2
dx
dL1 dx
l
2

So
6 12 L1 2 6 L1 6 12 L2 2 6 L2
B LN
,
2
l
l
l2
l

and the stiffness matrix:


6 12 L1
l2

2 6 L1

L1 2 6 L1 6 12 L2 2 6 L2
l
EI z 6 12
Ke

dx=
2
6 12 L2
l
l
l2
l

l
2
l

2 6 L
2

1 4 L1 4 L12
36
l4

EI z

symm.

1 5 L1 6 L12
l3
1 6 L1 9 L12
4
l2

12

12
l3
6
2
= EI z l
12
l 3
6

l 2

1 2 L1 2 L2 4 L1L2
l4
1 3L1 2 L2 6 L1L2
12
l3
1 4 L2 4 L22
36
l4

36

6
l2
4
l
6
2
l
2
l

12
l3
6
2
l
12
l3
6
2
l

1 2 L1 3L2 6 L1L2

l3

1 3L1 3L2 9 L1L2


4

l2
dx

1 5 L2 6 L22
12

3
l

1 6 L2 9 L22
4

2
l

12

6
l2
2

l .
6
2
l
4

Integration without the calculation of matrix B


The calculation is easier if we have to integrate more simple functions. If we describe the
matrix B in the equation
07.06.13.

15

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6
1

B B o B ,

(6.19/a)

1
where the elements of B are constants, then the stiffness matrix can be expressed as

Ke

B DB d
T

1 T

1
1
T
B o DB o B d B

K B

1
1
T
B o DB o d B B

(6.19/b)

so the matrix K o is:


Ko

T
o

DB o d ,

(6.19/c)

and the functions will be more simple in the integrals. We note that there is a disadvantage of
this process of course: we have to multiply this matrix with other two to obtain the final
version.

Example 6.15
Determine the K 0 matrix of a four-node plate element with plane stress state (see the
example 6.10)!
Now we approximate two displacement functions by bilinear shape functions, so
1 x y xy

T
X
.
1 x y xy

1 x

B0 =

y x
By the symbol

xy
1 x

the multiplication will be:


0
1

Eh
T
B o DB o
1 2

so

0 1 0

=
xy
0 0 1

y
0 0 1
x 0 1 0

x .
y

1
2

y
x
2
y x 2

szimm.

x y xy
,

1
x

x 2 y 2

b a

K o B o DB o dxdy =
T

0 0

07.06.13.

16

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

b
a
1

2
2

a
b

2
2

b2 a 2
a b ab

Ehab
3
2
2
4
.
=
2

0
1

1
2

2
2

a b

symm.
3

We note once more, that we have to multiply this matrix from both right and left with
1
B (see the example 6.5) and with the transposed matrix to obtain the final stiffness
matrix.

The reduced load vectors


We have seen in the third lecture that in 3D problems we can determine the loads reduced to
the nodes of the element by different expressions. From the kinematical effects (fabric error,
variation of the temperature) the load vector is:
T
(6.20)
q e B D0 dV,
Ve

and from distributed loads:


q e N p dV .
T

(6.21)

Ve

The q e is called the reduced load vector4. The matrices and vectors of these expressions can
be the functions of either the global, or parametric or natural coordinates. For the
calculation of the integrals we should use the previous mentioned methods.
If the external load is not volume dependent (gravity load, for instance), but is distributed on
a surface or on a line, perhaps it is a concentrated force, than we must integrate over the area
or line (in the case of concentrated forces we must not integrate).
The general equation for the integration of the reduced load vector:
T
T
T
T
q e N p dV N A p AdV N s p s ds N i p i .
Ve

(6.22)

The vectors p, p A , p s , p i have always as much elements as the vector u , namely the
multiplications of the correct pairs of the vectors should give (after the integration) the work
done by the loads. The number of the variables of functions of the vectors coincides with the
number of the necessary integrals.
4

The word reduced means here the reduction for the nodes. We note that the effect of the motion
of supports will take into account later.
07.06.13.

17

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

We have to multiply the loads always with the displacement of its active point, so the number
of the variables of matrix N and the load vectors must be the same. For example the
concentrated load has no any variable, so we must substitute into N the coordinates of the
active points of this force (for this reason in the expression (6.22) the matrix N has an index
i ).

Example 6.16
Determine the reduced load vector of a three-node bar element (see the example 6.9) from
constant variation of the temperature!
x 9
1
10
1
T

q e B D0 dx 16 2 x EAt s dx EAt s 0 .
4
l
6 x7
1

We note that from the rules of the elementary strength of materials comes that if we
apply at two ends of the bar such tension forces; we can determine the same
elongation in the bar as was determined from the temperature effect.

Example 6.17
Reduce the constant distributed loads for the nodes in a Timoshenko beam according to the
two-noded and three-noded elements!
The load vector is in both cases: p p 0 . We shall use parametric coordinates,
T

where J l / 2 .
The load vector is at a two-noded element:
1

pl

2
1


1
1
0

p l
T
2
qe N p J d
d ,

pl
1
1
1
0 2

2

0
1

The load vector is at a three-noded element:


1

pl

6
1

0
2

4 pl
1
1 2
p l

d 6 .
qe
2
1 0 2
1
0

pl
2

0
1

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18

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

In figure 6.5 we can see the summary of the results: at the two-node element the half
of the external load is acting on the individual nodes, but at the three-node element
the greater part of the load is reduced on the middle point. We note that at application
of the classical beam theory see the example 6.19 from the external loads we
must take into consideration bending moments too.

Figure 6.5: Reduction of loads in a three-node element

Example 6.18
The plate element in figure 6.6 there is in plane stress state. We must reduce to the nodes the
following loads:
- Constant variation of the temperature ts ,
- gravity load ( is the density), the direction of the gravity is opposite to y,
- linear distributed load during a line (figure 6.6/a),
- concentrated force (figure 6.6/b) (active point xF 2, yF 1 ).

Figure 6.6:
Loads of a
plate element

The shape functions in the global coordinate-system are the following ones:
x y
x
y
N1 1 ,
N2 ,
N3 .
4 3
4
3
N and B :

N
N 1

07.06.13.

N2
N1

N3
N2

,
N 3

19

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

1
1

0
4

1
1

0
.

3
3
1

1
1 1

0
0
3

4
4 3
The reduced load vector generated from the different effect is:
-

In the calculation of thermal effect we can take into account, that the elements of
the matrix B are constant:
therm.

qe

D 0 dA= B D0 Ae=
T

Ae

1
1

4
3

1
1
3


4
3
4

t
1

s
0
3
Eh

t
4

3
4
Eh

s
t

1
=
=
.
1 1 2
s 2
21 0
1

0
4
0

1

0

1
0

- In the calculation of the gravity load effect we avoid the integrals, because it is
enough to work with the volume of the cubes of the shape functions:
N1

0
0
0

1
N1

N1
1

0
N
0
0
0

A
grav.
T
q e N p dA 2
dA h dA h e 2h .

N 2 h
N
3 1
Ae
Ae
Ae 2
1
N3

0
0
0




N 3
1
1

N 3
We obtain a result from this calculation that the third part of the gravity load acts to
every nodes. This is not true already at a six-node element.
-

At the line-load we transform everything with the help of the s coordinate:


3
s
12 2
s
1 ,
px p y
x y
,
so
,
7
2 so
2

so

07.06.13.

20

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

s
s

1 4 2 3 2

12

7
s
s

12
1

4 2 3 2

18
so

3
s
49
4 2
line
qe

1 ds 18 .
s
2 so 1
0

4 2
49

24
s

49

3 2
24

s
49

3 2
- At the concentrated load we write the coordinates of the load into the matrix N :
2 1

5
1 4 3


2 1

7
1

6
4 3

5
conc.
4
2
qe

.
2 7 7

2
1

3
1

3
3
The reduced components from the concentrated load can be seen in figure 6.7:

Figure 6.7:
Reduction of a
concentrated load

Example 6.19
We analyze a classical beam element in the plane xy. We reduce the following loads using
natural coordinates to the nodes:
07.06.13.

21

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

- t linear variation of the temperature,


- gravity load ( is the density), the direction of the gravity is opposite to y,
- linear distributed load,
- concentrated force F.

Figure 6.8: Reduction of external loads


We apply the previous mentioned expressions:
l
k
Li dx k 1 .
l
We use for description of the thermal-effect the vector o :
6 12 L1
l2

2 6L
0
1


EI zt 1
t
therm.
T
l

qe
B D0 dx=
EI
dx =
,
6 12 L2 z h
0
h
l
l
l2


1
2 6L
2

So at the two ends of the beam the reduced loads are bending moments.
For reduction of the gravity load we apply the vector p :
1
2
3L12 2 L13

l
2
3
l L1 L1
12
grav.
T
q e N p dx 2

dx

1 .
3
3
L

2
L
l
l
2
2

l L2 L3
2
2
2

l

12
At the integral of the partial distributed load we apply a rigid body motion at the
coordinate-system by transformation L1 l x / l and L2 x / l . The load function is

p y po 1 2 x / l , so

07.06.13.

22

Bojtr-Gspr: The finite element method: The basis

Lecture 6

2
3

x
x
1 3 2
1
l
l

40
2
3

l x 2 x x
7
l

l l
l
l

2
x

distr.
po 1 dx pol 960 .
qe
2
3
l

l/2
x
x
9
3



40
l
l

23l
2
3


x
x

l
960
l l

The natural coordinates of the concentrated load are: L1 3 / 4 , L2 1 / 4 .


Finally the load will be:
3
3 2
3
3

2


27
4
4
32
2
3

l 3 3
9

4 4

conc.
F F 64 .
qe
3
1 2
1
5
3

2


32
4
4
3
2
3

1
1
l
64
4 4

References:
1./ Bojtr I. Gspr Zs. : The finite element method for civil engineers (in Hungarian), Terc,
2003.
2./ Rao, S. S. : The finite element method in engineering, Pergamon Press, 1989.

07.06.13.

23