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INTERNATIONALJOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING,

VOL. 28,687-703 (1989)

EIGENVALUE ANALYSIS OF COMPATIBLE AND INCOMPATIBLE RECTANGULAR FOUR-NODE QUADRILATERAL ELEMENTS


W. L. HACKER AND H.L. SCHREYER

Department oJ Mechanical Engineering, University uf New Mexico, Albuquerque, N M 87131, U.S.A.

SUMMARY Exact analytical expressions for the eigenvalues of the elastic stiffness matrix are obtained for the four-node, rectangular, quadrilateral element. A procedure is given for identifying alternative hourglass modes and eigenvalues which render the element incompatible but with non-monotonic convergence assured. A convergence study confirms that for the special case of when the hourglass modes coincide with beam bending the element can serve as a beam element. Analytical expressions are given for the resulting element stiffness matrix.

INTRODUCTION
The stiffness matrix for any element consists of the sum of the matrix product of eigenvectors with each product multiplied by an eigenvalue. If some of the eigenvalues are set to zero, perhaps indirectly by an approximate method for generating stiffness matrices, all stiffness associated with these modes is lost. Surprisingly, such elements often produce results which are improvements over the exact formulation. Unfortunately, if the boundary conditions are not sufficiently kinematic in nature then the global stiffness matrix is singular and spurious deformations, often called hourglass modes, may evolve to the point that the solution is meaningless for dynamic problems, Of course, static solutions cannot be obtained either for such circumstances. The singularity is often removed by assigning an arbitrary non-zero eigenvalue at the elcment level to these element hourglass eigenvectors, in which case numerical solutions can be obtained that are often very good approximations to analytical solutions. With the finite element method, convergence can be proved provided the element shape functions and nodal variables represent complete polynomials up to an order that depends on the governing differential equation. The test for completeness is the essence of the patch test. If the hourglass modes are not required for the representation of a complete polynomial, then any approximate eigenvalue can be used and convergence is still assured. In fact, from a numerical viewpoint one might want to select an approximate eigenvalue to minimize the condition number of the global stiffness matrix. To our knowledge, this criterion has not been invoked in any of the studies on hourglass control. However, since compatibility along the element boundaries is no longer guaranteed, convergence may not be monotonic. Furthermore, for a given problem, a judicious choice of the replaced eigenvalue can lead to approximate solutions that are more accurate than those obtained using the exact element stiffness matrix. Unfortunately, the choice is problem and element dependent. There have been numerous contributions - 5 on the subject of hourglass control involving issues such as efficiency, accuracy and convenience. Efficiency and convenience are tied with the

0029%5981/89/030687-17$08.50 0 1989 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Received 22 April 1988 Revised 18 August 1988

688

W. L. HACKER AND H. L. SCHREYER

global solution algorithm and will not be discussed here. Instead, the freedom to select hourglass eigenvalues is investigated in dctail for the four-node quadrilateral. It is shown that a family of modes can be specifically associated with a wide range of eigenvalues. One of these modes is associated with pure bending, as shown previously by Wilson et aL6 A convergence study is given for the element with the incompatible beam mode for model problems with and without transverse shear. As part of the development, analytical expressions for the eigenvalues are obtained for the fournode, rectangular, quadrilateral element. These expressions serve as a basis from which the effects of aspect ratio and approximate hourglass eigenvalues can be evaluated. Furthermore, exact eigenvalues provide insight into the physical significance associated with the various procedures related to reduced integration and the control of zero energy modes. NOTATION In this section, basic relations are summarized for ease of reference. The notation associated with a rectangular quadrilateral element is illustrated in Figure 1. The usual nodal basis functions are defined to be N' =ail - ~ ) ( -s) l
N2 = 1 Y) ( 1 - S)
~3

a( +

= a(i + r ) ( i +s)

N4 = $(1-r)(l +s)

in which r and s are local co-ordinates, and the basis functions are associated with the nodes shown in Figure 1. A scalar function, &(r, s), is represented over the element by in which represents the row vector of nodal variables identified by superscripts and ( N ) denotes the row vector of nodal basis functions. The superscript T designates a transpose.

(+g)
Figure I . Co-ordinates and node numbers used to define elements

(-;,

->

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGULAR ELEMENTS

689

As pointed out by Flanagan and Belytschkol, it is particularly convenient to introduce the modes associated with the unit square as follows:

where the vectors are of unit length and mutually perpendicular with respect to the 2-norm. The letters R, G,, G, and H are used to suggest a uniform translation (rigid body), constant gradients with respect to r and s, and an 'hourglass' mode, respectively. Construct the modal matrix

Cml=C{RI

jGr3 {G,j

w 1

(5)

which is orthogonal because of the properties of the columns, and the polynomial vector
( p } = (pi'= +(I,r,s, r s }

(6)

Then the vector of nodal basis functions is given by

i w =Cml {PI
so that an alternative representation for

(7)

4 is

4 = ( P ) lmlT {41
Suppose the nodal variables are represented as a linear combination of the modes given in (4):

{41= a, (N+ a2 &I


Not surprisingly, it follows from (8) that

+ a3 {G,) + a4 w 1

(9)

4 =+(a1 +a2r+a3.s+a4rs)

(10)

Convergence for the finite element method requires only that the finite element representation for the dependent variable 4 be complete in first order polynomials (for second order differential equations). Thus, it is immediately apparent that the contribution from the 'hourglass' mode is irrelevant with regard to convergence and it follows that an alternative value for the eigenvalue of a stiffness matrix associated with the hourglass mode can be used without affecting the rate of convergence.

STIFFNESS MATRIX FOR THE RECTANGULAR FOUR-NODE QUADRILATERAL


To study in detail the effects of underintegration and hourglass control, it is useful to have analytical expressions for eigenvalues. However, for plane stress and strain, exact representations of the eigenvalues of the element stiffness matrix for the rectangular, four-node quadrilateral do not appear to be available in the literature. A derivation for these eigenvalues is given next. Let II and v denote the two components of the displacement vector in the x and y directions, respectively. Define an extended displacement vector to be the combination

(11) in which superscripts designate nodal values. Similarly, appropriate definitions for extended
02,

( w ) = (u1, u2, u3, u4, vl,

d, v")

690

W. L. HACKER AND H. L. SCHKEYER

polynomial and modal matrices are

in which the partitioning and use of null vectors and matrices is self evident. It follows that

For plane problems, it is convenient to introduce stress and strain vectors with a factor of J2 associated with shear to preserve the capability to easily compute norms:

(a)=<~11,~22rfia12)

The elasticity matrix

[El is defined such that

I.{

= [El

(4

To obtain strains from displacements, an operator matrix is needed

Then

where the gradient matrix [GI is given by

l o !a
[G]=[L][P]= O O

0
0

0
0

0
-

0 1
-

O
1

b
a,h

0 0

~ _ _ _0

b$

b$

a 3

In the definition of the element stiffness matrix, it is convenient to define a stiffness gradient matrix for the element as follows:

[K]"

=Z{[k]G)

(19)

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGULAR ELEMENTS

69 1

in which the operator I { } indicates that each component of the matrix argument is integrated over the element, or

I{
The argument is

)=I1[
-1

{ jTdrds ub

-1

Then the element stiffness matrix becomes

CK1= [MI CKIG[ I M'

(22)

which implies that [ K ] and [ K I G are similar matrices. It follows that they have the same eigenvalues and if (e)" denotes an eigenvector of [ K I G ,then the corresponding eigenvector of [ K ] is { = [MI MG . $ (23)
For an isotropic material, the elasticity matrix is

2G

where 2G = E/(1+ v), with E and v denoting Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio, respectively. For plane stress E El =E , = YEl 1- v z whereas for plane strain

E(l - v )

- (1 +v)(l-Zv)

Ez=-

YE1

1-v
SO

The resulting expression for [klG, which is given in the Appendix, is simple enough integrations can be performed analytically. The result is

that the

0
0
a

0 0

0 0

0 0

0
E 2

0
O

- G O O G b

0 0 0
0

[KIG =

0 0
G

D I O

0 0 0

b 0 0 - G a

2 :

a O O O g E 1 O

D,
-

692

W. L. HACKER AND H L. SCHREYER

in which

D ,='(!Ela 3

+iG)

D2 =;(:El

+$G)

By inspection, two of the eigenvalues are zero and two more are readily identified as the diagonal terms given by (28) in rows where all other components are zero. After eliminating the rows and columns associated with these eigenpairs, and reordering the remaining rows and columns, the resulting reduced matrix assumes the form

E,

LEI

0
b
U

CKlE =

which yields one additional zero eigenvalue and three non-trivial eigenvalues. The eigenvectors can be determined by inspection, and the eigenvectors associated with the element stiffness matrix follow from (23). The results are summarized as follows:

A1

=o

( e l ) " = (1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0)
(el) = ( ( R ) , (0))

I,=O

A 4:.(

-+-

;)

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGULAR ELEMENTS

(30h)

It is seen that the eigenvectors of [ K ] are orthogonal. Normalizing factors have been included for completeness. The first two modes correspond to rigid body translations in the r and s directions, respectively, while the third mode describes rigid body rotation. The fourth, fifth and sixth eigenvectors are often referred to as the shear, extension and stretching modes, respectively. The last two are referred to as flexure modes and involve only the hourglass mode for one or the other of the displacement components. The mode shapes are shown in Figure 2. If the aspect ratio is one (a = b) then the eigenvalues of the two flexure modes are equal. When this occurs, the unique eigenvalue and eigenvectors are given by

(30i)

These mode shapes are also shown in Figure 2. Plots of the eigenvalues as functions of aspect ratio are given in Figures 3 and 4. The eigenvalues are normalized with respect to E , and v = 0.25. There is a symmetry about the value of 4 6 = 1. For an increase in aspect ratio above 1, most eigenvalues increase in value except that the one associated with the stretching mode (&) approaches zero, while the eigenvalue for the first flexure mode (JV7)decreases initially until a/6 = 1.73 and then increases. In certain instances, the eigenvalues associated with some of the modes become infinite and the result is that an approximate solution can be much too stiff, or the elements are said to lock up.

694

W. L. HACKER AND H. L. SCHREYER

Rigid Body Mode (r direction):

y - -

---

-----I

Rigid Body Mode (s direction):

j=l

Rigid Body Mode (rotation):

Shear Mode:

r---------1

Extension Mode:

Stretching Mode:

r-,

Flexure Mode 2:
c

L-

_--

Figure 2. Mode shapes with second set of flexural mode shapes shown for an aspect ratio of one

This is particularly true if the element modes associated with these eigenvectors are an essential component of the true deformation pattern. A typical example for which notoriously poor results are obtained with the use of the four-node quadrilateral element is that of an incompressible material (v = Q) in plane strain, in which case El, and consequently A,, A6, A? and A,, are infinite. For the sake of completeness. the full element stiffness matrix is also given in the Appendix. Instead of an exact integration, if one point integration is used to evaluate the integrals of (18) then it is a relatively easy matter to show that the eigenvectors remain the same as those associated with exact integration. Furthermore, the first six eigenvalues are the same but A? and A8 become zero and the corresponding eigenvectors are then referred to as hourglass modes. In a repesentation similar to that associated with (9)and (lo), it can be shown from (13) that the hourglass modes only

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGIJLAR ELEMENTS

695

Aspect ratia, o/b

Figure 3. Eigenvalues as functions of aspect ratio for first three dcforniation modes

00

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

'

Figure 4. Eigenvalues as functions of aspcct ratio for flexural modes

696

W. L. HACKER AND H. L. SCHREYER

contribute to the quadratic polynomial part of u and ti and convergence is unaffected provided the rank deficiency is removed. INCOMPATIBLE MODES Because an incompatible deformation field is a kinematic relaxation, it is not surprising that appropriate artificial eigenvalues for the flexure modes can provide results that are more accurate than those obtained with the same mesh and exact eigenvalues. To illustrate this feature and to provide an example of an incompatible element, consider the following modification to the polynomial matrix:

in which

andfand g are polynomials which are zero at each node (to ensure convergence). Compatibility is maintained if y a n d f a r e zero over the boundary of the element. The form of (31) implies that y and fare activated only by hourglass modes in a coupled manner since (1 3) now yields

(33) { N l +(a> (HI9 Supposeiand g are even functions of I and s. Then, in the expression for [k]", a number of terms appear which are odd in r or s. When integrated, these terms vanish so that an exact integration yields a matrix [K]" similar to that of (27) with the exception that
0=(u>

u=<u){N)+(~){H)f

D,=D
in which

h" )+'-;(; 5: )+--El+ 3 a G


--

2E2c11+4

ab
ah

( ab 7
a2

:) ' ; 4

-E,+-G

2E2(.21

+4(E1c22 -~ Gc23

+-+-)
ab

(34)
Gc24

hZ

in which y7 and y8 are free parameters. It follows that


c,1 = c12 = c21 = c22 = 0

c I 3 = -,?,ah 2
c I 4= $ll;ah

~ 2 = 3

--j-y8ab 2

(37)

c24= 4

~ ah ;

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGULAR ELEMENTS

697

and

If y 7 and y e are chosen to minimize A7 and resulting eigenvalues are

respectively, then y7 = ajb, y s

= $b/a, and

the

It is easily seen that the addition of the termsfand g given in (36), as illustrated previously by Wilson et a1.,6 allows an element to deform in pure bending described by elementary beam theory. However, the eigenvalues given by (39) incorporate the assumption of plane stress or strain. To obtain the complete analogy with beam theory, which includes the restriction of uniaxial stress, v must be set to zero, in which case E , = E. Since convergence is assured no matter what values are chosen for these particular eigenvalues, it would seem efficacious to select them to be

in the element stiffness matrix. Then the four-node quadrilateral transitions automatically to an efficient beam element. With this formulation it is a relatively easy matter to explore the effects of alternative choices for fand g. One example might be to selectfand g so that integrals over the area of the element are zero with the result that a special rule is unnecessary for evaluating force vectors. Conversely, for specific choices of the hourglass eigenvalues, an explicit interpretation may be given concerning the nature of the incompatibility that is introduced. CONVERGENCE STUDY The cantilever beam depicted in Figure 5 was used to demonstrate the convergence characteristics of the incompatible element. Load case A depicts an applied moment while case B is that of a

LOAD CASE

L
E=l
V = 0.25

- c - I
b=l

L=4

Figure 5. Cantilever beam used for model problem

698

W. L. HACKER AND H. L. SCFIREYER

transverse shear load. Displacements at the centre of the end of the beam, normalized with respect to the displacement obtained from bcnding theory, are used to demonstrate the results. At the fixed end, all nodes are constrained in both directions, as indicated in Figure 6. For each case, the initial mesh configuration consists of one element through the thickness, and the appropriate number of elements in the longitudinal direction as dictated by the element aspect ratio. Mesh refinement is accomplished by doubling the number of elements in each direction and, thereby, maintaining the element aspect ratio. Results for the moment load are shown in Figure 7 where the displacement result using the standard fully-integrated element with an aspect ratio of one is given for comparison. As expected for the Wilson type element, exact results are obtained for one element through the thickness no matter what aspect ratio is used. As more elements are used through the thickness, the accuracy

LOAD CASE

Figure 6 . Typical mesh used for model problem

Number of elements

Figure 7. Results of convergence analysis for load case A [moment)

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGIJLAR ELEMENTS

699

1.G
+ c Lu

g 0.9 m
._
U

Q ._

0.8

07

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

Number of elements

Figure 8. Results o convergence analysis for load case B (transverse force) f

actually deteriorates but always remains better than that of the standard element. The reason for the decrease in accuracy is that element modes other than the bending mode become capable of describing the structural bending response, but since Poissons ratio is not zero in general for these eigenvalues, the uniaxial stress state associated normally with pure bending is not reflected in the solution. If Poissons ratio is identically zero, then the results using the Wilson type element always produce the beam solution no matter how many elements are used in the thickness direction, and results using the standard element converge to the beam solution in the usual manner. The results for a beam with significant shear deformation are even more interesting, as shown in Figure 8 where, again, results for the standard element form a basis for comparison. The fact that the solution with the modified element converges rapidly to values only slightly below the exact analytical solution for the mid-point of the beam tip is a consequence of the relaxation introduced into the hourglass mode by setting Poissons ratio to zero. The solution is above that given by bending theory, which is a demonstration of the fact that shear deformation is an inherent part of the element. These results add to previous studies that demonstrate the potential benefit of using hourglass modes to enhance the performance of an element without affecting convergence, and respond to concerns by Prathap, and perhaps others, about the poor bending response of the conventional four-node quadrilateral. The approach can be considered as special cases of the procedures described by Bergan and Felippa for triangular membrane elements, and by Belytschko and Bachrach for general four-node quadrilaterals with the distinction that analytical expressions for eigenvalues have been given here.

700

W L IIAC'KFK A N D H L SCHREYER

CONCLUSION
With the use of a similarity transformation the derivation of analytical expressions for the eigenvalues of the elastic stiffness matrix becomes an elementary operation for the four-node rectangular element. These expressions serve as a basis for evaluating the effects of aspect ratio, incompressibility and underintegration. The procedure developed in the paper also serves to illustrate how specific incompatible modes can be associated with reduced values for hourglass eigenvalues in which case convergence (non-monotonic) is maintained. The procedure provides an alternative interpretation of the element stiffness matrix when hourglass modes consistent with beam bending are incorporated. The formulation provides additional insight into many of the existing algorithms which exploit the hourglass modes for improved accuracy and computational efficiency.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Discussions with S. Kcy and D. Flanagan were particularly helpful and encouraging.

APPENDIX With the form of the elasticity matrix given in (24) and the gradient matrix of (21) it follows that

0
0 0

0
b2El

0
a2G

b2E,s
u2Gr

0 0
abG

0
ahE2r

abE,
0 ahE2s

abCs ab(E2 G)rs


0
h2Gs

Ikl"

1 =m

0 h 2 E l s u2Gr ( h Z E , s 2+ a 2 C r 2 )
0 0
0

0 0
abE,

0
ahGr uhE2s
ah(E2 G)rs

abCr 0
b2G
0

0 0
a2El

abC

a2Elr

0 a b E g abGs

b2Gs a 2 E l r (a2E,r2+h2Gs2)

An exact integration over the clement results in (27). With one point integration all terms involving r or s vanish so that conclusions given in the text concerning eigenvalues arc easily obtained. It is easily shown that a 2 x 1 integration scheme yields

while a 1 x 2 scheme results in


n

A,

Ih =--E,
3a

A8 =

lb G 3u

(43)

with no changes in the other eigenvalues. The fully integrated element stiffness matrix that follows from (22) is

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGULAR ELEMF.NTS

70 1

in which the submatrices are

BI

B2
B,

-4BL
B3

B3

symm.

B4

B,

-'B2

B6
145)

CK121=

symm.

B7
-B8 -B7
B,

B,

-B7 B8 B7
-R,

-B,

-B, -B,
B,

-B7

[KZIl
and

= CK12I'

B7 = - ( E 2 + c;) 4

1 B - -(E2 - G ) 8-4

Note that B, is obtained from B, by interchanging Li and h. O n the other hand, B, and B6 are obtained from B2 and B 3 , respectively, by interchanging El and G. Suppose the displacement variables are ordered in the conventional manner
( w * ) = ( ul, v I , u2,c ' ~u3, tl3, u4, v4) ,

(47)

then the corresponding fully integrated element stiffness matrix is

[K*]

702

W. L. HACKER AND H.L. SCHREYER

For applications in computer codes, it may be useful to have element stiffness matrices expressed in terms of eigenvalues so that the effect of changing any one eigenvalue can be evaluated. To this end, the use of
[KIG=

1 jLi{ei}(; (e i ) G
i=4

(49)

leads to

r o o 0 a y
0

0
0

0 0

0 0 0 0

A;$
0 0 0 0

[K] =

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0
0

ifl 0 0
0 0 A70 0 0 0
0

n;F2
0 0

14,
0 0

n:f
0

in which A7 and

0 0

0 0

np ;
0

00 0 0 0 0 0 A 8

& are given by (28), (30g) and (30h), and the remaining terms are

The superscripts are used to suggest which eigenvalues are involved, while the subscripts indicate relative positions in the matrix. The use of (22) yields the element stiffness matrices in the form of either (44) or (48), where

The terms B7 and B , , and hence the submatrices [K12J and [K,,], are unaffected by the hourglass eigenvalues.
REFERENCES 1. D. P. Flanagan and T. Belytschko, A uniform strain hexahedron and quadrilateral with orthogonal hourglass control, I n f .j . numer. methods eng., 17, 679-706 (1981).

ANALYSIS OF RECTANGULAR E L E M E N T S

703

2. T. Belytschko, J. S.-J,Ong. W. K. Liu and J. M. Kennedy, Hourglass control in linear and nonlinear problems, Comp. Methods Appl. Mech. Eng., 43, 251 276 (1984). 3. 0.-P. Jacquotte and J . T. Oden, Analysis of hourglass instabilities and control in underintegrated finite element methods, Comp. Methods Appl. Mech. Eng., 44, 339-363 ( I 984). 4. J. C. Schulz, Finite elcment hourglassing control, Int. j . numer. methods eng., 21, 1039-1048 (1985). 5. D. Koslofland G. A. Frazier, Treatment of hourglass patterns in low order finite element codes, Int. j . numer. methods geomecb., 2, 57-72 (1978). 6. E. L. Wilson, R. L. Taylor, W. P. Doherty and J. Ghaboussi, Incompatibledisplacement models, in S. J. Fenves et al. (eds.), Numerical und Computer Models in Struclural Mechanics, Academic Press, New York, 1973, pp. 43-57. 7. T. J. R. Hughes, The Finite E l m e n t Method: I.inear Static and Dynamic Finite Element Analysis, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1987. 8. G . Prathap, The poor bending response of the four-node plane stress quadrilateral, I n t . j . numer. methods eng., 21,

825-835 (1985). 9. P. G. Bergan and C. A. Felippd, Efficient implementation of a triangular membrane element with drilling freedoms, in T. J. R . Hughes and E. Hinton (eds.). Finite Element Methodsfor Plate and Shell Structures, Vol. 1: Element Technology, Pineridge Press, Swansea, U.K., Chapter 5, pp. 128-1 52. 10. T. Belytschko and W. E. Bachrach, Efficient implementation of quadrilaterals with high coarse-mesh accuracy, Comp. Methods Appl. Mech. Eng., 54, 279-301 (1986).