1977-02-01

Application of Isoparametric Finite Elements in Vehicle Structural Mechanics 770606

This paper is concerned with the application of the isoparametric elements in the vehicle structural mechanics fields. The isoparametric elements having additional nodes along their sides have a significant practical advantage in that such sides can be allowed to distort physically to represent the true geometrical configuration of a structure. Also, the accuracy of results and the rate of convergence of solution can be increased even with larger, and consequently fewer, elements. Comparative models using the conventional and isoparametric elements are presented to illustrate their differences. It is shown that with the use of isoparametric elements, the finite element representation of any large complex system is tremendously simplified and a very economical solution can be obtained. The basic concepts and the techniques used in developing a family of isoparametric elements having linear and parabolic displacement variations, and a suitable combination of the same, are discussed. The possibility of misuse with unreasonably distorted elements and the method of detecting them are mentioned and appropriate recommendations for avoiding them are given. Finally, the merits of using the isoparametric elements for complex two-dimensional, three-dimensional and general shell structures are illustrated with the actual examples of application to a large variety of vehicle components.

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