Influence of the Thickness in the Finite Element Approximation

  • Dominique Chapelle
  • Klaus-Jürgen Bathe
Part of the Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics book series (COMPFLUID)


The influence of the thickness in the finite element analysis of thin structures is a crucial issue, as it is deeply interrelated with the motivation of modeling a 3D continuum as a shell in engineering. Why, indeed, should we use shell models and finite elements – instead of 3D models – to analyze a given structure? The answer to this question seems obvious: firstly, the use of a shell model is to reduce the analysis cost, and secondly, the use of the shell model is to reduce the complexity of the analysis including the interpretation of the results for engineering design. Clearly, the motivation to use shell models rests upon the fact that shell mathematical models and finite elements incorporate kinematical assumptions pertaining to the displacement distribution across the thickness of the structure, see previous chapters.


Shell Model Timoshenko Beam Mixed Formulation Finite Element Approximation Nite Element 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominique Chapelle
    • 1
  • Klaus-Jürgen Bathe
    • 2
  1. 1.INRIA Paris-RocquencourtLe ChesnayFrance
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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