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High order transition elements: The xNy-element concept – Part I: Statics

09/11/2019
by   Sascha Duczek, et al.
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Advanced transition elements are of utmost importance in many applications of the finite element method (FEM) where a local mesh refinement is required. Considering problems that exhibit singularities in the solution, an adaptive hp-refinement procedure must be applied. Even today, this is a very demanding task which encounters problems such as hanging nodes if only quadrilateral/hexahedral elements are deployed. These element types, are, however, favored in computational mechanics due to the improved accuracy compared to triangular/tetrahedral elements. Therefore, we propose a compatible transition element - xNy-element - which provides the capability of coupling different element types. The adjacent elements can exhibit different element sizes, shape function types, and polynomial orders. Consequently, it is possible to combine independently refined h- and p-meshes. The approach is based on the transfinite mapping concept and constitutes an extension/generalization of the pNh-element concept. By means of several numerical examples, the convergence behavior is investigated in detail and the asymptotic rates of convergence are determined. Overall, it is found that the proposed approach provides very promising results for local mesh refinement procedures.

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