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Virtual elements on agglomerated finite elements to increase the critical time step in elastodynamic simulations

10/01/2021
by   N. Sukumar, et al.
University of California-Davis
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In this paper, we use the first-order virtual element method (VEM) to investigate the effect of shape quality of polyhedra in the estimation of the critical time step for explicit three-dimensional elastodynamic finite element simulations. Low-quality finite elements are common when meshing realistic complex components, and while tetrahedral meshing technology is generally robust, meshing algorithms cannot guarantee high-quality meshes for arbitrary geometries or for non-water-tight computer-aided design models. For reliable simulations on such meshes, we consider finite element meshes with tetrahedral and prismatic elements that have badly-shaped elements-tetrahedra with dihedral angles close to 0^∘ and 180^∘, and slender prisms with triangular faces that have short edges-and agglomerate such `bad' elements with neighboring elements to form a larger polyhedral virtual element. On each element of the mesh, the element-eigenvalue inequality is used to obtain an estimate of the critical time step. For a suite of illustrative finite element meshes with ϵ being a mesh-coordinate parameter that leads to poor mesh quality, we show that adopting VEM on the agglomerated polyhedra yield critical time steps that are insensitive as ϵ→ 0. This study shows the promise of virtual element technology for reliable explicit finite element elastodynamic simulations on low-quality three-dimensional meshes.

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