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MCE 561 Computational Methods in Solid Mechanics Nonlinear Issues. Nonlinear FEA. Many problems of engineering interest involve nonlinear behavior. Such behavior commonly arises from the following three sources:. Nonlinear Material Behavior

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MCE 561 Computational Methods in Solid Mechanics Nonlinear Issues

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MCE 561 Computational Methods in Solid Mechanics

Nonlinear Issues

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Nonlinear FEA

Many problems of engineering interest involve nonlinear behavior. Such behavior commonly arises from the following three sources:

  • Nonlinear Material Behavior

  • This is one of the most common forms of nonlinearity, and would include nonlinear elastic, plastic, and viscoelastic behavior. For thermal problems, a temperature dependent thermal conductivity will produce nonlinear equations.

  • Large Deformation Theory (Geometric Nonlinearity)

  • If a continuum body under study undergoes large finite deformations, the strain-displacement relations will become nonlinear. Also for structural mechanics problems under large deformations, the stiffness will change with deformation thus making the problem nonlinear. Buckling problems are also nonlinear.

  • Nonlinear Boundary or Initial Conditions

  • Problems involving contact mechanics normally include a boundary condition that depends on the deformation thereby producing a nonlinear formulation. Thermal problems involving melting or freezing (phase change) also include such nonlinear boundary conditions.

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Features of Nonlinear FEA Problems

  • While Linear Problems Always Have a Unique Solution, Nonlinear Problems May Not

  • Iterative/Incremental Solution Methods Commonly Used on Nonlinear Problems May Not Always Converge or They May Converge To The Wrong Solution

  • The Solution To Nonlinear Problems May Be Sensitive To Initial and/or Boundary Conditions

  • In General Superposition and Scalability Will Not Apply To Nonlinear Problems

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Example Nonlinear Problems Material Nonlinearity

Nonlinear Stress-Strain Behavior

Elastic/Plastic Stress-Strain Behavior

This behavior leads to an FEA formulation with a stiffness response that depends on the deformation

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Simple Truss

Under Large Deformation Truss Has a Different Geometry Thus Implying a New Stiffness Response

Undeformed Configuration

Example Nonlinear Problems Large Deformation

Finite Deformation Lagrangian Strain-Displacement Law

Large Deflection Beam Bending

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Example Nonlinear Problems Contact Boundary Conditions



No ContactNo Contact Force

Initial ContactLeads to New Boundary Condition With Contact Force

Evolving ContactBoundary Condition Changing With Deformation; i.e. w and pcDepend on Deformation and Load

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Nonlinear FEA ExampleTemperature Dependent Conductivity

Hence Nonlinearity in Both Stiffness Matrix and Loading Vector

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Solution Techniques for Nonlinear Problems

  • Since Direct Inversion of the Stiffness Matrix Is Impossible, Other Methods Must Be Used To Solve Nonlinear Problems

  • Incremental or Stepwise Procedures

  • Iterative or Newton Methods

  • Mixed Step-Iterative Techniques

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Solution ToK(u)u=F

Solution ToK(u)u=F










Concave Ku-u Relation - Divergence

Convex Ku-u Relation - Convergence

Direct Iteration Method

Method is based on making successive approximations to solution using the previous value of u to determine K(u)

Therefore nonlinear solution methods may result in no converged solution

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