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Penalty hexahedral element formulation for flexoelectric solids based on consistent couple stress theory

AbstractThis work proposes a penalty 20‐node hexahedral element for size‐dependent electromechanical analysis based on the consistent couple stress theory. The nodal rotation degrees of freedom (DOFs) are used to approximate the mechanical rotation, meeting the C1 requirement in a weak sense by using the penalty function method, and to effectively enhance the standard isoparametric interpolation for determining the displacement test function. The normalized stress functions that satisfy the relevant equilibrium equation and strain compatibility equation a priori are employed to formulate the stress trial function. Since the element has only three displacement, three rotation and the electric potential DOFs per node, it has relatively simple formulation and can be readily incorporated into the existing finite element program. Several benchmarks are examined and the results demonstrate that the new element has good numerical accuracy and captures the size dependence effectively. In addition, the influence of the micro‐inertia on electromechanical dynamic responses of flexoelectric solids at small scale are analyzed using the proposed element. It is shown that the nature frequency decreases with the increase of micro‐inertia and in general, the influences are more obvious on higher order modes.

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<scp>Tensor</scp> product decomposed multi‐material isogeometric topology optimization with explicit <scp>NURBS</scp> element stiffness computation

AbstractBased on the explicit stiffness computation formula of NURBS (non‐uniform rational B‐splines) element and tensor product decomposed explicit filter, a novel multi‐material isogeometric topology optimization (MMITO) method is put forward to generate multi‐material structures efficiently. The explicit NURBS element stiffness computation formula is: derived from the Bėzier extraction operator under the combination of scaled and rotational geometric transformations between NURBS elements, and the stiffness matrices of NURBS elements can be computed by the stiffness matrix of a Bėzier element without resorting to the time‐consuming integral procedure. As the presented MMITO is a nested optimization framework, we apply the explicit filtering technique to update the multi‐phase design variables efficiently in combination with the tensor product decomposition method. With the decomposed weight matrices of the filter and the explicit form of the NURBS stiffness matrix, we obtain the equivalent but much simplified preprocessing procedure and sensitivity analysis for the MMITO method. A comprehensive set of multi‐material numerical examples are optimized to verify that, while improving the preprocessing efficiency and reducing the memory overhead, the present MMITO scheme is able to generate semblable two‐dimensional and three‐dimensional multi‐material structures with identical structural performance to the traditional scheme. Therefore, the proposed MMITO method is a promising approach to optimizing multi‐material structures.

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On the stability of mixed polygonal finite element formulations in nonlinear analysis

AbstractThis article discusses the accuracy and stability of the pressure field in nonlinear mixed displacement‐pressure finite element formulations in solid mechanics. We focus on two‐dimensional mixed polygonal finite element formulations with linear displacement and constant pressure approximations in particular. The inf‐sup stability of these formulations is assessed and compared with classical mixed finite element formulations. An analytical proof is presented, which concludes that the occurrence of spurious pressure modes depends on the chosen meshing strategy. It is shown that these spurious modes are successfully suppressed on any Voronoi mesh in both linear elasticity and nonlinear hyperelasticity without the need for any kind of stabilization. Several linear and nonlinear nearly‐incompressible examples with different discretization strategies and boundary conditions are considered to validate the analytical proof. A mixed polygonal finite element formulation based on the scaled boundary parameterization is used to approximate the field variables, however, the derivations presented herein hold for any lowest‐order mixed polygonal finite element formulation. The nonexistence of checkerboard modes on linear elastic Voronoi discretizations is shown graphically. By evaluating the incremental pressure in each Newton–Raphson iteration, the stabilization effect of the Voronoi discretization is demonstrated for nonlinear problems. In addition, the analytical proof is validated by the numerical (generalized) inf‐sup test.

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Reduced model for fracture of geometrically exact planar beam: Non‐local variational formulation, ED‐FEM approximation and operator split solution

SummaryIn this work, we present a novel reduced model for computing the solution to a bending fracture problem of the geometrically exact beam. The Reissner model is chosen for representing the large elastic and large plastic deformations of such a beam model. The non‐local variational formulation is proposed to deal with the softening phenomena characteristic of fracture. The fracture energy is introduced as the main fracture parameter, rather than (in general) ill‐defined characteristic length used for previous non‐local models. The discrete approximation is built in terms of the embedded‐discontinuity finite element method (ED‐FEM), which needs no initial crack for optimal performance nor detailed crack kinematics description, such as in the X‐FEM or the phase‐field approach. This kind of approach builds upon the best approximation property of the FEM discrete approximation in the energy norm and provides the best‐approximation property for the dissipated energy computations, and thus optimal computational accuracy if the quantity of interest is inelastic dissipation. The computations are carried out by the operator split method, which separates the computations of global state variables (displacements and stress) from local (internal) variables including the crack opening. Several illustrative examples are provided to confirm an excellent performance of the proposed methodology.

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A semi‐hybrid‐mixed method for Stokes–Brinkman–Darcy flows with H(div)‐velocity fields

SummaryWe consider new semi‐hybrid‐mixed finite element formulations for Stokes–Brinkman problems. Using ‐conforming approximate velocity fields, the continuity of normal components over element interfaces is taken for granted, and pressure is searched in discontinuous spaces preserving the divergence compatibility property. Tangential continuity is weakly imposed by a Lagrange multiplier playing the role of tangential traction. The method is strongly mass‐conservative, leading to exact divergence‐free simulations of incompressible flows. The Lagrange multiplier space requires specific choices according to the velocity approximations implemented in each element geometry. In certain cases, classic divergence‐compatible pairs adopted for Darcy flows may require divergence‐free bubble enrichment to enforce tangential continuity in some extent, avoiding any extra stabilization technique. Considerable improvement in computational performance is achieved by the application of static condensation: the global system is solved only for a piecewise constant pressure variable, velocity normal trace and tangential traction over interfaces. The remaining solution components are recovered by solving independent local Neumann problems in each element. Numerical results are presented for a set of standard test cases in the field of Stokes–Brinkman–Darcy flows with known analytical solutions. The main convergence properties of the method are verified in the whole range of parameters, from Stokes to Darcy limits, as well as for the combined Stokes–Darcy scenario. The robustness of the method is also demonstrated for more challenging test problems with complex non‐conforming meshes with local refinement patterns as well as for curved geometry.

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Single‐field identification of inclusions and cavities in an elastic medium

AbstractThe inverse problem of identifying a small unknown inclusion or cavity in an elastic medium is considered. Important applications are structural damage identification, medical imaging and geophysical exploration; the latter is the focus of the present investigation. It is assumed that the (isotropic but possibly heterogeneous) material properties of the medium are known, except for the presence of a small inclusion of a different material or of a small cavity. The goal is to find the location, size and shape of the inclusion or cavity. Identification is performed using full waveform inversion (FWI) and the adjoint method for the efficient calculation of the gradient of the misfit function. The identification is accomplished by considering a single unknown material‐property field. The inclusion manifests itself in the inverse solution as a local region where the unknown material property becomes significantly different than the known background property. The limiting case of cavity identification requires special treatment in the minimization process to avoid failure, as Bürchner et al. showed empirically for the scalar wave equation. Their ‐scaling approach, whose success is explained mathematically here for the first time, is extended to elastodynamics. The performance of the proposed method is demonstrated via numerical examples, involving two geophysical models: a homogeneous model and the heterogeneous Marmousi model, which is a standard testing model in geophysical research.

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ADER discontinuous Galerkin Material Point Method

AbstractThe first‐order accurate discontinuous Galerkin Material Point Method (DGMPM), initially introduced by Renaud et al. (J Comput Phys. 2018;369:80–102.), considers a solid body discretized by a collection of material points carrying the history of the matter, embedded in an arbitrary grid on which a nodal discontinuous Galerkin approximation is defined, and that serves to solve balance equations. This method has been shown to be promising, especially for solving hyperbolic problems in finite deforming solids (Renaud et al. Int J Numer Methods Eng. 2020;121(4):664–689. Renaud et al. Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng. 2020;365:112987.). The main goal of this research is to extend the first‐order DGMPM to arbitrary high‐order accurate approximations. This is performed by adapting the ADER (Arbitrary high order DErivative Riemann problem) approach (Busto et al. Front Phys. 2020;8:32.) to the particular spatial discretization of the DGMPM. First, the predictor step permits to design a particle‐to‐grid projection of arbitrary high order of accuracy, consistent with that of the nodal discontinuous Galerkin approximation defined on the arbitrary grid. This is performed using a moving least square approximation for the ADER predictor field. Second, since the degrees of freedom of the predictor field are now defined at material points, the computation of the constitutive response of the material is ensured to be always performed at these material points. This is of crucial importance for history‐dependent constitutive models because it avoids any diffusive transfer of internal variables on a new computational grid. Finally, a total Lagrangian formulation of equations is kept, which allows to precompute once and for all both the nodal discontinuous Galerkin approximation and that of the ADER predictor field, until the arbitrary grid is discarded if required. The method is illustrated on a few two‐dimensional numerical examples, on which comparisons are shown with the ADER‐DGFEM and Runge–Kutta‐DGFEM.

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An efficient solid shell material point method for large deformation of thin structures

AbstractThe standard material point method (MPM) encounters severe numerical difficulties in simulating shell structures. In order to overcome the shortcomings of locking effects, the discretization size of background grid should be small enough, usually smaller than 1/5 of the shell thickness, which however will lead to prohibitive computational cost. A novel solid shell material point method (SSMPM) is proposed to efficiently model the large deformation of thin structures. The SSMPM describes the material domain of shell structures by shell particles with hexahedral particle domains. The locking treatments of solid shell element are then introduced in SSMPM, which results in the correction of strain field throughout the shell thickness. Namely, the assumed natural strain (ANS) method is adopted to eliminate the shear locking and trapezoidal locking, while the enhanced assumed strain (EAS) method is employed to eliminate the thickness locking. With the precise description of bending modes, a single layer of particles and a coarse background grid could be used in shell structure simulations with the SSMPM, which dramatically increases the computational efficiency. A local multi‐mesh contact method is presented to naturally couple SSMPM and MPM for the contact situations of shells with other objects. Several numerical examples, including beam vibration, pinched cylinder with free edges and full hemispherical shell, are performed to verify and validate the SSMPM, which shows that the SSMPM considerably outperforms the standard MPM in these situations. A fluid–structure interaction problem and the penetration of a thin plate are investigated based on the contact method and the results are in good agreement with those in the literature.

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