A paradigm for higher-order polygonal elements in finite elasticity using a gradient correction scheme

Heng Chi, Cameron Talischi, Oscar Lopez-Pamies, Glaucio H. Paulino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies have demonstrated that polygonal elements possess great potential in the study of nonlinear elastic materials under finite deformations. On the one hand, these elements are well suited to model complex microstructures (e.g. particulate microstructures and microstructures involving different length scales) and incorporating periodic boundary conditions. On the other hand, polygonal elements are found to be more tolerant to large localized deformations than the standard finite elements, and to produce more accurate results in bending and shear. With mixed formulations, lower order mixed polygonal elements are also shown to be numerically stable on Voronoi-type meshes without any additional stabilization treatment. However, polygonal elements generally suffer from persistent consistency errors under mesh refinement with the commonly used numerical integration schemes. As a result, non-convergent finite element results typically occur, which severely limit their applications. In this work, a general gradient correction scheme is adopted that restores the polynomial consistency by adding a minimal perturbation to the gradient of the displacement field. With the correction scheme, the recovery of optimal convergence for solutions of displacement-based and mixed formulations with both linear and quadratic displacement interpolants is confirmed by numerical studies of several boundary value problems in finite elasticity. In addition, for mixed polygonal elements, the various choices of the pressure field approximations are discussed, and their performance on stability and accuracy are numerically investigated. We present applications of those elements in physically-based examples including a study of filled elastomers with interphasial effect and a qualitative comparison with cavitation experiments for fiber reinforced elastomers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-251
Number of pages36
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Cavitation
  • Filled elastomers
  • Finite elasticity
  • Gradient correction
  • Mixed variational principle
  • Quadratic polygonal element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications


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