Use of graded finite elements to model the behavior of nonhomogeneous materials

M. H. Santare, J. Lambros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A finite element with a spatially varying material property’ field is fomnilated and compared to a conventional, homogeneous element for solving boundary value problems involving continuously nonhomogeneous materials. The particular element studied is a two-dimensional plane stress element with linear interpolation and an exponential material property gradient. However, the main results are applicable to other types of elements and property gradients. Exact solutions for a finite rectangular plate subjected to either uniform displacement or traction either perpendicular or parallel to the property gradient are used as the basis for comparison. The results show that for identical meshes with equal number of degrees-of-freedom, the graded elements give more accurate local stress values than conventional elements in some boundary value problems, while in other problems the reverse is true.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-822
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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