Viet Anh Nguyen, Manfred Zehn, Dragan Marinković

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Co-rotational finite element (FE) formulations can be seen as a very efficient approach to resolving geometrically nonlinear problems in the field of structural mechanics. A number of co-rotational FE formulations have been well documented for shell and beam structures in the available literature. The purpose of this paper is to present a co-rotational FEM formulation for fast and highly efficient computation of large three-dimensional elastic deformations. On the one hand, the approach aims at a simple way of separating the element rigid-body rotation and the elastic deformational part by means of the polar decomposition of deformation gradient. On the other hand, a consistent linearization is introduced to derive the internal force vector and the tangent stiffness matrix based on the total Lagrangian formulation. It results in a non-linear projector matrix. In this way, it ensures the force equilibrium of each element and enables a relatively straightforward upgrade of the finite elements for linear analysis to the finite elements for geometrically non-linear analysis. In this work, a simple 4-node tetrahedral element is used. To demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of the proposed formulation, nonlinear results from ABAQUS are used as a reference.


Co-rotational FEM, Tetrahedral Element, Projector Matrix, Polar Decomposition, Newton-Raphson-Method

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