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1.Explain "shear locking" effect? Which finite element is prone to shear locking?

should you avoid shear locking? What are the ways to avoid shear locking?


a)The unintentional generation of shearing deformation rather than the

desired bending deformation is actually shear locking.

Shear locking is an error that occurs in finite element analysis due to the
linear nature of quadrilateral elements. The linear elements do not
accurately model the curvature present in the actual material under
bending, and a shear stress is introduced. The additional shear stress in
the element (which does not occur in the actual beam) causes the
element to reach equilibrium with smaller displacements, i.e., it makes
the element appear to be stiffer than it actually is and gives bending
displacements smaller than they should be.

b) shear locking happens mainly with fully integrated linear elements subjected
to bending loads. This problem does not arise under normal or shear loads – occurs only
during loads with bending.

c) If a structure is subject to pure bending moment M, the material distortion happens

as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Material deformation subjected to bending moment M

This of course happens in the actual material. If this is approximated by a linear

element, then the edges of the curve cannot be represented. Figure 2 shows the
deformation characteristics of such an element. The dotted lines are passing through
the integration points.
Figure 2: Deformation of a linear element under bending

The lengths of upper and lower lines have changed indicating that they are under
tensile and compressive loading respectively. But the important observation to be done
here is the change in angle between horizontal and vertical lines. Before bending, it is
90°. Now this has changed. This is an indication that there exists some shear stress at
these points. But theoretically, the shear stress of a material under pure bending must
be zero.

Therefore, this shear stress is referred to as “spurious shear stress” and in FE literature,
the usage of “spurious nodes” can also be observed frequently.

“Spurious shear stress” is induced because the curve is not represented by the element

This means that the material shears instead of bending resulting in lesser deflection
overall. This in turn causes the element to be stiff.

d) By using higher order elements like quadratic elements which can represent the
curve along the edges, the shear locking phenomenon can be avoided.

In general, it is a good practice to stay away from linear elements if there exists a
bending load in your analysis
2. Derive the equation of shape functions for N1 and N5 of a Q8 element using non-dimensional
or natural (ξ, η) coordinates. Make sketches for N1 and N5 to show how the displacement varies
over the element.

Answer :
3. Why we use isoparametric elements in finite element analysis? Write down the expression of a
Jacobian matrix, J. What is the use of Jacobian matrix with respect to a isoparametric element?

Answer :

Isoparametric Elements. is the number of points defining the geometry of the element.