Nonlinear finite element analysis of shells: Part I. three-dimensional shells

Thomas J R Hughes, Wing Kam Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

447 Scopus citations


A nonlinear finite element formulation is presented for the three-dimensional quasistatic analysis of shells which accounts for large strain and rotation effects, and accommodates a fairly general class of nonlinear, finite-deformation constitutive equations. Several features of the developments are noteworthy, namely: the extension of the selective integration procedure to the general nonlinear case which, in particular, facilitates the development of a 'heterosis-type' nonlinear shell element; the presentation of a nonlinear constitutive algorithm which is 'incrementally objective' for large rotation increments, and maintains the zero normal-stress condition in the rotating stress coordinate system; and a simple treatment of finite-rotational nodal degrees-of-freedom which precludes the appearance of zero-energy in-plane rotational modes. Numerical results indicate the good behavior of the elements studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-362
Number of pages32
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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