Thick Plates on Elastic Foundations by Finite Elements

by Otto J. Svec, Intermediate Engr.; R.M. Hardy Assocs. Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 461-477

Document Type: Journal Paper


The plate is subdivided into an assemblage of triangular elements. The triangular plate bending element developed earlier for contact problems is here enriched by shear degrees-of-freedom to include the plate thickness effect. The vertical displacement field of the plate element is approximated by a seventh-degree polynomial, resulting in 33 degrees-of-freedom, while shear is represented by independent linear or cubic polynomials. The total number of degrees-of-freedom for these two types of elements is 39 and 53. The analysis is performed for two different foundation models: (1) A homogeneous isotropic elastic half space; and (2) a Winkler spring model. The contact between the plate and its support is assumed to be frictionless. The contact pressure is approximated by cubic polynomials under each triangular element. A parametric study is performed by varying plate thickness and elastic moduli of the plate and foundation. Results, deformations, and contact stress are presented and analyzed.

Subject Headings: Plates | Contact mechanics | Polynomials | Elastic analysis | Finite element method | Thickness | Elastic foundations | Stress analysis

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