Boundary Elements in Stress Analysis

by Carlos A. Brebbia, Sr. Lect.; Univ. of Southampton, Southampton, England,
Roberto Nakaguma, Research Engr.; Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas, Sao Paulo, Brazil,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 55-69

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper describes the application of a new technique called boundary elements, to elastostatics problems. The method is well suited to solve three-dimensional problems, as it reduces them to boundary solutions, i.e. only elements on the boundary need to be defined. This results in a much smaller system of equations and considerable reduction in the data required to solve a problem. The method is also of great interest for soil-structure interaction problems because it permits the analysis of the infinite and semi-infinite domains, such as the soil. In this paper, the boundary elements are presented as a special case of weighted residuals and as such they are not difficult to relate to finite elements or other domain methods. Thus, boundary elements can be combined with finite elements in general-purpose programs. This paper describes three-dimensional elastostatic applications of the method using constant elements.

Subject Headings: Stress analysis | Finite element method | Boundary element method | Soil analysis | Domain boundary | Soil structures | Soil-structure interaction | Permits

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