Vol 71, No 6 (2019)

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p-Extension of C0 continuous mixed finite elements for plane strain gradient elasticity

S. Markolefas, T.K. Papathanasiou, S.K. Georgantzinos

Arch. Mech. 71 (6), 567-593, 2019, DOI: 10.24423/aom.3219

Keywords: dipolar plane strain gradient elasticity; mixed finite elements; p-version; mode I crack problem


A mixed finite element formulation is developed for the general 2D plane strain, linear isotropic gradient elasticity problem. Form II of the dipolar strain gradient theory for micro-structured solids is considered. The main variables are the double stress tensor μ and the displacement field vector u. Standard C0−continuous, high polynomial order hierarchical basis functions are employed for the finite element solution spaces (p-extension). The formulation is numerically validated against the standard axial tension patch test and the Mode I crack problem. The theoretical convergence rates of the uniform h- and p-extensions are confirmed using a benchmark problem where only double stresses appear. Results for the crack problem demonstrate that proper mesh refinement at areas of steep gradients ensures reproduction of the exact solution behaviour at different length scales. More specifically, the asymptotic exponents of the crack face opening displacement and the crack head true stress solutions of the Mode I crack problem are recovered. Finally, the upper bound of the true tensile normal stress near the crack tip is estimated. This upper bound is of major importance since the nature of the exact solution may change radically as we proceed from the macro- to micro-scale.

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