The mixed assumed strain approach proposed by Simo and Rifai is used to derive three 8‐noded hexahedral mixed strain elements. The approach is also generalized to geometrically non‐linear problems. Based on the Galerkin form of Hu‐Washizu three field variational principle, the Green‐Lagrange strain tensor and the second Piola‐Kirchhoff stress tensor (symmetric) are employed to develop the geometrically non‐linear formulation for 2D and 3D mixed enhanced strain elements. Numerical results are presented to show that the resulting hexahedral mixed strain elements possess all the ideal qualities. They are able to pass the patch test, do not exhibit the false shear phenomena and do not lock for nearly incompressible materials. Also, they are less sensitive to distorted meshes than standard isoparametric elements and exhibit high accuracy for both linear and non‐linear problems, permitting coarse discretizations to be utilized. The elements developed in this paper have been implemented in the general purpose FE package LUSAS.
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