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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Francisco M. Andrade Pires and Chenfeng Li

203

Abstract

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Zhi Li, Song Cen and Chenfeng Li

The purpose of this paper is to extend a recent unsymmetric 8-node, 24-DOF hexahedral solid element US-ATFH8 with high distortion tolerance, which uses the analytical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend a recent unsymmetric 8-node, 24-DOF hexahedral solid element US-ATFH8 with high distortion tolerance, which uses the analytical solutions of linear elasticity governing equations as the trial functions (analytical trial function) to geometrically nonlinear analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the assumption that these analytical trial functions can still properly work in each increment step during the nonlinear analysis, the present work concentrates on the construction of incremental nonlinear formulations of the unsymmetric element US-ATFH8 through two different ways: the general updated Lagrangian (UL) approach and the incremental co-rotational (CR) approach. The key innovation is how to update the stresses containing the linear analytical trial functions.

Findings

Several numerical examples for 3D structures show that both resulting nonlinear elements, US-ATFH8-UL and US-ATFH8-CR, perform very well, no matter whether regular or distorted coarse mesh is used, and exhibit much better performances than those conventional symmetric nonlinear solid elements.

Originality/value

The success of the extension of element US-ATFH8 to geometrically nonlinear analysis again shows the merits of the unsymmetric finite element method with analytical trial functions, although these functions are the analytical solutions of linear elasticity governing equations.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Francisco M. Andrade Pires and Chenfeng Li

114

Abstract

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2019

Song Cen, Cheng Jin Wu, Zhi Li, Yan Shang and Chenfeng Li

The purpose of this paper is to give a review on the newest developments of high-performance finite element methods (FEMs), and exhibit the recent contributions achieved…

235

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give a review on the newest developments of high-performance finite element methods (FEMs), and exhibit the recent contributions achieved by the authors’ group, especially showing some breakthroughs against inherent difficulties existing in the traditional FEM for a long time.

Design/methodology/approach

Three kinds of new FEMs are emphasized and introduced, including the hybrid stress-function element method, the hybrid displacement-function element method for Mindlin–Reissner plate and the improved unsymmetric FEM. The distinguished feature of these three methods is that they all apply the fundamental analytical solutions of elasticity expressed in different coordinates as their trial functions.

Findings

The new FEMs show advantages from both analytical and numerical approaches. All the models exhibit outstanding capacity for resisting various severe mesh distortions, and even perform well when other models cannot work. Some difficulties in the history of FEM are also broken through, such as the limitations defined by MacNeal’s theorem and the edge-effect problems of Mindlin–Reissner plate.

Originality/value

These contributions possess high value for solving the difficulties in engineering computations, and promote the progress of FEM.

Article
Publication date: 4 September 2018

Muhannad Aldosary, Jinsheng Wang and Chenfeng Li

This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of uncertainty quantification methods supported by evidence-based comparison studies. Uncertainties are widely…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of uncertainty quantification methods supported by evidence-based comparison studies. Uncertainties are widely encountered in engineering practice, arising from such diverse sources as heterogeneity of materials, variability in measurement, lack of data and ambiguity in knowledge. Academia and industries have long been researching for uncertainty quantification (UQ) methods to quantitatively account for the effects of various input uncertainties on the system response. Despite the rich literature of relevant research, UQ is not an easy subject for novice researchers/practitioners, where many different methods and techniques coexist with inconsistent input/output requirements and analysis schemes.

Design/methodology/approach

This confusing status significantly hampers the research progress and practical application of UQ methods in engineering. In the context of engineering analysis, the research efforts of UQ are most focused in two largely separate research fields: structural reliability analysis (SRA) and stochastic finite element method (SFEM). This paper provides a state-of-the-art review of SRA and SFEM, covering both technology and application aspects. Moreover, unlike standard survey papers that focus primarily on description and explanation, a thorough and rigorous comparative study is performed to test all UQ methods reviewed in the paper on a common set of reprehensive examples.

Findings

Over 20 uncertainty quantification methods in the fields of structural reliability analysis and stochastic finite element methods are reviewed and rigorously tested on carefully designed numerical examples. They include FORM/SORM, importance sampling, subset simulation, response surface method, surrogate methods, polynomial chaos expansion, perturbation method, stochastic collocation method, etc. The review and comparison tests comment and conclude not only on accuracy and efficiency of each method but also their applicability in different types of uncertainty propagation problems.

Originality/value

The research fields of structural reliability analysis and stochastic finite element methods have largely been developed separately, although both tackle uncertainty quantification in engineering problems. For the first time, all major uncertainty quantification methods in both fields are reviewed and rigorously tested on a common set of examples. Critical opinions and concluding remarks are drawn from the rigorous comparative study, providing objective evidence-based information for further research and practical applications.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 April 2022

Shuai Shu, Thomas Elliot Mitchell, Megan Rhian Rosemary Wiggins, Sizeng You, Hywel Thomas and Chenfeng Li

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, ventilation in a small cabin where social distancing cannot be guaranteed is extremely important. This study aims to find out the…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, ventilation in a small cabin where social distancing cannot be guaranteed is extremely important. This study aims to find out the best configuration of open and closed windows in a moving car at varying speeds to improve the ventilation efficiency. The effectiveness of other mitigation measures including face masks, taxi screens and air conditioning (AC) systems are also evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

Each window is given three opening levels: fully open, half open and fully closed. For a car with four windows, this yields 81 different configurations. The location of virus source is also considered, either emitting from the driver or from the rear seat passenger. Then three different travelling speeds, 5 m/s, 10 m/s and 15 m/s, are examined for the window opening/closing configurations that provide the best ventilation effect. A study into the effectiveness of face masks is realised by adjusting virus injection amounts; and the simulation of taxi screens and AC system simply requires a small modification to the car model.

Findings

The numerical studies identify the top window opening/closing configurations that provide the most efficient ventilation at different moving speeds, along with a comprehensive ranking list. The results show that fully opening all windows is not always the best choice. Simulations evaluating other mitigation measures confirm good effect of face masks and poor performance of taxi screens and AC systems.

Originality/value

This work is the first large-scale numerical simulation and parametric study about different window opening/closing configurations of a moving car. The results provide useful guides for travellers in shared cars to mitigate Covid-19 transmission risks. The findings are helpful to both individuals' health and society's recovery in the Covid-19 era and they also provide useful information to protect people from other respiratory infectious diseases such as influenza.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 March 2021

Jinsheng Wang, Muhannad Aldosary, Song Cen and Chenfeng Li

Normal transformation is often required in structural reliability analysis to convert the non-normal random variables into independent standard normal variables. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Normal transformation is often required in structural reliability analysis to convert the non-normal random variables into independent standard normal variables. The existing normal transformation techniques, for example, Rosenblatt transformation and Nataf transformation, usually require the joint probability density function (PDF) and/or marginal PDFs of non-normal random variables. In practical problems, however, the joint PDF and marginal PDFs are often unknown due to the lack of data while the statistical information is much easier to be expressed in terms of statistical moments and correlation coefficients. This study aims to address this issue, by presenting an alternative normal transformation method that does not require PDFs of the input random variables.

Design/methodology/approach

The new approach, namely, the Hermite polynomial normal transformation, expresses the normal transformation function in terms of Hermite polynomials and it works with both uncorrelated and correlated random variables. Its application in structural reliability analysis using different methods is thoroughly investigated via a number of carefully designed comparison studies.

Findings

Comprehensive comparisons are conducted to examine the performance of the proposed Hermite polynomial normal transformation scheme. The results show that the presented approach has comparable accuracy to previous methods and can be obtained in closed-form. Moreover, the new scheme only requires the first four statistical moments and/or the correlation coefficients between random variables, which greatly widen the applicability of normal transformations in practical problems.

Originality/value

This study interprets the classical polynomial normal transformation method in terms of Hermite polynomials, namely, Hermite polynomial normal transformation, to convert uncorrelated/correlated random variables into standard normal random variables. The new scheme only requires the first four statistical moments to operate, making it particularly suitable for problems that are constraint by limited data. Besides, the extension to correlated cases can easily be achieved with the introducing of the Hermite polynomials. Compared to existing methods, the new scheme is cheap to compute and delivers comparable accuracy.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 38 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2018

Bin Chen, Song Cen, Andrew R. Barron, D.R.J. Owen and Chenfeng Li

The purpose of this paper is to systematically investigate the fluid lag phenomena and its influence in the hydraulic fracturing process, including all stages of fluid-lag…

1104

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically investigate the fluid lag phenomena and its influence in the hydraulic fracturing process, including all stages of fluid-lag evolution, the transition between different stages and their coupling with dynamic fracture propagation under common conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

A plane 2D model is developed to simulate the complex evolution of fluid lag during the propagation of a hydraulic fracture driven by an impressible Newtonian fluid. Based on the finite element method, a fully implicit solution scheme is proposed to solve the strongly coupled rock deformation, fluid flow and fracture propagation. Using the proposed model, comprehensive parametric studies are performed to examine the evolution of fluid lag in various geological and operational conditions.

Findings

The numerical simulations predict that the lag ratio is around 5% or even lower at the beginning stage of hydraulic fracture under practical geological conditions. With the fracture propagation, the lag ratio keeps decreasing and can be ignored in the late stage of hydraulic fracturing for typical parameter combinations. On the numerical aspect, whether the fluid lag can be ignored depends not only on the lag ratio but also on the minimum mesh size used for fluid flow. In addition, an overall mixed-mode fracture propagation factor is proposed to describe the relationship between diverse parameters and fracture curvature.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, relatively simple physical models such as linear elasticity for solid, Newtonian model for fluid and linear elasticity fracture mechanics for fracture are used. The current model does not account for such effects like leak off, poroelasticity and softening of rock formations, which may also visibly affect the fluid lag depending on specific reservoir conditions.

Originality/value

This study helps to understand the effect of fluid lag during hydraulic fracturing processes and provides numerical experience in dealing with the fluid lag with finite element simulation.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 35 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Yi Bao, Song Cen and Chenfeng Li

A simple shape-free high-order hybrid displacement function element method is presented for precise bending analyses of Mindlin–Reissner plates. Three distortion-resistant…

Abstract

Purpose

A simple shape-free high-order hybrid displacement function element method is presented for precise bending analyses of Mindlin–Reissner plates. Three distortion-resistant and locking-free eight-node plate elements are proposed by utilizing this method.

Design/methodology/approach

This method is based on the principle of minimum complementary energy, in which the trial functions for resultant fields are derived from two displacement functions, F and f, and satisfy all governing equations. Meanwhile, the element boundary displacements are determined by the locking-free arbitrary order Timoshenko’s beam functions. Then, three locking-free eight-node, 24-DOF quadrilateral plate-bending elements are formulated: HDF-P8-23β for general cases, HDF-P8-SS1 for edge effects along soft simply supported (SS1) boundary and HDF-P8-FREE for edge effects along free boundary.

Findings

The proposed elements can pass all patch tests, exhibit excellent convergence and possess superior precision when compared to all other existing eight-node models, and can still provide good and stable results even when extremely coarse and distorted meshes are used. They can also effectively solve the edge effect by accurately capturing the peak value and the dramatical variations of resultants near the SS1 and free boundaries. The proposed eight-node models possess potential in engineering applications and can be easily integrated into commercial software.

Originality/value

This work presents a new scheme, which can take the advantages of both analytical and discrete methods, to develop high-order mesh distortion-resistant Mindlin–Reissner plate-bending elements.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 October 2018

Yan Shang, Song Cen, Zheng-Hua Qian and Chenfeng Li

This paper aims to propose a simple but robust three-node triangular membrane element with rational drilling DOFs for efficiently analyzing plane problems.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a simple but robust three-node triangular membrane element with rational drilling DOFs for efficiently analyzing plane problems.

Design/methodology/approach

This new element is developed within the general framework of unsymmetric FEM. The element test functions are determined by using a conforming displacement field which is slightly different with the classical Allman’s interpolations, while a self-equilibrated stress field formulated based on the analytical airy stress solutions is adopted as the trial functions. To ensure the correctness between the drilling DOFs and the true rotations in elasticity, reasonable constraints are introduced through the penalty function method. Moreover, the special quadrature strategy is used for operating related integrations for future enrichment of element behavior.

Findings

Numerical benchmark tests reveal that this new triangular membrane element has exceptional prediction capabilities. In particular, this element can correctly reproduce a rigid body rotation motion and correctly undertake the external in-plane twisting moments; thus, it is a reasonable choice for being used to formulate flat shell elements or to be connected with other kind of elements with physical rotational DOFs.

Originality/value

This work provides a new approach for developing high-performance lower-order elements with simple formulations and good numerical accuracies.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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