A finite element to model thin inhomogeneities in solids

Pellicane, P.J.

Forest products journal 42(1): 50-52


ISSN/ISBN: 0015-7473
Accession: 002283616

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Information is presented regarding a finite element that could be of great value in modeling the stress-strain behavior in many glued wood products. Of particular interest is the application of this element to the problem of modeling the stress distribution in finger-joint joined structural lumber subjected to axial tensile loads. The interface element consists of four nodes and is of zero thickness. However, the actual glueline thickness is represented by a term in the element stiffness matrix. This element has been used in applications involving geotechnical engineering and structural engineering with high-strength composites, and has been found to be an important innovation in modeling thin inhomogeneities in materials. The element presented herein overcomes the difficulties encountered with traditionally used elements (plane-stress and linear springs). The interface element discussed in this paper obviates the difficulties of numerical inaccuracies associated with large aspect ratios in planar elements, and the mathematical singularities found in spring elements.