Enhanced solution control for physically and geometrically non-linear problems. Part 1 - The subplane control approach.

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Geometrically or physically non-linear problems are often characterized by the presence of critical points with snapping behaviour in the structural response. These structural or material instabilities usually lead to inefficiency of standard numerical solution techniques. Special numerical procedures are therefore required to pass critical points. This paper presents a solution technique which is based on a constraint equation that is defined on a subplane of the degrees-of-freedom (dof's) hyperspace or a hyperspace constructed from specific functions of the degrees-of-freedom. This unified approach includes many existing methods which have been proposed by various authors. The entire computational process is driven from only one control function which is either a function of a number of degrees-of-freedom (local subplane method) or a single automatically weighted function that incorporates all dof's directly or indirectly (weighted subplane method). The control function is generally computed in many points of the structure, which can be related to the finite element discretization. Each point corresponds to one subplane. In the local subplane method, the subplane with the control function that drives the load adaptation is selected automatically during the deformation process. Part I of this two-part series of papers fully elaborates the proposed solution strategy, including a fully automatic load control, i.e. load estimation, adaptation and correction. Part II presents a comparative analysis in which several choices for the control function in the subplane method are confronted with classical update algorithms. The comparison is carried out by means of a number of geometrically and physically non-linear examples. General conclusions are drawn with respect to the efficiency and applicability of the subplane solution control method for the numerical analysis of engineering problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-204
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 1999


  • Arc-length control
  • Automated solution control
  • Path following technique
  • Subplane method


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