New Element Models in Discrete Structural Analysis
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A family of new element models in discrete structural analysis is proposed in this paper. These models consist of finite number of small rigid bodies connected with springs distributed over the contact area of two neighbouring bodies. In general size of stiffness matrices of these element are at most (6×6) which are equal to or even smaller than 1/2 of those of conventional finite elements so that considerable reduction of computing time can be expected. Effectiveness of these elemets in nonlinear structural analysis will be demonstrated by several numerical examples.