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Finite Element Method with Applications in Engineering by T. L. Eldho, Y. M. Desai

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5.1 INTRODUCTION

As discussed earlier, domain of the problem is discretized into sub-domains or elements as the first step in finite element modelling. Each sub-domain is referred to as finite elements. A field variable is approximated in the next step by using trial functions, which are also known as interpolation or shape functions. These functions are used to form the element property matrix. A subject of utmost importance in a finite element analysis is the selection of a specific finite element for a domain discretization and a definition of the appropriate trial functions within each element. Selection of a particular shape or configuration of element depends on the problem and its dimension. For example, a line element is used for one-dimensional ...

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