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A brief survey is presented of finite element methods developed for simulating the nonlinear transient response of structures and fluid-structure systems exposed to fast dynamic loading. Explicit time-stepping methods appear to be ideally suited for tracing the transient response in situations, such as those describing wave propagation, where high-frequency signals play an important role. They are of an extremely simple algorithmic structure, offer an easy treatment of material and geometric nonlinearities, and are computationally attractive in that few operations are required per time step, since no system solver is needed. When used in conjuction with an automatic rezone algorithm, the ALE kinematic description allows an elegant treatment of the hydrodynamic domain and easily handles fluid-structure coupling. Recent progress in the development of generalised Galerkin methods for solving advection and hyperbolic equations has allowed an improvement in the reliability and accuracy of finite element computations of flow problems. Finally, it is clear that the recent impressive progress in computer technology and, in particular, the availability of massively parallel processors will further enhance the efficiency of finite element simulations of complex engineering problems in the near future.

Additional information

Authors: DONEA J, JRC Ispra (IT);HALLEUX J P, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Finite Elements in the 1990s (1991) pp. 163-171
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