An improved stress recovery technique for low-order 3D finite elements

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In this paper, we propose a stress recovery procedure for low-order finite elements in 3D. For each finite element, the recovered stress field is obtained by satisfying equilibrium in an average sense and by projecting the directly calculated stress field onto a conveniently chosen space. Compared with existing recovery techniques, the current procedure gives more accurate stress fields, is simpler to implement, and can be applied to different types of elements without further modification. We demonstrate, through a set of examples in linear elasticity, that the recovered stresses converge at a higher rate than that of directly calculated stresses and that, in some cases, the rate of convergence is the same as that of the displacement field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-103
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Finite element analysis
  • Low-order 3D finite elements
  • Post-processed stress
  • Stress convergence
  • Stress recovery

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