The p-version of the finite element method in incremental elasto-plastic analysis

Stefan M. Holzer, Zohar Yosibash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whereas the higher-order versions of the finite element method (p- and hp-versions) are fairly well established as highly efficient methods for monitoring and controlling the discretization error in linear probblems, little has been done to exploit their benefits in elasto-plastic structural analysis. In this paper, we discuss which aspects of incremental elasto-plastic finite element analysis are particularly amenable to improvements by the p-version. These theoretical considerations are supported by several numerical experiments. First, we study an example for which an analytical solution is available. It is demonstrated that the p-version performs very well even in cycles of elasto-plastic loading and unloading, not only as compared with the traditional h-version but also with respect to the exact solution. Finally, an example of considerable practical importance - the analysts of a cold-working lug - is presented which demonstrates how the modelling tools offered by higher-order finite element techniques can contribute to an improved approximation of practical problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1878
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cold-working
  • Continuum mechanics
  • Elasto-plasticity
  • Finite element method
  • Non-linear problems
  • P-version


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