An assessment of least squares finite element models with applications to problems in heat transfer and solid mechanics
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Research is performed to assess the viability of applying the least squares model to one-dimensional heat transfer and Euler-Bernoulli Beam Theory problems. Least squares models were developed for both the full and mixed forms of the governing one-dimensional heat transfer equation along weak form Galerkin models. Both least squares and weak form Galerkin models were developed for the first order and second order versions of the Euler-Bernoulli beams. Several numerical examples were presented for the heat transfer and Euler- Bernoulli beam theory. The examples for heat transfer included: a differential equation having the same form as the governing equation, heat transfer in a fin, heat transfer in a bar and axisymmetric heat transfer in a long cylinder. These problems were solved using both least squares models, and the full form weak form Galerkin model. With all four examples the weak form Galerkin model and the full form least squares model produced accurate results for the primary variables. To obtain accurate results with the mixed form least squares model it is necessary to use at least a quadratic polynominal. The least squares models with the appropriate approximation functions yielde more accurate results for the secondary variables than the weak form Galerkin. The examples presented for the beam problem include: a cantilever beam with linearly varying distributed load along the beam and a point load at the end, a simply supported beam with a point load in the middle, and a beam fixed on both ends with a distributed load varying cubically. The first two examples were solved using the least squares model based on the second order equation and a weak form Galerkin model based on the full form of the equation. The third problem was solved with the least squares model based on the second order equation. Both the least squares model and the Galerkin model calculated accurate results for the primary variables, while the least squares model was more accurate on the secondary variables. In general, the least-squares finite element models yield more acurate results for gradients of the solution than the traditional weak form Galkerkin finite element models. Extension of the present assessment to multi-dimensional problems and nonlinear provelms is awaiting attention.
Pratt, Brittan Sheldon (2008). An assessment of least squares finite element models with applications to problems in heat transfer and solid mechanics. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from