Shear Jump in ‘Plate Bending’ Structures and other Problems

Cheng Yung Ming, Law Chi Wai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reinforced concrete structures such as pile caps, raft footings and transfer plates are thick bending plate structures which can conveniently be analysed and designed by the finite element method. Based on the experience of many engineers and the previous studies by the authors, it is found that there are various limitations to the commonly used elements and programmes for thick plate problems which require special attention. With reference to some recent surprising results from commercial programmes, the accuracy and efficiency of some popular elements for problems with highly irregular mesh are studied, and the phenomenon of the surprising ‘shear jump’ is investigated in this paper. It is found that even though many popular programmes can give good results to the ‘standard’ problems with regular finite element mesh, the accuracy of these programmes for irregular meshes needs further investigation and study. A range of mesh of varying densities, element sizes and thickness-to-plate length ratios are used to test the thick plate problems under irregular mesh, and the results indicate that ‘shear jump’ is mostly related to a mesh with a mixture of triangular and quadrilateral elements. It is recommended that greater care must be exercised when an irregular mesh is generated and used for analysis, and engineers should examine carefully the output results before the reinforcement design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalHKIE Transactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Finite Element
  • Shear Jump
  • Shear Locking
  • Thick Plate
  • Thin Plate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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