Strain gradient differential quadrature Kirchhoff plate finite element with the C2 partial compatibility

Bo Zhang, Heng Li, Liulin Kong, Xu Zhang, Huoming Shen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper constructs a four-node Kirchhoff plate element considering dilatation, deviatoric stretch and rotation gradient effects to address the general boundary value problems of size-dependent isotropic thin micro-plates. This element benefits from the merits of differential quadrature method (DQM) and finite element method (FEM) and possesses four nodal displacement parameters at each node, i.e., deflection, its two first partial derivatives and one second mixed partial derivative with respect to two in-plane coordinates. To guarantee the C2 partial compatibility among neighboring elements, we establish a novel DQ-based geometric mapping scheme relating the deflection values at Gauss-Lobatto quadrature points to the displacement parameters at four nodes. By applying the DQ rule, the Gauss-Lobatto quadrature rule and the developed mapping scheme, the total potential energy of a generic gradient-elastic Kirchhoff plate element is represented as a function of nodal displacement parameters. The element formulation is derived using the minimum total potential energy principle. Several numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the validity of the proposed method and explore the static bending, free vibration and critical buckling behavior of thin micro-plates. It is validated that the size-dependence of vibration and critical buckling mode shapes of thin micro-plates can be observed in some cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103879
JournalEuropean Journal of Mechanics, A/Solids
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • Differential quadrature method
  • Finite element method
  • Four-node Kirchhoff plate element
  • Gradient effects
  • Thin micro-plates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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