Finite elements software and applications
The contents of this thesis are a detailed study of the software for the finite element method. In the text, the finite element method is introduced from both the engineering and mathematical points of view. The computer implementation of the method is explained with samples of mainframe, mini- and micro-computer implementations. A solution is presented for the problem of limited stack size for both mini- and micro-computers which possess stack architecture. Several finite element programs are presented. Special purpose programs to solve problems in structural analysis and groundwater flow are discussed. However, an efficient easy-to-use finite element program for general two-dimensional problems is presented. Several problems in groundwater flow are considered that include steady, unsteady flows in different types of aquifers. Different cases of sinks and sources in the flow domain are also considered. The performance of finite element methods is studied for the chosen problems by comparing the numerical solutions of test problems with analytical solutions (if they exist) or with solutions obtained by other numerical methods. The polynomial refinement of the finite elements is studied for the presented problems in order to offer some evidence as to which finite element simulation is best to use under a variety of circumstances.