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Finite Element Modeling of Thin Layers

Dan Givoli1
1 Department of AerospaceEngineering and Asher Center for Space ResearchTechnion — Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 32000, Israel
Tel.: +972-4-8292308,Fax: +972-4-8293193

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2004, 5(6), 497-514.


Very thin layers with material properties which significantly differ from those of the surrounding medium appear in a variety of applications. Traditionally there are two extreme ways of handling such layers in finite element analysis: either they are fully modelled or they are totally ignored. The former option is often very expensive computationally, while the latter may lead to significant inaccuracies. Here a special technique of modeling thin layers is devised within the framework of the finite element method. This technique constitutes a prudent compromise between the two extremes mentioned above. The layer is replaced by an interface, namely a line or a surface (withzero thickness) in two-or three-dimensional analyses, respectively. Special jump conditions are imposed on this interface to model the effect of the layer. The method is presented in various configurations and variants, and its performance in one representative two-dimensionalcase is demonstrated via numerical experiments.


Thin layer, Thin Film, Finite Element, Interface, Coating.

Cite This Article

Givoli, D. (2004). Finite Element Modeling of Thin Layers. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 5(6), 497–514.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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