A survey of recent shell finite elements

Henry T.Y. Yang, S. Saigal, A. Masud, R. K. Kapania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

265 Scopus citations


Since the mid-1960s when the forms of curved shell finite elements were originated, including those pioneered by Professor Gallagher, the published literature on the subject has grown extensively. The first two present authors and Liaw presented a survey of such literature in 1990 in this journal. Professor Gallagher maintained an active interest in this subject during his entire academic career, publishing milestone research works and providing periodic reviews of the literature. In this paper, we endeavor to summarize the important literature on shell finite elements over the past 15 years. It is hoped that this will be a befitting tribute to the pioneering achievements and sustained legacy of our beloved Professor Gallagher in the area of shell finite elements. This survey includes: the degenerated shell approach; stress-resultant-based formulations and Cosserat surface approach; reduced integration with stabilization; incompatible modes approach; enhanced strain formulations; 3-D elasticity elements; drilling d.o.f. elements; co-rotational approach; and higher-order theories for composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-127
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 10 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • General Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Composite shells
  • Degenerated shell elements
  • Enhanced strain formulation
  • Hourglass control
  • Shell finite element


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