Conforming boundary elements in plane elasticity for shape design sensitivity

Sunil Saigal, R. Aithal, J. H. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The structural design sensitivity analysis of a two‐dimensional continuum using conforming (continuous) boundary elements is investigated. Implicit differentiation of the discretized boundary integral equations is performed to obtain design sensitivities in an efficient manner by avoiding the factorization of the perturbed matrices. A singular formulation of the boundary element method is used. Implicit differentiation of the boundary integral equations produces terms that contain derivatives of the fundamental solutions employed in the analysis. The behaviour of the singularity of these derivatives of the boundary element kernel functions with respect to the design variables is investigated. A rigid body motion technique is presented to obtain the singular terms in the resulting sensitivity matrices, thus avoiding the problems associated with their numerical integration. A formulation for obtaining the design sensitivities of the continua under body forces of the gravitational and centrifugal types is also presented. The design sensitivity results are seen to be of the same order of accuracy as the boundary element analysis results. Numerical data comparing the performance of conforming and non‐conforming formulations in the calculation of design sensitivities are also presented. The accuracy of the present results is demonstrated through comparisons with existing analytical results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2795-2811
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • General Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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