A fundamental aspect of engineering is the desire to design artifacts that exploit materials to a maximum in terms of performance under working conditions and efficiency of manufacture. Such an activity demands an increasing understanding of the behavior of the artifact in its working environment together with an understanding of the mechanical processes occurring during manufacture.
To be able to achieve these goals it is likely that the engineer will need to consider the nonlinear characteristics associated possibly with the manufacturing process but certainly with the response to working load. Currently, analysis is most likely to involve a computer simulation of the behavior. Because of the availability of commercial finite element computer software, the opportunity for such nonlinear analysis is becoming increasingly realized.
Such a situation has an immediate educational implication because, for computer programs to be used sensibly and for the results to be interpreted wisely, it is essential that the users have some familiarity with the fundamentals of nonlinear continuum mechanics, nonlinear finite element formulations, and the solution techniques employed by the software. This book seeks to address this problem by providing a unified introduction to these three topics.
The style and content of the book obviously reflect the attributes and abilities of the authors. The authors have lectured on this material for a number of years to postgraduate classes, and the book has emerged from these courses. We hope that our complementary approaches to the topic will be in tune with the variety of backgrounds expected of our readers and, ultimately, that the book will provide a measure of enjoyment brought about by a greater understanding of what we regard as a fascinating subject.
The original edition of this book, titled Nonlinear Continuum Mechanics for Finite Element Analysis, published in 1997, contained a chapter on a FORTRAN program implementation of the material in the text, this being freely available at www.flagshyp.com. In 2008 a second edition included new chapters onelasto-plastic behavior of trusses and solids and retained the FORTRAN implementation. It was envisioned that an expanded third edition could include dynamics, although this would involve substantial additional material not suitable to the needs of all readers.