Practical Introduction to Non-Linear Finite Element Analysis

Practical Introduction to Non-Linear Finite Element Analysis

2-day training course on 6th & 7th October

This non-linear Finite Element course is intended for delegates interested in learning how finite elements are used to analyse advanced non-linear problems, difficulties encountered in modelling real-life applications and guidelines for using non-linear finite element technology.

The objectives of this Finite Element course are:

  • To provide delegates with an introduction to the fundamental theory of non-linear Finite Element analysis.
  • To highlight the possible difficulties that may be encountered in using finite element software to analyse non-linear problems.

Who Should Attend?

This course is aimed at engineers and scientists who want to gain an understanding of the fundamental theory of non-linear finite element analysis, solution accuracy, difficulties and application to practical problems.

As this is an advanced finite element course, a pre-requisite for this course is a reasonable knowledge of linear finite element theory and applications. However, no prior knowledge of non-linear finite element theory is required. The course is independent of any finite element software code.

Technical Content

Brief Overview of Linear Finite Element analysis

A brief overview of linear Finite Element formulation, numerical algorithms, etc. to provide a foundation for the non-linear formulation.

General Introduction to Non-linear problems

Classifications of non-linear problems, Comparison of linear and non-linear Finite Element analysis, Non-linear algorithms and procedures, Difficulties in modelling non-linear problems.


Basic plasticity theory, Uniaxial and multi-axial plasticity, Work hardening and cycle loading, Finite Element treatment of plasticity, Solution strategy and accuracy, Discussion of typical practical plasticity applications.

Creep and Visco-elasticity

Basic theory of creep, niaxial and multiaxial creep therory, time and strain hardening,  Explicit and implicit time integrations, Discussion of typical practical creep applications.

Contact Problems

Basic theory of contact mechanics, classification of contact configurations, Hertzian and non-Hertzian contact problems, Finite Element contact algorithms, Penalty methods and Lagrange multipliers, Difficulties in modelling contact problems, Tips and guidelines, Discussion of practical contact problems.

Geometric Non-linearity

Basic theory of geometric non-linearity, GNL stress-strain definitions, Finite Element algorithms for geometric non-linearities, buckling problems, Arc-length and line-search methods, Solution strategy and accuracy, Discussion of typical GNL problems.

Brief introduction to other advanced Finite Element Applications

A brief overview of fracture mechanics, fatigue analysis, thermo-mechnical problems, viscoelastic materials (polymers, plastics, rubbers), explicit finite element codes.


To be confirmed in Coventry



PSE Competencies addressed by this training course

IDCompetence Statement
PLASkn1For a beam under pure bending sketch the developing stress distribution from first yield, to collapse.
PLASkn2For a simple steel thick cylinder or sphere under internal pressure, state the location of first yield.
PLASkn7Sketch a stress-strain curve for an elastic-perfectly plastic and bi-linear hardening material showing elastic
and plastic modulii.
PLASco1Discuss salient features of the inelastic response of metals.
PLASco2Explain the terms Isotropic Hardening, Kinematic Hardening and Rate Independency.
PLASco3Discuss the role of the Hydrostatic and Deviatoric Stress Components in yield criteria for isotropic,
polycrystalline solids.
PLASco7Explain the phenomenon of Shakedown and define the term Shakedown Load.
PLASco8Contrast the terms Ratchetting and Low Cycle Fatigue.
PLASco11Explain how plastic effects in a Finite Element system are commonly handled as a series of incremental
iterative linear analyses
PLASco12Explain, in general terms, the function of the Mises Flow Rule or Prandtl - Reuss Equations, used in a
finite element solver.
PLASco13Outline how the cumulative and incremental displacements, total strains, elastic strains, elastic stresses
and plastic strains are related.
PLASco14Illustrate typical examples of Local Plastic Deformation and Gross Plastic Deformation.
PLASco16Explain the significance of a Hysteresis Loop in a load/deflection test.
PLASco23Describe the Bauschinger Effect.
PLASco27Explain the process of Stress Redistribution.
PLASco28Describe the process and common purpose of Autofrettage.
PLASap4Use FEA to illustrate Shakedown for a range of components/structures and actions.
PLASap5Use FEA to determine the presence of ratchetting for a range of components and actions.
PLASap7Using standard material data, derive a true stress vs true strain curve to be used for nonlinear analysis.
PLASsy2Plan a series of simple benchmarks in support of a more complex plasticity analysis.
PLASsy4Prepare an analysis specification for a nonlinear material analysis, including modelling strategy, highlighting
any assumptions relating to geometry, loads, etc.
PLASev1Select appropriate solution schemes for non-linear material problems.
PLASev4Assess the significance of simplifying geometry, material models, mass, loads or boundary conditions, on
a non linear material analysis.
Creep and Time Dependency
CTDkn2State the Time Hardening and Strain Hardening Laws, based on Norton s Power Law, for primary creep.
CTDkn3State how typical creep laws depend on temperature.
CTDkn4List the range of creep and time-dependent constitutive models available in any finite element used.
CTDkn5Identify the extent to which your application software allows modification of creep solution parameters.
CTDkn6State the basic definitions of stress relaxation and creep.
CTDco1Describe and illustrate a standard creep curve for steels, highlighting the steady state regime.
CTDco2Using the standard creep curve, describe the effects of (i) increasing stress level and (ii) removing the
CTDco3Describe different ways of presenting creep data.
CTDco4Explain the term Stress Redistribution in a structure subject to creep under load.
CTDco9Contrast the creep solution procedure with the procedure commonly employed for plasticity.
CTDco10Discuss the complexities arising from a multiaxial stress state and illustrate how these are normally handled.
CTDco11Discuss the advantage and validity of using a stiffness matrix that doesn t vary during the creep solution.
CTDco14Explain why it is important to carefully consider the output required from a finite element system for this
type of analysis.
CTDco17Contrast Explicit and Implicit Creep Integration.
CTDco19Describe why a creep analysis is necessary for relevant components in your organisation or sector.
CTDap1Define creep constitutive data as appropriate.
CTDap2Use FEA to obtain creep solutions for a range of typical components.
CTDsy3Prepare an analysis specification for a time dependent analysis, including modelling strategy, highlighting any
assumptions relating to geometry, loads, boundary...
CTDev3Assess the significance of simplifying geometry, material models, mass, loads or boundary conditions, on
a time dependent analysis.
CTDev4Select appropriate solution schemes for time dependent problems.
Nonlinear Geometric Effects and Contact
NGECkn1Identify the contact facilities available in a finite element system, including friction models.
NGECkn2Identify the algorithm used to follow highly non-linear equilibrium paths in a finite element system.
NGECkn3List common categories of geometric non-linearity and contact.
NGECco1Discuss the terms Geometric Strengthening and Geometric Weakening.
NGECco2Explain why load sequencing can give rise to different end results and identify relevant examples.
NGECco3Explain how large displacement effects can be handled as a series of linear analyses.
NGECo5Discuss the term Load Following.
NGECo7Contrast the terms Large Displacement and Large Strains.
NGECo8Discuss the meshing requirements for accurate contact area and contact pressure.
NGECo9Discuss the limitations of contact algorithms available in a finite element system.
NGECo10Discuss the theoretical basis of the contact algorithms available in a finite element system.
NGECo11Explain the challenges of following a highly non-linear equilibrium path with both load control and
displacement control.
NGECo12Contrast the Newton-Raphson method and the Riks arc-length method.
NGECap1Identify whether a system has automatic re-meshing and implement a re-meshing strategy as appropriate, due
to significant distortion of a mesh.
NGECap2Conduct large displacement analyses.
NGECap3Carry out large strain analyses.
NGECap4Use an analysis system to carry out contact analyses.
NGECap6Carry out analyses with load following.
NGECan1Analyse the results from geometrically nonlinear analyses (including contact) and determine whether
they satisfy inherent assumptions.
NGECsy1Plan a series of simple benchmarks in support of a more complex nonlinear analysis.
NGECsy2Plan modelling strategies for geometrically nonlinear problems, including contact.
NGECev1Assess whether Load Following is likely to be required in any analysis.
NGECev2Select appropriate solution schemes for geometrically non-linear problems
Buckling and Instability
BINco3Explain why theoretical Buckling Loads (including those calculated using FEA) often vary significantly from
test values.
BINco5Discuss the snap-through buckling of a shallow spherical shell subjected to a lateral load and explain why a
linear buckling analysis is not appropriate.
BINco13Explain the meaning of Stable Buckling and provide examples.
BINco14Explain the meaning of Unstable Buckling and provide examples.
BINco18Explain when geometric non-linear analysis should be used in a buckling analyses.
BINsy3Plan a series of simple benchmarks in support of a more complex instability analysis.
BINsy4Plan modelling strategies for buckling and instability problems.
BINev2Select appropriate idealisation(s) for a buckling analysis.
BINev3Assess whether a non-linear buckling analysis is necessary.
BINev4Select appropriate solution schemes for buckling problems.



Event Type Training Course
Member Price £600.00 | $755.79 | €667.13
Non-member Price £900.00 | $1133.69 | €1000.69
Tutor: Adib Becker


Start Date End Date Location
06 Oct 202007 Oct 2020Coventry, UK
Practical Introduction to Non-Linear Finite Element Analysis

Discounts available for multiple registrations!

Enquire: or phone +44 (0)1355 225688

Events - Cancellation Policy

Please note NAFEMS cancellation policy for all UK events is as follows:-

  • Cancellation up to 3 weeks before the event date: free of charge;
  • Cancellation up to 1 week before the event date: 75% of registration fee non-refundable;
  • Cancellation up to 1 week before the event date: all seminar credits non-refundable;
  • No show at the event: 100% of registration fee non-refundable;

NAFEMS will discuss the possibility of transferring to an alternative event/course, however an administration charge will be applicable.

This policy is subject to change.

*Special discounts are being made available to members for this course. For more information on joining NAFEMS, please visit our membership section.