A. Pechstein, J. Schöberl:

"An analysis of the TDNNS method using natural norms";

Numerische Mathematik,139(2018), 1; 93 - 120.

The tangential-displacement normal-normal-stress (TDNNS) method is a finite element method for mixed elasticity. As the name suggests, the tangential component of the displacement vector as well as the normal-normal component of the stress are the degrees of freedom of the finite elements. The TDNNS method was shown to converge of optimal order, and to be robust with respect to shear and volume locking. However, the method is slightly nonconforming, and an analysis with respect to the natural norms of the arising spaces was still missing. We present a sound mathematical theory of the infinite dimensional problem using the space H(curl) for the displacement. We define the space H--(divdiv) for the stresses and provide trace operators for the normal-normal stress. Moreover, the finite element problem is shown to be stable with respect to the H(curl) and a discrete H--(divdiv) norm. A-priori error estimates of optimal order with respect to these norms are obtained. Beside providing a new analysis for the elasticity equation, the numerical techniques developed in this paper are a foundation for more complex models from structural mechanics such as Reissner Mindlin plate equations, see Pechstein and Schöberl (Numerische Mathematik 137(3):713-740, 2017).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00211-017-0933-3

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