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What element type should be used in finite element modelling of welded structures?

   

Finite element codes usually provide both 'structural' and 'continuum' elements. Structural elements (e.g. beams and shells) are normally used to predict the distribution of membrane and bending stresses in systems of beam-like and shell-like components (e.g. car panels and lattice frames). Where this is possible, structural elements are normally more efficient/economic than continuum elements. The stress distributions near stress concentrations (e.g. fillets) should be predicted using continuum elements (if they are needed) because the structural elements would not predict the correct stresses.

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