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Manoj Chopade

Roll No : 21
ME Design (II Semester)

Shear locking Phenomenon
May 2014
How Does Finite Element Analysis
The mathematical representation of
the physical system in FEM is by
using nodes and elements.
The process of creating nodes and
elements is said as discretization or
The number of degrees of freedom
in each node depends on the
element type.
As the FEM model has finite DOF as
against infinite DOF in actual
structure, FEM solutions are
approximate and FEM model is
Shear locking Phenomenon

Error called locking and how it is being overcome
by the commercial FEA codes.

In spite of providing approximate solutions to
problems which cannot be solved analytically, there
are some situations for which convergence is poor in

Locking means the effect of a reduced rate of
convergence in dependence of a critical parameter.
eg.slenderness of the plate in case of transverse
shear locking.

Because of locking , wrong displacements , false
stresses, spurious natural frequencies are

Shear locking occurs on use of fully integrated
linear elements that are subjected to pure bending.
The formulation of these elements promotes shear
strains that do not really exist

Shear locking:
Timoshenko beam theory works for all l/d ratio
whereas Bernoullie beam theory works for only large
values of l/d ratio.
In thick beams , shear deformation becomes
predominant and Bernoullis theory wont give
accurate result.
Shear locking occurs in elements which account for
shear deformation ,when these elements are used in
modeling bending predominant beams .

Shear locking occurs in elements which account for shear
deformation ,when these elements are used in modeling bending
predominant beams .
A Cantilever beam
subjected to loading at the
free end is analysed with
the following properties :

Youngs Modulus = 200
Poissons Ratio = 0.3

Ansys Element SOLID 45
and SOLID 185 is

L/d ratio = 25 L/d ratio = 5
The beam is meshed such that there are 4 elements in height , 10 elements along
the length and 1 element along the width.

The analytical solution for the tip deflection in case of a
cantilever problem is calculated from

P= Force acting on the tip of the beam, L= Length of the beam (span) , E= Modulus of elasticity , I = Area moment of inertia
The Answer obtained analytically for a cantilever beam of
L/D ratio 25 is 0.312 cm
The free end deflection obtained from SOLID45 is 0.308
cm whereas from SOLID185 element the tip deflection is
found to be 0.1514 cm.

The difference between the results is due to shear locking
and it is not an approximation error.

] ) ( 10 . 0 71 . 0 1 [
2 3
Shear Locking
For a Beam in Pure Bending the shear strain is Zero

Tip deflection values in cm L/D
SOLID 45 % Error SOLID185

1. 25 0.3128 0.308 50.8% 0.3328
2. 20 0.16028 0.1578 39.6% 0.1705
3. 15 0.0677 0.0667 26.68% 0.0720
4. 10 0.02014 0.0196 26.28% 0.0214
5. 5 0.002569 0.002523 6.8% 0.002757
Compression Sheet

Interpretation of the results :
It is clear from the table, as the beam thickness
increases (as shear becomes predominant) the error
is minimized.

The error in the tip deflection values of bending
predominant beams is due to Shear locking.

References :
Finite Element Analysis by C.S.Krishnamoorthy , IIT ,
Strength of Materials- Elementary theory and problems
by Stephen Timoshenko
Eric Quili Sun, Shear locking and hourglassing in MSC
Nastran, Abaqus and Ansys