A posteriori error estimation for planar linear elasticity by stress reconstruction

Fleurianne Bertrand, Marcel Moldenhauer, Gerhard Starke

Research output: Working paper

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The nonconforming triangular piecewise quadratic finite element space by Fortin and Soulie can be used for the displacement approximation and its combination with discontinuous piecewise linear pressure elements is known to constitute a stable combination for incompressible linear elasticity computations. In this contribution, we extend the stress reconstruction procedure and resulting guaranteed a posteriori error estimator developed by Ainsworth, Allendes, Barrenechea and Rankin \cite{AinAllBarRan:12} and by Kim \cite{Kim:12a} to linear elasticity. In order to get a guaranteed reliability bound with respect to the energy norm involving only known constants, two modifications are carried out: (i) the stress reconstruction in next-to-lowest order Raviart-Thomas spaces is modified in such way that its anti-symmetric part vanishes in average on each element; (ii) the auxiliary conforming approximation is constructed under the constraint that its divergence coincides with the one for the nonconforming approximation. An important aspect of our construction is that all results hold uniformly in the incompressible limit. Local efficiency is also shown and the effectiveness is illustrated by adaptive computations involving different Lam\'e parameters including the incompressible limit case.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • math.NA
  • A posteriori error estimation
  • Linear elasticity
  • P2 nonconforming finite elements
  • Stress recovery
  • Fortin-Soulie elements
  • Raviart-Thomas elements


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