Finite volume methods for elasticity with weak symmetry
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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We introduce a new cell‐centered finite volume discretization for elasticity with weakly enforced symmetry of the stress tensor. The method is motivated by the need for robust discretization methods for deformation and flow in porous media and falls in the category of multi‐point stress approximations (MPSAs). By enforcing symmetry weakly, the resulting method has flexibility beyond previous MPSA methods. This allows for a construction of a method that is applicable to simplexes, quadrilaterals, and most planar‐faced polyhedral grids in both 2D and 3D, and in particular, the method amends a convergence failure in previous MPSA methods for certain simplex grids. We prove convergence of the new method for a wide range of problems, with conditions that can be verified at the time of discretization. We present the first set of comprehensive numerical tests for the MPSA methods in three dimensions, covering Cartesian and simplex grids, with both heterogeneous and nearly incompressible media. The tests show that the new method consistently is second order convergent in displacement, despite being the lowest order, with a rate that mostly is between 1 and 2 for stresses. The results further show that the new method is more robust and computationally cheaper than previous MPSA methods.