What is a node in FEM



engl: node Category: Level 1 Theory Material

In the area of ​​simulation with the finite element method (FEM), a node is a connection point between the elements (the discrete sections) of the component.

In FEM, an approach for sections is selected for the differential equations that describe the component behavior and the connection conditions of these sections are taken into account. The sections are the "finite elements". The shape functions in each element fulfill functional boundary conditions at the nodes of the element.

During the discretization, the nodes establish the connections between the elements.

Degrees of freedom are provided for each node when preparing the FEM calculation. The degrees of freedom are for example


In the solution, a row or column is provided in the overall stiffness matrix for each degree of freedom.

From the element stiffness matrices, the numerical values ​​are then used at those positions of the overall stiffness matrix that result from the degrees of freedom of the nodes of the respective element.

During the evaluation, those of the degrees of freedom are available as primary result values.

Self study

For self-study, a simple example shows in detail how a structural mechanics problem is solved with a model using the finite element method.