A comparison of smooth basis constructions for isogeometric analysis

by   H. M. Verhelst, et al.

In order to perform isogeometric analysis with increased smoothness on complex domains, trimming, variational coupling or unstructured spline methods can be used. The latter two classes of methods require a multi-patch segmentation of the domain, and provide continuous bases along patch interfaces. In the context of shell modeling, variational methods are widely used, whereas the application of unstructured spline methods on shell problems is rather scarce. In this paper, we therefore provide a qualitative and a quantitative comparison of a selection of unstructured spline constructions, in particular the D-Patch, Almost-C^1, Analysis-Suitable G^1 and the Approximate C^1 constructions. Using this comparison, we aim to provide insight into the selection of methods for practical problems, as well as directions for future research. In the qualitative comparison, the properties of each method are evaluated and compared. In the quantitative comparison, a selection of numerical examples is used to highlight different advantages and disadvantages of each method. In the latter, comparison with weak coupling methods such as Nitsche's method or penalty methods is made as well. In brief, it is concluded that the Approximate C^1 and Analysis-Suitable G^1 converge optimally in the analysis of a bi-harmonic problem, without the need of special refinement procedures. Furthermore, these methods provide accurate stress fields. On the other hand, the Almost-C^1 and D-Patch provide relatively easy construction on complex geometries. The Almost-C^1 method does not have limitations on the valence of boundary vertices, unlike the D-Patch, but is only applicable to biquadratic local bases. Following from these conclusions, future research directions are proposed, for example towards making the Approximate C^1 and Analysis-Suitable G^1 applicable to more complex geometries.


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