Membrane Element - Membrane elements are used to represent thin surfaces in space that offer strength in the plane of the element but have no bending stiffness.
Plate Element - The plate element is one of the more important structural elements and is used to model and analyze such structures as pressure vessels, chimney stacks, and automobile parts.
Shell Element - Shell elements are used to model structures in which one dimension, the thickness, is significantly smaller than the other dimensions.
Note: Shell elements are different from plate
elements in that:
– They carry membrane AND bending forces
– They can be curved
PLane Strain/stress Element - They must be positioned in the model XY -plane, i.e., the Z coordinate of the element nodes must be zero. Loading F must act in the plane of the element.