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Abstract

The accuracy of certain thick plate elements when used in the context of thin plate problems can be improved by the use of reduced integration of the stiffness matrices. A series of numerical experiments on five different quadrilateral thick plate elements demonstrates the use of reduced integration and indicates the main reason for its success. This is the relaxation of a constraint on the shear strains. It is shown that the performance of a nine-noded Lagrangian element is near optimal.