A symmetric mixed finite element method for nearly incompressible elasticity based on biorthogonal systems



We present a symmetric version of the nonsymmetric mixed finite element method presented in (Lamichhane, ANZIAM J 50 (2008), C324–C338) for nearly incompressible elasticity. The displacement–pressure formulation of linear elasticity is discretized using a Petrov–Galerkin discretization for the pressure equation in (Lamichhane, ANZIAM J 50 (2008), C324–C338) leading to a non-symmetric saddle point problem. A new three-field formulation is introduced to obtain a symmetric saddle point problem which allows us to use a biorthogonal system. Working with a biorthogonal system, we can statically condense out all auxiliary variables from the saddle point problem arriving at a symmetric and positive-definite system based only on the displacement. We also derive a residual based error estimator for the mixed formulation of the problem. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Numer Methods Partial Differential Eq, 2012