About Isogeometric Analysis and the new NURBS-based Finite Elements in LS-DYNA

In the context of isogeometric analysis many research activities have focused on the use of Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines (NURBS). These NURBS-based finite elements have been studied in depth and it has been shown, that they are particularly well suited for computational analysis leading to qualitatively more accurate results in comparison with standard finite elements based on Lagrange polynomials. Due to these motivating results, NURBS-based finite elements are currently implemented into LS-DYNA. This work outlines the basic ideas of isogeometric analysis and gives a short introduction into NURBS basis functions. The new keyword *ELEMENT_NURBS_PATCH_2D available in LS-DYNA is presented together with various possible options, like shell theories with and without rotational degrees of freedom. Preliminary results on the performance of these new elements are studied by means of a sheet metal forming example discussed in the Numisheet conference 2005.