This paper formulates the flat-top partition of unity (PU)-based numerical manifold method (NMM). Through modifying the finite element PU into the flat-top PU, the linear dependence problem involved in finite element PU-based high-order polynomial approximations has been successfully alleviated. Moreover, the procedure to construct the flat-top PU is substantially simplified by taking full advantage of the unique features of the NMM, compared to that in other flat-top PU-based methods. The proposed method could also be treated as an improved version of the discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA) by completely avoiding the additional strategies previously used to enforce the displacement compatibility between adjacent elements. The formulations are presented in details for 1-D, 2-D and 3-D cases. The discrete equations of the flat-top PU-based NMM are derived based on the minimum potential energy principle. The simplex integration technique and its variation are employed to evaluate the integration of the matrices of the discrete equations over arbitrarily shaped manifold elements. Seven representative examples have validated the proposed method in the aspects of approximation accuracy and efficiency.
- Numerical manifold method
- Linear dependence problem
- Flat-top partition of unity
- Finite element partition of unity
- High-order polynomial approximation