Analysis of the discontinuous Petrov-Galerkin method with optimal test functions for the Reissner-Mindlin plate bending model
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We analyze the discontinuous Petrov-Galerkin (DPG) method with optimal test functions when applied to solve the Reissner-Mindlin model of plate bending. We prove that the hybrid variational formulation underlying the DPG method is well-posed (stable) with a thickness-dependent constant in a norm encompassing the L2-norms of the bending moment, the shear force, the transverse deflection and the rotation vector. We then construct a numerical solution scheme based on quadrilateral scalar and vector finite elements of degree p. We show that for affine meshes the discretization inherits the stability of the continuous formulation provided that the optimal test functions are approximated by polynomials of degree p+3. We prove a theoretical error estimate in terms of the mesh size h and polynomial degree p and demonstrate numerical convergence on affine as well as non-affine mesh sequences. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.