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Meshing in Matlab using PDEToolbox

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Hrishikesh Das
Hrishikesh Das on 17 Jul 2020
Commented: Prakhar Sharma on 10 Jan 2022
I am using the PDEToolbox to model structural strain in a thin plate subjected to tension. The model is a 2D model as the thickness of the plate is ignored. I am using a linear relation between stress and strain. I want to genetate a mesh like this (picture) for the analysis of my plate. When I use the inbuilt generatemesh function in MatLab it automatically creates a triangular mesh for the entire geometry. How can I generate a mesh like this? Please help.
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Prakhar Sharma
Prakhar Sharma on 10 Jan 2022
@Hrishikesh Das Heyy. You're solving the same strip footing in computational plasticity which I solved during my time at Swansea university. Actually, my faculty (Prof. D. Peric) is one of the authors of this wonderful book. If you still need some help feel free to ask.
For this problem, the authors used their own written FEA package called Rockfield Elfen ( However, this kind of mesh can be easily created in ANSYS or in FEniCSx(open source).
Just remember when you solve the problem, apply symmetry BC along the left side so as to represent the whole load. I highly suggest you not to try this plasticity problem on MATLAB PDE toolbox. Plasticity PDEs are highly complicated and they need very specialised algorithm (elastic predictor and plastic corrector algorithm) to solve the PDE.

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Answers (1)

Alan Weiss
Alan Weiss on 20 Jul 2020
As the generateMesh page states, PDE Toolbox uses a triangular mesh in 2-D and a tetrahedral mesh in 3-D. This is also stated on the Get Started with Partial Differential Equation Toolbox page: "You can automatically generate meshes with triangular and tetrahedral elements." Even if you tried to set a different type of mesh somehow, the solvers in PDE Toolbox work only for triangular or tetrahedral meshes. Sorry, that's all you can do with PDE Toolbox.
Alan Weiss
MATLAB mathematical toolbox documentation

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