Essential boundary conditions and multi-point constraints in finite element analysis

M. Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The application of boundary conditions and other constraints to the stiffness matrix and load vector is an integral part of any finite element code. This process is usually trivial but can present difficulties to the point where some codes disallow certain combinations of commonly occurring boundary conditions. A general approach to this problem is presented and applied to representative examples. Necessary and sufficient conditions are obtained under which constraints can be applied sequentially. Bounds are obtained for the condition number of the reduced system showing it is essentially the same as for the original problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6323-6339
Number of pages16
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2001


  • finite element analysis
  • multi-point constraints


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