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Please suggest good books for nonlinear FEM and mechanics of composite materials


For my project I need to learn nonlinear finite element method (FEM) and composite materials. I am familier with linear FEM. Please suggest me good book for nonlinear FEM which will have good explanation of the subject. Also, please suggest book on composite materials especially having lot of solved examples. I know there are lots of experts in this subject on imechanica, so please give me some suggestions. Thanks. 


Ajay B Harish's picture

A good reference book for Nonlinear Finite Elements could be the book by Prof. Peter Wriggers titled "Nonlinear Finite Element Methods" (Springer link:

Thanks Ajay for your help.

Can anyone suggest book on composite materials especially having lot of solved examples?

Zhigang Suo's picture

Can you be more specific about what you want to learn about composite materials?  Here are two authors coming to my mind:   

Steve Tsai at Stanford pioneered the mechanics of composites.  His books contain many examples of anisotropic elasticity and strength.

Carl Herakovich, of the University of Virginia, has been a major contributor to the mechanics of composites, but I have not studied his book on the subject

Thanks Zhigang Suo.

 I want to study elastic behavior of uni and multidirectional laminates. A book with many worked out problems helps me understand the subjest matter quickly.

Also, if you have studied a good book on nonlinear FEM, please suggest it as well.

Zhigang Suo's picture

In addition to Wriggers book recommended above, the following two books on nonlinear FEM are also excellent:

Bonet and Wood

Belytschko, Liu, Moran (more advanced)

My group uses nonlinear FEA software ABAQUS on daily basis, but we do not do any development of the FEA.  It will be good to hear from the experts on FEA.

Harold S. Park's picture

While my feelings are likely biased on where I went to school, I think the nonlinear FEA book that Zhigang referenced by Belytschko, Liu and Moran is the clearest book out there for understanding the fundamentals of the weak forms, discretization, and linearization for both static and dynamic problems, while written in an accessible, not overly mathematical style (as is the trademark of Ted Belytschko)

There are other nonlinear FEA books out there:  Jurgen Bathe has written a very good book (I believe the book has both linear and nonlinear finite elements discussed:, and Crisfield has written a two-volume series on nonlinear finite elements ( that covers a range of topics (plasticity, continuation methods, contact, friction) for which he is well-known.


Julian J. Rimoli's picture

I have to second this suggestion. The book by Bonet and Wood is very nicely written, explanations are clear, and has plenty of examples (even code!). The book by Belytschko, Liu and Moran is a must have reference but probably too much for a beginner. Bathe's book is always a good reference to have as well though you have to get used to the slightly different notation.

My own piece of advice before engaging into any nonlinear FEM coding, is making sure all basic concepts of classic continuum mechanics are well understood. Towards that end, I highly recommend the book by Tadmor, Miller and Elliot .

Laurence Brassart's picture

A tricky issue that goes along with nonlinear FEA is the integration of constitutive relations at integration points and the computation of algorithmic tangent operators. For plasticity, I warmly recommend the book by E.A. de Souza Neto, D. Peric and D.R.J. Owen: Computational Methods for Plasticity: Theory and Applications, Wiley, 2008

The book is self-contained, very clear and accessible for a newcomer in the field. It gives a lot of numerical details which are often overlooked by other books.

Lihua Jin's picture

It's good to hear the recommendation from FEM experts! Thanks!

I also recommend the book 'The finite element method' by O. C. Zienkiewicz and R. L. Taylor. The book contains three volumes: FEM basis; solid mechanics; fluid mechanics. The book goes to some details which are helpful to me. 

Carl T. Herakovich's picture

Carl T. Herakovich, University of Virginia

I can recommend my book "Mechanics of Fibrous Composites" published by John Wiley in 1998. This book has a number of problems and a solutions book is available.  If Wiley doesn't make the solutions book available let me know.  I should be able to help.

Also, my "Mechanics of composites: A historical review", Vol 41, April 2012  in Mechanics Research Communications has a complete listing of books on composites at the time of publication.

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