A new mortar formulation for modeling elastomer bedded structures with modal-analysis in 3D

Thomas Horger, Stefan Kollmannsberger, Felix Frischmann, Ernst Rank, Barbara Wohlmuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: It is a well-known fact that cross-laminated timber structures are sensitive to rumbling noises. These transmissions are best captured by a fully three-dimensional mathematical model. Since the discretization of such models with hexahedral elements in a conforming manner is highly complex, we chose the mortar method to reduce the algorithmic complexity for the mesh generation. Moreover we consider high-order finite elements in order to deal with the high aspect ratios in three-dimensionally resolved, cross-laminated walls and slabs. The geometric models and material specification was derived from a building information model. Methods: This paper derives a new mortar formulation designed to replace an explicitely discretized elastomer with a new coupling condition. To this end, tailored Robin conditions are applied at the interface as coupling conditions instead of the more standard continuity constraints. Having demonstrated the suitability of the mortar method for high order finite elements, we proceed with the derivation of the dimensional reduced model with the new coupling condition and to show its stability by numerical experiments. We then test the performance of the new formulation on benchmark examples and demonstrate the engineering relevance for practical applications. Results: The newly derived mortar formulation performs well. We tested the new formulation on fully three-dimensional examples of engineering relevance discretized by high-order finite elements up to degrees of p=10 and found the reproduction of both eigenvalues and eigenmodes to be accurate. Moreover, the mortar method allows for a significant reduction in the algorithmic complexity of mesh generation while simultaneously reducing the overall computational effort. Conclusion: The newly derived modified mortar method for replacing an elastomer layer is not only an academically interesting variant but is capable of solving problems of practical importance in modal-analysis of cross-laminated timber structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalAdvanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Cross laminated timber structures
  • Eigenvalue problem
  • High-order finite elements
  • Modal-analysis
  • Mortar method
  • Weak coupling


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