1.2 About this document
This document is a part of a set of three manuals that accompany FEBio: the FEBio User's Manual, describing how to use FEBio, the FEBio Developer's Manual for users who wish to modify or add features to the code, and this manual, which describes the theory behind most of the FEBio algorithms.
The purpose of this manual is to provide theoretical background on many of the algorithms that are implemented in FEBio. In this way the user can develop a better understanding of how the program works and how it can be used to create well defined biomechanical simulations. The authors have tried to be as detailed as possible to make the text coherent and comprehensible, but due to the complexity of some of the topics, some descriptions only skim the surface. Many of the theoretical ideas discussed in this manual can and have filled entire bookshelves. The explanations contained herein should be sufficient to give the reader a basic understanding of the theoretical developments. References to textbooks and the primary literature are provided for further reading.
Chapter 2↓ starts with a brief overview of some of the important concepts in continuum mechanics. Readers who are already familiar with this field can skip this chapter, although the material may be useful to get familiar with the notation and terminology used in this manual.
Chapter 3↓ describes the nonlinear finite element method. It also explains the Newton-Raphson method, which is the basis for most implementations of the nonlinear finite element method. A more specialized version of this algorithm, the BFGS method, is described as well since it is used in FEBio.
In Chapter 4↓ the different element types that are available in FEBio are described in detail. FEBio currently supports 3D solid elements, such as the linear hexahedral, pentahedral and tetrahedral elements, as well as quadrilateral and triangular shell elements.
Chapter 5↓ contains a detailed description of the material models in FEBio. Most of these models are based on hyperelasticity, which is introduced in chapter 2. Several transversely isotropic materials are described as well. This also discusses the biphasic material and its implementation in FEBio.
Chapter 7↓ describes the basics of the theory of contact and coupling. In FEBio the user can connect the different parts of the geometry in a variety of ways. There are rigid interfaces where a deformable model is attached to a rigid model, rigid joints where two or more rigid bodies connect, and sliding interfaces where two surfaces are allowed to separate and slide across each other but are not allowed to penetrate. The various contact and coupling algorithms are discussed as well together with their implementation in FEBio.