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Section: New Results

2D C1 triangular elements

Participants : Hervé Guillard, Ali Elarif, Boniface Nkonga.

In order to avoid some mesh singularities that arise when using quadrangular elements for complex geometries and flux aligned meshes, the use of triangular elements is a possible option that we have studied in the past years. In particular, we have developped the geometric tools necessary for the construction of Powell-Sabin splines and have applied these methods for the approximation of some simple hyperbolic PDE systems (namely the Euler equation of fluid dynamics [6]). The PhD thesis of Ali Elarif that has begun in october 2017 is devoted to the study of the applicability of these methods to more complex PDE models encountered in plasma physics and to an extension towards other triangular C1 elements (Clough-Tocher elements). The work realized this year has allowed to apply these finite element spaces to the approximation of elliptic equations and to design penalization methods to enforce non-homogeneous Dirichlet boundary conditions. In particular, the use of reduced Clough-Tocher elements has been applied to obtain solution of the free-boundary non-linear Grad-Shafranov equation. The results show that the use of these C1 elements produce results that are smoother than the ones obtained with low order P1 elements.