### 2D Finite Elements, An Overview by Kotur Raghavan

1. Broadly, there are two categories of two-dimensional finite elements. They are Flexure Elements and Continuum Elements. Flexure elements, usually referred to as shell elements, have all three translations and all three rotations as displacement fields. On the other hand, continuum elements have only in-plane translations as displacement fields. The present article will focus only on the continuum elements. 2. All finite element packages include 2D continuum elements in the element library. The elements are often called 2D solid elements (for example the element PLANE182 in ANSYS). The formulation aspects of these elements are identical to those pertaining to three dimensional elements and are based on the Theory of Elasticity. The only difference is that the 2D elements have only two displacement fields and the nodes have only two degrees of freedom. 3. Everything in the world is three-dimensional. But geometrical aspects and relative dimensions permit th