Published in Computational Mechanics Vol. 55 (3), pp. 543-559, 2015
Low-order finite elements face inherent limitations related to their poor convergence properties. Such difficulties typically manifest as mesh-dependent or excessively stiff behaviour when dealing with complex problems. A recent proposal to address such limitations is the adoption of mixed displacement-strain technologies which were shown to satisfactorily address both problems. Unfortunately, although appealing, the use of such element technology puts a large burden on the linear algebra, as the solution of larger linear systems is needed. In this paper, the use of an explicit time integration scheme for the solution of the mixed strain-displacement problem is explored as an alternative. An algorithm is devised to allow the effective time integration of the mixed problem. The developed method retains second order accuracy in time and is competitive in terms of computational cost with the standard irreducible formulation.