One of the major limitations of the conventional Ritz method is its difficulty in implementation to the differential equations with natural boundary conditions at the boundary points/lines. Plates involving free edges/corners and irregularly shaped plates are two historical and classical examples which show that their solutions cannot be accurately approximated by the conventional Ritz method. To solve this difficulty, a simple, novel, and accurate Ritz formulation is introduced in this paper. It is revealed that the proposed methodology can produce much better accuracy than the conventional Ritz method for rectangular plates involving free edges/corners and skew plates.

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