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Hybrid equilibrium finite element formulation for composite beams with partial interaction

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2017, 09:02 by Hugo A.F.A. Santos, Vadim SilberschmidtVadim Silberschmidt
Thanks to their various benefits, composite beams have been increasingly used in various applications. This study will focus on two-layer composite beams with a flexible shear interface between layers. The finite element method, in particular its displacement-based formulation, has been recognized as the most popular method for numerical analysis of composite beams. However, when applied to Timoshenko beams with partial interaction, the displacement-based formulation may suffer from the so-called shear-locking and slip-locking phenomena, leading to erroneous solutions. Hybrid and mixed finite element formulations have been viewed as competitive alternatives, since they naturally avoid locking effects. Special types of these formulations are the so-called equilibrium-based formulations, producing statically admissible solutions. This work introduces for the first time an equilibrium-based finite element formulation for the analysis of Timoshenko composite beams with partial interaction. The formulation relies on a variational principle of complementary energy involving only force/moment-like variables as fundamental unknown fields. The approximate field variables are selected such that all equilibrium equations hold in strong form. The inter-element equilibrium is enforced by resorting to the Lagrangian multiplier method. Unlike traditional displacement-based finite element formulations, the proposed scheme is naturally free from both shear- and slip-locking phenomena. The accuracy and effectiveness of the new formulation is numerically assessed through the analysis of several numerical examples. In particular, the ability of the formulation to model accurately both very flexible and very stiff shear connections is numerically shown.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Composite Structures






646 - 656


SANTOS, H. and SILBERSCHMIDT, V., 2014. Hybrid equilibrium finite element formulation for composite beams with partial interaction. Composite Structures, 108 (1), pp.646-656.


© Elsevier


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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