Modeling spanwise nonuniformity in the cross-sectional analysis of composite beams
Ho, Jimmy Cheng-Chung
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Spanwise nonuniformity effects are modeled in the cross-sectional analysis of beam theory. This modeling adheres to an established numerical framework on cross-sectional analysis of uniform beams with arbitrary cross-sections. This framework is based on two concepts: decomposition of the rotation tensor and the variational-asymptotic method. Allowance of arbitrary materials and geometries in the cross-section is from discretization of the warping field by finite elements. By this approach, dimensional reduction from three-dimensional elasticity is performed rigorously and the sectional strain energy is derived to be asymptotically-correct. Elastic stiffness matrices are derived for inputs into the global beam analysis. Recovery relations for the displacement, stress, and strain fields are also derived with care to be consistent with the energy. Spanwise nonuniformity effects appear in the form of pointwise and sectionwise derivatives, which are approximated by finite differences. The formulation also accounts for the effects of spanwise variations in initial twist and/or curvature. A linearly tapered isotropic strip is analyzed to demonstrate spanwise nonuniformity effects on the cross-sectional analysis. The analysis is performed analytically by the variational-asymptotic method. Results from beam theory are validated against solutions from plane stress elasticity. These results demonstrate that spanwise nonuniformity effects become significant as the rate at which the cross-sections vary increases. The modeling of transverse shear modes of deformation is accomplished by transforming the strain energy into generalized Timoshenko form. Approximations in this transformation procedure from previous works, when applied to uniform beams, are identified. The approximations are not used in the present work so as to retain more accuracy. Comparison of present results with those previously published shows that these approximations sometimes change the results measurably and thus are inappropriate. Static and dynamic results, from the global beam analysis, are calculated to show the differences between using stiffness constants from previous works and the present work. As a form of validation of the transformation procedure, calculations from the global beam analysis of initially twisted isotropic beams from using curvilinear coordinate axes featuring twist are shown to be equivalent to calculations using Cartesian coordinates.