Reissner Mixed Variational Theorem for Ritz Sublaminate Generalized Unified Formulation
Abstract: This thesis is about the development of a new numerical method for the analysis of composite shells. The present work is based on Reissner Mixed Variational Theorem (RMVT), the Sublaminate Generalized Unified Formulation (S-GUF), and the Ritz approximation. The present work investigates a more efficient way to compute transverse stresses (sigma_xz, sigma_yz, sigma_zz) based upon RMVT, allowing assigning their order of continuity a priori. This is a great advantage compared to a conventional displacement-based approach. In order to enable computing of both global and local responses (depending on the user’sneeds) the S-GUF framework was adopted. The Generalized Unified Formulation (GUF) enables the implementation of approximations with virtually unlimited algebraic order within a single code, and the order could also vary for different variables. In addition to the GUF, the concept of Sublaminate was utilized, allowing for sub-sectioning of the domain in the thickness direction into sublaminates, and it is then possible to apply different formulations in each of these sub-domains. The curvature of the shells is strictly defined by their radius-to- thickness ratio. The flexibility of S-GUF is helpful in the sense that curvature is only introduced and treated if needed by the particular case at hand. The governing equations obtained applying S-GUF to RMVT were solved in a weak formulation using the Ritz approximation. This choice was made to save computational time, which is one of the main benefits of the presented method. Validation of the code was made by comparing results from the present formulation with solutions available in the literature. Good to excellent agreement was found for several benchmark cases, supporting that the formulation is valid and provides reliable solutions.Finally, numerical and analytical considerations about the developed method were made: its numerical stability, how to tune its parameters, and which models result more correct from an analytical standpoint.
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