RESEARCH PAPERS: Aerospace: Limitations of FEM in Analysis of Composite Structures

Finite Element Limitations for Orthotropic, Laminated Beam Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
A. R. Zak

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Department, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. 61801

J. Eng. Ind 109(1), 34-38 (Feb 01, 1987) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3187091 History: Received April 01, 1986; Online July 30, 2009


This paper discusses the limitations of the existing finite element beam models for the analysis of orthotropic laminate beam analysis. These limitations are illustrated by comparing the existing models with a finite element model which has recently been developed by the author. This new model overcomes some of the existing limitations and is applicable to thin, laminated beam cross sections which are either open or closed. A simple numerical example is given and discussed comparing the existing theories with the results from the new model. The main limitations of the existing finite element models fall into two categories. The first of these is the problem of accurately modeling stresses in laminated configurations, especially if the orthotropic properties vary from layer to layer. The second difficulty is to model accurately the interaction between various deformations such as, for example, shear and normal strains.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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