A new robust quadrilateral four-node variable kinematics plate element for composite structures

Abstract : This paper presents a new four-node quadrilateral finite element for composite plates. A large number of displacement-based, variable kinematics plate models are formulated in the framework of Carrera's Unified Formulation, which encompass Equivalent Single Layer as well as Layer-Wise models with a displacement field that is defined by polynomials up to 4th order along the thickness direction z. The main novelty consists in the formulation of a field compatible approximation for the transverse shear strain field, referred to as QC4 interpolation, which eliminates the shear locking pathology by constraining only the z − constant transverse shear strain terms. Extensive numerical studies are proposed that demonstrate the absence of spurious modes and of locking problems as well as the enhanced robustness with respect to distorted element shapes in comparison to classical isoparametric approaches. The new QC4 variable kinematics plate element displays excellent convergence rates under different boundary and loading conditions, and it yields accurate displacement and stresses for both, thick and thin composite plates.
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T.H.C. Le, M. d'Ottavio, P. Vidal, O. Polit. A new robust quadrilateral four-node variable kinematics plate element for composite structures. Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, Elsevier, 2017, 133, pp.10-24. ⟨hal-01981927⟩

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