Effect Of Cross-sectional Nonlinearities On Anisotropic Strip-based Mechanisms
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The goal of this work is to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive analysis of single and multi-body composite strip-beam systems using an asymptotically-correct geometrically nonlinear theory. The comprehensiveness refers to the two distinguishing features of this work, namely the unified framework for the analysis and the inclusion of the usually ignored cross-sectional nonlinearities in thin-beam and multi-beam analyses. The first part of this work stitches together an approach to analyse generally anisotropic composite beams. Based on geometrically exact nonlinear elasticity theory, the nonlinear 3-D beam problem splits into either a linear (conventionally considered) or nonlinear (considered in this work) 2-D analysis of the beam cross-section and a nonlinear 1-D analysis along the beam reference curve. The two sub-tasks of this work (viz. nonlinear analysis of the beam cross-section and nonlinear beam analysis) are accomplished on a single platform using an object-oriented framework. First, two established nonlinear cross-sectional analyses (numerical and analytical), both based on the Variational-Asymptotic Method (VAM), are invoked. The numerical analysis is capable of treating cross-sections of arbitrary geometry and material distributions and can capture certain nonlinear effects such as the trapeze effect. The closed-form analytical analysis is restricted to thin rectangular cross-sections for generally anisotropic composites but captures ALL cross-sectional nonlinearities, and not just the well-known Brazier and trapeze effects. Second, the well-established geometrically-exact nonlinear 1-D governing equations along the beam reference curve, after being generalized to utilize the expressions for nonlinear stiffness matrix, are solved using the mixed variational finite element method. Finally, local 3-D stress, strain and displacement fields for representative sections in the beam are recovered, based on the stress resultants from the 1-D global beam analysis. This part of the work is then validated by applying it to an initially twisted cantilevered laminated composite strip under axial force. The second part is concerned with the dynamic analysis of nonlinear multi-body systems involving elastic strip-like beams made of laminated, anisotropic composite materials using an object-oriented framework. In this work, unconditionally stable time-integration schemes presenting high-frequency numerical dissipation are used to solve the ensuing governing equations. The codes developed based on such time-integration schemes are first validated with the literature for two standard test cases: non-linear spring mass oscillator and pendulum. In order to apply the comprehensive analysis code thus developed to a multi-body system, the four-bar mechanism is chosen as an example. All component bars of the mechanism have thin rectangular cross-sections and are made of fiber reinforced laminates of various types of layups. They could, in general, be pre-twisted and/or possess initial curvature, either by design or by defect. They are linked to each other by means of revolute joints. Each component of the mechanism is modeled as a beam based on the first part of this work. Results from this analysis are compared with those available in the literature, both theoretical and experimental. The margins between the linear and non-linear results are evaluated specifically due to the cross-sectional nonlinearities and shown to vary with stacking sequences. This work thus demonstrates the importance of geometrically nonlinear cross-sectional analysis of certain composite beam-based four-bar mechanisms in predicting system dynamic characteristics. To enable graphical visualization, the behavior of the four-bar mechanism is also observed by using commercial software (I-DEAS + NASTRAN + ADAMS). Finally, the component-laminate load-carrying capacity is estimated using the Tsai-Wu-Hahn failure criterion for various layups and the same criterion is used to predict the first-ply-failure and the mechanism as a whole.
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