Higher-Order Finite Element for Complex Plate Structures

by James E. Beavers, (M.ASCE), Dept. Head; Union Carbide Corp., Nuclear Div., Oak Ridge, Tenn.,
Fred W. Beaufait, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, Tenn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 1, Pg. 51-69

Document Type: Journal Paper


A higher-order triangular finite element is developed for the analysis of complex folded plate structures by combining a bending element whose normal displacement is represented as a restricted quintic polynomial with a membrane element whose in-plane displacements are represented as cubic polynomials. The discontinuities that occur along lines of plate intersections are minimized by setting forth various geometric and element force-displacement formulation criteria. To satisfy boundary conditions of the more complex plate structures, boundary constraint equations are developed and augmented to the stiffness equations. To show the applicability of the method, several examples of prismatic and nonprismatic folded plate structures are investigated and the resulting data compared with other theoretical and experimental data.

Subject Headings: Displacement (mechanics) | Finite element method | Plates | Folded plates | Polynomials | Structural analysis | Bending (structural) | Membranes

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