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A three-dimensional state space finite element solution for laminated composite cylindrical shells

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2003
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Number of pages19
Original languageEnglish


On the basis of the theory of three-dimensional elasticity, this paper presents a state space finite element solution for stress analysis of cross-ply laminated composite shells. This is a continuation of the authors' previously published work on laminated plates [Compos. Struct. 57 (1-4) (2002) 117; Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 191 (37-38) (2002) 4259]. Once again a state space formulation is introduced to solve for through-thickness stress distributions, while the traditional finite elements are used to approximate the in-surface variations of state variables. A three-dimensional laminated shell element is established in an arbitrary orthogonal curvilinear coordinate system, while the application of the element is shown by calculating stresses in laminated cylindrical shells. Compared with the traditional finite element method, the new solution provides accurate continuous through-thickness distributions of both displacements and and transverse stresses.