Analysis of thick composite plates using higher order three dimensional finite elements
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A triquadratic isoparametric solid element is developed to study the behavior of thick isotropic and laminated composite plates. The element is a 27 noded Lagrangian element based on three dimensional elasticity. Material characteristics are accounted by either using laminate plate theory or three-dimensional anisotropic theory. Element matrices for nonlinear stability analyses are derived based on total Lagrangian formulation. Results are presented to compare with analytical solutions to validate the elements behavior. The effects of various integration schemes on the element performance are presented. Convergence studies for laminated composites for different fiber orientations are provided to illustrate applications. An analysis of thin plates is carried out and results for thick plates are compared with available higher order plate theories. One row of elements in the thickness directions gives satisfactory results for thick laminates.
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