A static analysis of three-dimensional sandwich beam structures by hierarchical finite elements modelling



G. D. Pietro, G. Giunta, S. Belouettar, and E. Carrera


Journal of Sandwich Structures & Materials, vol. 21, no. 7, 2019


A static analysis of three-dimensional sandwich beam structures using one-dimensional modelling approach is presented within this paper. A family of several one-dimensional beam elements is obtained by hierarchically expanding the displacements over the cross-section and letting the expansion order a free parameter. The finite element approximation order over the beam axis is also a formulation free parameter (linear, quadratic and cubic elements are considered). The principle of virtual displacements is used to obtain the problem weak form and derive the beam stiffness matrix and equivalent load vectors in a nuclear, generic form. Displacements and stresses are presented for different load and constraint configurations. Results are validated towards three-dimensional finite element solutions and experimental results. Sandwich beams present a three-dimensional stress state and higher-order models are necessary for an accurate description. Numerical investigations show that fairly good results with reduced computational costs can be obtained by the proposed finite element formulation.



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