Bridging multi-scale approach to consider the effects of local deformations in the analysis of thin-walled members

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Journal Article
Computational Mechanics, 2013, 52 (1), pp. 65 - 79
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Thin-walled members that have one dimension relatively large in comparison to the cross-sectional dimensions are usually modelled by using beam-type one-dimensional finite elements. Beam-type elements, however, are based on the assumption of rigid cross-section, thus they only allow considerations associated with the beam axis behaviour such as flexural-, torsional- or lateral-buckling and cannot consider the effects of local deformations such as flange local buckling or distortional buckling. In order to capture the local effects of this type shell-type finite element models can be used. Based on the Bridging multi-scale approach, this study proposes a numerical technique that is able to split the global analysis, which is performed by using simple beam-type elements, from the local analysis which is based on more sophisticated shell-type elements. As a result, the proposed multi-scale method allows the usage of shell elements in a local region to incorporate the local deformation effects on the overall behaviour of thin-walled members without necessitating a shell-type model for the whole member. Comparisons with full shell-type analysis are provided in order to illustrate the efficiency of the method developed herein. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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