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An element-free study of variable stiffness composite plates with cutouts for enhanced buckling and post-buckling performance

Li, D. M., Featherston, Carol A. ORCID: and Wu, Zhangming ORCID: 2020. An element-free study of variable stiffness composite plates with cutouts for enhanced buckling and post-buckling performance. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 371 , 113314. 10.1016/j.cma.2020.113314

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In this paper, an efficient element-free modeling framework for variable stiffness composite laminates with cutouts is developed. In comparison with other numerical methods or semi-analytical methods, element-free meshless methods offer many advantages in modeling variable stiffness materials and structures, e.g. complex geometries with cut-outs, providing accurate stress computations and stable nonlinear behavior modeling. In this study, an element-free Galerkin (EFG) method based modeling framework is developed to model variable stiffness composite plates containing circular holes, specifically for buckling and post-buckling analysis. Weighted orthogonal basis functions are used to further reduce the computational costs of the meshless method. Modeling accuracy for variable stiffness composite structures using node-based fiber angle definitions in this element-free framework are validated against FEM results obtained from ABAQUS. The critical buckling loads of linearly varying fiber composite laminates with different sizes of central circular holes are then computed. Based on the proposed element-free modeling scheme, nonlinear post-buckling equilibrium paths of variable stiffness composite plates are traced using an incremental loading step control method, which enables efficient post-buckling analysis. Changes in both critical buckling loads and nonlinear post-buckling performance with respect to hole size and the linear variation of fiber angles are investigated with the results presented in the form of parametric studies. The numerical results show that stress redistribution remains the major factor driving improvements in the buckling and post-buckling performance of variable stiffness composite plates with cut-outs. The research work presented in this paper for composite plates with linearly varying stiffness provides a basis for the analysis of general variable stiffness soft materials in the future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0045-7825
Date of Acceptance: 22 July 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 11:15

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