Accurate modeling of composite structures is important for safe application under differ-ent loading conditions. To provide accurate predictions of three-dimensional (3D) stress fields in an efficient computational framework, we employ a modeling approach that builds uponthe recently developed hierarchical Serendipity Lagrange finite elements. The approach pro-vides Layer-Wise (LW) and Equivalent Single-Layer (ESL) models for analyzing constant- andvariable-stiffness laminated beam structures. To enhance the capability of the ESL model, twoexisting Zig-Zag (ZZ) functions, namely Murakami’s ZZ function (MZZF) and the Refined ZZtheory function (RZT), are used. For constant-stiffness laminated and sandwich beams, theRZT ZZ function more accurately predicts the structural response than the MZZF. However,for variable-stiffness laminated structures the applicability of RZT is still unknown and itsaccuracy is therefore tested within the present formulation. Results obtained are validatedagainst 3D closed-form and 3D Finite Element (FE) solutions available in the literature. Forsimilar levels of accuracy, significant gains in computational efficiency are achieved over 3D FEand LW models by using the ESL approach with RZT ZZ functions.
|Publisher||Aerospace Research Central|