Higher-order beam model for stress predictions in curved beams made from anisotropic materials

Claudia Thurnherr, Rainer Groh, P. Ermanni, Paul M Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
321 Downloads (Pure)


A higher-order beam model for analyzing the flexural response of curved multilayered beams with constant curvature and arbitrary constant thickness is developed. The new model is derived from the Hellinger-Reissner mixed variational statement and predicts inherently equilibrated 3D stresses from an equivalent single-layer model. As a starting assumption, the hoop stress is formulated as a series of higher-order stress resultants multiplied by Legendre polynomials. The governing equations are derived in a generalized manner such that the modeling order can be adjusted and is not defined a priori. Hence, the highest order Legendre polynomial determines the modeling order. The through-thickness shear and normal stresses are derived by integrating the generalized hoop stress in Cauchy’s polar equilibrium equations. As a result, all stress fields are based on the same set of variables, thereby considerably reducing the computational effort. The three stress fields, and two displacements in the radial and hoop directions are used in the Hellinger-Reissner functional to derive a new set of stress-displacement relations. The enforcement of the classical membrane and bending equilibrium equations of curved beams in the Hellinger-Reissner functional guarantees that all interlaminar and surface traction equilibrium conditions are satisfied exactly. A validation study of a composite laminate using a high-fidelity 3D finite element model shows that the stresses are captured very accurately by the present model, but with much less computational effort than the finite element model. As a result, the developed model can provide rapid and accurate insights into the expected damage onset behavior of curved laminates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-28
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
Early online date5 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016


  • Curved multilayered beams
  • Higher-order modeling
  • Interlaminar stresses
  • Anisotropic materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Higher-order beam model for stress predictions in curved beams made from anisotropic materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this