Initial post-buckling of variable-stiffness curved panels

S. C. White*, G. Raju, P. M. Weaver

*Corresponding author for this work

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

68 Citations (Scopus)


Variable-stiffness shells are curved composite structures in which the fibre-reinforcement follow curvilinear paths in space. Having a wider design space than traditional composite shells, they have the potential to improve a wide variety of weight-critical structures. In this paper, a new method for computing the initial post-buckling response of variable-stiffness cylindrical panels is presented, based on the differential quadrature method. Integro-differential governing and boundary equations governing the problem, derived with Koiter's theory (Koiter, 1945), are solved using a mixed generalised differential quadrature (GDQ) and integral quadrature (GIQ) approach. The post-buckling behaviour is determined on the basis of a quadratic expansion of the displacement fields. Orthogonality of the mode-shapes in the expansion series is ensured by a novel use of the Moore-Penrose generalised matrix inverse for solving the GDQ-GIQ equations. The new formulation is validated against benchmark analytical post-buckling results for constant stiffness plates and shells, and compared with non-linear finite-element (FE) analysis for variable-stiffness shells. Stability estimates are found to be in good agreement with incremental FE results in the vicinity of the buckling load, requiring only a fraction of the number of variables used by the current method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-155
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Differential quadrature
  • Koiter's method
  • Post-buckling
  • Shell buckling
  • Variable angle tow


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