A solid-shell finite element for fibre reinforced composites



Fibre reinforced composites consisting of several layers, each of which is composed of a woven fabric embedded in a matrix material, are investigated in this paper. Such materials are characterized by a complex anisotropic behavior, which necessitates a fully three-dimensional formulation of the constitutive equations. On the other hand, they are frequently used in thin shell-like applications. In order to account for the three-dimensional material law while still providing the suitable shape for thin structures, a solid-shell finite element for fibre composite materials is presented herein. Locking phenomena are treated by both the enhanced assumed strain (EAS) concept and the assumed natural strain concept (ANS). Using reduced integration together with hourglass stabilization leads to high computational efficiency. The anisotropic constitutive behavior of the composites is reflected by a micromechanically motivated continuum model, which –together with the solid-shell formulation– allows for an accurate representation of the through-the-thickness stress distribution even for thin structures. (© 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)