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Displacement-based formulation of Koiter’s method: application to multi-modal post-buckling finite element analysis of plates




Buckling, Classical formulation, Displacement-based, Finite elements, Koiter method, Plate, Post-buckling


Koiter’s asymptotic method enables the calculation and deep understanding of the initial post-buckling behaviour of thin-walled structures. For the single-mode asymptotic analysis, Budiansky (1974) presented a clear and general formulation for Koiter’s method, based on the expansion of the total potential energy function. The formulation from Budiansky is herein revisited and expanded for the multimodal asymptotic analysis, of primordial importance in structures with clustered bifurcation modes. Given the admittedly difficult implementation of Koiter’s method, especially for multi-modal analysis and during the evaluation of the third– and fourth–order tensors involved in Koiter’s analysis; the presented study proposes a formulation and notation with close correspondence with the implemented algorithms. The implementation is based on state-of-the-art collaborative tools: Python, NumPy and Cython. The kinematic relations are specialized using von Kármán shell kinematics, and the displacement field variables are approximated using an enhanced Bogner-Fox-Schmit (BFS) finite element, modified to reach third-order interpolation also for the in-plane displacements, using only 4 nodes per element and 10 degrees-of-freedom per node, aiming an accurate representation of the second-order fields. The formulation and implementation are verified by comparing results for isotropic and composite plates against established literature. Finally, results for multi-modal displacement fields with up to 5 modes and corresponding post-buckling factors are reported for future reference.


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2020-11-05 — Updated on 2020-11-05