Rectangular shell elements based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation
This thesis concerns the development of tools that are useful for designing machine systems and components in an virtual environment using flexible multibody dynamics. Initially, flexible multibody dynamics is briefly reviewed to explain available formalisms and possible applications of this method. Subsequently, attention is turned towards the analysis of structures
that undergo large deformations and rotations using shell finite elements based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation, ANCF. This topic is the focus for the remainder of the thesis.
The thesis is divided into three main parts. The first part acts as a general introduction to ANCF based shell finite elements and sums up available elements found in the research literature. In the end, a new ANCF element developed during this PhD project is presented which gives enhanced modeling capabilities of problems including e.g. moving boundary conditions.
The second part concerns the performance and behavior of a certain class of ANCF shell elements that are developed for analysis of thin shell structures. This includes discussions on differences concerning their kinematic descriptions and disclosure of certain issues regarding their performance. Those being sensitivity to irregular mesh, poor representation of curved structures
and load dependent convergence when analyzing curved structures.
The final part concerns the development of a new versatile ANCF shell element. This element is distinguished by being able to describe both thin and thick curved structures. This part contains a thorough derivation of its kinematics and stiffness description, as well as numerical examples to demonstrate its performance. However, this part of the study is not yet complete.
Finally, the findings of this PhD project are summed up in a conclusion and possibilities for further studies and perspectives are outlined