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Loss of Accuracy Using Smeared Properties in Composite Beam Modeling



Composite structures, particularly composite laminates, usually consist of many layers with different lay-up angles. The anisotropic and heterogeneous features render 3D finite element analysis (FEA) computationally expensive in terms of the computational time and the computing power. Smeared properties are intensively used in the design and analysis of composite laminates. Although this approach has the advantage of saving computational time and cost of modeling significantly in comparison to 3D FEA, the prediction of the structural responses may not be accurate, particularly the pointwise stress distribution. Therefore, it is important to quantify the loss of accuracy introduced by using smeared properties. In this paper, several different benchmark problems are carefully investigated in order to exemplify the effect of the smeared properties on the global behavior and pointwise stress distribution of the composite beam. A new theory called the Mechanics of Structure Genome has been recently developed to model composites structures. SwiftComp is a code implementing the theory of multiscale structural modeling based on the concept of Structure Genome (SG).We will show in this paper that using smeared properties will introduce errors to both global structural behavior and local stress distributions, while using SwiftComp enables efficient and high fidelity analysis of composite beams with the same set of benchmark examples by comparing to the detailed 3D FEA using a commercial finite element software.

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