Free and Forced Vibration of Linearly Elastic and St. Venant-Kirchhoff Plates using the Third Order Shear and Normal Deformable Theory

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Virginia Tech


Employing the Finite Element Method (FEM), we numerically study three problems involving free and forced vibrations of linearly and nonlinearly elastic plates with a third order shear and normal deformable theory (TSNDT) and the three dimensional (3D) elasticity theory. We used the commercial software ABAQUS for analyzing 3D deformations, and an in-house developed and verified software for solving the plate theory equations.

In the first problem, we consider trapezoidal load-time pulses with linearly increasing and affinely decreasing loads of total durations equal to integer multiples of the time period of the first bending mode of vibration of a plate. For arbitrary spatial distributions of loads applied to monolithic and laminated orthotropic plates, we show that plates' vibrations become miniscule after the load is removed. We call this phenomenon as vibration attenuation. It is independent of the dwell time during which the load is a constant. We hypothesize that plates exhibit this phenomenon because nearly all of plate's strain energy is due to deformations corresponding to the fundamental bending mode of vibration. Thus taking the 1st bending mode shape of the plate vibration as the basis function, we reduce the problem to that of solving a single second-order ordinary differential equation. We show that this reduced-order model gives excellent results for monolithic and composite plates subjected to different loads.

Rectangular plates studied in the 2nd problem have points on either one or two normals to their midsurface constrained from translating in all three directions. We find that deformations corresponding to several modes of vibration are annulled in a region of the plate divided by a plane through the constraining points; this phenomenon is termed mode localization. New results include: (i) the localization of both in-plane and out-of-plane modes of vibration, (ii) increase in the mode localization intensity with an increase in the length/width ratio of a rectangular plate, (iii) change in the mode localization characteristics with the fiber orientation angle in unidirectional fiber- reinforced laminae, (iv) mode localization due to points on two normals constrained, and (iv) the exchange of energy during forced harmonic vibrations between two regions separated by the line of nearly stationary points that results in a beating-like phenomenon in a sub-region of the plate. This technique can help design a structure with vibrations limited to its small sub-region, and harvesting energy of vibrations of the sub-region.

In the third problem, we study finite transient deformations of rectangular plates using the TSNDT. The mathematical model includes all geometric and material nonlinearities. We compare the results of linear and nonlinear TSNDT FEM with the corresponding 3D FEM results from ABAQUS and note that the TSNDT is capable of predicting reasonably accurate results of displacements and in-plane stresses. However, the errors in computing transverse stresses are larger and the use of a two point stress recovery scheme improves their accuracy. We delineate the effects of nonlinearities by comparing results from the linear and the nonlinear theories. We observe that the linear theory over-predicts the deformations of a plate as compared to those obtained with the inclusion of geometric and material nonlinearities. We hypothesize that this is an effect of stiffening of the material due to the nonlinearity, analogous to the strain hardening phenomenon in plasticity. Based on this observation, we propose that the consideration of nonlinearities is essential in modeling plates undergoing large deformations as linear model over-predicts the deformation resulting in conservative design criteria. We also notice that unlike linear elastic plate bending, the neutral surface of a nonlinearly elastic bending plate, defined as the plane unstretched after the deformation, does not coincide with the mid-surface of the plate. Due to this effect, use of nonlinear models may be of useful in design of sandwich structures where a soft core near the mid-surface will be subjected to large in-plane stresses.



Plate theories, Plate Vibration, Nonlinear Elasticity, Mode Localization, Vibration Attenuation, FEM