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Mechanics of Composite Structures by George S. Springer, László P. Kollár

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CHAPTER NINE

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Finite Element Analysis

The finite element method offers a practical means of calculating the deformations of, and stresses and strains in, complex structures. A detailed description of the finite element method is beyond the scope of this book. Instead, we focus on those features specific to composite materials.

Finite element analysis consists of the following major steps:

1. A mesh encompassing the structure is generated (Fig. 9.1).

2. The stiffness matrix [k] of each element is determined.

3. The stiffness matrix [K] of the structure is determined by assembling the element stiffness matrices.

4. The loads applied to the structure ...

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