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# Chapter 8: Three-layer Sandwich Shell under Normal Pressure Loading

## Three-layer Sandwich Shell

8 under Normal
Pressure Loading

Summary 121

Introduction 122

Requested Solutions 122

FEM Solution 122

Modeling Tips 124

Input File(s) 125

Video 125
CHAPTER 8 121
Three-layer Sandwich Shell under Normal Pressure Loading

Summary
Title Chapter 8: Three-layer Sandwich Shell under Normal Pressure Loading
Geometry • 2-D Shell (units: in) z

## Length= 10 face sheet

uniform normal 0.028
Width = 10 pressure
core
Thickness = 0.806 C
10 0.750 x

A 0.028
10 face sheet

y
simply supported
on all four edges all dimensions in inches

## Material properties • Face sheets

6 6
E 1 = 10  10 Psi  12 = 0.3  G 12 = 1.875  10 Psi 
6 6
E 2 = 4  10 Psi   13 = 0  G 13 = 1.875  10 Psi
6 6
 E 3 = 1  10 Psi    23 = 0  G 23 = 1.875  10 Psi
• Core
The values within
the parenthesis are
 E 1 = 10Psi    12 = 0   G 12 = 10Psi 
chosen to have a
4
 E 2 = 10Psi    13 = 0  G 13 = 3  10 Psi complete 3-D
material model
4
 E 3 = 10Psi    23 = 0  G 23 = 1.2  10 Psi necessary for the
solid elements.

## Analysis type Quasi-static analysis

Boundary conditions Plate is simply supported fixed at four corners
Applied loads Pressure of 100Psi applied to the top face (most positive in the z-axis)
Element type 2-D shell, 3-D solid shell
FE results Stresses and displacements compared with NAFEMS solution
Three-layer Sandwich Shell Results
CQUAD4 CQUAD4 CHEXA
Quantity Units NAFEMS Linear PSHLN1 PCOMPLS
u z at C in -0.123 -0.123 -0.122 -0.122

##  12 at E kpsi -5.07 -5.040 -5.006 -5.020

122 MD Demonstration Problems
CHAPTER 8

Introduction
This problem demonstrates the ability to model pressure loading of a square composite three layer sandwich flat shell.
Stresses and displacements are calculated and compared to a reference solution.

Requested Solutions
Stresses and displacements are calculated at the surface of the composite three layer sandwich flat shell in MD Nastran.
This test is recommended by the National Agency for Finite Element Methods and Standards (NAFEMS): Test
R0031/3 from NAFEMS publication R0031, “Composites Benchmarks”, February 1995.

FEM Solution
A numerical solution has been obtained with MD Nastran’s SOL 400 for the configuration shown in Figure 8-1. The
plate consists of three layers, a core layer and two face sheets covering this layer. Thicknesses of the layers are shown
in Figure 8-1. Only one quarter of the part is analyzed with the appropriate symmetry boundary conditions, and the
two edges on the boundary of the plate are fixed. The three layers are modeled using the PCOMP entry, where the
thickness of both layers is 0.028 in.
PCOMP 1 0. 0.
1 .028 0. YES 2 .75 0. YES
1 .028 0. YES

face sheet
uniform normal 0.028
pressure
core
C
10 0.750 x

A 0.028
10 face sheet

y
simply supported
on all four edges all dimensions in inches

## Figure 8-1 Three-layer Sandwich Shell under Normal Pressure Loading

Each lamina is modeled as one layer in the composite. The materials for the face sheets and core have the following
orthotropic properties:
CHAPTER 8 123
Three-layer Sandwich Shell under Normal Pressure Loading

Face sheets

6 6
E 1 = 10  10 Psi  12 = 0.3  G 12 = 1.875  10 Psi 
6 6
E 2 = 4  10 Psi   13 = 0  G 13 = 1.875  10 Psi
6 6
 E 3 = 1  10 Psi    23 = 0  G 23 = 1.875  10 Psi

## and the core

 E 1 = 10Psi    12 = 0   G 12 = 10Psi 
4
 E 2 = 10Psi    13 = 0  G 13 = 3  10 Psi
4
 E 3 = 10Psi    23 = 0  G 23 = 1.2  10 Psi

## These properties are entered using the MAT8 entry.

Two types of shell elements are analyzed: the CQUAD4 default and the CQUAD4 suitable for large deformations. The
latter is activated using the PSHLN1 entry
PSHLN1 1 NO +
+ C4 DCT L

For modelling with solid shell elements, the standard CHEXA elements are used to define the element connectivity.
To activate the solid shell elements, PCOMPLS entry has to be used for assigning the property of the CHEXA.
PCOMPLS 1 -1

C8 SLCOMP ASTN
1 1 .028 0.

2 2 .75 0.

3 1 .028 0.

For shell-like structure with composite materials, the TSHEAR option on the NLMOPTS entry has to be given to obtain
a parabolic shear distribution for composite layers in shells. This is particularly important for this structure because
the inner core resists deformation in shear.
NLMOPTS TSHEAR TSHEAR

## A uniform pressure of 100MPa is applied on the top surface of the shell.

Table 8-1 shows the comparison of the face sheet stresses and midspan displacement with the NAFEMS results.
124 MD Demonstration Problems
CHAPTER 8

## Table 8-1 Three-layer Sandwich Shell Results

CQUAD4 CQUAD4 CHEXA
Quantity Units NAFEMS Linear PSHLN1 PCOMPLS
u z at C in -0.123 -0.123 -0.122 -0.122

##  12 at E kpsi -5.07 -5.040 -5.006 -5.020

Figure 8-2 Deformed Shape of the Model with Solid Shell Elements

Modeling Tips
When modeling composite structures using shell elements that support large deformation and nonlinear material
behavior (activated with the PSHLN1 entry), it is recommended to set the TSHEAR parameter on the NLMOPTS entry.
This will result in a more parabolic shear distribution through the thickness, and in the output of interlaminar stresses.
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Three-layer Sandwich Shell under Normal Pressure Loading

Input File(s)

File Description
nug_08n.dat Linear Elements
nug_08m.dat Linear Elements using PSHLN1 Entry
nug_08d.dat Solid Shell Elements

Video
Click on the image or caption below to view a streaming video of this problem; it lasts approximately 18 minutes and
explains how the steps are performed.