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# Wenbin Yu1

Post Doctoral Fellow

Dewey H. Hodges
Professor
Mem. ASME
School of Aerospace Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332-0150

Elasticity Solutions Versus
Asymptotic Sectional Analysis of
Homogeneous, Isotropic,
Prismatic Beams
The original three-dimensional elasticity problem of isotropic prismatic beams has been
solved analytically by the variational asymptotic method (VAM). The resulting classical
model (Euler-Bernoulli-like) is the same as the superposition of elasticity solutions of
extension, Saint-Venant torsion, and pure bending in two orthogonal directions. The resulting refined model (Timoshenko-like) is the same as the superposition of elasticity
solutions of extension, Saint-Venant torsion, and both bending and transverse shear in two
orthogonal directions. The fact that the VAM can reproduce results from the theory of
elasticity proves that two-dimensional finite-element-based cross-sectional analyses using
the VAM, such as the variational asymptotic beam sectional analysis (VABS), have a solid
mathematical foundation. One is thus able to reproduce numerically with VABS the same
results for this problem as one obtains from three-dimensional elasticity, but with orders
of magnitude less computational cost relative to three-dimensional finite elements.

Introduction
The variational asymptotic method 共VAM兲 is a mathematical
approach applicable to any problem governed by an energy functional having one or more small parameters. Contrary to the formal asymptotic methods, VAM applies the asymptotic expansion
to the energy functional instead of the system of differential equations, 关1兴. Hence, dropping a small term in the functional is
equivalent to neglecting such quantities in several differential
equations simultaneously. This implies that, when applicable,
VAM is more compact and less cumbersome than standard
asymptotic methods. The VAM includes the merits of both variational 共systematic兲 and asymptotic 共without ad hoc kinematic assumptions兲 methods. It allows one to replace a three-dimensional
structural model with a reduced-order model in terms of an
asymptotic series of certain small parameters inherent to the structure. Although there are different forms of this method, e.g., Ciarlet and Destuynder 关2兴 and Berdichevsky 关3兴, the method used in
the present work is more closely aligned with the latter.
The application of the VAM to model beams with general geometry and material has been demonstrated in the theory associated with the computer program VABS 共variational asymptotic
beam sectional analysis兲. VABS was first mentioned in 关4兴. Its
development over the past ten years is described in 关5–10兴 and
takes the variational asymptotic method 共VAM兲, 关3兴, as the mathematical basis. By means of the VAM, a general threedimensional nonlinear elasticity problem for a beam-like structure
is rigorously split into a two-dimensional linear cross-sectional
analysis and a one-dimensional nonlinear beam analysis. It is interesting to know that Trabucho and Viano 关11兴 applied the VAM
1
Presently, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-4130.
Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF
MECHANICAL ENGINEERS for publication in the ASME JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received by the Applied Mechanics Division, Aug. 30, 2002;
final revision, June 16, 2003. Associate Editor: D. A. Kouris. Discussion on the paper
should be addressed to the Editor, Prof. Robert M. McMeeking, Journal of Applied
Mechanics, Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering, University
of California–Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5070, and will be accepted
until four months after final publication in the paper itself in the ASME JOURNAL OF
APPLIED MECHANICS.

Journal of Applied Mechanics

of Ciarlet and Destuynder 关2兴 to construct mathematical models
for rods. Their work is oriented more toward mathematicians than
engineers.
In accord with the theory behind it, VABS can perform a classical analysis for initially twisted and curved inhomogeneous, anisotropic beams with arbitrary geometry, material properties, and
reference cross sections. It captures both trapeze and Vlasov effects, which are useful for specific beam applications. VABS is
also able to calculate the one-dimensional stiffness matrix with
transverse shear refinement for initially twisted and curved, inhomogeneous, anisotropic beams with arbitrary geometry and material properties. Finally, the three-dimensional stress and strain
fields can be recovered, if required, for finding stress concentrations, interlaminar stresses, etc.
There are a lot of beam theories in the literature. However,
almost all published work is of the ad hoc variety, especially in
the area of modeling composite structures. Because VABS develops stiffness models that use the same fundamental types of deformation that appear in traditional beam theories 共such as those
of Euler-Bernoulli, Timoshenko, and Vlasov兲, some researchers
may be tempted to believe that VABS is nothing more than a
computerized adaptation of elementary theories. However, VABS
is really very different from the traditional beam theories, and the
assumptions behind it are far less restrictive. The fact that VABS
uses the traditional types of deformation winds up creating a
simple and smooth connection to traditional beam theories, so that
the one-dimensional beam analyses will remain essentially the
same. A large body of additional information regarding threedimensional behavior of the beam, which need not be considered
at all in a one-dimensional beam analysis, is actually taken into
account by introducing three-dimensional warping functions that
are subsequently calculated.
In view of this, the main purpose of the present work is to take
the reader, who is presumed to have a basic understanding of
elasticity and calculus of variations, through an analytical derivation and application of the equations used by VABS for a specialized case so that its relationship with traditional theories will be
clearer and its mathematical basis 共VAM兲 will appear less arcane.
This paper is in essence an analytical validation of VABS against
the well-established theory of elasticity. Although numerous nu-

JANUARY 2004, Vol. 71 Õ 15

2. Note for a prismatic beam. Repeated indices are summed over their range except where explicitly indicated. the beam axis in the undeformed state is straight. Please note that we do not make any restrictive assumption here by choosing B1 to be tangent to x 1 .10. Transactions of the ASME . the particle that had position vector rˆ in the ˆ in the deformed undeformed state now has the position vector R state. the present work specializes the VABS general formulation for the analysis of isotropic.7. respectively. the transverse shear deformation will be included in the warping functions introduced below and will be explicitly brought into evidence when we fit the asymptotic model into an engineering model that can account for this type of deformation. Three-Dimensional Formulation As sketched in Fig. Greek indices assume values 2 and 3 while Latin indices assume 1. 71. and 共b兲 that the results from the Timoshenko-like model of VABS are the same as the superposition of the elasticity solutions of extension.Fig. Note that here and throughout the paper. r⬘ ⫽b1 and 共 兲⬘ means the partial derivative with respect to x 1 . B1 to be tangent to the deformed beam reference axis. Saint-Venant torsion.12兴.x 2 . bB C (2) is the inverse rotation to bring Bi back to bi which means CBb "CbB ⫽I (3) where I is the identity tensor. and pure bending in two orthogonal directions. Instead.x 3 兲 ⫽r共 x 1 兲 ⫹x ␣ b␣ (1) where r is the position vector of the points of the reference line. Starting with the governing differential equations and associated boundary conditions of elasticity theory. such as a Timoshenko-like model. This paper then should increase the reader’s confidence in results obtained from VABS. and both bending and transverse shear in two orthogonal directions. For the convenience of comparing with elasticity solutions. However. we choose Bi to coincide with bi in the case of zero deformation. and 3. such that CBb ⫽Bi bi . and B␣ determined by a rotation about B1 . prismatic beams. we set out to prove 共a兲 that the results from the classical model of VABS are the same as the superposition of elasticity solutions of extension. 关13兴. the present extensive and rigorous validation is required to demonstrate conclusively its versatility and accuracy. for the convenience of applying VAM. To accomplish the above. a beam can be represented by a reference line r measured by x 1 . Another orthonormal triad Bi is introduced to express the deformed configuration. and the Bi unit vectors are not necessarily tangent to the deformed beam coordinates. For convenience. An orthonormal triad bi is chosen for the purpose of resolving tensorial quantities in component form for actual computation. bi is chosen to be tangent to x i . the locus of all cross-sectional centroids along the beam is chosen as the reference line. 1. 1 Schematic of beam deformation merical validation examples have been provided in 关6. Then Bi can be related to bi by a rotation tensor which is called the global rotation tensor. 16 Õ Vol. Finally. and a typical cross section s with h as its characteristic dimension and described by cross-sectional Cartesian coordinates x ␣ . JANUARY 2004 The spatial position vector rˆ of any point in the undeformed beam structure can be written as rˆ共 x 1 . Saint-Venant torsion. After deformation.

as demonstrated in publications related to VABS. let us denote the order of the maximum strain as ␧⫽max(␥11 . Now.x . 关14兴. Then this energy. we may neglect all terms that are products of the warping and the onedimensional generalized strains. 2⌸⫽E 具 ⌫ 211典 ⫹4G 具 ⌫ 212⫹⌫ 213⫹⌫ 223典 ⫹ E 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲共 1⫺2 ␯ 兲 ⫻ 再 ␯ ⌫ 11⫹⌫ 22 ␯ ⌫ 11⫹⌫ 33 冎冔 . (10) ˆ / ⳵ x is the covariant basis vector of the deformed Here Gk ⫽ ⳵ R k configuration and gk ⫽bk for prismatic beams.3⫹x 2 ␬ 1 ⫹w 3⬘ ⌫ 22⫽w 2. 共12兲 as JANUARY 2004. By introducing the unknown three-dimensional warping functions into the formulation. we know that the exact warping functions satisfying the constraints. one takes into account all possible deformation. 共11兲 are of order h/l higher than the rest and do not contribute to such an energy. 共9兲. This small parameter is then utilized when deriving the threedimensional strain field. Fortunately. The four constraints applied here are 具 w i 典 ⫽0 (5) 具 x 2 w 3 ⫺x 3 w 2 典 ⫽0 (6) where the notation 具 典 means integration over the reference cross section. 共4兲 is four times redundant because of the way warping was introduced. Because of the small strain assumption.x 兲 ⫽R共 x 兲 ⫹x B 共 x 兲 ⫹w 共 x . and F i j the mixed-basis component of the deformation gradient tensor such that F i j ⫽Bi "Gk gk "b j .2⫹w 2. The assumption of small strain is adopted for the purpose of deriving a geometrically nonlinear beam formulation. the same difficulties as one finds in solving general three-dimensional elasticity problems will be encountered if one tries to solve this minimization problem directly. The classical model of a prismatic beam is represented in terms of a strain energy per unit length that is asymptotically correct up to the order of ␮ ␧ 2 where ␮ is of the order of the maximum material constant. 共12兲. so that the smallness of ␧ need not be used in the rest of derivation. ␣ means the partial derivative with respect to x ␣ . 71 Õ 17 . which is applicable in the framework of a geometrically nonlinear formulation. 冓再 ␯ ⌫ 11⫹⌫ 22 ␯ ⌫ 11⫹⌫ 33 冎冋 T 1⫺ ␯ ␯ ␯ 1⫺ ␯ 册 (12) From energy principles.3 ⌫ 33⫽w 3. 关13兴. It was mentioned above that products of the one-dimensional generalized strains and warping are assumed to be small because of the small-strain assumption.2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 ⫹w 2⬘ 2⌫ 13⫽w 1.x 兲 B 共 x 兲 (4) R 1 2 3 1 ␣ ␣ 1 i 1 2 3 i 1 where R is the position vector to a point on the reference line of the deformed beam. we need the definition of the one-dimensional generalized Lagrangean strains: ␥⫽CbB "R⬘ ⫺b1 (7) Bi⬘ ⫽ ␬ j B j ÃBi (8) where the column matrices of the ‘‘force-strain’’ measures ␥ ⫽ b ␥ 11 0 0 c T and ␬ i are the ‘‘moment-strain’’ measures. This is the only small parameter one needs for prismatic beams for the purpose of solving the unknown warping functions asymptotically and obtaining a strain energy asymptotically correct up to a certain order.2 2⌫ 23⫽w 3. The stretching of the beam reference line is denoted by ␥ 11 . which is called the zeroth-order energy. twice the three-dimensional strain energy per unit length can be written as. One should note that Eq. Based on the concept of decomposition of rotation tensor. It will be assumed and subsequently validated from the results that the warping is of the order of h␧ with h as the characteristic dimension of the cross section. This observation is consistent with the small local rotation assumption used to derive Eq. Vol. shear modulus G and Poisson’s ratio ␯. one obtains the threedimensional strain field as ⌫ 11⫽ ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 ⫹w 1⬘ 2⌫ 12⫽w 1. 共5兲 is that warping does not contribute to the rigid-body displacement of the cross section.h ␬ i ). All the prime terms in Eq.3 Journal of Applied Mechanics (11) where ( ) . the VAM can be used to solve for the unknown warping functions asymptotically to avoid the difficulty of the original three-dimensional formulation. However. 共5兲 and 共6兲. one must define the small parameters of the problem. For an isotropic elastic body with Young’s modulus E. Eqs. 共11兲. To formulate this problem in an intrinsic form. can be obtained from Eq. One must impose four appropriate constraints on the displacement field to remove the redundancy. the Jaumann-Biot-Cauchy strain components are given by 1 ⌫ i j ⫽ 共 F i j ⫹F ji 兲 ⫺ ␦ i j 2 (9) where ␦ i j is the Kronecker symbol. while the maximum strain induced by bending is of the order of h ␬ ␣ . Classical Model Before applying the VAM. The smallness of the one-dimensional generalized strains is taken into account as follows. which is the case for all the framework of VABS except the trapeze solution 共not considered in this paper兲. if the local rotation is small. Another small parameter is h/l where l is the wavelength of beam axial deformation.ˆ can be represented as The position vector R ˆ 共 x . The implication of Eq. This leads to one-dimensional displacement variables for extension and bending that have easily identifiable geometric meanings: they correspond to the measure numbers in the bi basis of the average displacement of the cross section. and w i are the components of warping. This will be illustrated analytically in the following sections.x . the maximum strain induced by twist is of the order of h ␬ 1 . Equation 共6兲 implies the torsional rotation variable is the average rotation of the cross section about B1 . should minimize the strain energy in Eq. Eq. Thus. both in and out of the cross-sectional plane.

EI 3 (26) If a linear beam theory is used.3兲 ⫹n 2 共 w 1.2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 兲 ⫽0 册再 2⌫ 23⫽0 ⌫ 33⫽⫺ ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 .23⫹2 ␯ ␬ 2 ⫽0 (17) n 2 共 w 2. JANUARY 2004 冊 冊 ␯ ␬ 3 2 2 I 2 ⫺I 3 x 2 ⫺x 3 ⫹ 2 S w 3 ⫽wˆ 3 ⫽⫺ ␯ 共 x 3 ␥ 11⫺x 2 x 3 ␬ 3 兲 ⫺ ␯ ␬ 2 2 2 I 2 ⫺I 3 x 2 ⫺x 3 ⫹ .2典 (24) where J is the Saint-Venant torsion constant.3⫹x 2 ␬ 1 兲 2 ⫹ 共 w 3. to maintain a simpler derivation. 共5兲 and 共6兲.22⫹w 2.3⫹w 3. (23) If one takes the definition of torsional rigidity from elasticity texts. Such ad hoc assumptions as assuming the cross section to be rigid in its own plane or setting ␯⫽0 are common in the development of traditional beam theories in the literature. (21) Hence the first approximation of the out-of-plane warping wˆ 1 can be solved by the methods given in elasticity books.2兴 ⫽0 冎冔 w 2 ⫽wˆ 2 ⫽⫺ ␯ 共 x 2 ␥ 11⫹x 2 x 3 ␬ 2 兲 ⫹ and the associated boundary conditions n 3 共 w 2. For a straight beam clamped at x 1 ⫽0 and under the tip load F 1 .2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 兲 2 ⫹ 共 w 1. the three-dimensional strain field can be recovered by Eq. 2 S (22) Having obtained all the warping functions. 共17兲. 2 Sketch of a clamped prism 2⌸ 0 ⫽ES ␥ 211⫹EI ␣ ␬ ␣2 ⫹G 具 共 w 1.3⫹w 3. (25) This energy coincides with the result of classical beam theory. the one-dimensional strain measures can be solved with the help of the strain energy Eq.2 ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 ⫹w 3. then the asymptotically correct three-dimensional energy.3⫺x 3 ␺ 1. 71. the three-dimensional displacement field can be recovered as Transactions of the ASME . 共19兲. 关15兴. M i at x 1 ⫽L 共see Fig.x 2 . however.33⫹w 3. 共11兲 up to the zeroth order as ⌫ 11⫽ ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 2⌫ 12⫽w 1. 共15兲 and 共18兲 are just the equations of Saint-Venant warping ␺ (x 2 .x 3 ) in elasticity textbooks such as.2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 2⌫ 13⫽w 1.2 ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 ⫹w 3.33⫽0 (15) 2 共 1⫺ ␯ 兲 w 2. Instead.x 3 兲 ⫽ ␺ 共 x 2 .x 3 兲 ␬ 1 共 x 1 兲 .x 3 兲 ⫽wˆ 1 共 x 1 .2兲 ⫹ ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 ⫹w 2.2⫹ 共 1 1⫺2 ␯ ⫺ ␯ 兲 w 3.3⫹ 共 1 1⫺2 ␯ ⫺ ␯ 兲 w 2.3 with S⫽ 具 1 典 I 2 ⫽ 具 x 23 典 I 3 ⫽ 具 x 22 典 冎冋 T 1⫺ ␯ ␯ ␯ 1⫺ ␯ w 1. except w 1 共 x 1 . we keep these constraints in mind and check whether they can be satisfied by the solution.3 (14) where S is the cross-sectional area and I ␣ are the principal area moments of inertia about x ␣ .2兲 ⫹ (19) (20) where n ␣ is the direction cosine of outward normal with respect to x ␣ .3⫹x 2 ␬ 1 (18) 2n 3 关 ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 ⫹ ␯ w 2. Here.23⫺2 ␯ ␬ 3 ⫽0 (16) 2 共 1⫺ ␯ 兲 w 3.33⫹ 共 1⫺2 ␯ 兲 w 3. The following functions of w ␣ satisfy the other constraints as well as Eqs.22⫹ 共 1⫺2 ␯ 兲 w 2.2⫹w 2. which is GJ⫽G 具 x 22 ⫹x 23 ⫹x 2 ␺ 1. can be written as 2⌸ 0 ⫽ES ␥ 211⫹GJ ␬ 21 ⫹EI 2 ␬ 22 ⫹EI 3 ␬ 23 . According to the theory of elasticity. up to the order of ␮ ␧ 2 . 共25兲 as ␥ 11⫽ F1 ES ␬ 1⫽ M1 GJ ␬ 2⫽ M2 EI 2 ␬ 3⫽ M3 . and one can choose the constant so that the constraint 具 wˆ 1 典 ⫽0 is satisfied.3兲 2 典 ⫹ E 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲共 1⫺2 ␯ 兲 冓再 ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 ⫹w 2. given by n 3 共 x 2 ␬ 1 ⫹w 1.22⫹w 1.x 2 . ␺ can be determined up to a constant. it is obtained without any ad hoc kinematic assumptions whatsoever.3兴 ⫽0 冉 冉 (13) ⌫ 22⫽⫺ ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 2n 2 关 ␯ 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 ⫹ ␯ w 3. 2兲. 共16兲. and 共20兲: 18 Õ Vol. It can be observed that Eqs.Fig. we do not use Lagrange multipliers to enforce the constraints of Eqs. The warping functions that minimize the above energy are governed by the Euler-Lagrange equations of this energy functional.

Thus. Substituting this perturbed strain field into the energy functional Eq. The only exception to this statement is that there is a difference of a constant from the elasticity solutions for u ␣ due to differences in the way the clamped boundary condition is handled.3典 ⫹ 具 共 wˆ 1. uniform torsion. Because a Timoshenko-like model can at most approximate the original three-dimensional energy up to the order of ␮ ␧ 2 (h/l) 2 . the torsional stiffness GJ. which involves both bending and transverse shear.2⫹V 2.2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 兲 V 1.3⫹x 2 ␬ 1 兲 wˆ 3⬘ 典 ]. In our case. B. as 2U⫽ ⑀ tT X ⑀ t ⫹2 ⑀ tT F ␥ ⫹ ␥ T G ␥ (29) where ⑀ t are the classical strain measures 共but defined slightly differently because of the framework of Timoshenko-like model兲. For this VABS provides a Timoshenko-like model.3⫹x 2 ␬ 1 ⫹V 1. elements of ⑀ ⫽ b ␥ 11 ␬ 1 ␬ 2 ␬ 3 c T are the generalized one-dimensional strain measures of Euler-Bernoulli beam theory.3⫹V 3. 共25兲 and ⌸ 1 ⫽E 具 wˆ ⬘1 共 ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 典 = ⫹G 关 具 共 wˆ 1. and pure bending in two directions obtained by elasticity theory. and the rest of the terms are of the order ␧.3⫹x 2 ␬ 1 兲 V 1. the only terms of interest are ⌸ 1 ⫽E 具 wˆ ⬘1 共 x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 兲 典 . the double underlined terms will not affect the Timoshenko-like model constructed from the secondorder energy.2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 兲 wˆ 2⬘ ⫹ 共 wˆ 1. one can conclude that G is determined by the coefficients associated with ␬ ␣⬘ ␬ ␤⬘ in the asymptotic energy. To obtain the secondorder energy. in particular. Here. and ␥ ⫽ b 2 ␥ 13 2 ␥ 23c T transverse shear strains. Note these terms will not necessarily vanish unless the SaintVenant warping. (31) (33) where V i is of the order ␧h/l. and C as 冊 冊 F1 M 2 ␯ M 3 2 2 I 2 ⫺I 3 M 3 x 21 ⫺ ␯ x 2x 3 ⫹ x 2 ⫺x 3 ⫹ ⫹ ES EI 2 2EI 3 S EI 3 2 M 2 x 21 F1 M 3 ␯ M 2 2 2 I 2 ⫺I 3 ⫹ x 2 ⫺x 3 ⫹ ⫺ ⫹ ␯ x 2x 3 ES EI 3 2EI 2 S EI 2 2 (27) which is essentially the superposition of elasticity solutions for extension. For isotropic prismatic beams. the second-order energy becomes Journal of Applied Mechanics JANUARY 2004.2⫹ 共 wˆ 1. the double underlined terms are of the order ␧h 2 /l 2 . the two solutions will become identical. The linearized three-dimensional displacement field recovered by VABS is the same as that obtained from elasticity theory. From the above. the constant terms in u 2 and u 3 will simply drop out. (36) It is easy to prove that the underlined terms vanish for arbitrary V 1 . This observation is very important because it ␬ ␣ ␥ 11 leads to our finding a closed-form solution for the Timoshenkolike model for isotropic. A Timoshenko-like model is then created out of the energy. and F is determined by the coefficients associated with ⬘ and ␬ ␣ ␬ i⬘ . and G can be found by 共see 关9兴兲 G⫽ 共 Q T A ⫺1 CA ⫺1 Q 兲 ⫺1 F⫽B T A ⫺1 QG X⫽A⫹FG ⫺1 F T where Q⫽ 冋 0 0 0 1 0 0 ⫺1 0 (30) 册 G⫽ F⫽ E2 C 33C 44⫺C 234 E C 33C 44⫺C 234 冋 冋 C 33I 23 C 34I 2 I 3 C 34I 2 I 3 C 44I 22 册 共 B 41C 33⫺B 31C 34兲 I 3 共 B 31C 44⫺B 41C 34兲 I 2 共 B 42C 33⫺B 32C 34兲 I 3 共 B 32C 44⫺B 42C 34兲 I 2 共 B 43C 33⫺B 33C 34兲 I 3 共 B 33C 44⫺B 43C 34兲 I 2 共 B 44C 33⫺B 34C 34兲 I 3 共 B 34C 44⫺B 44C 34兲 I 2 (32) where the subscripted terms involving B and C are specified elements in those matrices. since the one-dimensional variables implied by the VAM solution are averages of the threedimensional displacement. Timoshenko-Like Model Elasticity theory has another set of equations to solve for the so-called flexure problem.3 (34) where the underlined terms are of the order ␧h/l. a strain energy that is asymptotically correct to the second order of h/l is sought first 2U 1 ⫽ ⑀ A ⑀ ⫹2 ⑀ B ⑀ ⬘ ⫹ ⑀ ⬘ C ⑀ ⬘ ⫹2 ⑀ D ⑀ ⬙ T T T T (28) where A. Eq.3⫹V 3. possesses some kind of symmetry. pure bending in two directions and torsion. by enforcing a modified boundary condition in the onedimensional beam theory. 共32兲.3 ⌫ 33⫽wˆ 3. F and G can be expressed in terms of the components of A. one obtains ⌫ 11⫽ ␥ 11⫹x 3 ␬ 2 ⫺x 2 ␬ 3 ⫹wˆ ⬘1 ⫹V =1⬘ 2⌫ 12⫽wˆ 1. the most straightforward solution in our framework constrains the average displacement to be zero. Eq.2⫺x 3 ␬ 1 ⫹V 1. F. 71 Õ 19 . for which we have already solved. A becomes a diagonal matrix with diagonal terms given by the extensional stiffness ES. Thus. Vol. 共12兲 and neglecting all the terms of order higher than ␮ (h/l) 2 ␧ 2 . C. Published elasticity solutions enforce the clamped condition at the beam reference line. T 册 (37) ⑀ t and ⑀ are related by ⑀ t ⫽ ⑀ ⫺Q ␥ . one obtains 2⌸⫽2⌸ 0 ⫹2⌸ 1 ⫹2⌸ 2 (35) where ⌸ 0 is the energy obtained for the classical model. Clearly.2 2⌫ 23⫽wˆ 3. it is clearly shown that the above classical model stores the complete three-dimensional energy of prismatic beams due to uniform extension. prismatic beams. B. 共11兲.2⫹V 2. According to Eq. and bending stiffnesses EI 2 and EI 3 . Substituting the perturbed warping functions back into Eq. so as to mimic the clamped condition used in the elasticity solutions. however. in which the locus of cross-sectional centroids is taken as the reference line and cross-sectional principal axes are along x ␣ .u 1⫽ u 2 ⫽⫺ ␯ x 2 u 3 ⫽⫺ ␯ x 3 F1 M3 M2 M1 x x ⫹ x x ⫹␺ x ⫺ ES 1 EI 3 2 1 EI 2 3 1 GJ 冉 冉 By a simple algebraic derivation. and D are matrices carrying the geometry and material information of the cross section. 共28兲.2⫹wˆ ⬘2 ⫹V =2⬘ 2⌫ 13⫽wˆ 1.2⫹wˆ 2. we perturb the warping functions as w i ⫽wˆ i ⫹V i .3⫹wˆ 3⬘ ⫹V =3⬘ ⌫ 22⫽wˆ 2. The stiffness matrices X.

m ␲ a m 3 cosh b 共 ⫺1 兲 m cosh (64) Then one can derive V 1 to be JANUARY 2004. 共51兲 0 0 and Elliptical Section. n 2 ⫽0. n 3 ⫽0. Vol. 71 Õ 21 . 共50兲 and 共52兲 will be satisfied by ␾ ⫽m 冉 x 22 x 23 a b ⫹ 2 冊 冉 ⫺1 x 3 ⫹n 2 x 22 x 23 a b2 ⫹ 2 a ␬ ⬘3 2 b 2 ␬ 2⬘ (54) 冊 ⫺1 x 2 (55) m⫽⫺ n⫽⫺ 1⫹3 ␳ 2 关 ␯␳ 2 ⫹ 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲兴 3⫹ ␳ 2 b ␬ 3⬘ 2 x 3 ␬ 2⬘ 24共 3⫹ ␳ 兲 2 ⫹q b 2 ␬ 2⬘ . 共46兲 for the present problem will not affect the final Timoshenko-like model and will be discarded in later calculations. 共49兲 as V 1 ⫽p 0 GJ ␺ ⫽⫺x 2 x 3 with ␳ 2 关 ␯ ⫹ 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 ␳ 2 兴 S 2⫽ (53) If one chooses the f (x 3 ) and g(x 2 ) according to Eq. and ␳ ⫽a/b as the aspect ratio. 共52兲. Along x 2 ⫽⫾a. 共27兲. Along x 3 ⫽⫾b. 共32兲 and 共30兲 and using it to solve the one-dimensional beam problem. but in that work the results are obtained by using the Ritz method and assuming a third-order polynomial which is of the exact form as shown here. x 2 ␬ 3⬘ (57) 24共 1⫹3 ␳ 2 兲 p⫽⫺4x 23 关 4⫹ ␯ ⫹ 共 2⫺ ␯ 兲 ␳ 2 兴 ⫺12x 22 共 2⫺ ␯ ⫹ ␯␳ 2 兲 ⫹3b 2 关 16⫹8 ␳ 2 ⫹13␯ ⫹2 ␯␳ ⫹ ␯␳ 兲 ] 4 ⫹8 ␳ 2 ⫹13␯␳ 4 ⫹2 ␯␳ 2 ⫹ ␯ 兲 ]. For a rectangular section of width 2a in x 2 -direction and height 2b in x 3 -direction 共see Fig. respectively. T where Example Cross Sections ␺⫽ 再 冎冋 ␥ 11 ␬1 ␬2 ␬3 4 ␯ b 3 ␬ 3⬘ ␲3 ⬁ 兺 m⫽1 (59) m␲x2 m␲x3 sin b b . so we can choose f (x 3 ) ⫽⫺(1⫹ ␯ )a 2 ␬ ⬘3 and g(x 2 ) can be arbitrary. 3兲. the Saint-Venant warping can be expressed in a form of infinite series such as ⫹ 2 EAb 4 0 The results are the same as those in 关10兴. the first set of terms in Eq. Then the energy of the order (h/l) excluding the terms that do not affect the final Timoshenko-like model can be computed as ⫽ 关 ␳ 4 ␯ 2 ⫹2 ␳ 2 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 ⫹5 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 兴 ␬ 2⬘ 2 2 ␥ 12 2 ␥ 13 ␳ 2 关 ␯ 2 ⫹2 ␳ 2 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 ⫹5 ␳ 4 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 兴 ␬ ⬘3 2 12共 1⫹3 ␳ 2 兲共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 The final Timoshenko-like model can be expressed as Journal of Applied Mechanics 0 EI 2 0 0 0 0 EI 3 T J⫽ S2 0 0 S3 . we can choose g(x 2 )⫽(1⫹ ␯ )b 2 ␬ 2⬘ and f (x 3 ) can be arbitrary. This procedure will be given in detail for some example cross sections that follow. 2 冉 冊 冉 冊 f 共 x 3 兲 ⫽⫺ 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 x 22 ␬ ⬘3 ⫽⫺ 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 1⫺ g 共 x 2 兲 ⫽ 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 x 23 ␬ 2⬘ ⫽ 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 1⫺ x 23 b2 x 22 a2 then both Eqs. we should choose the arbitrary functions f (x 3 ) and g(x 2 ) first. This result is the same as what is in 关16兴 which has been obtained through elasticity theory. one finds ␯ ␾ ⫽⫺ 共 x 22 ⫺a 2 兲 x 2 ␬ 2⬘ 3 4 ␯ a ␬ 2⬘ 3 ␲3 ⬁ 兺 冉 冊 冉 冊 冉 冊 冉 冊 冉 冊 冉 冊 n␲x3 n␲x2 sin a a ␯ ⫺ 共 x 23 n ␲ b 3 n 3 cosh a 共 ⫺1 兲 n cosh n⫽1 ⫺b 2 兲 x 3 ␬ 3⬘ ⫹ 12共 3⫹ ␳ 2 兲共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 ⫹ 0 ␥ 11 ␬1 ␬2 ␬3 Rectangular Section. For an elliptical cross section with semiaxes a and b in the directions of x 2 and x 3 . the Saint-Venant warping is found to be 共 b 2 ⫺a 2 兲 x 2 x 3 ES 再 冎冋 S⫽ ␲ ab In this section two typical examples listed in the elasticity text of Timoshenko and Goodier 关15兴 are studied here using the analytical procedures formulated in previous sections. 册再 冎 册再 冎 2 ␥ 12 2 ␥ 13 (60) ␲ a 3b 3 a ⫹b 2 I 2⫽ 2 ␲ 3 ab 4 I 3⫽ ␲ 3 a b 4 (61) 3a 2 共 3a 2 ⫹b 2 兲共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 GS 2 关 b 4 ␯ 2 ⫹5a 4 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 ⫹2a 2 b 2 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 兴 3b 2 共 a 2 ⫹3b 2 兲共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 GS 2 关 a 4 ␯ 2 ⫹5b 4 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 ⫹2a 2 b 2 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 兴 32b 2 . the result provided in 关17兴 is an approximation of the exact solution. 共32兲. However. After constructing the Timoshenko-like model using Eqs. the three-dimensional strain field can be recovered using Eq.fected by this operation. (58) q⫽4x 22 关共 4⫹ ␯ 兲 ␳ 2 ⫹2⫺ ␯ 兴 ⫺12x 23 关共 2⫺ ␯ 兲 ␳ 2 ⫹ ␯ 兴 ⫺3b 2 关 16␳ 4 2⌸ 2 0 0 (56) with 2 S 3⫽ ⫹ Then one can obtain V 1 by Eq. (62) ␲3 冉 冉 冊 冉 冊 2n⫹1 ␲ x 2 2 b 2n⫹1 ␲ x 3 共 ⫺1 兲 sin . 共34兲 and the displacement field can be recovered similarly as Eq. Solving Eq. 2U⫽ ⫹ a ⫹b 2 . 3 2n⫹1 ␲ a 2 b 2n⫹1 兲 共 cosh 2 b ⬁ n 兺 n⫽0 sinh 冊 (63) To solve for ␾. Based on this fact and Eq.

Conclusions ␬ 2⬘ 2 16␯ 2 b 5 a⫹96a 5 b 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 45 32␯ 2 b 6 4 I 3⫽ a 3b 3 where ␤ can be found in elasticity textbooks such as 关15兴 and k ␣ are the so-called shear correction factors. Please note that although 关17兴 is also based on the VAM. has been used to analytically solve the isotropic prismatic beam problem. on which the finiteelement-based cross-sectional analysis VABS 共variational asymptotic beam sectional analysis兲 is based. 3 Sketch of a rectangular cross section V 1 ⫽⫺ ⫹ ⫹ ⫺ ⬁ 4a 3 ␯ ␬ ⬘2 ␲3 兺 n⫽1 ␲3 冊 The final Timoshenko-like model can be expressed as Eq. The reason the two results are of different form is because in 关16兴 the flexure problem is solved by using a double trigonometric series while here hyperbolic series are used along with the trigonometric series which converge to a fixed value more rapidly.Fig. given by ␯ x 2 x 23 5a ␯ b ␯ ␯ 1 3 x 2⫺ ␬ 3⬘ ⫹ x 2⫺ a 2⫹ ⫺ 6 3 6 6 2 2 4 I 2 ⫽ ab 3 3 J⫽ ␤ ab 3 冉 冊 am ␲ b m5 册 ␬ ⬘3 2 . 共60兲 with S⫽4ab m␲x2 m␲x3 cos 共 ⫺1 兲 sinh b b m ␲ a m 3 cosh b m ⬁ 4 ␯ b 3 ␬ ⬘3 冉 冊 冉 冉 冊 冉 冊 冉 冉 冊 冊 冊 n␲x3 n␲x2 cos a a n ␲ b n 3 cosh a 共 ⫺1 兲 n sinh 兺 m⫽1 冋冉 冊 冉 冋冉 冊 冉 冊 2 冉 冊 冋 冉 冊 冋 册 册 ␯ x 22 x 3 ␯ 1 3 5b 2 ␯ a 2 ␯ ⫹ x 3⫺ b 2⫹ ⫺ x 3⫺ ␬ 2⬘ . The same governing equations for Saint-Venant warping and the general flexure problem have been shown to correspond with those of the theory of elasticity. pure bending in two directions and torTransactions of the ASME . JANUARY 2004 tanh S ␣⫽ GS k␣ (67) 6 ␯ k 2⫽ ⫹ 5 1⫹ ␯ 2 6 ␯ k 3⫽ ⫹ 5 1⫹ ␯ 2 ␳ ⫺4 ⬁ 1 tanh共 m ␲␳ 兲 18 ⫺ 5 5 ␳␲ m⫽1 m5 兺 ⬁ 册 册 1 18 tanh共 n ␲␳ ⫺1 兲 ␳ . the numerical values for different aspect ratios are the same. 71. 6 3 6 6 2 (65) 2 Then the energy of the order (h/l) excluding the terms that do not affect the final Timoshenko-like model can be computed as 冋 2⌸ 2 16␯ 2 ba 5 ⫹96b 5 a 共 1⫹ ␯ 兲 2 32␯ 2 a 6 ⫽ ⫺ G 45 ␲5 ⬁ ⫻ 兺 冋 tanh n⫽1 ⫹ ⫺ 冉 冊 bn ␲ a n5 册 ␲5 ⬁ 兺 m⫽1 22 Õ Vol. the shear correction factors presented therein for the rectangular section are approximations of the elasticity solution. It has been proven mathematically that for an isotropic prismatic bar with an arbitrary cross section the classical model of VABS is the same as the superposition of elasticity solutions for extension. ⫺ 5 5 ␲ n⫽1 n5 4 兺 (68) Although the form of the shear correction factors are different from those of Renton 关16兴. Identical results have been found between elasticity and VAM solutions for beams with elliptical and rectangular cross sections. (66) The variational asymptotic method.

Mech. S. C.. Elsevier. 1996. K. 39共19兲. D. G. ‘‘Assessment of Beam Modeling Methods for Rotor Blade Applications. eds. J. Mat. Hodges. 关10兴 Yu. it is a natural deduction from the above demonstrations to conclude that the results for generally anisotropic beams should be the same as those calculated by methods based on threedimensional elasticity theory. 关7兴 Popescu. Appl. Maidenhead. J.. 关14兴 Hodges. ‘‘On Asymptotically Correct Timoshenko-Like Anisotropic Beam Theory. pp. L. 27–38. 17Õ18... 5101–5121. 关13兴 Danielson... Lions. Moreover.. Non-Linear Mech.. 40.’’ Int. pp. 513–526. ‘‘Variational-Asymptotic Method of Constructing a Theory of Shells. 76共4兲. 关4兴 Hodges. H. 关17兴 Berdichevsky. 120– 135. Although it may not be possible to validate the general theory of VABS for anisotropic beams in this same way. ‘‘A Justification of a Nonlinear Model in Plate Theory.’’ Comput. 37共3兲. pp. D. H. V. J. and Hodges. S211–S220.. Am. 1979. Cesnik. and Cesnik. Rev... C. ‘‘On Timoshenko-Like Modeling of Initially Curved and Twisted Composite Beams.sion. the Timoshenko-like model of VABS consists of these plus the solution for the general flexure problem in both directions. pp.. Eng.. C. pp.. Helicopter Soc. D. W. V. D.. P. A.’’ Int. H. P. 2105– 2112. 1955–1967. 1976. Solids Struct. ‘‘Non-linear Inplane Deformation and Buckling of Rings and High Arches. H.’’ Handbook of Numerical Analysis. X. P. Mat..’’ J. and Fulton. The fact that the numerical procedure in VABS reproduces the results of elasticity theory clearly demonstrates that the VAM.. Volovoi. and Kvashnina. C. Vol. C. Indeed. 533–543. D. ‘‘VABS: A New Concept for Composite Rotor Blade Cross-Sectional Modeling.. 关9兴 Yu. S. Vibrations of Shells and Rods... ‘‘On a Simplified Strain Energy Function for Geometrically Nonlinear Behavior of Anisotropic Beams. 1997.. Atilgan. ‘‘Nonlinear Beam Kinematics by Decomposition of the Rotation Tensor. Volovoi.’’ Prikl. Cesnik.. V.. 关12兴 Volovoi. Theory of Elasticity. Modell. S. E. 664 – 687. VABS may also be considered as a means for going beyond those limits when considering the cross-sectional analysis of beams. 关5兴 Cesnik.’’ Comput. Solids Struct.. 1992.’’ Appl. D. 42共1兲.’’ Math. 关8兴 Popescu.. S. J.. 1099–1112. 1999.’’ ASME J. N.. Ciarlet and J.. 34共4兲. and Hodges. S. C. S.. V. 2共5–7兲. the mathematical foundation of VABS. V.. ‘‘Generalized Beam Theory Applied to Shear Stiffness.. pp. R. Hodges. IV. Hodges. 关16兴 Renton. 1991. 487–974...’’ Prikl. Solids Struct. B. J. L. McGrawHill. H... 1999. J. pp. 27共15兲. 2002. pp. 40共10兲. D. D. Methods Appl.. Mech. 33共10–11兲. W. pp. References 关1兴 Le. D.. C. D. 46共11.... and Hong. 2001. V. such as three-dimensional finite elements...’’ AIAA J. 关11兴 Trabucho. 关3兴 Berdichevsky. ‘‘Validation of the Variational Asymptotic Beam Sectional Analysis. and Viano. Mekh. Mech. JANUARY 2004. M. and Goodier. 关15兴 Timoshenko. and Popescu. P. Comput. ‘‘Obliqueness Effects in Asymptotic Cross-Sectional Analysis of Composite Beams. ‘‘Stiffness Constants for Initially Twisted and Curved Composite Beams. 54共2兲. B. Struct. D. Berlin. B.. S. UK. S. ‘‘Mathematical Modeling of Rods. 1970.’’ Int.. 1979. pp.’’ Composites Eng. 2002.. 723–737. H. and Destuynder. E. and Cesnik. 43共4兲. pp. 227–258. and Hodges. New York. is a valid methodology that can be used to avoid the difficulties of dealing with threedimensional elasticity while obtaining results that are coincident with the exact solutions. Springer. 2000.. H. S. 1999.. H.. E. Vol. pp. H. A. Part 2兲. Journal of Applied Mechanics 关6兴 Cesnik. Mekh.. Hodges.. V. 1st Ed. 71 Õ 23 . V. 1987. L. 1993. E. V.’’ Int. E. and Hodges. 258 –262. pp... H. as three-dimensional finite elements allow one to go beyond the limitations of three-dimensional elasticity. E. pp.. D. 关2兴 Ciarlet.. pp. ‘‘On Equations Describing the Transverse Vibrations of Elastic Bars. 535–558. J..