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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING

Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785


Non-linear spatial Timoshenko beam element with
curvature interpolation
Mauro Schulz
1
and Filip C. Filippou
2,,
1
Department of Civil Engineering, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, RJ 24220-000, Brazil
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, U.S.A.
SUMMARY
The paper presents a spatial Timoshenko beam element with a total Lagrangian formulation. The element
is based on curvature interpolation that is independent of the rigid-body motion of the beam element and
simplies the formulation. The section response is derived from plane section kinematics. A two-node beam
element with constant curvature is relatively simple to formulate and exhibits excellent numerical conver-
gence. The formulation is extended to N-node elements with polynomial curvature interpolation. Models with
moderate discretization yield results of sucient accuracy with a small number of iterations at each load step.
Generalized second-order stress resultants are identied and the section response takes into account non-linear
material behaviour. GreenLagrange strains are expressed in terms of section curvature and shear distortion,
whose rst and second variations are functions of node displacements and rotations. A symmetric tangent
stiness matrix is derived by consistent linearization and an iterative acceleration method is used to improve
numerical convergence for hyperelastic materials. The comparison of analytical results with numerical sim-
ulations in the literature demonstrates the consistency, accuracy and superior numerical performance of the
proposed element. Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
KEY WORDS: non-linear geometric analysis; Timoshenko beam element; nite rotations; quaternions
INTRODUCTION
The study of the non-linear geometric response started occupying researchers centuries ago. As
recorded in Reference [1], Jacob Bernoulli (16541705) and Euler (17071783) did not limit their
studies to small deections. Linear approximation became common in the beginning of the 19th
century when Navier (17851836) consolidated the small displacement beam theory.
Although linear analysis proved simple, accurate and adequate for many applications, the realistic
simulation of three-dimensional non-linear structures under ultimate limit states is of considerable
interest. Recent aerospace, oshore and long span construction applications challenge researchers

Correspondence to: Filip C. Filippou, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California,
Berkeley, CA 94720-1710, U.S.A.

E-mail: lippou@ce.berkeley
Contract}grant sponsor; CNPq (Brazilian National Research Council)
Received 9 July 1999
Copyright
?
2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Revised 2 May 2000
762 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
to develop non-linear analysis to the same degree of simplicity of computation and reliability of
results as established by linear analysis methods.
Geometric non-linear analysis has been pursued with three basic kinematic formulations: total
Lagrangian, updated Lagrangian and co-rotational. In the total Lagrangian formulation the initial
conguration is selected as reference frame. In the updated Lagrangian formulation the cong-
uration at last convergence serves the same purpose. The co-rotational formulation is usually
associated with a unique frame that rotates simultaneously with the element and permits the use of
linear kinematic relations, while the non-linear geometric behaviour is accounted for by the frame
rotation.
Although the rst non-linear geometric stiness matrices for beams appeared in the early six-
ties in References [24], signicant progress was achieved after the incremental form for updated
Lagrangian and total Lagrangian formulations was developed in Reference [5]. Since the incre-
mental Lagrangian formulation proved computationally very eective, it became very popular and
was later applied to many other structural problems, such as thin-walled beam elements Refer-
ence [6].
The Timoshenko beam theory was extended to include nite displacements and plane rotations
in Reference [7]. The KirchhoLove spatial beam formulation was extended to include the nite
shear distortion and extension of the rod in Reference [8]. The importance of spatial nite rota-
tions in structural engineering applications was pointed out in Reference [9] along with elegant
derivations of rotation matrices and compound rotations in a rotation vector, and in Cayley and
quaternion representations.
A three-dimensional nite-beam element with general treatment of large rotations was devel-
oped in References [10, 11]. Quaternion parameters were used to avoid singularity problems and
minimize storage requirements. These studies adopted a total Lagrangian formulation with a small
number of load increments that was based on displacement and rotation vector interpolation. The
geometric stiness matrix is non-symmetric, except at the converged equilibrium conguration
under conservative loading. The study in Reference [12] arrived at a symmetric stiness matrix
with a dierent rotation discretization, while the study in Reference [13], truncated the rotation
representation to reach the same goal.
Large rotations were rst treated with a co-rotational formulation in Reference [14]. The con-
sistent tangent stiness matrix was non-symmetric and the impressive rate of convergence was
slightly reduced when the matrix was articially symmetrized.
The studies in References [15, 16] implemented a non-linear Timoshenko beam element with
a variant of the total Lagrangian formulation called core-congruential that is limited to linear
hyperelastic and isotropic materials. A symmetric geometric stiness matrix was arrived at by
suitable parametrization of nite rotations. Since the linear interpolation of the node rotations
cannot represent a constant curvature state, a two-node interpolation formula was derived from the
solution of the constant curvature dierential equation in quaternion terms.
The last approximation is equivalent to the elegant two-node spherical interpolation in Ref-
erence [17] called SLERP. The extension of this smooth orientation interpolation to N rotation
frames was studied in Reference [18], using an interesting physical analogy. When driving in
circles in a hilly region, the driver is bounced up and down in the seat (normal direction) and
pushed against the car doors (tangential direction). Minimizing tangential acceleration is desirable
to make the trip as comfortable as possible. Assuming that normal acceleration is inevitable, the
quaternion curve that minimizes the total tangential acceleration was derived numerically with an
augmented Lagrangian multiplier method.
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 763
The spatial Timoshenko beam element in this paper is based on the total Lagrangian formula-
tion. The section response is based on the common assumption of plane sections in Timoshenko
beam theory. The nite element formulation is based on a simple and straightforward constant cur-
vature interpolation scheme that is independent of the rigid-body motion of the beam element and
simplies the element formulation. The rotation matrix of the cross-section is established as the
product of the rotation matrix at the origin of the beam with a curvature dependent rotation matrix.
The beam deformation and its variations are obtained in closed form. This simplies the numer-
ical implementation signicantly, thus, avoiding numerical problems. The interpolation scheme is
extended to an N-node beam element by polynomial interpolation of the beam curvatures.
The GreenLagrange strains are expressed in terms of section curvature and shear distortion.
Three additional generalized stress resultants are identied: two second-order bending moments
and one covariant bending moment. The second-order generalized stress resultants are negligible
in slender rods, but are important for thicker elements. The section response includes fully non-
linear material behaviour, including exureshear interaction. The rst and second variation of
the section curvature and shear distortion is expressed in terms of the node displacements and
rotations. The consistent linearization of the governing equations leads to a symmetric stiness
matrix without further simplifying assumptions. A convergence acceleration scheme is used for
improving the performance and robustness of the numerical implementation. The validity of the
proposed element is established by comparison with numerical simulations in the literature.
FINITE ROTATIONS
The orientation at a node can be dened by an orthogonal vector triad as a 3 3 rotation matrix.
The information in the rotation matrix can be reduced to three parameters with the aid of Euler
angles, which are the rotations about the 3-axis, subsequent 1-axis and subsequent 3-axis. Since this
denition depends on the reference axes selection, other representations are often preferable. In the
rotation vector representation the rotation is dened by a pseudo-vector whose components and
modulus establish the rotation basis and value. Because the rotation vector representation can result
in singular relations, an Euler parameter or quaternion representation involving four variables is
sometimes more convenient. A discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of these and other
representations is presented in Reference [19].
Only basic aspects of nite rotations are presented herein. The studies in References [2022],
as well as the classic study in Reference [9], can serve as references. A succinct introduction is
presented in Reference [14].
The orthogonal rotation matrix R rotates vector v
0
to v
1
=Rv
0
. For compound rotations, dened
by
v
1
=R
1
v
0
, v
2
=R
2
v
1
, v
2
=R
21
v
0
(1)
the following expression applies:
R
21
=R
2
R
1
(2)
The rotation vector X and its modulus are expressed by
X
T
=[X
1
X
2
X
3
], X =Xe, X
2
=X
T
X (3)
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
764 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
and the associated skew-symmetric matrix S(X) is
S(X) =
_

_
0 X
3
X
3
X
3
0 X
1
X
2
X
1
0
_

_ (4)
The following expression is applicable to innitesimal rotations
R=I + S(X) (5)
For nite rotations, the rotation matrix R can be considered the superposition of n innitesimal
rotations i, each one dened by
R
i
= lim
n
_
I +
1
n
S(X)
_
(6)
With the compound rotation formula in (2) and (6), yields
R= lim
n
_
I +
1
n
S(X)
_
n
(7)
Using the binomial formula and taking the limit of the resulting expression the study in
Reference [9] showed that (7) is equivalent to
R(X) =I + S(X) +
1
2!
S(X)
2
+
1
3!
S(X)
3
+ +
1
n!
S(X)
n
= exp[S(X)] (8)
The transpose of the rotation matrix can be obtained through the inverse transformation
R(X)
T
=I S(X) +
1
2!
S(X)
2

1
3!
S(X)
3
+ +
(1)
n
n!
S(X)
n
= exp[S(X)] (9)
The following useful algebraic relations apply:
S(X
1
)X
2
= X
1
X
2
(10a)
S(X
1
)S(X
2
) = X
2
X
T
1
X
T
1
X
2
I (10b)
S(X
1
)X
2
= S(X
2
)X
1
(10c)
X
T
1
S(X
2
) = X
T
2
S(X
1
) (10d)
S(X)X = X
T
S(X) =0 (10e)
R(X)X = R(X)
T
X =X (10f)
S(X)
n+2
= (X
T
X)S(X)
n
(for n1) (10g)
S(S(X
1
)X
2
) = S(X
1
)S(X
2
) S(X
2
)S(X
1
) =X
2
X
T
1
X
1
X
T
2
(10h)
Using (10g), (8) can be rearranged in terms of S(X) and S(X)
2
to yield Rodrigues formula
R=I +
sin 0
0
S(X) +
1 cos 0
0
2
S(X)
2
(11)
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 765
A large rotation X physically means a rotation over a unit vector e =X}0 of magnitude equal to
the modulus 0 =

X
T
X. After applying this transformation to vector v, as shown in Figure 1, the
resulting vector v is equal to
v =v + (sin 0)e v + (1 cos 0) e e v (12)
With (10a) the rotation matrix satisfying the relation v =Rv is
R=I + (sin 0)S(e) + (1 cos 0)S(e)
2
(13)
which is equivalent to (11) after making use of (3).
Two rotations about the same axis are commutative and expressed by
R((a + b)X) =R(aX)R(bX) =R(bX)R(aX) (14)
The following expression is derived by observing that the columns of the rotation matrix are
orthogonal unit vectors:
S[R(X
1
)X
2
] =R(X
1
)S(X
2
)R(X
1
)
T
(15)
Substituting (15) in (18) yields
R[R(X
1
)X
2
] =R(X
1
)R(X
2
)R(X
1
)
T
(16)
A unary complex number c =c
0
+ c
1
i with c
2
0
+ c
2
1
=1 is represented in polar form by e
i0
and expresses orientation in the plane. Multiplication of unary complex numbers c
2
c
1
=e
i(0
2
+0
1
)
is
equivalent to the resultant orientation of compound rotations about the origin. Unary quaternions are
four-dimensional vectors resembling unary complex numbers and dened with the aid of imaginary
quantities i, j and k:
q =q
0
+ q
1
i + q
2
j + q
3
k
q
2
0
+ q
2
1
+ q
2
2
+ q
2
3
=1
i
2
=j
2
=k
2
= 1
ij = ji =k, jk = kj =i, ki = ik =j
(17)
Quaternions can also be represented by a three-dimensional vector and a scalar
q =
_
q
0
q
_
, q =(q
1
q
2
q
3
)
T
(18)
A rotation vector X is represented in quaternion form by
q
0
= cos (0}02), q =
sin (0}2)
0
X (19)
The quaternion multiplication q
21
=q
2
q
1
, based on the rules in (17), or the equivalent expression
q
21
=q
0, 2
q
0,1
q
T
2
q
1
+ q
0, 2
q
1
+ q
0, 1
q
2
+ q
2
q
1
(20)
yields the quaternion associated with the compound rotation matrix R
21
in (2). Quaternions q
1
and
q
2
are associated with rotation matrices R
1
and R
2
, respectively.
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
766 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
Figure 1. Beam element and reference axes. Figure 2. Large rotation representation.
The following expression denes a 4 4-quaternion matrix representation Q:
Q=
_
q
0
q
T
q q
0
I S(q)
_
, Q
T
Q=
_
1 0
0 I
_
(21)
Isomorphism between quaternion q and matrix representation Q is discussed in Reference [23].
Equation (20) is expressed in Q notation by the matrix multiplication
Q
21
=Q
2
Q
1
(22)
The correspondence between (2) and (22) is very useful. The quaternion matrix can also be
represented by
Q= cos
0
2
_
1 0
0 I
_
+ sin
0
2
_
0 e
T
e S(e)
_
(23)
Using quaternion parameters the rotation matrix is expressed by
R=
_

_
q
2
0
+ q
2
1
q
2
2
q
2
3
2q
1
q
2
2q
0
q
3
2q
1
q
3
+ 2q
0
q
2
2q
1
q
2
+ 2q
0
q
3
q
2
0
q
2
1
+ q
2
2
q
2
3
2q
2
q
3
2q
0
q
1
2q
1
q
3
2q
0
q
2
2q
2
q
3
+ 2q
0
q
1
q
2
0
q
2
1
q
2
2
+ q
2
3
_

_ (24)
GENERAL BEAM ELEMENT KINEMATICS
The generator of the prismatic beam element in Figure 2 is considered parallel to the reference
1-axis. According to the hypothesis that plane sections remain plane, displacement u, which
is dened as the dierence between current position x and original position X of a point, is
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 767
determined by
u =x X=V + (R(X) I)X
S
(25)
where V is the displacement of the origin of the reference axes in the section, R is the rotation
matrix associated with rotation vector X of the section and X
S
is the position vector of a point in
the cross-section reference system. In expanded form these vectors are
u =[u
1
u
2
u
3
]
T
, x =[x
1
x
2
x
3
]
T
, X=[X
1
X
2
X
3
]
T
V =[
1

2

3
]
T
, X
S
=[0 X
2
X
3
]
T
(26)
For innitesimal rotations (25) reduces to u =V + S(X)X
S
, or
u
1
=
1
0
3
X
2
+ 0
2
X
3
, u
2
=
2
0
1
X
3
, u
3
=
3
+ 0
1
X
2
(27)
which are the well-known linear geometry relations. They are sucient for the determination of the
corresponding innitesimal strains. For the present problem it is convenient to use the curvature
vector Z and distortion vector M of the section as generalized strain measures.
In the following a prime denotes dierentiation with respect to X
1
([ ]

=c[ ]

}cX
1
). The orthog-
onal condition of the rotation matrix implies
R
T
R=I, R
T
R

+ R
T
R=0 (28)
Equation (28) shows that matrix R
T
R

is skew-symmetric. Curvature vector Z is dened by


S(Z) =R
T
R

(29)
Distortion vector M is dened by
M=R
T

(30)
where

V

=i
1
+ V

and i
1
is the rst column of the identity matrix I.
GREENLAGRANGE STRAINS
The displacement gradient H, the deformation gradient F, and the GreenLagrange strain tensor U
are dened in Reference [24]
H = Grad(u) =
_

_
cu
1
cX
1
cu
1
cX
2
cu
1
cX
3
cu
2
cX
1
cu
2
cX
2
cu
2
cX
3
cu
3
cX
1
cu
3
cX
2
cu
3
cX
3
_

_
=[h
1
h
2
h
3
]
F = I + H (31)
U =
1
2
[F
T
F I]
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
768 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
Equations (10c), (25), (29) and (30) yield the rst column of the displacement gradient h
1
h
1
=V

+ R

X
S
=V

+ RS(Z)X
S
=V

RS(X
S
)Z (32)
Denoting the columns of the rotation matrix by r
1
, r
2
and r
3
, the following expression is obtained:
RS(X
S
) =[r
3
X
2
+ r
2
X
3
r
1
X
3
r
1
X
2
] (33)
Columns h
2
and h
3
are, respectively, equal to
h
2
=(R I)i
2
=r
2
i
2
h
3
=(R I)i
3
=r
3
i
3
(34)
Substituting (32) and (34) in (31), the columns f
1
, f
2
and f
3
of the deformation gradient are
expressed by
f
1
= i
1
+ V

RS(X
S
)Z
f
2
= r
2
(35)
f
3
= r
3
It is easy to verify with (31) that strains c
22
, c
33
, c
23
and c
32
are equal to zero. The remaining
strains c
11
, c
12
and c
13
are given by
c
12
= c
21
=1
1
2
[f
T
2
f
1
]
c
13
= c
31
=
1
2
[f
T
3
f
1
] (36)
c
11
=
1
2
[f
T
1
f
1
1]
With (33), (35), (36) and the fact that the columns of the rotation matrix are orthogonal unit
vectors the following expressions result:
c
11
=

1
([
1

1
[
3
)X
2
+ ([
1

1
[
2
)X
3
+
1
2
[
2
1
+
2
2
+
2
3
+ (
2
1
+
2
3
)X
2
2
+ (
2
1
+
2
2
)X
2
3
2
2

3
X
2
X
3
]
c
12
= c
21
=
1
2
[[
2
X
3

1
] (37)
c
13
= c
31
=
1
2
[[
3
+ X
2

1
]
These relations dene the GreenLagrange strains in terms of curvature vector Z and distortion
vector M under the plane section hypothesis, that usually underlies the Timoshenko beam theory.
GENERALIZED STRAINS AND STRESSES
The generalized strain vector U and the stress resultant vector A, both acting on cross-section A
0
in
the initial conguration, are dened from (37). For the following derivations U and A are divided
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 769
into normal and shear components U
n
, A
n
, U
s
and A
s
, respectively. The vectors of generalized normal
and shear strain are
U
n
= [

+
1
2
(
2
1
+
2
2
+
2
3
) [
1

1
[
3
[
1

1
[
2
1
2
(
2
1
+
2
3
)
1
2
(
2
1
+
2
2
)
2

3
]
T
(38)
U
s
= [[
2
[
3

1
]
T
The normal GreenLagrange strain c
11
at an arbitrary point in the cross-section is obtained from
c
11
=p
T
U
n
(39)
where p is dened for the arbitrary point in the section by
p =[1 X
2
X
3
X
2
2
X
2
3
X
2
X
3
]
T
(40)
The vector of normal stress resultants A
n
is
A
n
=
_
A
0
po
11
dX
2
dX
3
(41)
where o
11
is the second PiolaKircho normal stress. Three stress resultants can be identied
in addition to normal force N
1
and bending moments M
2
and M
3
: the second-order bending
moments M
22
and M
33
and the covariant bending moment M
23
. These second-order stress resultants
correspond to the integrals of X
2
2
o
11
, X
2
3
o
11
and X
2
X
3
o
11
over the cross-section in the initial
conguration, respectively. According to these denitions A
n
is
A
n
=[N
1
M
2
M
3
M
22
M
33
M
23
]
T
(42)
The vector of shear stress resultants is arranged as follows:
A
s
=
_
A
0
[o
12
o
13
X
3
o
12
+ X
2
o
13
]
T
dX
2
dX
3
(43)
where o
12
and o
13
are the second PiolaKircho shear stresses. It is easy to recognize the shear
forces J
2
and J
3
and the torsional moment 1
1
in (43), so that
A
s
=[J
2
J
3
1
1
]
T
(44)
PRINCIPLE OF VIRTUAL DISPLACEMENTS
In the total Lagrangian formulation all variables are dened in the initial conguration. As presented
in Reference [25], the principle of virtual displacements can be expressed in terms of the Green
Lagrange strain tensor and its conjugate, the second PiolaKircho stress tensor. Noting that strains
c
22
, c
33
, c
23
and c
32
are zero, the virtual work expression reduces to
_
J
0
[oc
11
o
11
+ 2oc
12
o
12
+ 2oc
13
oc
13
] dJ
0
=
_
J
0
u
T
f
b
dJ
0
+ oU
T
f (45)
where o
11
, o
12
and o
13
are the second PiolaKircho normal and shear stresses, f
b
is the body force
vector and f is the nodal force vector. All force vectors are dened in the initial conguration
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
770 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
and the integrals extend over the initial volume J
0
. U and u are the node displacement and
body displacement vectors, respectively. With (37), (39), (41) and (43), the principle of virtual
displacements (45) reduces to
_
J
0
[oU
T
n
A
n
+ oU
T
s
A
s
] dJ
0
=
_
J
0
ou
T
f
b
dJ
0
+ oU
T
f (46)
SECTION CONSTITUTIVE RELATION
A general incremental constitutive relation for the cross-section is dened by
dA =E dU (47)
where E is the tangent constitutive matrix. The proposed formulation can account for general
non-linear material behaviour including shearexure interaction. If the shearexure interaction
is neglected, the constitutive relation in (47) reduces to uncoupled constitutive relations for the
normal and shear components, designated by subscripts n and s, respectively
dA
n
=E
n
dU
n
, dA
s
=E
s
dU
s
(48)
The constitutive relation in the normal direction for a point in the cross-section is given by
dA
11
=E dU
11
(49)
where E is the tangent modulus of elasticity. From (39), (41), (47) and (49) the constitutive
matrix E
n
becomes
E
n
=
_
A
0
pp
T
E dX
2
dX
3
(50)
Since the tangent modulus of the material varies with the response history, E
n
is a full 6 6 matrix.
The constitutive matrix E
s
for the shear components is a full 3 3 matrix, unless the shear centre
coincides with the reference point for linear elastic material response. Ways of determining the
constitutive matrix E
s
are given in References [26, 27]. For hyperelastic materials, Equation (47)
reduces to
A =A(U) (51)
VARIATION OF GENERALIZED STRAINS
This section establishes the rst and second variations of curvature vector Z and shear distortion
vector M, which are used in the denition of GreenLagrange strains. These variations are expressed
in terms of displacement and rotation variables V and X, whose linearization forms the basis of the
iterative numerical solution of the governing equations.
The variation of the rotation matrix oR(X) is expressed by
R(X) + oR(X) =R(oX) R(X)

=[I + S(oX)] R(X) (52)


Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 771
where, as emphasized in Reference [28], the rotation increment oX is non-associative with the
rotation X and, therefore, laws governing variations do not directly apply. Thus, oX is hereafter
called a non-additive variation. Equation (52) yields
oR(X) =S(oX) R(X), oR(X)
T
=R(X)
T
S(oX) (53)
The following relation between the curvature variation oZ and the derivative of the non-additive
rotation variation oX

is obtained after substitution of Equation (53) and its derivative in the


variation of (29) with reference to (10)
oZ =R
T
oX

(54)
From Equation (30), the rst variation of the distortion vector oM is
oM=R
T
[oV

+ S(

) oX] (55)
The second variations o
2
Z and o
2
M are equal to
o
2
Z =R
T
S(oX) oX

o
2
M=2 R
T
[S(oX) oV

] R
T
S(oX) S(

) oX (56)
Component i of the corresponding vectors is
o
2

i
=oX
T
S(r
i
) oX

o
2
[
i
=2 oX
T
S(r
i
) oV

+ oX
T
S(r
i
) S(

) oX (57)
where r
i
is the ith column vector of rotation matrix R.
INTERPOLATION FUNCTIONS
Finite element implementation requires the interpolation of the rst and second variations of cur-
vature vector Z and distortion vector M in terms of the variation of nodal displacements oU.
Interpolation functions N for the vector variations oZ and oM, and interpolation functions M for
components o
2

i
and o
2
[
i
are dened by
oZ = N
T
Z
oU, oM=N
T
M
oU
o
2

i
= oU
T
M

i
oU, o
2
[
i
=oU
T
M
[
i
oU
(58)
With (54), (55) and (57) these interpolation functions are expressed in terms of the interpolation
functions for the displacements, rotations and rotation dierentials
N
T
Z
= R
T
N
T
X
, N
T
M
=R
T
[N
T
V
+ S(

)N
T
X
]
M

i
= N
X
S(r
i
)N
T
X
, M
[
i
=2N
X
S(r
i
)N
T
V
+ N
X
S(r
i
)S(

V

)N
T
X
(59)
The interpolation functions for the displacements, rotations and rotation dierentials
oV

=N
T
V
oU, oX =N
T
X
oU, oX

=N
T
X
oU (60)
are presented in the following sections.
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
772 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
Considering that o
2

i
and o
2
[
i
are scalars (58) yields
o
2

i
=oU
T
M
S

i
oU, o
2
[
i
=oU
T
M
S
[
i
oU (61)
where symmetric matrices M
S

i
and M
S
[
i
are
M
S

i
=(M

i
+ M
T

i
)}2, M
S
[
i
=(M
[
i
+ M
T
[
i
)}2 (62)
Expressions (61) and (62) lead to a symmetric stiness matrix.
DISPLACEMENT INTERPOLATION
The interpolation of the displacements V of the origin of the cross-section and the corresponding
variations are dened by
V =N
T
V
U, oV =N
T
V
oU, oV

=N
T
V
oU (63)
Polynomial interpolation functions N
V
are used in the element implementation.
CURVATURE-BASED TWO-NODE ROTATION INTERPOLATION
As shown in (16), a rotation by X does not correspond to a linear transformation with the associ-
ated rotation matrix R(X). An element rotation does not correspond to a linear transformation with
the node rotation vectors X. Therefore, a polynomial interpolation of rotations X is not observer in-
variant. Even in a co-rotational frame two-node elements with a constant rotation derivative X

will
exhibit variable curvature Z. The following example illustrates this point: the linear interpolation
of the node rotation vectors X
1
=[0 }4 0] and X
2
=[0 0 }4] yields X
c
=[X
1
+X
2
]}2 at the beam
centre. After rotating the beam by R(X
c
), the new node rotation vectors are [0.15 0.38 0.36]
and [0.15 0.36 0.38]. The new mean is not equal to the null vector!
According to Reference [24], one of the main axioms of mechanics is the requirement that
material response be independent of the observer. In Newtonian mechanics, two identical structures
rotated in space must yield the same internal forces in local co-ordinates. If rotation interpolation
is dependent on rigid-body motion, structural analyses of identical structures will yield dierent
curvatures and results.
Constant curvature elements were used in Reference [15] by solving the constant curvature
dierential equation in quaternion terms. In the present paper a two-node beam element with con-
stant curvature is obtained in straightforward manner by simple interpolation of the rotation matrix.
Non-additive variations of the rotation vector oX are determined in close form. The numerical im-
plementation is simplied signicantly by bypassing the extraction of quaternion parameters from
the rotation matrix, as proposed in Reference [11] on the basis of the algorithm in Reference [29].
In the following equations when a subscript to a co-ordinate variable X is omitted, it refers
to the beam axis co-ordinate X
1
. For a two-node large rotation Timoshenko beam element with
constant curvature the following interpolation function is dened:
R
X
=R
0
R(XZ
0
), Q
X
=Q
0
Q(XZ
0
) (64)
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 773
where Z
0
is a constant vector. R
0
and Q
0
are the rotation and quaternion matrices at the origin
X
0
dened for convenience at the integration point in the middle of the beam. Applying (14) and
the derivative denition to R(XZ
0
) yields
R

(XZ
0
) =S(Z
0
)R(XZ
0
) =R(XZ
0
)S(Z
0
) (65)
Upon substitution of (64) and (65) in (29) it is veried that the curvature is constant along
the element and equal to Z
0
. The following expressions are derived by substitution of the rotation
values at the beam end nodes A and B in (64)
R(L
0
Z
0
) =R
T
A
R
B
, Q(L
0
Z
0
) =Q
T
A
Q
B
(66)
Expanding (66) according to (21) and dening c=
0
L
0
}2, where
0
is the modulus of Z
0
yields
cos c = q
0A
q
0B
+ q
A
q
B
Z
0
=
2c
L
0
sin c
[q
0A
q
B
+ q
0B
q
A
+ S(q
A
)q
B
]
(67)
Substituting (64) for X
A
=L
0
}2 and X
B
=L
0
}2 and applying (23) establishes the quaternion in-
terpolation at the integration point X
0
Q
0
=
1
2 cos(c}2)
(Q
A
+ Q
B
), q
0
=
1
2 cos(c}2)
(q
A
+ q
B
) (68)
It can be veried with (23) that interpolation (64) is equivalent to the spherical interpolation
by Reference [17] called SLERP and given by
q
X
=q
A
sin((1 (X}L))c)
sin(c)
+ q
B
sin((X}L)c)
sin(c)
(69)
The interpolation in terms of the rotation matrix in (64) is very convenient in establishing the
non-additive rotation variation oX
0
at the integration point. The integrals G, G
1
and G
2
are dened
by
G
1
=
_
0
L}2
R(XZ
0
) dX, G
2
=
_
L}2
0
R(XZ
0
) dX, G=G
1
+ G
2
(70)
Observing that the curvature is constant along the element, (54) and (70) yield
oX
2
oX
1
=R
0
GoZ
0
, oZ
0
=G
1
R
T
0
(oX
2
oX
1
) (71)
The integration of the rotation matrix R(XZ
0
) can be expressed according to (8) by
_
b
a
R(XZ
0
) dX =
_
XI +
X
2
2!
S(Z
0
) + X
3
S(Z
0
)
2
3!
+ X
4
S(Z
0
)
3
4!
+
_
b
a
(72)
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
774 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
The following expressions are derived by applying (10g) to (70) and (72), contracting the corre-
sponding Taylor series and symbolically inverting the resultant matrix G:
G
2
= G
T
1
=
L
2
_
I +
1 cos c
c
S(Z
0
)

0
+
c sin c
c
_
S(Z
0
)

0
_
2
_
(73)
G
1
=
1
L
_
I +
_
1
c
sin c
_
_
S(Z
0
)

0
_
2
_
(74)
Equations (54), (71) and (74) yield the derivative of the non-additive rotation variation oX

0
at
the integration point
oX

0
=R
0
oZ
0
=R
0
G
1
R
T
0
(oX
2
oX
1
) (75)
The non-additive rotation variation is derived after integration of (54) and substitution of (64),
(70) and (71)
oX
0
=R
0
G
2
G
1
R
T
0
oX
1
+ R
0
G
1
G
1
R
T
0
oX
2
(76)
where the following relation from (73) and (74) holds:
G
2
G
1
=[G
1
G
1
]
T
=
L
2
_
I +
1 cos c
sin c
S(Z
0
)

0
_
(77)
The interpolation functions N
X
and N
X
can be readily obtained from (74)(77).
CURVATURE BASED N-NODE ROTATION INTERPOLATION
A natural extension of the constant curvature interpolation is the curvature approximation by a
polynomial
Z =Z
0
+ XZ
1
+ X
2
Z
2
+ (78)
An important advantage of this approach is that the non-additive variation oX and its derivative
oX

can be readily expressed by


oX

= RoZ =R(oZ
0
+ XoZ
1
+ X
2
oZ
2
+ ) (79)
oX = oX
0
+
_
X
X
0
RoZ dX =oX
0
+
_
X
X
0
RdX oZ
0
+
_
X
X
0
RX dX oZ
1
+
_
X
X
0
RX
2
dX oZ
2
+ (80)
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 775
The rotation interpolation that satises a polynomial curvature equation is accomplished numer-
ically. Equation (80) yields
T
_

_
oZ
0
oZ
1
oZ
2
.
.
.
_

_
=
_

_
oX
1
oX
0
oX
2
oX
0
oX
3
oX
0
.
.
.
_

_
, 1
i)
=
_
X
i
X
0
RX
)
dX (81)
where X
0
, X
1
, X
2
, X
3
, . . . are the rotation values at element nodes 0, 1, 2, 3. The beam is divided
in integration segments; starting from the node rotation value X
0
at X
0
and a rst approximation
of the curvature constants Z
0
, Z
1
, Z
2
, . . . , the rotation at point i is determined from the rotation
at point i 1 according to
R
(i)
=R
(i1)
R[(Z
0
+

XZ
1
+

X
2
Z
2
+ )(X
(i)
X
(i1)
)]
Q
(i)
=Q
(i1)
Q[(Z
0
+

XZ
1
+

X
2
Z
2
+ )(X
(i)
X
(i1)
)]
(82)
where

X =(X
(i)
+ X
(i1)
)}2. Equation (82) represents a constant curvature approximation for
the segment between points i and i 1. The matrix terms 1
i)
can be readily determined nu-
merically and (81) establishes the incremental curvature terms for residuals of rotation compo-
nents X in a standard NewtonRaphson iteration scheme. A constant curvature approximation
with (67) for the extreme element nodes is a convenient rst approximation for the curvature
distribution. A moderate number of segments yields accuracy, computational eciency and fast
convergence.
After establishing the rotation interpolation it is necessary to derive the non-additive rotation
variation along the element in terms of the values at the nodes. Equation (81) yields
oZ
e
=G
e
oX
e
(83)
where oX
e
=[oX
0
oX
1
oX
2
oX
3
]
T
and oZ
e
=[oZ
0
oZ
1
oZ
2
]
T
. G
e
is dened by
G
e
=
_

(T
1
)
)
T
1
_
(84)
The rst column of G
e
is the opposite of the column sum of T
1
while the remaining columns
of G
e
are equal to the corresponding columns of T
1
matrix. Equations (79), (80) and (83) yield
oX

= R[I IX IX
2
. . .]G
e
oX
e
(85)
oX =
___
X
X
0
RdX
_
X
X
0
RX dX
_
X
X
0
RX
2
dX . . .
_
G
e
+ (I 0 0 . . .)
_
oX
e
(86)
which suce to establish interpolation functions N
X
and N
X
for the non-additive rotation
variation.
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
776 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
EQUILIBRIUM EQUATIONS
The rst variation of the generalized strain vector U is
oU
n
=
_

_
o

1
+ o

1
+ o

2
+ o

3
o
3
[
1
+ o[
1

3
o[
3

1
o
1
[
3
o
2
[
1
+ o[
1

2
o[
2

1
o
1
[
2
o
1

1
+ o
3

3
o
1

1
+ o
2

2
o
2

3
+ o
3

2
_

_
, oU
s
=
_

_
o[
2
o[
3
o
1
_

_ (87)
With the interpolation functions the variation of U is expressed by
oU =b oU (88)
where b is an interpolation matrix whose normal and shear components are given by
b
n
=
_

_
N
T

1
+ N
T

1
+ N
T

2
+ N
T

3
N
T

3
[
1
+ N
T
[
1

3
N
T
[
3

1
N
T

1
[
3
N
T

2
[
1
+ N
T
[
1

2
N
T
[
2

1
N
T

1
[
2
N
T

1
+ N
T

3
N
T

1
+ N
T

2
N
T

3
+ N
T

2
_

_
, b
s
=
_

_
N
[
2
N
[
3
N

1
_

_ (89)
The principle of virtual displacements can now be reduced to the following equilibrium equation
f
r
=
_
J
0
N
u
f
b
dJ
0
+ f (90)
where N
u
are the displacement interpolation functions. The resisting forces f
r
are determined from
f
r
=
_
L
0
[b
T
A] dX (91)
INCREMENTAL EQUILIBRIUM EQUATIONS
Neglecting the second variation of nodal displacements U in the context of the incremental nu-
merical process, the variation of both sides of Equation (46) yields
_
J
0
[oU
T
n
oA
n
+ oU
T
s
oA
s
] dJ
0
+
_
J
0
[o
2
U
T
n
A
n
+ o
2
U
T
s
A
s
] dJ
0
=
_
J
0
ou
T
of
b
dJ
0
+ oU
T
of (92)
The second variation of the generalized strain vector U is accomplished with (87). The adopted
interpolation functions yield the following incremental equilibrium equation:
KoU=
_
J
0
N
u
of
b
dJ
0
+ of (93)
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 777
where stiness matrix K is
K=
_
L
0
b
T
Eb dX +
_
L
0

B
k
o
k
dX (94)
The rst component of the tangent stiness matrix corresponds to non-linear material behaviour,
although matrix b is not exactly the same as the one usually used for small displacements, since it
includes non-linear terms. The second component corresponds to non-linear geometric behaviour.
The interpolation matrices B are given by
B
1
= N

1
N
T

1
+ N

2
N
T

2
+ N

3
N
T

3
B
2
= N

3
N
T
[
1
+ N
[
1
N
T

3
N
[
3
N
T

1
N

1
N
T
[
3
+ M
S

3
[
1
+ M
S
[
1

3
M
S
[
3

1
M
S

1
[
3
B
3
= N

2
N
T
[
1
+ N
[
1
N
T

2
N
[
2
N
T

1
N

1
N
T
[
2
+ M
S

2
[
1
+ M
S
[
1

2
M
S
[
2

1
M
S

1
[
2
B
4
= N

1
N
T

1
+ N

3
N
T

3
+ M
S

1
+ M
S

3
B
5
= N

1
N
T

1
+ N

2
N
T

2
+ M
S

1
+ M
S

2
B
6
= N

2
N
T

3
+ N

3
N
T

2
+ M
S

3
+ M
S

2
B
7
= M
S
[
2
B
8
= M
S
[
3
B
9
= M
S

1
(95)
By inspecting Equations (94) and (95) and it can be veried that no approximations were
required to arrive at a consistent and symmetric stiness matrix.
IMPLEMENTATION
A reduced integration scheme is used for the evaluation of the element integrals in order to avoid
shear locking and improve element convergence. Noting that quaternion q is equivalent to q the
quaternion representation in (67) should be adjusted for a positive cos c, which corresponds to
the closest constant curvature interpolation. The solution for c in the interval (0, }2) limits the
maximum angle between node orientations in a single element to , when using the closed-form
expressions in two-node elements. This is a suciently large range for the majority of practical
cases and the limitation can be overcome by a ner discretization. N-node interpolation allows for
larger rotations between nodes.
From (47) and (88) the increment of the stress resultants in the context of an incremental
non-linear analysis is
dA =Eb dU (96)
Large load increments with equilibrium check are possible for hyperelastic materials. It is observed
during intermediate iterations of a NewtonRaphson solution procedure that the stresses for unbal-
anced congurations of a displacement-based formulation can induce non-linear geometric terms
that are undesirably distant from the equilibrium solution. With (96) the expected stress vector
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
778 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
A
i
at iteration i is dened by
A
i
=A
i1
+ E
i1
b
i1
(U
i
U
i1
) (97)
where A
i1
, E
i1
, b
i1
are the actual stress-resultant vector, the constitutive matrix and the
interpolation matrix at the previous iteration i 1. A
i
tends to the actual stress-resultant vec-
tor A
i
as displacements U
i
converge to the equilibrium solution. Substituting o
k
by the expected
stress-resultant component o
i
k
in (94) proves an excellent choice for the rapid convergence and
robustness of the numerical solution.
The following brief summary indicates the sequence of operations and the associated equations
for the state determination of a two-node beam element.
1. Displacement derivative V

, curvature Z
0
and quaternion q
0
with (63), (67) and (68);
2. Rotation matrix R and shear distortion M at the integration point with (24) and (30);
3. Generalized strains U and constitutive matrix E with (38) and (30);
4. Stress resultants A with (51) for hyperelastic materials or (96) otherwise;
5. Interpolation functions N
V
, N
X
, N
X
, N
Z
, N
M
, M
S

i
and M
S
[
i
with (59), (62), (63), (75) and (76);
6. Interpolation matrices b and B with (89) and (95), and
7. Resisting forces f
r
and stiness matrix K with (91) and (94).
For an N-node element with curvature interpolation it is necessary to replace step 1 by the
numerical interpolation procedure.
The incremental rotations from the solution of the global incremental equilibrium equations are
non-additive, because beam elements are formulated with non-additive rotation variations. The
rotation history is described by incremental rotations and the nal orientation is stored with the
aid of the quaternion representation. After transforming the incremental rotation to the quaternion
representation with (19), the rotation update is performed through the compound quaternion formula
in (20).
EXAMPLES
The validity of the proposed beam element is accomplished by comparison with well-known nu-
merical simulations in the literature. The examples also illustrate the performance, robustness and
convergence characteristics of the formulation. The error is controlled by limiting the ratio of the
Euclidean norm of the residual and applied forces.
The elliptic integrals of the closed-form solutions for thin bars were evaluated numerically in
Reference [30], as also presented in References [31, 32]. The tabulated deections of a cantilever
beam that is subjected to an end force are selected for comparison purposes. The example in
Figure 3 has a 0.001 square cross-section of unit EI modulus reproducing approximately the
thin bar hypothesis. It is analysed with six constant curvature two-node elements and two cubic
curvature four-node elements. Although both models have the same number of nodes and exhibit
equally accurate response, the cubic curvature elements reproduce more precisely the tabulated
results in Reference [30]. The nal equilibrium conguration is reached in only two loading steps,
with six and seven iterations, respectively.
In Reference [11] the pure bending of a straight rod of unit length, bending stiness EI =2 was
simulated numerically with ve elements, achieving convergence in only two iterations.
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 779
Figure 3. Cantilever beam subject to end force.
Figure 4. Cantilever beam subject to end moment.
The thin bar solution of the problem is a circular curve with radius equal to EI}M. The proposed
element yields the exact analytical solution in a single iteration, if the problem is focused on
the rotational degrees of freedom, and shear distortions are assumed equal to zero. Although this
simplication is valid for the constant curvature problem, the determination of nodal displacements
is of considerable interest, yet more demanding.
The problem is studied with ve two-node elements and ve four-node elements, as shown in
Figure 4. A slender 0.001 square cross-section is adopted in the analytical solution of the thin bar,
which is shown with a dashed line. The numerical error is limited to 1.0 10
9
. The bending
moment M =8 is applied in 16 equal loading steps, with an average of six iterations per step,
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
780 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
Figure 5. Deections varying second order stiness terms.
making the bar wind twice around itself. Although two- and four-node elements yield the expected
theoretical rotations, the nal node locations are signicantly dierent. Under zero nodal forces and
practically invariable bar length polygonal solutions with two-node elements cannot be inscribed
in the expected theoretical circles. Four-node elements reproduce precisely the analytical solution.
The very small discrepancy between cubic interpolation and actual arc solution is mostly localized
at the internal nodes of the beam.
The same beam deections are compared in Figure 5 with the deections of a beam with the
same bending stiness EI =2, but thicker cross-section (b =h =0.25). The second-order bending
moments are not negligible in this case. The elastica deviates from the thin bar solution showing
that, in fact, the thicker beam is more exible.
The previous numerical results can be analytically veried according to the formulation hypothe-
ses. The analytical solution of a thick elastic beam, with rectangular cross-section and constant
curvature in plane can be obtained by setting distortions [
2
and [
3
, displacement
3
and curvatures

1
and
2
equal to zero. From Equations (30) and (37), the strains c
12
and c
13
are also equal to
zero and c
11
=
1
2
[[
2
1
1] [
1

3
X
2
+
1
2

2
3
X
2
2
. The principle of virtual displacements, as presented
in (45), yields [
1
=
_
1 (h
3
}2)
2
and M}E =(bh
3
}12)
3
(bh
5
}40)
3
3
. The analytical results
correspond precisely to the proposed numerical formulation. The relation between the curvature

3
and the applied bending moment M shows a maximum value M
MAX
at 1}K
3
=
_
9}10 h and
M =0 at 1}K
3
=
_
3}10 h. The standard NewtonRaphson procedure converges to 95 per cent of
M
MAX
in three equal load steps and 17 (5 + 5 + 7) iterations.
Figure 6 shows a three-node linear curvature interpolation. The rotation vectors are equal to
(}4 0 0), (0 }4 0) and (0 0 }4), respectively. The distance between nodes is divided in 10,
100 and 1000 integration intervals. The error of the iterative process is controlled by the ratio
between the Euclidean norm of the residual and constrained rotation vectors. Although a ner
discretization improves the tangent matrix approximation and the convergence of the numerical
solution, the numerical interpolation method proves to be adequate for all integration intervals. In
the comparison of the curvature components, 100 integration intervals yield very precise results for
the severe rotation constraints of the example. The combination of simple integration operations
with a moderate number of intervals and iterations results in an acceptable computational eort.
The classical tri-dimensional numerical simulation from Reference [5] is presented in Figure 7.
It is a 45

bend with radius of 100 located in the horizontal plane and subjected to a vertical end
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 781
Figure 6. Three-node linear curvature interpolation.
Figure 7. Spatial beam subject to end force.
load. The material is assumed to be elastic with modulus of elasticity equal to 10
7
and Poisson
ratio v zero. The cross-section is a unit square. This numerical simulation was used by various
authors and the tabulated results for the tip co-ordinates under P =600 show close agreement in
Figure 7. The dierences arise from the exibility of the bar and the use of dierent constitutive
relations and simplications. In Reference [5] the bend was idealized with eight straight, updated
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
782 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
Lagrangian beam elements of equal length reaching the solution after 60 equal load steps of an
incremental process without matrix inversions. In Reference [11] a total Lagrangian formulation
with nite rotations and equilibrium check with three load steps (P =300, 450, 600) was used.
Convergence was achieved after 27 (13 + 8 + 6) iterations. In Reference [12] the equilibrium
conguration under P =600 was reached in six load increments with an average of 78 iterations
per increment. The full load was also applied in six load increments in Reference [16]. In Reference
[14] a co-rotational nite rotation formulation was used in three loading steps (P =300, 450, 600)
with an error limit of 10
3
. The consistent non-symmetric and the articially symmetrized stiness
matrix of the beam required 16 (8 + 5 + 3) and 17 (9 + 5 + 3) iterations, respectively.
The analysis of the problem with the proposed beam element also models the bend with eight
straight 2-node elements of equal length. Four-node elements are also used for illustrating the
enhanced curvature interpolation. The nal equilibrium conguration is initially reached, for both
discretizations, in three loading steps (P =150, 300, 600), with 30 (8 + 9 + 13) iterations. The
convergence procedure signicantly reduces the number of iterations. After introducing the nu-
merical acceleration procedure, convergence with errors under 1 10
10
is achieved in only two
load steps (P =300, 600) and 11 (6 +5) iterations. The quadratic convergence of the algorithm is
shown in the logarithmic chart of Figure 7. Another two load increments (P =3000, 18000) with
only seven iterations each are used to display the robustness of the formulation.
CONCLUSIONS
A spatial Timoshenko beam element that is based on the total Lagrangian formulation is pre-
sented. Simplifying assumptions are limited to the plane section hypothesis and the nite element
interpolation of nite displacements and rotations. A curvature-based interpolation is proposed that
is superior to rotation vector component interpolation, because it is rigid-motion independent thus
simplifying the formulation. The constant curvature formulation for a 2-node beam element is sim-
ple and computationally very ecient, so that it can be readily deployed in engineering practice.
The curvature interpolation for an N-node beam element interpolation is performed numerically.
Even so, a moderate discretization results in accurate integration with slight computational eort.
Second-order stress resultants are identied and the constitutive matrix for the cross-section can
account for fully non-linear material behaviour, including exureshear interaction. The Green
Lagrange strains are expressed in terms of section curvature and shear distortion vectors, whose
rst and second variations are functions of node displacements and rotations. The consistent lin-
earization of the governing equilibrium equations leads to a symmetric tangent stiness matrix.
A numerical acceleration procedure is used to improve convergence for hyperelastic materials,
for which non-linear analysis can be conducted with large load increments followed by equilibrium
check.
The comparison of the results of the proposed model with classical numerical simulations in
the literature demonstrates accuracy, eciency and robustness of the formulation. The consistent
formulation is able to predict important theoretical eects, as is shown in the paper for the bending
of a thick elastic beam with constant curvature in plane.
Future extensions of the model can incorporate the torsional warping eects of the cross-section.
Although a plane section hypothesis usually underlies the Timoshenko beam theory, it fails to
capture certain non-linear eects, such as torsional stiening for initial stresses [33]. The analysis
of buckling and post-buckling behaviour is also a motivation for further investigations.
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
NON-LINEAR SPATIAL TIMOSHENKO BEAM ELEMENT 783
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors appreciate the valuable suggestions by Professor Francisco Armero at the University of California,
Berkeley. The rst author acknowledges the nancial support of CNPq (Brazilian National Research Council)
for a two-year post-doctoral stay at the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of California,
Berkeley.
APPENDIX A: NOTATION
The following symbols are used in this paper:
( )

derivative of function with respect to variable x (c}cx)


A
0
initial cross-section
b, B interpolation matrices
b base of the cross-section
c unitary complex number
c unitary complex number component
E tangent constitutive matrix
E tangent modulus of elasticity
EI bending stiness
e unitary vector (e = X}0)
e natural base of logarithms
F deformation gradient
f
i
i-column of deformation gradient matrix F
f nodal forces
f
r
nodal resisting forces
f
b
body force vector
G, G
1
, G
2
, G
e
auxiliary matrices for integration
H displacement gradient
h
i
i-column of displacement gradient H
h height of the cross-section
I 3 3-identity matrix
i
i
i-column of identity matrix I
i, j, k imaginary quantities
i, j, k generic indices
K stiness matrix
L
0
original element length
M, N interpolation matrices
M
S
symmetric interpolation matrix (M
S
= (M + M
T
)}2)
M
2
, M
3
, N
1
bending moments and normal force
M
22
, M
33
, M
23
second-order and covariant bending moments
n normal component subscript
p position vector
q unitary four-dimensional quaternion
q quaternion component
q quaternion three-dimensional vector
Q 4 4-quaternion matrix representation
Copyright ? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Engng 2001; 50:761785
784 M. SCHULZ AND F. C. FILIPPOU
R 3 3-orthogonal rotation matrix
r
i
i-column of rotation matrix R
S() skew-symmetric matrix
s shear component subscript
T auxiliary matrix for integration
U nodal displacement vector
u displacement vector of a point
J
0
initial volume
J
2
, J
3
, 1
1
shear forces and torsional moment
v three-dimensional vector
X original position of a point
X
S
original position of a point in the cross-section reference system
X
1
, X
2
, X
3
original position vector components
X beam axis co-ordinate
X
0
origin of beam axis co-ordinate
x current position of a point
U GreenLagrange strain tensor
M shear distortion vector
v Poissons ratio
Z curvature vector
curvature modulus
X rotation vector
0 rotational vector modulus
A generalized second PiolaKircho stress vector
A
i
expected stress vector at iteration i
c constant (c =
0
L
0
}2); and
V displacement of the origin of the cross-section
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