On the compatibility between Reissner–Mindlin shell and GBT-based finite elements

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This technical note discusses aspects related to the combination of standard Reissner–Mindlin shell and GBT-based (beam) finite elements, with the purpose of modelling, efficiently (with degree-of-freedom economy) and accurately, the structural behaviour of thin-walled members and frames with complex geometry, undergoing global-local-distortional deformation. Following the approach previously proposed by the authors (Manta et al., 2020 [1]; 2021 [2]; 2020 [3]), each element type is employed where it is most efficient: (i) GBT-based elements in the prismatic zones and (ii) shell elements in the geometrically complex zones (e.g., tapered, joints, etc.). While lack of compatibility obviously leads to over-flexible solutions, it is shown that full compatibility can lead to locking. Consequently, a well-balanced compatibility statement is proposed. Several numerical examples are presented to show the advantages of the proposed approach over the previous one, in linear static and buckling (bifurcation) analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111150
Number of pages10
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Buckling analysis
  • Combined GBT-shell model
  • Cross-section deformation
  • Generalised Beam Theory (GBT)
  • Linear analysis
  • Shell finite elements


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