Beam section stiffness properties using a single layer of 3D solid elements

Philippe Couturier, Steen Krenk, Jan Becker Høgsberg

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A method is presented for analysis of the properties of general cross-sections with arbitrary geometry and material distribution. The full six by six cross-section stiffness matrix is evaluated from a single element thickness slice represented by 3D solid elements with lengthwise Hermitian interpolation with six independent imposed deformation modes corresponding to extension, torsion, bending and shear. The flexibility matrix of the slice is obtained from complementary elastic energy, and the stiffness matrix is obtained by extracting and inverting the cross-section flexibility. Three examples illustrate the accuracy of the method for solid and thin-walled sections with isotropic and general anisotropic materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers and Structures
Pages (from-to)122-133
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Beam stiffness parameter
  • Cross-section analysis
  • Finite element method


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