Trimarchi, Daniele, Vidrascu, M, Taunton, D.J., Turnock, S.R. and Chapelle, D.
Wrinkle development analysis in thin sail-like structures using MITC shell finite elements
Finite Elements in Analysis and Design, 64, . (doi:10.1016/j.finel.2012.09.005).
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We propose a method of modelling sail type structures which captures the wrinkling behaviour of such structures. The method is validated through experimental and analytical test cases, particularly in terms of wrinkling prediction. An enhanced wrinkling index is proposed as a valuable measure characterizing the global wrinkling development on the deformed structure. The method is based on a pseudo-dynamic finite element procedure involving non-linear MITC shell elements. The major advantage compared to membrane models generally used for this type of analysis is that no ad hoc wrinkling model is required to control the stability of the structure. We demonstrate our approach to analyse the behaviour of various structures with spherical and cylindrical shapes, characteristic of downwind sails over a rather wide range of shape and constitutive parameters. In all cases convergence is reached and the overall flying shape is most adequately represented, which shows that our approach is a most valuable alternative to standard techniques to provide deeper insight into the physical behaviour. Limitations appear only in some very special instances in which local wrinkling-related instabilities are extremely high and would require specific additional treatments, out of the scope of the present study
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