Interpolation of Rotations and Coupling of Patches in Isogeometric Reissner-Mindlin Shell Analysis

Dornisch, Wolfgang; Klinkel, Sven (Thesis advisor); Bischoff, Manfred (Thesis advisor); Gruttmann, Friedrich (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Lehrstuhls für Baustatik und Baudynamik der RWTH Aachen (2015, 2015)
Book, Dissertation / PhD Thesis

In: Schriftenreihe des Lehrstuhls für Baustatik und Baudynamik der RWTH Aachen 2015,03
Page(s)/Article-Nr.: XII, 229 S. : Ill., graph. Darst.


This work is concerned with the development of an efficient and robust isogeometric Reissner–Mindlin shell formulation. The basic assumption of shell theories is a dimensional reduction of the three-dimensional continuum to a two-dimensional surface embedded in the three-dimensional space. Consequently, the geometry is described by a reference surface in combination with a director vector field, which defines the expansion in the thickness direction. The main objective of isogeometric analysis is to use the same model description for design and analysis. Thin-walled structures are usually defined by a reference surface and an associated thickness in industrial design software. Thus, the usage of isogeometric shell elements can avoid costly conversions to volumetric geometry descriptions.The usage of NURBS surfaces (Non-Uniform Rational B-splines) possibly yields high continuity between elements. This requires a rethinking of all concepts used in conventional shell elements, which base on linear Lagrange basis functions. The shell formulation presented in this work is derived from the continuum theory and uses an orthogonal rotation described by Rodrigues' tensor to compute the current director vector. Large deformations and finite rotations can be described accurately. The discretization requires nodal director vectors which interpolate the normal vector as exact as possible. A new method for the definition of nodal basis systems and nodal director vectors is derived. Basing on this, a criterion for the automatic assignment of the correct number of rotational degrees of freedom for each node is proposed. This allows stable computations of geometries with kinks while requiring neither the usage of drilling rotation stabilization nor manual user interaction. The main part of this work is the derivation of various concepts for the interpolation of the current director vector, which is a function of the rotational state. The respective concepts differ in the quantity which is actually interpolated and in the chosen update formulation for the rotations. The influence of each concept on the global deformation convergence behavior is assessed with the help of numerical examples. The results suggest that proper convergence behavior for all orders of NURBS basis functions can only be attained if interpolated director vectors are rotated. Concepts of this type are more accurate and expensive than concepts which rotate nodal director vectors. But the higher computational effort pays off for geometries with arbitrary curvature and for basis functions of higher order. Geometries with kinks require a multiplicative rotational update formulation for concepts that rotate interpolated director vectors.Three different integration rules are considered within the numerical examples. Besides full and reduced Gauss integration also a new non-uniform Gauss integration concept following Adam et al. (2015) is assessed. A special focus is put on the interaction between the chosen rotational concept and the integration scheme. The reduction of the number of integration points from full to reduced integration slightly alleviates locking effects. The further reduction entailed by non-uniform integration significantly reduces locking effects in some examples. But this only yields higher accuracy if a concept which rotates interpolated director vectors is chosen. The reduction of locking deteriorates the accuracy of deformation results in other cases. The efficiency of the presented shell formulation is compared to standard shell formulations in terms of computational costs to attain a pre-defined error level. The most effective combination of integration scheme and rotational concept is shown to be competitive to standard shell formulations.A further main concern of this work is the derivation of a mortar-type method for the coupling of non-conforming NURBS surface patches. Methods to handle non-conforming patches without mutual refinement are essential for an efficient application of NURBS-based isogeometric analysis. The proposed method bases on a substitution relation, which is derived from the weak fulfillment of the equality of mutual displacements along the interface. A static condensation can be performed with the help of this substitution relation in order to attain a coupled global system of equations. The variational formulation is not altered and the global stiffness matrix remains positive definite. Numerical examples show the applicability of the method. A comparison to reference results and to computations with the Lagrange multiplier method is given. The applicability of the coupling method for the presented Reissner-Mindlin shell formulation is shown with the help of two nonlinear examples.