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ARTICLE IN PRESS

Thin-Walled Structures 46 (2008) 11071112


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Nonlinear free vibration analysis of asymmetric thin-walled circularly


curved beams with open cross section
Haijuan Duan
Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Dongchuan Road 800, Shanghai 200240, PR China
Received 21 August 2007; received in revised form 14 January 2008; accepted 24 January 2008
Available online 7 March 2008

Abstract
A nite element formulation is present for the nonlinear free vibration of thin-walled curved beams with non-symmetric open across
section. The kinetic and potential energies are derived by the virtual principle. The energy functional includes the effect of
exuraltorsional coupling, the torsion warping and the shear center location. For nite element analysis, cubic polynomials are utilized
as the shape functions of the two nodal thin-walled curved elements. Each node possesses seven degrees freedom including the warping
degree of freedom. The nonlinear eigenvalue problem has been solved by the direct iteration technique. The results are compared with
those for straight beams as available in the literature. The results for nonlinear free vibration analysis of curved beams for various radii
and subtended angle are presented.
r 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Nonlinear vibration; Thin-walled curved beam; Finite element method

1. Introduction
Thin-walled beams with open section made of high
strength materials are used extensively in aerospace
industry, civil engineering, ship construction, etc. Most
thin-walled structures are slender and have open section
shapes. Where the centroid and shear center do not
coincide when a transverse load is applied away from the
shear center it cause torque. Because of the open nature of
the sections, this torque induces warping in the beam.
Compared with straight beam, deformation behaviors of
curved beam are coupled. For these reasons, exact analysis
of thin-walled curved beams is usually very complex for
calculations.
Considerable researches [16] on static and dynamic of
curved beam have been performed. Culver [3] and Shore
and Chaudhuri [4] determined the free vibration frequencies of curved beams with respect to analytical solutions of
the equations of motion. Chaudhuri and Shore [5] and Yoo

Tel.: +86 21 34202733.

E-mail address: hjduan@sjtu.edu.cn


0263-8231/$ - see front matter r 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.tws.2008.01.002

and Fehrenbach [6] analyzed the free vibration of


horizontally curved beams using nite element method.
Nonlinear vibration of straight beams was also investigated by other researcher. Bashyam and Pratap [7,8]
analyzed nonlinear vibrations of straight beam using by
Galerkin nite element method and Ritz nite element
approach, respectively. They presented Lagrangian-type
formulation of nonlinear vibrations of straight beam [9].
However, the investigation on the nonlinear free vibration
of thin-walled curved beam is hardly found.
In this paper, a numerical model for nonlinear vibration
of analyzing thin-walled curved spatial beams with open
cross section is presented. The proposed model is based on
the fundamentals of solid mechanics and the basic
principles of virtual work. Large deformations with small
strains are taken into formulation, while considering the
effecting of warping and curvature effects to simulate the
structure behaviors of thin-walled curved members more
exactly. As no existing result are available for nonlinear
vibration of curved beam, nonlinear vibration frequencies
obtained for curved beams having large radius and small
subtended angle are rst compared with straight beams for
varying parameters having different support conditions.

ARTICLE IN PRESS
H. Duan / Thin-Walled Structures 46 (2008) 11071112

1108

respectively. o is the sectorial area, R is radius of curved


beam.
Linear straindisplacement relation and nonlinear
straindisplacement are expressed as follows:

A large number of results for the nonlinear frequencies of


horizontally curved beams having varying included angles,
radii have evaluated.
2. Mathematical formulation

exx

qU W
,
qx
R

(2a)

exy

qV qU

,
qx
qy

(2b)

2.1. Basic assumptions


In this paper, the following assumptions are adopted:
(1) The thin-walled curved beam is linearly elastic and
prismatic.
(2) The cross section is rigid with respect to in-plane
deformation except for warping deformation.
(3) The effects of local buckling deformations are negligible.
(4) Shearing deformation of the middle surface of the
member is negligible.
(5) Strains are small but displacement and rotations can be
large.

qW U qU

,
qx
R
qz
"

 2 
#
1 qU W 2
qV
qW U 2

,
2
qx
R
qx
qx
R

exz

(2c)

Zxx

(2d)






1 qU qU W
qV qV qW qW U

,
2 qy qx
R
qy qx
qy qx
R

Zxy

(2e)


Zxz

2.2. Displacements and strains





1 qU qU W
qV qV qW qW U

.
2 qz qx
R
qx qz
qz
qx
R
(2f)

Fig. 1 shows an element of general thin-walled curved


beam with open section. The right-hand orthogonal
coordinate system x, y, z has been chosen such that y
and z pass through the undeformed end cross-section
centroid. There are seven actions (Fx, Fy, Fz, Mx, My, Mz
and Mo) with corresponding displacement component
(u, v, w, yx, yy, yz and y0x ) that can be applied at each end
of thin-walled curved element.
U, V and W denote the displacement of any point P(x, y,
z) of cross section in the x, y and z direction, respectively.



u
v0
0
0
0
U uvy w 
z  yx
o,
(1a)
R
R

Corresponding to Assumption (2), we get for stress


resultants of following expression:
Z
sxx dA,
(3a)
Fx
A

Z
Fy

tyx dA,

(3b)

tzx dA,

(3c)

Z
Fz
A

Z 
Mx


tzx

V v  yx z  z0 ,




qo
qo
y  y0 
 tyx z  z0 
dA,
qz
qy

(1b)

W w yx y  y0 ,

(3d)
Z

(1c)
My

where u, v and w are the displacement components of the


centroid and yx is the rotation of the cross section around
the shear centers. y0 and z0 are the distance between
centroid and shear center in the direction of y and z,

sxx z dA,

(3e)

sxx y dA,

(3f)

Z
Mz
A

y
y

My

Fx
Mx

Fz

u
Mz

w
z

M

z0

Fy

x
'x
x

Fig. 1. Coordinate system of thin-walled curved beam.

S
y0

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H. Duan / Thin-Walled Structures 46 (2008) 11071112

Z
Mo

sxx o dA,

(3g)

sxx x  x0 2 y  y0 2  dA,

(3h)





 
u0
yx
v0 00
0
00
v w 
My v 
yx  yx
v
R
R
R





u0
v0  0 u 
M z w00 
y  y0x
w 
R
R
R



 )


Mo 0 u
v0
v0 2
0
0
2
w 
yx
dx.
M p yx
R
R
R
R
0

Z
Mp
A

where Fx, Fy and Fz are axial force and shear forces,


respectively; Mx is twisting moment with the x axis; My, Mz
are bending moments with respect to y and z axes,
respectively; Mo is the bimoment with the x axis; MP is a
stress resultant known as Wangner effect.

PE

(4)

Z Z

1
2

Z Z

PG
L

1
T
2

(5a)

sij Zij dA dx,

(5b)

2
2
_ 2 dA dx,
rU_ V_ W

(5c)

PG

o2 dA;

I oy

yo dA;

I oz

zo dA,

y  y0 2 z  z0 2  dA;
A
Z
Z
Sz
y dA; So
o dA.

I0

Z
Sy

z dA,
A

3. Finite element formulation

Z L


0
u 2
2
F x v0 w0 
y20 z20 yx2
R
0




u
u  00 yx
F y yx w0 
F z v0 yx M x w0 
v 
R
R
R

1
2




w2
w 2
EA u0
EI y w00 2
R
R
0



2


00 2
yx
v
v0 2
00
0
00
EI z v 
EI o yx 2 GJ yx
R
R
R





00
w
v
yx
2EI oy w00 2
y00x
2EI oz v00 
R
R
R





00
v
yx
w
 y00x
2EI yz v00 
w00 2 dx.
R
R
R
(6a)
Z

Z
Io

where r is the material density.


Substituting the displacements expansion (1a)(1c) and
straindisplacement relations (2a)(2f) into Eqs. (5a)(5c),
noting the denition equation of stress resultants (3a)(3h),
and integrating over the cross section, Eqs. (5a)(5c) are
expressed as respectively:
1
PE
2

The geometrical properties of cross section are dened


by following quantities:
Z
Z
Z
A
dA; I y
z2 dA; I z
y2 dA,
A
A
A
Z
I yz
yz dA,

Z Z
L

sij eij dA dx,


A

00



u_ 2
0
2
0
_
Au_ v_ w_ I 0 yx I y w_ 
I z v_ 2
R
0

2




v_0
v_0
u_
I o y_0 x
2I yz v_0 w_ 0 
2I yo v_0 y_0 x
R
R
R



0
_
v
u_
_ v0
2I zo w_ 0 
y_0 x
2Sz w_ y_0 x  u_
R
R




v_0
u_ 2
0
0
_
_
0
_
 2S y v_y x  u_ w 
 2S o u_ y x
R
R
i
2z0 v_y_0 x  2y0 w_ y_0 x dx.
(6c)

1
T r
2

Total potential energy P of thin-walled curved beams


consists of the elastic strain energy PE, the potential energy
PG due to initial stresses and the kinetic energy T as
follows:

where

(6b)

2.3. Total potential energy

P PE PG  T,

1109

Fig. 1 shows the nodal displacement vector of thinwalled curved beam element including restrained warping
effect. To accurately express element deformation, pertinent shape functions are necessary. In this study, a linear
displacement eld is adopted for u, and a cubic displacement eld for other displacements. The displacements can
be expressed as
u f 1  ui

uj  T ,

v f 2  vi

v0i

vj

v0j T ,

(7b)

w f 2  wi

w0i

wj

w0j T ,

(7c)

yx f 2  yxi

y0xi

(7a)

yxj

y0xj T ,

(7d)

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1110

where
f 1  1  x

x ;

Material and geometrical data used for linear vibration


analysis are follows:

x
,
l

E 2:0  108 N=m2 ;

G 0:773  108 N=m2 ,

r 0:007913 kg=cm3 ;
f 2  2x3  3x2 1

x3  2x2 1l

2x3 3x2

I z 1470:85 cm4 ;

x3  x2 l.

L 512:25 cm:

The results agree very well, which checks the correctness


of the nite element formulation in the linear range.

Substituting Eqs. (7a)(7d) into Eqs. (6a)(6c) and


integration along the element length, the total potential
energy is obtained as
Z
i
T
1 h _ eT e
_ e Me U
_ e dt,
Pt
U KE KeG Ue  U
(8)
2 t
where
Ue ui vi wi yxi  v0i w0i y0xi uj vj wj yxj  v0j w0j y0xj .

(9)

In the above equation, KeE , KeG and Me are 14  14 element


elastic, geometric stiffness matrices and element consistent
mass matrices for the thin-walled curved beam element in
local coordinate, respectively; Ue is the nodal displacement
vector.
The variation of Eq. (8) and assemblage of element
stiffness matrices for the entire structure using the
coordinate transformation lead to the global equilibrium
matrix equation for nonlinear free vibration analysis of
thin-walled curved beam with open across section as
follows:
0,
KE KG U MU

I y 3871 cm4 ,

(10)

where KE, KG and M are global elastic, geometric stiffness


matrices and consistent mass matrices, respectively.
Eq. (10) contains a set of nonlinear algebraic homogeneous equations. They are solved by the approach of
Varadan and associates [10]. In this approach, the direct
iteration technique has been used. At rst, the solution is
obtained by solving linear equations by ignoring the KG
terms in Eq. (10). The linear mode shapes are the starting
vector for the nonlinear analysis. By the direct interaction
procedure the nonlinear characteristic frequencies and
mode shapes are calculated.

4.2. Nonlinear free vibration of straight beam


Since that no investigation has been carried out on
nonlinear free vibration of curved beams. As such the same
formulation has been applied to straight beams, for
comparison, by taking a large radius of curvature
(R 20000 cm) and small subtended angle (0.005 rad).
Three different boundary conditions have been assumed.
They are (a) hingedhinged beams, (b) clampedclamped
beams and (c) hingedclamped beams. Table 2 shows the

Table 1
Result of simply supported curved beam linear frequencies
Subtended
angle (1)

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90

Radius of
curvature
(cm)

Fundamental frequency (rad/s)


Ref. [3]

Ref. [4]

Present
(10 elements)

2935.0
1476.6
978.4
733.8
587.0
489.2
419.3
366.8
326.1

204.7
190.2
165.8
141.7
121.3
103.9
89.6
76.8
64.0

203.3
186.3
164.7
142.8
122.8
105.2
90.0
76.8
65.2

202.4
184.2
162.0
139.9
121.2
103.7
88.7
75.9
64.5

Table 2
Nonlinear frequency ratios (o/o0)2 of straight beam

Present
Ref. [7]

Hingedhinged

Hingedclamped

Clampedclamped

1.2511
1.2500

1.1310
1.1323

1.0600
1.0598

4. Numerical examples
4.1. Linear frequencies of simply supported curved beam
In this example for the purpose to compare the result of
linear vibration by the proposed method with those [3,4].
The data and results are presented in Table 1. The radius of
curvature and the included angle have been varied in such a
way that the single span curved beam length is the same
for all.

Table 3
Nonlinear frequency ratios (o/o0)2 of curved beam
Subtended
angle (1)

Radius
(cm)

Hingedhinged Hingedclamped Clampedclamped

30
45
60

978.40
652.21
489.20

1.1174
1.0935
1.0852

1.0487
1.0365
1.0221

1.0193
1.0111
1.0073

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H. Duan / Thin-Walled Structures 46 (2008) 11071112

4.3. Nonlinear free vibration of curved beam

results by the present formulation are agree well with those


by Ref. [7].
Material and geometrical data used for linear vibration
analysis are follows:
E 2:0  108 N=m2 ;
I z 1470:85 cm4 ;

Material and geometrical data is the same as in Section


4.2. In Table 3 are indicated the values of the nonlinear
frequencies ratios (o/o0)2 of curved beams for clamped
clamped, clampedhinged and hingedhinged conditions.
The length of the beam has been kept as 521.25 cm in all
cases by varying the radius of the circular curve. The results
show that the frequency ratios decrease with the increase of
curvature for all types of boundary conditions. The
frequency ratios are lowest for clampedclamped beams,
next highest for clampedhinged cases and highest for
hingedhinged cases; that is hingedhinged cases exhibit
the most pronounced nonlinearities.

G 0:773  108 N=m2 ,

r 0:007913 kg=cm3 ;

1111

I y 3871 cm4 ,

L 512:25 cm.

20 mm

4.4. Nonlinear free vibration of curved beam with nonsymmetric section


The nonlinear free vibration analysis of non-symmetric
curved beams is performed for the various subtended
angles with clampedclamped boundary conditions. Fig. 2
shows the non-symmetric cross section.
Material and geometrical data used for linear vibration
analysis are follows:

80 mm

0.5 mm

E 3:0  109 N=m2 ;

G 1:15  109 N=m2 ,

r 0:00785 kg=cm3 ;

L 200 cm.

Table 4 shows the convergence and comparison of the


nonlinear natural frequencies of the present method with
Shell FEA(ABAQUS).

40 mm
Fig. 2. Non-symmetric cross section of thin-walled curved beam.

Table 4
Convergence of nonlinear natural frequencies and comparison with Shell FEA(ABAQUS)
Subtended angle (1)

Radius (cm)

Vibration mode
1

90

127.389

4 elements

8 elements

12 elements

Shell FEA

4 elements

8 elements

12 elements

Shell FEA

0.774

0.761

0.756

0.755

4.031

4.020

4.015

4.011

Table 5
Nonlinear natural frequencies of non-symmetric clamped curved beam o2
Subtended angle (1)

10
30
60
90
120
150
180

Radius (cm)

1146.49
382.165
191.082
127.389
95.541
76.433
63.694

Vibration mode
1

10

0.988
0.864
0.785
0.756
0.664
0.562
0.456

4.612
5.573
4.892
4.015
3.712
3.336
3.021

6.626
11.211
15.896
14.321
13.251
12.365
11.452

18.732
19.125
25.041
32.156
32.032
29.125
26.546

19.278
23.054
28.515
36.145
34.361
33.733
31.258

23.195
32.156
40.256
42.058
64.529
63.680
59.254

52.634
46.253
61.524
74.158
69.859
91.236
94.658

62.534
68.589
85.123
84.021
87.546
97.568
114.65

100.77
93.456
104.35
139.25
131.25
123.25
135.31

123.54
124.65
131.25
150.02
166.25
194.35
201.36

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H. Duan / Thin-Walled Structures 46 (2008) 11071112

Table 5 shows the lowest 10 frequencies of curved


cantilever for subtend angles varying from 101 to 1801 with
keeping the length of the constant.
5. Conclusions
Nonlinear free vibrations of thin-walled curved beams
with open cross section have been studied by the nite
element method. The formulation has been presented for a
two nodal horizontally curved beam element having 7
degrees of freedom per node. The formulation and the
computer program have been validated by analyzing
curved beams with a large radius of curvature and small
included angle and results have been compared with those
of straight beams: the correlation between these is
excellent. Nonlinear frequencies of curved beams for
varying radii and included angles have been determined.
The highest nonlinear frequencies have been obtained for
the hingedhinged case and the lowest of the clamped
clamped case. Increase of curvature has resulted in a decrease
of nonlinear frequencies of non-symmetric clamped curved
beam at the lowest two frequencies. However, the nonlinear
natural frequencies tend increase as the curvature increases
above three frequencies.

The close agreement between the results indicates the


correctness of the formulation of the nonlinear vibration
analysis. The element has also been found to possess
excellent convergence characteristics.
References
[1] Yang YB, Kuo SR, Chherng YD. Curved beam elements for
nonlinear analysis. J Eng Mech, ASCE 1989;115(4):84055.
[2] Pi YL, Bradford MA, Trahair NS. Inelastic analysis and behavior of
steel I-beams curved in plan. J Struct Eng, ASCE 2000;126(7):7729.
[3] Culver CG. Natural frequencies of horizontally curved beams.
J Struct Eng, ASCE 1967;93(2):189203.
[4] Shore S, Chaudhuri S. Free vibration of horizontally curved beams.
J Struct Eng, ASCE 1972;98(3):7936.
[5] Chaudhuri SK, Shore S. Dynamic analysis of horizontally curved I
girder bridges. J Struct Eng, ASCE 1977;103(8):1589604.
[6] Yoo CH, Fehrenbach JP. Natural frequencies of curved girders.
J Eng Mech, ASCE 1981;107(2):33954.
[7] Bashyam GR, Pratap G. Galerkin nite element method for
nonlinear beam vibrations. J Sound Vibrat 1980;72:191203.
[8] Bashyam GR, Pratap G. Ritz nite element approach to nonlinear
vibrations of beams. Int J Numer Methods Eng 1984;20:35367.
[9] Bashyam GR, Pratap G. Lagrangian-type formulation for nite
element analysis of nonlinear beam vibrations. J Sound Vibrat
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