Applications of Reissner's principle to structural dynamics

  • Ahmad A. Youssefi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The analysis and prediction of the dynamic behaviour of s7ructural components plays an important role in modern engineering design. :n this work, the so-called "mixed" finite element models based on Reissnen's variational principle are applied to the solution of free and forced vibration problems, for beam and :late structures. The mixed beam models are obtained by using elements of various shape functions ranging from simple linear to complex cubic and quadratic functions. The elements were in general capable of predicting the natural frequencies and dynamic responses with good accuracy. An isoparametric quadrilateral element with 8-nodes was developed for application to thin plate problems. The element has 32 degrees of freedom (one deflection, two bending and one twisting moment per node) which is suitable for discretization of plates with arbitrary geometry. A linear isoparametric element and two non-conforming displacement elements (4-node and 8-node quadrilateral) were extended to the solution of dynamic problems. An auto-mesh generation program was used to facilitate the preparation of input data required by the 8-node quadrilateral elements of mixed and displacement type. Numerical examples were solved using both the mixed beam and plate elements for predicting a structure's natural frequencies and dynamic response to a variety of forcing functions. The solutions were compared with the available analytical and displacement model solutions. The mixed elements developed have been found to have significant advantages over the conventional displacement elements in the solution of plate type problems. A dramatic saving in computational time is possible without any loss in solution accuracy. With beam type problems, there appears to be no significant advantages in using mixed models.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorT.H. Richards (Supervisor)


  • Reissner's principle
  • structural dynamics

Cite this