Analysis Software for Calculation of Cross-Section Parameters for Complex Beam Cross-Sections
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Cross-sectional parameters for complex cross-sections are very difficult to calculate by analytical means. Dynamic calculations of aircraft and wind turbines often make use of beam elements for the wings and turbine blades, and are dependent on correct cross-sectional parameters. As a solution to this we have continued the development of an analysis software for complex beam cross-sections, based on the finite element method. Both wind turbine blades and aircraft wings are often made of composite materials with a layered structure. Cross-sections consisting of such materials lend themselves very well to meshes with quadrilateral elements. By implementing support for four- and nine-node quadrilateral elements, as well as developing a unified analysis for torsion and shear, we have greatly increased the composite functionality of the software. A recurring problem with complex geometry is that the analysis can be computationally expensive. By supporting thin-walled approximations to cross-sections we have significantly reduced the computational effort needed, while still retaining sufficient accuracy. The work has been extensively tested, and is shown to provide highly accurate results when compared to both known solutions and similar programs.