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Analysis of laminated composite beams

using layerwise displacement theories


Masoud Tahani
*
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, P.O. Box 91775-1111, Mashhad, Iran
Available online 30 March 2006
Abstract
Within the displacement eld of a layerwise theory, two laminated beam theories for beams with general lamination are developed. In
the rst theory, an existing layerwise laminated plate theory is adapted to laminated beams. The procedure used in the second theory is
simple and straightforward and similar to the one used in the development of plate and shell theories. These theories can also be used in
developing simpler theories such as classical, rst, and higher-order shear deformation laminated beam theories. Equations of motions
are obtained by using Hamiltons principle. For the assessment of the accuracy of these theories, analytical solutions for static bending
and free vibration are developed and compared with those of an existing three-dimensional elasticity solution of cross-ply laminates in
cylindrical bending and with the three-dimensional nite element analysis for angle-ply laminates.
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Composite beam; Layerwise theory; Analytical solution
1. Introduction
The use of ber-reinforced composite laminates has gen-
erally increased in weight sensitive applications such as
aerospace and automotive structures because of their high
specic strength and high specic stiness. By comparison
with the analysis of laminated plates and shells, the work
done so far in the area of ber-reinforced composite beams
is limited. Beam like structural components made of com-
posite materials are being increasingly used in engineering
applications. Because of their complex behavior in the
analysis of such structures some technical aspects must be
taken into consideration. For example, ignoring the trans-
verse shear deformation in the classical lamination theories
(CLTs) results in an underestimate in deection and an
overestimate in natural frequencies. The rst and higher-
order shear deformation theories are improvements to
classical theories. In these theories transverse shear defor-
mation through the thickness of the structure is not
ignored. Another aspect in the analysis of composite struc-
tures is the existence of couplings among stretching, shear-
ing, bending, and twisting. These couplings can signicantly
change the response of composite structures and, thus, have
to be considered.
A survey of developments in the vibration analysis of
laminated beams and plates has been presented by Kapania
and Raciti [1,2]. Miller and Adams [3] have studied the
vibration of clamped-free unidirectional beams without
including shear deformation and rotary inertia. Teoh and
Huang [4] have presented a theoretical analysis for the free
vibrations of the same beams by including the transverse
shear and rotary inertia and compared their numerical
results with the experimental results presented by Abarcar
and Cunni [5].
As far as the development of a laminated beam theory is
concerned, two dierent approaches are adopted in the lit-
erature. In the rst approach the lateral (the y-direction)
displacement of the beam is simply neglected. This way,
the couplings between in-plane shearing and stretching
and between bending and twisting are ignored. Such a the-
ory is often used for isotropic beams [6] and cross-ply (0
and 90 layers) laminated beams, [714]. Abramovich
0263-8223/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.compstruct.2006.02.019
*
Tel.: +98 511 876 3304; fax: +98 511 882 9541.
E-mail address: mtahani@ferdowsi.um.ac.ir
www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruct
Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547
[15], Chandrashekhara et al. [16], Bhimaraddi and Chandr-
ashekhara [17], and Sheinman [18] also have used this
approach for angle-ply (h and h layers) laminated beams.
In fact, the theory has been developed in these papers is for
the cylindrical bending of laminated plates and not for the
bending of laminated beams. In the second approach a
laminated beam theory is developed from an existing lam-
inated plate theory. To this end, the stress (force) and
moment resultants of the beam theory are obtained by
ignoring certain stress and moment resultants in the consti-
tutive law of the laminated plates. This way the character-
istic couplings, mentioned earlier, are not lost in the beam
theory. The process, however, demands the inversion of
certain matrices which can be an inconvenience as far as
developing more advanced laminated beam theories are
concerned. This approach has been used in [19] for
symmetric beams and in [2026] for generally laminated
beams.
It is well known that the equivalent single-layer (ESL)
theories provide a suciently accurate description of the
global laminate response (e.g. maximum transverse deec-
tion, fundamental vibration frequency, critical buckling
load, etc.). However, these theories are often inadequate
for determining the three-dimensional (3-D) stress eld at
the ply level. The most deciency of the ESL theories in
modeling composites is that the transverse strain compo-
nents in such theories are continuous across interface of
dissimilar materials and, thus, predicting discontinuous
transverse stress components at the layer interfaces. Unlike
the ESL theories, the layerwise theories (LWTs) assume
separate displacement eld expansions within each material
layer that exhibits only C
0
-continuity through the laminate
thickness. The resulting strain eld is kinematically correct
in that the in-plane strains are continuous through the
thickness while the transverse strains are discontinuous
through the thickness, thereby allowing for the possibility
of continuous transverse stresses as the number of numer-
ical layers is increased. Therefore, in this paper, to obtain
accurate 3-D stress eld in the beams a full layerwise theory
will be used.
It is the intention of the present work to develop a new
layerwise laminated beam theory to overcome the short-
comings present in the two approaches discussed above.
That is, the displacement eld will be modied so that
the constitutive law of a laminated beam can be obtained
in a straightforward manner as in most laminated plate
and shell theories. The resulting equations of motion will
be valid for generally laminated beams. Numerical results
will be developed for the bending and free vibration of
cross-ply and angle-ply laminated beams. These results will
be compared with the existing 3-D elasticity solutions for
cross-ply laminates in cylindrical bending [27] and with
another beam layerwise theory that will be developed from
an existing layerwise laminated plate theory. The approach
adopted in the present work will be demonstrated within
the framework of a layerwise theory. However, the idea
is straightforward and general and can readily be used in
developing simpler theories such as classical lamination
theory and shear deformation theories. In this study, in
order to utilize a layerwise theory for laminated beams that
possesses a full 3-D capability, a full layerwise theory will
be used.
2. Mathematical formulations
In what follows two layerwise laminated beam theories
and a layerwise formulation for the analysis of laminated
plates subjected to cylindrical bending will be derived.
First, a layerwise laminated plate theory is used to derive
beam layerwise theory 1 (BLWT1). Next, a new beam lay-
erwise theory (BLWT2) will be developed. Finally, a layer-
wise laminated plate theory will be presented to analyze
cylindrical bending (CB) of laminated plates.
2.1. Beam layerwise theory 1 (BLWT1)
Consider a rectangular (a b) laminated composite
plate of total thickness h. The geometry of the plate with
positive set of coordinate axes is shown in Fig. 1. In this
study, a full layerwise laminated plate theory is used in
x
y
a
1st Layer
y
z
2nd Layer
kth Layer
Nth Layer
1
2
3
k
k+1
N
N+1
1
h
2
h
k
h
h
N q(x,y,t)
z
b
h
Fig. 1. Laminate geometry and coordinate system.
536 M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547
deriving plate equations of motion. The displacement eld
can be represented as (e.g., see [2830]):
u
1
x; y; z; t U
k
x; y; tU
k
z
u
2
x; y; z; t V
k
x; y; tU
k
z; k 1; 2; . . . ; N 1
u
3
x; y; z; t W
k
x; y; tU
k
z
1
where, for the sake of brevity, the Einstein summation con-
vention has been introduced a repeated index indicates
summation over all values of that index. In Eqs. (1) u
1
,
u
2
, and u
3
are the displacement components in the x, y,
and z directions, respectively, of a material point initially
located at (x, y, z) in the undeformed laminate, U
k
(x, y),
V
k
(x, y), and W
k
(x, y) (k = 1, 2, . . . , N + 1) are the displace-
ment components of all points located on the kth plane in
the undeformed laminate, and U
k
(z) are continuous func-
tions of the thickness coordinate z (global interpolation
functions). Also N denotes the total number of numerical
(or mathematical) layers considered in a laminate.
It is noted that in the layerwise theory the accuracy of
the displacement eld in Eqs. (1) depends on the shape
functions U
k
(z) and the number of surfaces in the laminate.
Here, U
k
(z) are assumed to be linear interpolation func-
tions. On the other hand, the number of surfaces may be
increased by subdividing each physical layer into a number
of numerical layers. The local Lagrangian linear interpola-
tion functions within, say, the kth layer are dened as
follows:
/
1
k

z
k1
z
h
k
; /
2
k

z z
k
h
k
2
where h
k
is the thickness of the kth numerical layer (see
Fig. 1) and z
k
denotes the z-coordinate of the bottom of
the kth numerical layer. This way, the global interpolation
functions U
k
(z) may be presented as (see [2830]):
U
k
z
0; z 6 z
k1
;
/
2
k1
z; z
k1
6 z 6 z
k
;
/
1
k
z; z
k
6 z 6 z
k1
;
0; z Pz
k1
;
_

_
k 1; 2; . . . ; N 1.
3
Upon substitution of Eqs. (1) into the linear straindis-
placement relations [31] of elasticity, the following results
will be obtained:
e
x

oU
k
ox
U
k
; e
y

oV
k
oy
U
k
; e
z
W
k
U
0
k
;
c
yz
V
k
U
0
k

oW
k
oy
U
k
; c
xz
U
k
U
0
k

oW
k
ox
U
k
;
c
xy

oU
k
oy

oV
k
ox
_ _
U
k
4
with a prime indicating an ordinary derivative with respect
to the independent variable z.
Using the Hamilton principle [31], 3(N + 1) equations of
motion corresponding to 3(N + 1) unknowns U
k
, V
k
, and
W
k
can be shown to be:
dU
k
:
oM
k
x
ox

oM
k
xy
oy
Q
k
x
I
kj

U
j
dV
k
:
oM
k
xy
ox

oM
k
y
oy
Q
k
y
I
kj

V
j
dW
k
:
oR
k
x
ox

oR
k
y
oy
N
k
z
I
kj

W
j
qx; y; td
kN1
5
where d
k(N+1)
is the Kronecker delta and q(x, y, t) is the
transverse load (per unit area) that is applied on the top
surface of the laminate (see Fig. 1). In Eqs. (5) a dot over
displacement components indicates partial dierentiation
with respect to temporal variable t. Also the generalized
stress resultants in Eqs. (5) are dened as:
N
k
z
; Q
k
y
; Q
k
x

_
h=2
h=2
r
z
; r
yz
; r
xz
U
0
k
dz
M
k
x
; M
k
y
; M
k
xy
; R
k
y
; R
k
x

_
h=2
h=2
r
x
; r
y
; r
xy
; r
yz
; r
xz
U
k
dz
6
and the mass terms I
kj
are dened as:
I
kj

_
h=2
h=2
qU
k
U
j
dz 7
where q(x, y, z) denotes the mass density of the material
point located at (x, y, z). For a laminated plate with a rect-
angular platform, the boundary conditions in the layerwise
plate theory at an edge parallel to y axis involves the spec-
ication of U
k
or M
k
x
, V
k
or M
k
xy
, and W
k
or R
k
x
. Similarly, at
an edge parallel to x axis, we can specify the required
boundary conditions.
In the full layerwise theory, instead of the plane stress
assumption, the 3-D constitutive law [32] is used:
frg
k
C
k
feg
k
8
Here, the matrix C
k
is called the o-axis stiness matrix
of the kth layer. On substitution of Eqs. (4) into Eqs. (8)
and the subsequent results into Eqs. (6), the generalized
stress resultants are obtained which can be presented as
follows:
N
k
z
; M
k
x
; M
k
y
; M
k
xy

B
jk
13
; D
kj
11
; D
kj
12
; D
kj
16

oU
j
ox
B
jk
23
; D
kj
12
; D
kj
22
; D
kj
26

oV
j
oy
A
kj
33
; B
kj
13
; B
kj
23
; B
kj
36
W
j
B
jk
36
; D
kj
16
; D
kj
26
; D
kj
66

oU
j
oy

oV
j
ox
_ _
Q
k
y
; R
k
y
A
kj
45
; B
kj
45
U
j
A
kj
44
; B
kj
44
V
j
B
jk
45
; D
kj
45

oW
j
ox
B
jk
44
; D
kj
44

oW
j
oy
Q
k
x
; R
k
x
A
kj
55
; B
kj
55
U
j
A
kj
45
; B
kj
45
V
j
B
jk
55
; D
kj
55

oW
j
ox
B
jk
45
; D
kj
45

oW
j
oy
9
M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547 537
where the rigidity terms A
kj
pq
, B
kj
pq
, and D
kj
pq
are given by
A
kj
pq

N
i1
_
z
i1
zi
C
i
pq
U
0
k
U
0
j
dz;
B
kj
pq

N
i1
_
z
i1
zi
C
i
pq
U
k
U
0
j
dz;
D
kj
pq

N
i1
_
z
i1
zi
C
i
pq
U
k
U
j
dz
10
Using Eq. (3), by carrying out the integrations in Eqs. (10)
the rigidity terms will be found (see [29]).
Here, plate equations of motion are adapted to obtain
beam equations of motion. It is more reasonable for a
beam to let M
k
y
be equal to zero. It is noted that this
assumption is similar to the ones assumed in the ESL the-
ories for obtaining laminated beam theories from lami-
nated plate theories (see, e.g., [20,21,25]). First this
assumption is invoked, yielding:
M
k
y
D
kj
12
oU
j
ox
D
kj
22
oV
j
oy
B
kj
23
W
j
D
kj
26
oU
j
oy

oV
j
ox
_ _
0
11
Solving for oV
j
/oy and substituting the result into (9), with
o
oy
0, yields:
N
k
z
; M
k
x
; M
k
xy
B
jk
13
; D
kj
11
; D
kj
16

oU
j
ox
B
jk
36
; D
kj
16
; D
kj
66

oV
j
ox
A
kj
33
; B
kj
13
; B
kj
36
W
j
Q
k
y
; Q
k
x
; R
k
x
A
kj
45
; A
kj
55
; B
kj
45
U
j
A
kj
44
; A
kj
45
; B
kj
55
V
j
B
jk
45
; B
jk
55
; D
kj
55

oW
j
ox
12
where the reduced rigidity terms A
kj
pq
, B
kj
pq
, and D
kj
pq
(p, q = 1,
3, 6) are dened in Appendix A. It is also assumed that all
the stress resultants are functions of coordinate x and time
t only. Hence, Eqs. (5) are simplied as follows:
dU
k
:
oM
k
x
ox
Q
k
x
I
kj

U
j
dV
k
:
oM
k
xy
ox
Q
k
y
I
kj

V
j
dW
k
:
oR
k
x
ox
N
k
z
I
kj

W
j
qx; td
kN1
13
Upon substitution of Eqs. (12) into Eqs. (13) the following
governing equations of motion are obtained:
D
kj
11
o
2
U
j
ox
2
A
kj
55
U
j
D
kj
16
o
2
V
j
ox
2
A
kj
45
V
j
B
kj
13
B
jk
55

oW
j
ox
I
kj

U
j
D
kj
16
o
2
U
j
ox
2
A
kj
45
U
j
D
kj
66
o
2
V
j
ox
2
A
kj
44
V
j
B
kj
36
B
jk
45

oW
j
ox
I
kj

V
j
B
kj
55
B
jk
13

oU
j
ox
B
kj
45
B
jk
36

o
2
V
j
ox
2
D
kj
55
o
2
W
j
ox
2
A
kj
33
W
j
I
kj

W
j
qx; td
kN1
14
2.2. Beam layerwise theory 2 (BLWT2)
A generally laminated beam is considered here with a
total thickness h, width b in the lateral (y-) direction, and
length a in the longitudinal (x-) direction. A full layerwise
laminated beam theory is used to obtain accurate 3-D
stress eld in the beam. In this theory, it is assumed that
the displacement eld of the beam may be represented as:
u
1
x; y; z; t U
k
x; tU
k
z
u
2
x; y; z; t V
k
x; tU
k
z; k 1; 2; . . . ; N 1
u
3
x; y; z; t W
k
x; tU
k
z
15
Hence, the strain components are:
e
x

oU
k
ox
U
k
; e
y
0; e
z
W
k
U
0
k
; c
yz
V
k
U
0
k
;
c
xz
U
k
U
0
k

oW
k
ox
U
k
; c
xy

oV
k
ox
U
k
16
As far as the stress components are concerned, it is seen
from Eqs. (16) that only r
y
are needed to be assumed to
vanish. That is:
r
y
0 17
Here, the equations of motion are derived using Hamiltons
principle [31] as:
dU
k
:
oM
k
x
ox
Q
k
x
I
kj

U
j
dV
k
:
oM
k
xy
ox
Q
k
y
I
kj

V
j
dW
k
:
oR
k
x
ox
N
k
z
I
kj

W
j
qx; td
kN1
18
where q(x, t) is the applied transverse load at z = h/2. The
generalized stress resultants and the mass terms in Eqs.
(18) are dened as Eqs. (6) and (7), respectively. The
boundary conditions in this theory involve the specication
of U
k
or M
k
x
, V
k
or M
k
xy
, and W
k
or R
k
x
.
Next, in order to nd the governing equations of
motion, it is assumed that the beam is laminated of ortho-
tropic laminae with arbitrary ber direction in the xy
plane with respect to the x-axis. The constitutive law of
the kth lamina with respect to the global xyz coordinate
system is [32]:
e
x
e
y
e
z
c
yz
c
xz
c
xy
_

_
_

_
k

S
11
S
12
S
13
0 0 S
16
S
12
S
22
S
23
0 0 S
26
S
13
S
23
S
33
0 0 S
36
0 0 0 S
44
S
45
0
0 0 0 S
45
S
55
0
S
16
S
26
S
36
0 0 S
66
_

_
_

_
k
r
x
r
y
r
z
r
yz
r
xz
r
xy
_

_
_

_
k
19
where the matrix S
k
is called the o-axis compliance ma-
trix of the kth layer. Next, invoking the assumption (17) in
(19) results in:
538 M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547
e
x
e
y
c
xy
_

_
_

_
k

S
11
S
13
S
16
S
13
S
33
S
36
S
16
S
36
S
66
_

_
_

_
k
r
x
r
y
r
xy
_

_
_

_
k
;
c
yz
c
xz
_ _
k

S
44
S
45
S
45
S
55
_ _
k
r
yz
r
xz
_ _
k
20
Inverting the relations in (20) results in:
r
x
r
y
r
xy
_

_
_

_
k

C
11
C
13
C
16
C
13
C
33
C
36
C
16
C
36
C
66
_

_
_

_
k
e
x
e
y
c
xy
_

_
_

_
k
;
r
yz
r
xz
_ _
k

C
44
C
45
C
45
C
55
_ _
k
c
yz
c
xz
_ _
k
21
where C
ij
s (i, j = 4, 5) are the o-axis stiness coecients
[32] and C
ij
s (i, j = 1, 3, 6) are the o-axis reduced sti-
nesses given by
C
11
C
13
C
16
C
13
C
33
C
36
C
16
C
36
C
66
_

_
_

S
11
S
13
S
16
S
13
S
33
S
36
S
16
S
36
S
66
_

_
_

_
1
22
Now substituting Eqs. (16) into Eqs. (21) and the subse-
quent results into Eqs. (6), the generalized stress resultants
are obtained which can be presented as follows:
N
k
z
; M
k
x
; M
k
xy
B
jk
13
; D
kj
11
; D
kj
16

oU
j
ox
B
jk
36
; D
kj
16
; D
kj
66

oV
j
ox
A
kj
33
; B
kj
13
; B
kj
36
W
j
Q
k
y
; Q
k
x
; R
k
x
A
kj
45
; A
kj
55
; B
kj
45
U
j
A
kj
44
; A
kj
45
; B
kj
55
V
j
B
jk
45
; B
jk
55
; D
kj
55

oW
j
ox
23
where
A
kj
pq

N
i1
_
z
i1
zi
C
i
pq
U
0
k
U
0
j
dz;
B
kj
pq

N
i1
_
z
i1
zi
C
i
pq
U
k
U
0
j
dz; p; q 1; 3; 6
D
kj
pq

N
i1
_
z
i1
zi
C
i
pq
U
k
U
j
dz;
24
and A
kj
pq
, B
kj
pq
, and D
kj
pq
(p, q = 4, 5) are the same as those
appearing in BLWT1 (i.e., Eqs. (10)). Finally, the govern-
ing equations of motion are obtained by substituting (23)
into (18):
D
kj
11
o
2
U
j
ox
2
A
kj
55
U
j
D
kj
16
o
2
V
j
ox
2
A
kj
45
V
j
B
kj
13
B
jk
55

oW
j
ox
I
kj

U
j
D
kj
16
o
2
U
j
ox
2
A
kj
45
U
j
D
kj
66
o
2
V
j
ox
2
A
kj
44
V
j
B
kj
36
B
jk
45

oW
j
ox
I
kj

V
j
B
kj
55
B
jk
13

oU
j
ox
B
kj
45
B
jk
36

o
2
V
j
ox
2
D
kj
55
o
2
W
j
ox
2
A
kj
33
W
j
I
kj

W
j
qx; td
kN1
2.3. Cylindrical bending (CB)
Consider a plate of thickness h, length a in the x-direc-
tion, and innite extent in the y-direction. Assume further
that the plate is subjected to transverse loading q(x, t)
which acts normally and upwards on its top surface,
z = h/2. Since the laminate is long, it may safely be
assumed that a state of plane strain exists. Hence, in order
to obtain a layerwise formulation for the analysis of this
plate, the displacement eld in (15) are assumed. Therefore,
the equations of motion are similar to those presented in
Eqs. (18). Next, substituting strain components (16) into
the constitutive law in (8) and the subsequent results into
the denition of the generalized stress resultants yields:
N
k
z
; M
k
x
; M
k
xy
B
jk
13
; D
kj
11
; D
kj
16

oU
j
ox
A
kj
33
; B
kj
13
; B
kj
36
W
j
B
jk
36
; D
kj
16
; D
kj
66

oV
j
ox
Q
k
y
; Q
k
x
; R
k
x
A
kj
45
; A
kj
55
; B
kj
55
U
j
A
kj
44
; A
kj
45
; B
kj
45
V
j
B
jk
45
; B
jk
55
; D
kj
55

oW
j
ox
26
where the rigidity terms are dened as those appearing in
Eqs. (10). Upon substitution of Eqs. (26) into Eqs. (18)
the following governing equations of motion are obtained:
D
kj
11
o
2
U
j
ox
2
A
kj
55
U
j
D
kj
16
o
2
V
j
ox
2
A
kj
45
V
j
B
kj
13
B
jk
55

oW
j
ox
I
kj

U
j
D
kj
16
o
2
U
j
ox
2
A
kj
45
U
j
D
kj
66
o
2
V
j
ox
2
A
kj
44
V
j
B
kj
36
B
jk
45

oW
j
ox
I
kj

V
j
B
kj
55
B
jk
13

oU
j
ox
B
kj
45
B
jk
36

o
2
V
j
ox
2
D
kj
55
o
2
W
j
ox
2
A
kj
33
W
j
I
kj

W
j
qx; td
kN1
27
3. Analytical solutions
The objective of this section is to solve analytically Eqs.
(14), (25), and (27). As far as BLWT1, BLWT2, and CB are
concerned, any arbitrarily laminate admits analytical solu-
tion for any combinations of edge conditions at x = 0 and
x = a. Before the procedure adopted for solving these
equations is discussed, it is appropriate to indicate here
that in the beam layerwise theory two types of simple sup-
ports at the ends of the beam (i.e., x = 0, a) may be classi-
ed, namely:
S3: M
k
x
V
k
W
k
0 28a
S4: M
k
x
M
k
xy
W
k
0 28b
M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547 539
also two types of clamped supports may be classied,
namely:
C1: U
k
V
k
W
k
0 29a
C2: U
k
M
k
xy
W
k
0 29b
furthermore, the traction-free conditions are dened as:
F: M
k
x
M
k
xy
R
k
x
0 30
It is to be noted that these types of boundary conditions
(i.e. S3, S4, C1, and C2) are dened similar to the deni-
tions in the ESL theories. For simplicity, the boundary
conditions of a composite beam may be represented in a
concise rule. For example, a beam with the edge conditions
C1 at x = 0 and F at x = a may be called C1F.
In the following sections, analytical solutions of static
bending and free vibration of laminated beams will be
developed. Because the solution procedure for Eqs. (14),
(25), and (27) are completely analogous to each other, for
the sake of brevity, only solution for Eqs. (14) will be
discussed.
3.1. Static bending analysis
Here, the analytical solution for static version of Eqs.
(14) subjected to transverse load q(x) are discussed. In
order to obtain analytical solutions of Eqs. (14), with
o
ot
0, it must be noted that the numerical results indicate,
however, that there exist repeated zero roots (or eigen-
values) in the characteristic equation of the set of equations
in (14). To enhance the solution scheme of these equations,
some small articial terms will be added to these equations
so that the characteristic roots become all distinct (for
more complete descriptions of the present method see
[29,30]). Therefore, Eqs. (14) rewritten as follows:
D
kj
11
d
2
U
j
dx
2
A
kj
55
U
j
D
kj
16
d
2
V
j
dx
2
A
kj
45
V
j
B
kj
13
B
jk
55

dW
j
dx
a
kj
U
j
D
kj
16
d
2
U
j
dx
2
A
kj
45
U
j
D
kj
66
d
2
V
j
dx
2
A
kj
44
V
j
B
kj
36
B
jk
45

dW
j
dx
a
kj
V
j
B
kj
55
B
jk
13

dU
j
dx
B
kj
45
B
jk
36

d
2
V
j
dx
2
D
kj
55
d
2
W
j
dx
2
A
kj
33
W
j
qxd
kN1
a
kj
W
j
31
where
a
kj
a
_
h=2
h=2
U
k
U
j
dz 32
with a being a prescribed number such that a
kj
s in Eqs.
(31) are relatively small compared to the numerical values
of stinesses A
kj
55
, A
kj
44
, and A
kj
33
(see [29,30]). Next, in order
to solve Eqs. (31), the following state space variables are
introduced:
X
1
x f g Ux f g; X
2
x f g
dU
dx
_ _

dX
1
dx
_ _
X
3
x f g V x f g; X
4
x f g
dV
dx
_ _

dX
3
dx
_ _
X
5
x f g W x f g; X
6
x f g
dW
dx
_ _

dX
5
dx
_ _
33
where, for example, {X
1
}
T
= [U
1
, U
2
, . . . , U
N+1
]. Substitu-
tion of Eqs. (33) into Eqs. (31) results in a system of
6(N + 1) coupled rst-order ordinary dierential equations
which, on the other hand, may be presented as:
dX
dx
_ _
AfXg fF g 34
with {X}
T
= [{X
1
}
T
,{X
2
}
T
, . . . ,{X
6
}
T
]. In Eq. (34) the
coecient matrix [A] and vector {F} are presented in
Appendix A. The general solutions of Eq. (34) are given
by (e.g. see [33]):
X f g UQkxfKg UQkx
_
Qkx
1
U
1
fF gdx
35
with Qkx diage
k
1
x
; e
k
2
x
; . . . ; e
k
6N1
x
and {K} being
6(N + 1) arbitrary unknown constants of integration to
be found by imposing the boundary conditions. Here, [U]
and k
k
(k = 1, 2, . . . , 6(N + 1)) are, respectively, the matrix
of eigenvectors and eigenvalues of the coecient matrix
[A] which, in general, must be regarded to have complex
values.
The solution presented in (35) is completely general for
every loading function q(x). For a special case of cross-ply
beams subjected to transverse loading qx q
0
sin
px
a
,
where q
0
is magnitude of sinusoidal loading, with the
boundary conditions S3, the other form of solution can
be obtained. It is noted that the boundary conditions S3
in (28a) will identically be satised if the following expres-
sions for the displacement components are assumed:
U
j
U
1
j
cos
px
a
; V
j
0; W
j
W
1
j
sin
px
a
36
where U
1
j
and W
1
j
(j = 1, 2, . . . , N + 1) are coecients to be
determined. Upon substitution of Eqs. (36) into static ver-
sion of Eqs. (14) the following algebraic equations are
obtained:
D
kj
11
p
2
a
2
U
1
j
A
kj
55
U
1
j
B
kj
13
B
jk
55

p
a
W
1
j
0
B
kj
55
B
jk
13

p
a
U
1
j
D
kj
55
p
2
a
2
W
1
j
A
kj
33
W
1
j
q
0
d
kN1
37
Eqs. (37) can be solved for coecients U
1
j
and W
1
j
(j = 1, 2, . . . , N + 1).
3.2. Free vibration analysis
In order to obtain the natural frequencies of the beam
we consider a solution as:
540 M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547
U
j
x; t
V
j
x; t
W
j
x; t
_

_
_

U
n
j
x
V
n
j
x
W
n
j
x
_

_
_

_
T
n
t 38
where T
n
e
ixnt
with i

1
p
and x
n
is the natural fre-
quency of the beam. Substitution of (38) into Eqs. (14),
with q(x, t) = 0, yields:
D
kj
11
d
2
U
n
j
dx
2
A
kj
55
U
n
j
D
kj
16
d
2
V
n
j
dx
2
A
kj
45
V
n
j
B
kj
13
B
jk
55

dW
n
j
dx
x
2
n
I
kj
U
k
j
D
kj
16
d
2
U
n
j
dx
2
A
kj
45
U
n
j
D
kj
66
d
2
V
n
j
dx
2
A
kj
44
V
n
j
B
kj
36
B
jk
45

dW
n
j
dx
x
2
n
I
kj
V
n
j
B
kj
55
B
jk
13

dU
n
j
dx
B
kj
45
B
jk
36

d
2
V
n
j
dx
2
D
kj
55
d
2
W
n
j
dx
2
A
kj
33
W
n
j
x
2
n
I
kj
W
n
j
39
Solution of Eqs. (39), subjected to homogeneous boundary
conditions, results in the natural frequencies x
n
and
the eigenfunctions U
n
j
, V
n
j
, and W
n
j
. Next, for the sake of
convenience, the following state space variables are
introduced:
X
n
1
x
_ _
U
n
x f g; X
n
2
x
_ _

dU
n
dx
_ _

dX
n
1
dx
_ _
X
n
3
x
_ _
V
n
x f g; X
n
4
x
_ _

dV
n
dx
_ _

dX
n
3
dx
_ _
X
n
5
x
_ _
W
n
x f g; X
n
6
x
_ _

dW
n
dx
_ _

dX
n
5
dx
_ _
40
where, for example, fX
n
1
g
T
U
n
1
; U
n
2
; . . . ; U
n
N1
. Substitu-
tion of Eqs. (40) into Eqs. (39) results in:
dX
n
dx
_ _
A
n
fX
n
g 41
with fX
n
g
T
fX
n
1
g
T
; fX
n
2
g
T
; . . . ; fX
n
6
g
T
. In Eq. (41) the
coecient matrix [A
n
] is presented in Appendix A. It is
noted that the natural frequency x
n
is yet an unknown.
Actually x
n
is found in a trial and error procedure. To this
end, we assume a value for x
n
and solve Eq. (41). The gen-
eral solution of Eq. (41) is given by (e.g. see [33]):
X
n
f g U
n
Q
n
kxfK
n
g 42
By imposing 6(N + 1) boundary conditions at x = 0 and
x = a on the solution given by Eq. (42), a homogeneous
system of algebraic equations can be found:
M
n
fK
n
g f0g 43
For non-trivial solution jM
n
j = 0. If this condition is satis-
ed, then the value was guessed for x
n
is a correct value.
Otherwise, another value for x
n
must be guessed. However,
since k
i
s are in general complex numbers, j M
n
j will also be
a complex number. For this reason, the above procedure is
modied slightly. To this end, we note from Eq. (42) at
x = 0 that we have:
fX
n
0g U
n
fK
n
g 44
That is,
fK
n
g U
n

1
fX
n
0g 45
Substitution of Eq. (45) into Eq. (43) results in:
M
n
U
n

1
fX
n
0g f0g 46
Now, for non-trivial solution the following condition
should be satised which always be a real number:
jM
n
j=jU
n
j 0 47
4. Numerical results and discussion
The eectiveness of the present BLWT1 and BLWT2 are
demonstrated through examples of static bending and free
vibration. The assessment of the accuracy of the present
beam theories for the case of bending of cross-ply lami-
nates will be obtained by comparison with the exact 3-D
elasticity solution [27]. Also the results of BLWT1 and
BLWT2 for the case of bending of angle-ply beams and
free vibration will be compared with those obtained by uti-
lizing the commercial nite element package of ANSYS
[34]. In the latter method, the mesh is rened till no signif-
icant change in stress distributions and the natural frequen-
cies are obtained. In order to compare the results of nite
element with those of the beam theories, the laminated
plate is assumed to have free edges at y = 0 and y = b.
Therefore, by reducing the width of the plate in the y-direc-
tion (i.e., by decreasing b) the laminated plate reduces to a
laminated beam. This way the accuracy of BLWT1 and
BLWT2 may be evaluated by comparison with the nite
element results.
As previously mentioned, in the layerwise theory each
actual physical layer in a laminate can be treated as many
numerical (or mathematical) layers with the same ber
direction as the actual layer. Clearly, as the number of
numerical layers is increased, the accuracy of the results
is also increased. Tahani and Nosier [30] showed that in
a four-layer composite laminate, six numerical layers in
each physical lamina results in accurate local eects. Con-
sequently, for obtaining highly accurate results, 24 numer-
ical layers across the entire laminate thickness are
considered in all examples. For all results, the interlaminar
stresses are computed by integrating the local equations of
equilibrium.
In what follows, static bending and free vibration of
composite beams with general laminations will be consid-
ered. It is to be noted that the solution procedure outlined
in this paper is completely general and can be used for any
arbitrarily lamination and end conditions at x = 0 and
x = a.
M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547 541
4.1. Static bending problems
In this section, to test the validity and accuracy of the
present method, rst numerical examples are presented
for simply supported laminated cross-ply beams [0/90]
and [0/90/0] in bending under transverse sinusoidal
loading qx q
0
sin
px
a
on the top surfaces of the beams.
These problems have the exact 3-D elasticity [27] and the
CLT solutions. Each lamina is assumed to be of the same
thickness and is idealized as a homogeneous orthotropic
material with the following material properties in the prin-
cipal material coordinate system (see [27]):
E
L
25 10
6
psi 172:36 GPa; E
T
10
6
psi 6:894 GPa
G
LT
0:5 10
6
psi 3:447 GPa
G
TT
0:2 10
6
psi 1:379 GPa; m
LT
m
TT
0:25
48
where the subscripts L and T signify the direction parallel
to the bers and the transverse direction, respectively.
All numerical results shown in what follows are pre-
sented by means of the following normalized quantities
as used by Pagano [27]:
w
100E
T
h
3
w
q
0
a
4
; r
x
; r
z
; r
xz

r
x
; r
z
; r
xz

q
0
; S
a
h
49
Figs. 2 and 3 illustrate the distributions of normalized
in-plane stress r
x
at x = a/2 and normalized interlaminar
shear stress r
xz
at x = 0 through the thickness in a [0/
90] beam for length-to-thickness ratio of 4 (i.e., S = 4).
These values are an example of a very thick beam with high
stiness ratio E
L
/E
T
. Figs. 2 and 3 also show the validity of
the proposed methods for simply supported cross-ply
beams. All stress distributions predicted by the CLT show
considerable error for this thick beam whereas excellent
agreement between the layerwise solutions and the exact
3-D elasticity solutions [27] is found.
The variation of maximum normalized transverse dis-
placement with various S for a [0/90/0] beam is shown
in Fig. 4. It is seen that the layerwise theories and Paganos
solution [27] are in close agreement with each other for any
arbitrary S. Also as is expected, CLT underestimates max-
imum transverse deection and gives a poor estimate espe-
cially for relatively low values of S.
Figs. 5 and 6 illustrate the variations of normalized in-
plane stress r
x
at x = a/2 and normalized interlaminar
shear stress r
xz
at x = 0 through the thickness in a [0/
90/0] beam for S = 4. It is seen that the present solutions
are in excellent agreement with the 3-D elasticity solutions,
whereas the CLT solutions have signicant error.
The numerical results presented above indicate that for
homogeneous 0- and 90-layered beams in static bending
the results of BLWT1, BLWT2, and CB become, as analyt-
ically anticipated, identical.
Next, in order to test the correctness and accuracy of the
present layerwise methods for angle-ply beams, static bend-
ing of a [30/0/30] beam under uniform transverse load
(q
0
) is considered. The assessment of the accuracy of the
present beam theories is obtained by comparison with
those obtained by utilizing the nite element package of
x
h
/
z
-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5
3-D Elasticity [27]
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
CLT
Fig. 2. Distribution of normalized in-plane stress r
x
through the thickness
at x = a/2 of a [0/90] laminate under sinusoidal transverse load.
h
/
z
0 1 2 3
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5
3-D Elasticity [27]
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
CLT
xz
Fig. 3. Distribution of normalized transverse shear stress r
xz
through the
thickness at x = 0 of a [0/90] laminate under sinusoidal transverse load.
S=a/h
w
0 10 20 30 40 50
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3-D Elasticity [27]
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
CLT
Fig. 4. Variation of maximum normalized transverse deection w versus
length-to-thickness ratio S of a [0/90/0] laminate under sinusoidal
transverse load.
542 M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547
ANSYS [34]. A simply supported laminated plate has been
modeled in ANSYS by using 3-D 20-node layered struc-
tural solid elements which is proper to model thick lami-
nates. It is assumed that the laminated plate has free
edges at y = 0 and y = b. Therefore, by decreasing b the
laminated plate reduces to a laminated beam. It is further
assumed that S = 10 in all the theories and b/h = 3, b/
h = 2, and b/h = 1 in nite element method (FEM). For
the remaining of this paper the mechanical properties of
the layers are taken to be those of a typical high-modulus
graphite/epoxy lamina [32]:
E
L
132 GPa; E
T
10:8 GPa
G
LT
5:65 GPa; G
TT
3:38 GPa
m
LT
0:24; m
TT
0:59; q 1540 kg=m
3
50
The variation of normalized in-plane stress r
x
at x = a/2
in the [30/0/30] laminate is displayed in Fig. 7. Also
Figs. 8 and 9 illustrate distributions of normalized stress
components r
xz
and r
yz
, respectively, at x = a/4 in the
[30/0/30] laminate. The numerical results are gener-
ated through the thickness of the laminate. It is observed
from these gures that the results of BLWT2 agree well
with those obtained from nite element method with b/
h = 1. Also it is seen that the results of cylindrical bending
for r
x
and r
yz
disagree with those of the nite element
results. Therefore, the cylindrical bending of laminated
plates diers from the bending of laminated beams as far
as angle-ply laminations are concerned. It is to be noted
that the laminates of Figs. 29 are purposefully chosen in
order to obtain a better assessment of the inaccuracy of
BLWT2. Many numerical results are generated, but not
shown here, for laminates with various stacking sequences
and boundary conditions. In all cases, it is seen that the
new beam layerwise theory, BLWT2, is quite accurate for
both angle-ply and cross-ply laminates. From Figs. 79 it
is seen that in general the accuracy of BLWT1 is less than
BLWT2. Also BLWT1 demands the inversion of matrix
[D
22
] which can be an inconvenience as far as developing
advanced laminated beam theories are concerned.
4.2. Free vibration studies
In this section, the fundamental natural frequency of
various cross-ply and angle-ply beams and plates are
obtained according to the two beam theories (BLWT1
and BLWT2) as well as cylindrical bending and FEM.
The beam is assumed to have simple supports at x = 0
and x = a with the boundary conditions given in (28a).
The plate is also assumed to have the same support condi-
tions at x = 0 and x = a and free edges at y = 0 and y = b.
Numerical values of FEM are generated for various ratios
of width (b) of the plate to its thickness (h) (i.e., b/h = 3,
b/h = 2, and b/h = 1). Also the results are obtained for
a/h = 10, a/h = 15, and a/h = 20. It is to be noted that
the numerical results of the two beam theories and the
cylindrical bending problem will be compared with those
of FEM for the case b/h = 1. This is justied here by the
h
/
z
-100 -50 0 50 100
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5 FEM (b/h=3)
FEM (b/h=2)
FEM (b/h=1)
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
x
Fig. 7. Distribution of normalized in-plane stress r
x
through the thickness
at x = a/2 of a [30/0/30] laminated beam under uniform transverse
load.
h
/
z
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5
3-D Elasticity [27]
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
CLT
xz
Fig. 6. Variation of normalized transverse shear stress r
xz
through the
thickness at x = 0 of a [0/90/0] laminate under sinusoidal transverse
load.
h
/
z
-20 -10 0 10 20
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5
3-D Elasticity [27]
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
CLT
x
Fig. 5. Variation of normalized in-plane stress r
x
through the thickness at
x = a/2 of a [0/90/0] laminate under sinusoidal transverse load.
M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547 543
fact that no assumption made in FEM whereas BLWT1
assumes M
k
y
0 and BLWT2 assumes r
y
= 0.
The fundamental natural frequency of various cross-ply
beams and plates according to the two beam theories
(BLWT1 and BLWT2), cylindrical bending, and FEM
are presented in Table 1. It is seen that the results of
BLWT1, BLWT2, and CB are almost identical. In fact,
for cross-ply beams presented in Table 1 the dierence
between the results of BLWT1 and FEM is less than 5%,
between the new beam theory BLWT2 and FEM is less
than 1.6%, and between CB and FEM is less than 1.8%.
Also the averages of dierences for various cross-ply lami-
nates and length-to-thickness ratios are 2.15% for BLWT1,
0.37% for BLWT2, and 0.55% for CB. The results pre-
sented in Table 1 indicate that the cylindrical bending of
cross-ply laminates and bending of cross-ply beams are
actually identical. Also BLWT1 and BLWT2 are able to
accurately estimate the natural frequencies of cross-ply
beams.
The fundamental natural frequency of [h/h] laminated
beams for various values of h are presented in Table 2. It
is seen from Table 2 that BLWT1 and BLWT2 are, except
for the [15/15] and [30/30] laminates, accurate for
all values of h and a/h ratios. The maximum dierence
between BLWT1 and FEM and also between BLWT2
and FEM occur for the [15/15] laminated beam and
is about 13% and 14%, respectively. Also the maximum dif-
ference between CB and FEM occurs for the [45/45]
laminated beam and is about 46%. It should be noted that
although the dierence for BLWT2 is grater than BLWT1
with respect to FEM, but the averages of dierences are
7.3% for BLWT1, 4.8% for BLWT2, and 18.8% for CB.
Furthermore, the natural frequency of [h/0/h] lami-
nates are presented in Table 3. The maximum dierence
between BLWT1 and FEM is about 14%, between BLWT2
and FEM is about 15%, and between CB and FEM is
about 40%. Also the averages of dierences are 6.3% for
BLWT1, 5% for BLWT2, and 16.3% for CB.
It should be noted from Table 1 that for homogeneous
0- and 90-layered beams the results of BLWT1, BLWT2,
CB, and FEM are almost identical and the accuracy lost is
insignicant. Finally, the results presented in Tables 13
indicate that BLWT2 are more accurate than BLWT1
h
/
z
0 1 2 3 4 5
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5
FEM (b/h=3)
FEM (b/h=2)
FEM (b/h=1)
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
xz
Fig. 8. Distribution of normalized transverse shear stress r
xz
through the
thickness at x = a/4 of a [30/0/30] laminated beam under uniform
transverse load.
yz
h
/
z
-0.7 -0.35 0 0.35 0.7
-0.5
-0.25
0
0.25
0.5
FEM (b/h=3)
FEM (b/h=2)
FEM (b/h=1)
BLWT1
BLWT2
CB
Fig. 9. Distribution of normalized transverse shear stress r
yz
through the
thickness at x = a/4 of a [30/0/30] laminated beam under uniform
transverse load.
Table 1
Non-dimensional fundamental frequency of [0/90], [0/90/0], and [0/90/0/90] laminated beams according to nite elements, BLWT1, BLWT2, and
CB; x xa
2

q=E
L
h
2
_
a/h Laminate FEM BLWT1 BLWT2 CB
b/h = 3 b/h = 2 b/h = 1
10 [0/90] 1.36872 1.36872 1.36872 1.43226 1.36516 1.36832
[0/90/0] 2.41339 2.41312 2.41285 2.41996 2.45204 2.45689
[0/90/0/90] 1.78128 1.78098 1.78026 1.79781 1.79273 1.79671
15 [0/90] 1.39322 1.39361 1.39269 1.46493 1.39397 1.39724
[0/90/0] 2.61680 2.61825 2.61604 2.58735 2.62724 2.63292
[0/90/0/90] 1.87247 1.87216 1.87140 1.87741 1.87380 1.87810
20 [0/90] 1.40496 1.40483 1.40442 1.47699 1.40456 1.40787
[0/90/0] 2.69551 2.69524 2.69483 2.65526 2.69866 2.70471
[0/90/0/90] 1.90622 1.90595 1.90514 1.90810 1.90512 1.90954
544 M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547
and also CB is not accurate in estimating the natural
frequency of laminated composite beams with general
laminations. In fact, because BLWT2 is simple and
straightforward and its numerical results are accurate
enough, this theory can be used for modeling laminated
composite beams.
5. Conclusions
Within a layerwise laminate theory, a new laminated
beam theory with general lamination is developed. The
approach adopted in the derivation of the equations of
motion in the new beam theory is direct and straightfor-
Table 2
Non-dimensional fundamental frequency of [h/h] laminated beams according to nite elements, BLWT1, BLWT2, and CB; x xa
2

q=E
L
h
2
_
a/h h () FEM BLWT1 BLWT2 CB
b/h = 3 b/h = 2 b/h = 1
10 0 2.56809 2.56792 2.56225 2.52618 2.56259 2.56800
15 1.9518 1.95098 1.95071 2.20149 2.22380 2.31649
30 1.38189 1.37602 1.37378 1.51444 1.56625 1.88721
45 1.00947 1.00411 1.00221 0.96277 1.04770 1.43222
60 0.84724 0.84585 0.84537 0.83659 0.84849 1.03292
75 0.80191 0.80211 0.80163 0.87277 0.80361 0.82987
90 0.79627 0.79658 0.79624 0.89504 0.79769 0.79953
15 0 2.71338 2.71323 2.70964 2.66611 2.70986 2.71592
15 2.01562 2.01494 2.01463 2.27261 2.29988 2.43015
30 1.40155 1.39834 1.39719 1.55028 1.59184 1.95692
45 1.01590 1.01316 1.01224 0.97348 1.06163 1.46674
60 0.85320 0.85252 0.85229 0.84503 0.85723 1.04758
75 0.81228 0.81221 0.81220 0.88305 0.81170 0.83860
90 0.80533 0.80533 0.80533 0.90633 0.80579 0.80768
20 0 2.77030 2.77030 2.76799 2.72121 2.76808 2.77442
15 2.03924 2.03870 2.03856 2.30367 2.32802 2.47487
30 1.40836 1.40632 1.40564 1.56394 1.59925 1.98443
45 1.01799 1.01636 1.01583 0.97735 1.06668 1.47995
60 0.85213 0.85050 0.84766 0.84806 0.86038 1.05292
75 0.81385 0.81378 0.81367 0.88676 0.81460 0.84174
90 0.80833 0.80832 0.80833 0.91041 0.80870 0.81060
Table 3
Non-dimensional fundamental frequency of [h/0/h] laminated beams according to nite elements, BLWT1, BLWT2, and CB; x xa
2

q=E
L
h
2
_
a/h h () FEM BLWT1 BLWT2 CB
b/h = 3 b/h = 2 b/h = 1
10 0 2.56598 2.56581 2.56225 2.52618 2.56259 2.56800
15 1.97636 1.97575 1.97555 2.22231 2.25540 2.33341
30 1.39865 1.39444 1.39285 1.56688 1.58452 1.90724
45 1.10394 1.10038 1.09909 1.07792 1.15629 1.48925
60 0.98657 0.98555 0.98518 0.97297 0.98832 1.14246
75 0.95532 0.95522 0.95518 1.00349 0.95210 0.97416
90 0.94989 0.94985 0.94985 1.02245 0.94748 0.94972
15 0 2.71086 2.71079 2.70964 2.66611 2.70986 2.71592
15 2.04242 2.04181 2.04151 2.31988 2.33025 2.44691
30 1.41972 1.41735 1.41651 1.60390 1.62927 1.97312
45 1.11386 1.11203 1.11149 1.09192 1.17354 1.52325
60 0.99445 0.99399 0.99376 0.98436 1.00029 1.15947
75 0.96361 0.96361 0.96353 1.01614 0.96317 0.98578
90 0.95925 0.95925 0.95925 1.03581 0.95845 0.96073
20 0 2.77030 2.76758 2.76758 2.72121 2.76808 2.77442
15 2.06693 2.06653 2.06625 2.35756 2.36548 2.49115
30 1.42695 1.42546 1.42505 1.61770 1.64118 1.99830
45 1.11728 1.11618 1.11471 1.09699 1.17980 1.53595
60 0.99860 0.99830 0.99721 0.98847 1.00461 1.16567
75 0.96788 0.96785 0.96687 1.02070 0.96715 0.98997
90 0.96358 0.96358 0.96263 1.04064 0.96240 0.96469
M. Tahani / Composite Structures 79 (2007) 535547 545
ward similar to the ones used in developing laminated plate
and shell theories. The ideas developed in the present work
may readily be used in developing simpler theories such as
CLT and shear deformation beam theories for generally
laminated composite beams. Based on analytical solutions
numerical results are generated for natural frequencies and
in-plane and interlaminar stresses of a variety of laminated
beams. The results are obtained according to the new lam-
inated beam theory (BLWT2) developed in the present
work as well as a laminated beam theory developed from
an existing laminated plate theory (BLWT1). The numeri-
cal results clearly indicate the accuracy of BLWT2. The
BLWT1 is also shown to be accurate enough. However,
because of the existing complexities in its derivation, it is
believed that the ideas presented here could be used in
developing accurate beam theories. Finally, from the new
beam theory it is analytically shown that the displacement
eld often used for cross-ply beams in the literature is a
proper displacement eld.
Appendix A
The coecients appearing in Eqs. (12) are dened as:
A
33
A
33
B
23

T
D
22

1
B
23

B
13
B
13
D
12
D
22

1
B
23

B
36
B
36
D
26
D
22

1
B
23

D
11
D
11
D
12
D
22

1
D
12

D
16
D
16
D
12
D
22

1
D
26

D
66
D
66
D
26
D
22

1
D
26

The coecient matrix [A] and vector {F} in Eq. (34) are
dened as:
A
0 I 0 0 0 0
a
1
0 a
2
0 0 a
3

0 0 0 I 0 0
b
1
0 b
2
0 0 b
3

0 0 0 0 0 I
0 c
1
0 c
2
c
3
0
_

_
_

_
; fF g
f0g
f0g
f0g
f0g
f0g
fc
4
g
_

_
_

_
where [0] and [I] are (N + 1) (N + 1) square zero and
identity matrices, respectively, and {0} is a zero vector with
N + 1 rows. The remaining matrices and vectors in the
above equations are as follows:
a
1
d
1

1
d
2
;
a
2
d
1

1
d
3
;
a
3
d
1

1
d
4

b
1
D
66

1
A
45
D
16
a
1

b
2
D
66

1
A
44
D
16
a
2
a
b
3
D
66

1
B
45

T
B
36
D
16
a
3

c
1
D
55

1
B
13

T
B
55

c
2
D
55

1
B
36

T
B
45

c
3
D
55

1
A
33
a
fc
4
g D
55

1
fqxd
kN1
g
with
d
1
D
11

1
D
16
D
66

1
D
16

d
2
A
55
D
16
D
66

1
A
45
a
d
3
A
45
D
16
D
66

1
A
44
a
d
4
B
55

T
B
13
D
16
D
66

1
B
36
B
45

The coecient matrix [A


n
] appearing in Eq. (41) is
dened as:
A
n

0 I 0 0 0 0
a
n
1
0 a
n
2
0 0 a
3

0 0 0 I 0 0
b
1
0 b
n
2
0 0 b
3

0 0 0 0 0 I
0 c
1
0 c
2
c
n
3
0
_

_
_

_
where
a
n
1
d
1

1
d
n
2
;
a
n
2
d
1

1
d
n
3

b
n
2
D
66

1
A
44
D
16
a
2
x
2
n
I
c
n
3
D
55

1
A
33
x
2
n
I
with
d
n
2
A
55
D
16
D
66

1
A
45
x
2
n
I
d
n
3
A
45
D
16
D
66

1
A
44
x
2
n
I
I in the above equations is the matrix of mass moments of
inertia dened in Eq. (7).
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