Journal of Theoretical
and Applied Mechanics

40, 3, pp. 575-593, Warsaw 2002

Modeling of smart composite shell structures

Ulrich Gabbert, Heinz Köppe, Falko Seeger, Harald Berger
Recently, thin piezoelectric foils or fibers with a thickness between 1O$\mu$m and 30$\mu$m have been manufactured and used as sensor/actuator components of smart composite structures. The paper deals with the mathematical analysis and numerical simulation of such smart composite structures. A concept for laminated thin finite shell elements with active and passive layers considering three different approaches is introduced. In a test case the applicability of these different approaches is investigated and discussed. To verify the suitability of the algorithm for analyzing composite structures a practical example of a composite consisting of piezoelectric fibers embedded in a matrix material is considered. At first, the introduced composite shell elements are used, where the piezoelectric fibers are modeled as active layers in a smeared form. At second, a discrete concept is used, where the piezoelectric fibers are modeled as one-dimensional truss-like finite elements which are embedded into conventional finite elements by the penalty technique. These two approaches are discussed and compared.
Keywords: smart shell composites; piezoelectric foils; piezoelectric fibers; finite element analysis