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Hexahedral and prismatic solid-shell for nonlinear analysis of thin and medium-thick structures

  • Dia, Mouhamadou
Publication Date
Jun 03, 2020
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Thin or medium-thick structures are naturally present in most power generation facilities: reactor building, pressurized pipelines, metal tanks or tarpaulins, reactor vessel, metal liners of containment chambers, to name but a few. A need currently expressed by EDF's engineering units is the modeling of the blistering phenomena of metal liners in reactor facilities. A liner is a metal sheet type structure that provides the impermeability function of nuclear power plants. Its modeling requires taking into account a contact-friction phenomenon causing pinching on the shell, plasticity under the effect of blistering and geometric nonlinearity (buckling type instability). To model the thermo-mechanical behavior of such a structure, the finite elements of plates and shells currently available do not seem to be up to the task. The first limitation attributable to these elements is the assumption of plane stresses which prevents the consideration of some natively three-dimensional constitutive laws. Secondly, due to their formulation with rotational degrees of freedom these elements do not offer facility of use when solving problems that take into account non-linear effects such as large geometric transformations, bi-facial friction-contact, buckling and following pressures. An alternative would be to use standard volume elements. However, the prohibitive computing cost of the latter is difficult to access for many industrial applications. The aim of this work is to propose a solution to this problem. We have proposed a solid-shell finite element formulation enriched in their pinching stress and strain and capable of reproducing accurately the behaviour of thin structures. This new finite element works with any type of three-dimensional behaviour law without restriction on stress fields. It can also be used for all types of mechanical problems: linear and nonlinear, frictional contact, large transformation, buckling, displacement-dependent pressure, etc. The numerical simulations carried out show satisfactory performances.

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