On a consistent finite-strain plate theory based on three-dimensional energy principle

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Original languageEnglish
Article number20140494
Journal / PublicationProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2171
Online published8 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


This paper derives a finite-strain plate theory consistent with the principle of stationary three-dimensional potential energy under general loadings with a fourth-order error. Starting from the three-dimensional nonlinear elasticity (with both geometrical and material nonlinearity) and by a series expansion, we deduce a vector plate equation with three unknowns, which exhibits the local force-balance structure. The success relies on using the three-dimensional field equations and bottom traction condition to derive exact recursion relations for the coefficients. Associated weak formulations are considered, leading to a two-dimensional virtual work principle. An alternative approach based on a two-dimensional truncated energy is also provided, which is less consistent than the first plate theory but has the advantage of the existence of a two-dimensional energy function. As an example, we consider the pure bending problem of a hyperelastic block. The comparison between the analytical plate solution and available exact one shows that the plate theory gives second-order correct results. Compared with existing plate theories, it appears that the present one has a number of advantages, including the consistency, order of correctness, generality of loadings, applicability to finite-strain problems and no involvement of non-physical quantities.

Research Area(s)

  • Finite strain, Nonlinear elasticity, Plate theory