Simple efficient smart finite elements for the analysis of smart composite beams

M. C. Ray, L. Dong, S. N. Atluri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper is concerned with the development of new simple 4-noded locking-alleviated smart finite elements for modeling the smart composite beams. The exact solutions for the static responses of the overall smart composite beams are also derived for authenticating the new smart finite elements. The overall smart composite beam is composed of a laminated substrate conventional composite beam, and a piezoelectric layer attached at the top surface of the substrate beam. The piezoelectric layer acts as the actuator layer of the smart beam. Alternate finite element models of the beams, based on an "equivalent single layer high order shear deformation theory", and a "layer-wise high order shear deformation theory", are also derived for the purpose of investigating the required number of elements across the thickness of the overall smart composite beams. Several cross-ply substrate beams are considered for presenting the results. The responses computed by the present new "smart finite element model" excellently match with those obtained by the exact solutions. The new smart finite elements developed here reveal that the development of finite element models of smart composite beams does not require the use of conventional first order or high order or layer-wise shear deformation theories of beams. Instead, the use of the presently developed locking-free 4-node elements based on conventional linear piezo-elasticity is sufficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-471
Number of pages35
JournalCMES - Computer Modeling in Engineering and Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016


  • Exact solutions
  • Piezoelectricity
  • Smart finite element
  • Smart structures


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