ABSTRACT of the Doctoral Thesis
A special shell Finite Element has been developed (LFC-element, Laminated Fiber Composite) with the features required to describe the unique behavior of layered composite shells as closely as possible. The degeneration principle has been selected as the proper basis in formulating the LFC-element because nonlinearities and the anisotropic material law can be included directly and no special shell theory is necessary. The first step in formulating the LFC-element is modifying the material law of the degenerated shell element to include the anisotropy typically found in composites. To consider thermal loading an extension of the incremental Finite Element equation is required. In the LFC- element, layer-cracking is taken into account by examining two failure criteria at each Gauss-point in each layer. Selected numerical problems show the usefulness of the LFC-element.