() ()/t
s deformed beam coordinate system ()
()/x
1
t thickness of undeformed beam
() cross product matrix
t
1
, t
2
arbitrary instants in time
()
()
known and unknown boundary
conditions
Dedicated
to
my Parents
x
Chapter 1
Introduction
The aim of this thesis is to implement the formulation for modeling helicopter rotor
blades using Geometrically Exact Beam Theory (henceforth abbreviated as GEBT). The
GEBT contains equations describing the overall dynamics of beam members undergoing
arbitrary motions. This thesis is meant to be a complete showcase of building up and
implementation of GEBT to perform dynamic analysis of rotor blades with advanced
geometry and composite materials.
1.1 Motivation
Beam members with one of the dimensions signicantly higher than the other two are
building blocks of many structures. They form the subject area of research in Aerospace,
Civil, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering. Many of these structures like bridges
and buildings undergo relatively small deformations. Linear beam theories like those
of EulerBernoulli and Timoshenko provides quite accurate results for these structures.
However, beams undergoing large deformations like helicopter blades, aircraft wings,
propeller blades, shafts and axles require nonlinear analysis.
The thrust for lightweight materials in structural applications have led to extensive use
of composites. These materials not only allow higher out of plane deformations but also
usually have coupling between bending and torsional modes. While 3D nite element
method may seem to be the ultimate solution for all structural modeling needs, it may
1
Chapter 1. Introduction 2
neither be always be computationally feasible nor altogether necessary. It is at this point
that Geometrically Exact Beam Theory (GEBT) provides dimensional reduction with
sucient accuracy for modeling of highly deformable structures such as those mentioned
above.
GEBT nds its applications in modeling dynamic response of rotating beam structures,
particularly helicopter blades for a wide range of loading and boundary conditions. It
can be seamlessly integrated with aerodynamic models for comprehensive analysis of
helicopter rotor. Presence of accurate modeling capabilities could save a lot of time
and money in simulating the behavior of rotating blades under dierent ight condi
tions. Simplicity and comprehensiveness of this theory in solving a wide range of beam
modeling problems with surprising accuracy has been the motivation behind this thesis.
1.2 Literature Review of Previous Work
The present thesis has been built upon following the literature which can be classied
into four broad types:
Earlier Approaches
Historical Insight on GEBT
Theoretical manifestation/formulations of GEBT
Implementation of mixed variational formulation of GEBT
Benchmark results to validate the implemented algorithms
1.2.1 Earlier Approaches
With the advent of exible rotor systems in helicopters several attempts were made to
develop the theory governing the dynamics of rotor blades. Hodges and Dowell [1] formu
lates approximate theory with ordering schemes for analysis of helicopter blades, which
are still the standard equations for nonlinear beam dynamics. To avoid inaccuracies due
Chapter 1. Introduction 3
to large torsional rotations, Hodges et al. [2] developed beam theory by involving an
explicit torsional parameter along with the usual displacement variables.
To make this kind of theory work for moderate deformations Rosen and Friedmann
[3] and Johnson [4] terms upto second order were accounted for in developing beam
equations. With each addition in the order of the approximation, the beam equations
becomes complex, so much so that one equation could last several pages. This complexity
and approximate nature of these theories inspired researchers to focus on other beam
models.
One solution to deal with cases involving large deformations and hence associated nite
rotations is to have a frame attached with each deformed nite element of the beam.
Bauchau and Kang [5] and Johnson [4] have developed the theory which is known as
Multibody Formulation. Saberi et al. [6] documents the Rotorcraft Comprehensive Anal
ysis System which was earlier based on this methodology. This approach produced quite
accurate results for even larger deformations allowed by previous theories. Hopkins and
Ormiston [7] have veried and validated some of the benchmark problems using RCAS
multibody formulation with good correlation. The problems solved in this reference is
the inspiration behind the models built in this thesis.
1.2.2 Historical Insight on GEBT
With the multibody formulation, the beam equations were still approximate ones, with
the exception of an attached frame with them. To model large deformation using this
method more nite elements are required meaning more computational expenditure. To
do away with the approximations altogether, Geometrically Exact Beam Theory was
proposed.
One of the earliest formulation for static elastica problem exist in the form of Kirchho
Clebsch equations described by Love [8]. These equations are obtained by equilibrium
analysis of elastica under general static loading conditions. The resulting set of nonlinear
equations are the functions of 3dimensional forces, moments and curvatures. Chapter
XIX describes an interesting result known as the Kirchho Kinetic Analogue, which
Chapter 1. Introduction 4
states that the equations of equilibrium of a thin, prismatic rod applied with tip load
and moment is identical to the equations of motion of a rigid body turning about a xed
point. This analogy is used to derive the kinematic relations for elastica with dierent
loading and boundary conditions.
Reissner [9] presented rst truely geometrically exact formulation for nite strain (i.e.
not negligible) deformations occuring in a plane. This work was expanded again by
Reissner [10] to include deformations not necessarily restricted to a plane. The mixed
variational formulation as described in 2 simplies to the equations presented in this
reference for static cases.
The geometrically exact analysis of beam dynamics that are deformable in 3D is pro
posed by Simo [11]. In addition, Simo and VuQuoc [12] also provides solution and
incremental algorithms for dynamic analysis of beam structures.
A number of alternate formulations for geometrically exact beam theories exist by various
authors who have approached the same problem in dierent ways. All of these works
have built on the works of Reissner and Simo. Hence, GEBT is also referred to as
Reissners Beam Theory or ReissnerSimo Beam Theory.
1.2.3 Theoretical Development
Hodges [13] describes the derivation of the mixed variational formulation of GEBT from
Hamiltons Principle in detail. It also contains references about some of the earlier works
that helped shape this theory. It also states the assumptions used in this theory and
some of those from the earlier ones that were relaxed.
While the earlier reference contained formulation containing displacement and rotation
terms,Hodges [14] states an alternate formulation which can be used for dynamic analy
sis, especially for perturbation analysis of slender beams to calculate natural frequencies.
Here the formulation contains reduced number of intrinsic parameters and does not con
tain any displacement or rotation terms, hence the name Fully Intrinsic Formulation.
The Fully Intrinsic Formulation exists as a set of nonlinear PDEs in space and time and
can be solved by nite dierence methods.
Chapter 1. Introduction 5
An alternate implementation of GEBT is suggested by Jelenic and Saje [15] in incremen
tal, iterative and invariant nite elements formulation for statics of the beam. Jelenic
and Criseld [16] have expanded the same formulation for both statics and dynamics.
Pai [17] provides GEBT for three dierent forms of deformations beams can undergo.
Finite element implementation method for a few cases and results for the same are also
given.
The major textbook on this subject is by Hodges [18]. Here he sums up the history,
precursors, references, formulations, implementation and applications of GEBT in detail.
1.2.4 Solution Procedure
Hodges et al. [19] derive the nite element equations from the mixed variational formu
lation for solving beam dynamics problem. A hint for solving eigenvalue problems is
also provided and the formulation is validated for Maryland Beam experiment.
More cases for validation of GEBT are provided by Wang et al. [20] who use Wiener
Milenkovic parameters for dening nite rotations. Here the nite element equations
are presented in complete detail. The use of global frame facilitates application of dead
forces like gravity. This paper also has a few static and dynamic response examples for
validation.
Dynamic response problems require time marching schemes for solving initial value prob
lem. Yu and Blair [21] presents the applications of the GEBT nite element equations.
The application of Newmark time marching method is also explained in detail.
Many optimization strategies are developed for solving GEBT equations .Patil and
Hodges [22] proposes one such improved strategy for solution of intrinsic, mixed vari
ational beam equations by variable order hpnite elements. Since this is the most
ecient method in terms of CPU time required, it is highly useful for dynamic response
analysis of complex structures where iterations are to be performed over a large number
of time steps.
Chapter 1. Introduction 6
1.2.5 Benchmark Results
The following section comprises of references which provides results of experimental
benchmarks used to validate nonlinear beam theories and also previous attempts at
modeling the experimental results.
Benchmarks for xed fram statics and dynamics were established by Dowell and Traybar
[23] and Dowell and Traybar [24]. The results described in these references are famously
referred to as the Princeton Beam static and frequency measurement experiments.
Epps and Chandra [25] provide experimental results for frequency measurement of swept
tip aluminum and composite beam aka Maryland Beam experiments. The beam di
mension, material properties, composite ply direction and angular velocities are also
provided.
1.3 Organization of Thesis
The thesis document comprises of front matter, ve chapters and bibliography section.
1. Chapter1 includes introduction and review of references relevant to the thesis.
2. Chapter2 contains the derivation of the theoretical formulation of GEBT and the
nite elements equations to be used for beam structural analysis.
3. Chapter3 conatins solution procedure for static problems. Verication and vali
dation of the results is also presented with benchmarks.
4. Chapter4 presents formulation for dynamic analysis of beams. Solution procedure
for steady state and perturbation analysis for determining natural frequencies for
xed and rotating frame structures is also stated.
5. Chapter5 closes this thesis with a summary and a note on the future scope and
recommendation for further developments
Chapter 2
Theory
2.1 Preliminaries
Some of the denitions from earlier works that will be used as axioms and theorems
from previous works are presented here. The origin of these results are given in [13].
A vector quantity Z can be expressed in any basis such that,
Z = Z
Ai
A
i
= Z
A
= {Z
A1
, Z
A2
, Z
A3
}
T
(2.1)
= Z
bi
b
i
= Z
b
= {Z
b1
, Z
b2
, Z
b3
}
T
(2.2)
= Z
Bi
B
i
= Z
B
= {Z
B1
, Z
B2
, Z
B3
}
T
(2.3)
They are tranformed from one basis to another multiplying with a transformation matrix
Z
B
= C
Bb
Z
b
(2.4)
The expression for the transformation matrix is given in Section2.5.
7
Chapter 2. Theory 8
The cross product operator () is dened as
Z =
_
_
0 Z
3
Z
2
Z
3
0 Z
1
Z
2
Z
1
0
_
_
, and (2.5)
Z Y = Z Y (2.6)
Figure2.1 shows the states of the beam before and after deformation. Measurements
are made relative to a point in the xed frame A. The undeformed and deformed states
have frames b and B attached to the reference cross section. Note that B
1
may not in
general be tangent to R due to shear deformations.
Figure 2.1: Undeformed and deformed states of beam showing reference line and
arbitrary cross section.
The following results for stain and curvatures are derived in detail in Danielson and
Hodges [26]. These relations obtained by frame tranformations are exact and are dening
Chapter 2. Theory 9
feature of GEBT.
= C(e
1
+u
b
+
k
b
u
b
) e
1
(2.7)
= K
B
k
b
, where (2.8)
K
B
= C
C
T
+C
k
b
C
T
(2.9)
2.2 Hamiltons Principle
The derivation of the intrinsic beam equations start from the Hamiltons Principle which
is stated below in its weakest form.
_
t
2
t
1
_
l
0
[(K U) +W] dx
1
dt = A (2.10)
Here t
1
and t
2
are known times, l is length of the beam, K and U are kinetic and strain
energy densities, respectively and W is the virtual work of the applied loads. The
integration is carried over spanwise coordinate, x
1
and time coordinate, t. A is the
virtual action at the end of time interval.
2.2.1 Strain Energy
The strain energy is a nonlinear function of strain and curvature which, in turn, are
nonlinear functions of displacements and rotations.
U = U(, ) (2.11)
Carrying out the variation as follows
_
l
0
U dx
1
=
_
l
0
_
T
_
U
_
T
+
T
_
U
_
T
_
dx
1
(2.12)
Chapter 2. Theory 10
Dening the virtual displacement and virtual rotation parameters as follows:
q
B
:= Cu
b
(2.13)
B
:= CC
T
(2.14)
() indicates that these virtual quantities are variations of their respective variable in
undeformed b basis but not in deformed B basis.
Substituting the equations (2.13)(2.14) in equations (2.7)(2.9) and carrying out varia
tions, we get
= q
B
+ ( e
1
+ )
B
(2.15)
=
B
+
K
B
B
(2.16)
Thus, the expression for virtual strain energy comes out to be:
U = [(q
B
)
T
q
T
B
K
B
T
B
( e
1
+ )]F
B
+ [(
B
)
T
T
B
K
B
]M
B
(2.17)
2.2.2 Kinetic Energy
The sectional kinetic energy is a function of sectional linear and angular velocities.
K = K(V, ) (2.18)
In the variational form it can be written as,
_
l
0
K dx
1
=
_
l
0
_
V
T
B
_
K
V
B
_
T
+
T
B
_
K
B
_
T
_
dx
1
(2.19)
Chapter 2. Theory 11
Similar to equation (2.7)(2.9), the expressions for sectional linear and angular velocities
are given by Kane and Levinson [27]
V
B
= C(v
b
+ u
b
+
b
u
b
) (2.20)
B
=
CC
T
+C
b
C
T
(2.21)
Carrying out variation for getting virtual linear velocity expression:
V
B
= C(v
b
+ u
b
+
b
u
b
) +C( u
b
+
b
u
b
) (2.22)
Substituting the result from equation(2.13), the nal expression for virtual linear ve
locity becomes
V
B
=
q
B
+
B
q
B
+
V
B
B
(2.23)
Similarly, carrying out variation of equation(2.21) to get virtual angular velocity:
B
=
CC
T
CC
T
+C
b
C
T
+C
b
C
T
(2.24)
Substituting equation(2.14) and simplifying the expression gives virtual anguar velocity:
B
=
B
+
B
(2.25)
Using the property of cross product,
Y
Z =
Z
Y +
Y Z
the nal expression for virtual angular velocity becomes:
B
=
B
+
B
(2.26)
Chapter 2. Theory 12
The momentumvelocity relations are given as
P
B
=
_
K
V
B
_
T
= m(V
B
B
) (2.27)
H
B
=
_
K
B
_
T
= i
B
B
+m
B
V
B
(2.28)
where, m and i
B
are sectional mass and moment of inertia tensors and
B
= [0, x
2
, x
3
]
T
is the location of CG with respect to the beam reference line.
Thus, the expression for the virtual kinetic energy turns out to be:
K = (
q
B
+
B
q
B
+
V
B
B
)P
B
+ (
B
+
B
)H
B
(2.29)
2.2.3 Virtual Work
The virtual work expression in terms of externally applied distributed forces and mo
mentum can be written as,
W =
_
i
0
(q
T
B
f
B
+
T
B
m
B
)dx
1
(2.30)
2.2.4 Variational Formulation
Substituting equation(2.17), (2.29) and (2.30) into Hamiltons Principle equation(2.10),
the variational form of equation comes out to be:
_
t
2
t
1
_
l
0
{(
q
T
B
q
T
B
B
T
B
V
B
)P
B
+ (
T
B
T
B
B
)H
B
[(q
B
)
T
q
T
B
K
B
T
B
( e
1
+ )]F
B
+[(
B
)
T
T
B
K
B
]M
B
+q
T
B
f
B
+
T
B
m
B
} dx
1
dt
=
_
l
0
(q
T
B
P
B
+
T
B
H
B
)
t
2
t
1
dx
1
_
t
2
t
1
(q
T
B
F
B
+
T
B
M
B
)
l
0
dt (2.31)
Chapter 2. Theory 13
Performing integration by parts to remove time derivatives of virtual quantities, we get
the nal equation as:
_
t
2
t
1
_
l
0
{q
T
B
(F
B
+
K
B
F
B
+f
B
P
B
B
P
B
) +
T
B
[M
B
+
K
B
M
B
+( e
1
+ )F
B
+m
B
H
B
B
H
B
V
B
P
B
]} dx
1
dt =
_
l
0
[q
T
B
(
P
B
P
B
) +
T
B
(
H
B
H
B
)]
t
2
t
1
dx
1
_
t
2
t
1
[q
T
B
(
F
B
F
B
) +
T
B
(
M
B
M
B
)]
l
0
dt (2.32)
The EulerLagrange equations can be obtained from the variational equation as
F
B
+
K
B
F
B
+f
B
=
P
B
+
B
P
B
(2.33)
M
B
+
K
B
M
B
+ ( e
1
+ )F
B
+m
B
=
H
B
+
B
H
B
+
V
B
P
B
(2.34)
These equations satisfy the condition of equilibrium for the general motion of beam under
external forces and moments. To obtain displacement and rotation, we need kinematic
relations. Although obtained from energy principles, these equations have Newtonian
character, which conrms the universality of these equations.
2.3 Mixed Variational Formulation
The kinematical relations are obtained by rearranging the terms of equations(2.7), (2.8),
(2.20) and (2.21) as follows:
u
= C
T
(e
1
+) e
1
ku (2.35)
u = C
T
V v u (2.36)
c
= Q
1
( +k Ck) (2.37)
c = Q
1
( C) (2.38)
Q
1
is dened in Section2.5
Chapter 2. Theory 14
Writing the mixed variationsl formulation by combining variational and kinematical
equations by means of lagrange multipliers, we obtain:
_
t
2
t
1
_
l
0
{[V
T
P +
T
H
T
F
T
M +q
T
f +
T
m]
+[
1
(u
C
T
(e
1
+) +e
1
+
ku)]
+[
2
( u C
T
V +v + u)]
+[
3
(c
Q
1
( +k Ck))]
+[
4
( c Q
1
( C))]} dx
1
dt
(2.39)
The Lagrange multipliers are obtained by satisfying the independent variation of virtual
quantities. The nal expression for mixed variational formulation which is the governing
equation describing overall dynamics of slender beams is given below:
_
l
0
{u
T
a
F
a
+
T
a
M
a
+
T
a
[
H
a
+
a
H
a
+
V
a
P
a
C
T
C
ab
( e
1
+ )F
B
]
+u
T
a
(
P
a
+
a
P
a
) F
T
a
[C
T
c
ab
(e
1
+) C
ab
e
1
] F
T
a
u
a
M
T
a
c
a
M
T
a
Q
1
a
C
ab
+P
T
a
(V
a
v
a
a
u
a
u
a
)
+H
T
a
(
B
B
C
ba
Q
a
c
a
) u
T
a
T
a
m
a
}dx
1
= (u
T
a
F
a
+
T
a
M
a
F
T
a
u
a
M
T
a
c
a
)
l
0
(2.40)
2.4 Finite Element Implementation
The beam is discretized into N elements of length L
i
having two nodes i and j (for
simplicity beams with no joints will have j = i +1). Let
i
be the lengthwise coordinate
within a beam such that,
i
=
x
1
L
i
L
i
(2.41)
dx
1
= L
i
d
i
(2.42)
Z
=
1
L
1
Z
i
(2.43)
where, L
i
is the coordinate of the node i of the element and Z is an arbitrary vector.
Chapter 2. Theory 15
Since the Mixed Variatonal Formulation is in its weakest form, the nite elements are
discretized using linear shape functions as:
u
a
= (1 )u
i
+u
j
a
= (1 )
i
+
j
(2.44)
F
a
= (1 )F
i
+F
j
M
a
= (1 )M
i
+M
j
(2.45)
Performing the quadrature of equation(2.40) numerically gives:
N
i=1
{u
T
i
f
u
i
+u
T
i+1
f
+
u
i
+
T
i
f
i
+
T
i+1
f
+
i
+F
T
i
f
F
i
+F
T
i+1
f
+
F
i
+
M
T
i
f
M
i
+M
T
i+1
f
+
M
i
+P
T
i
f
P
i
+H
T
i
f
H
i
}
(2.46)
The f matrices for each element are presented below:
f
u
i
= C
T
C
ab
F
i
i
+
L
i
2
[
a
C
T
C
ab
P
i
+
C
T
C
ab
P
i
] (2.47)
f
i
= C
T
C
ab
M
i
m
i
+
L
i
2
[
a
C
T
C
ab
H
i
+
C
T
C
ab
H
i
+C
T
C
ab
(e
1
+
i
)F
i
)]
(2.48)
f
F
i
= u
i
L
i
2
[C
T
C
ab
(e
1
+
i
) C
ab
e
1
)] (2.49)
f
M
i
= c
i
L
i
2
Q
1
a
C
ab
i
(2.50)
f
P
i
= C
T
C
ab
V
i
v
i
a
u
i
u
i
(2.51)
f
H
i
=
i
C
ba
C
a
C
ba
Q
a
c
i
(2.52)
i
=
_
1
0
(1 )f
a
L
i
d (2.53)
f
+
i
=
_
1
0
f
a
L
i
d (2.54)
m
i
=
_
1
0
(1 )m
a
L
i
d (2.55)
m
+
i
=
_
1
0
m
a
L
i
d (2.56)
Here, f
a
and m
a
are distributed force and moment vectors. Similarly, v
a
and
a
are
elemental linear and angular velocities respectively in global frame such that
Chapter 2. Theory 16
v
a
= v
0
+
a
_
_
d
1
d
2
d
3
_
_
(2.57)
Assembly of the nite element equations:
At the starting node,
f
u
1
F
1
= 0(unknown) (2.58)
f
M
1
= 0(unknown) (2.59)
f
F
1
u
1
= 0(known) (2.60)
f
M
1
c
1
= 0(known) (2.61)
At the ending node,
f
+
u
N
F
N+1
= 0(known) (2.62)
f
+
N
M
N+1
= 0(known) (2.63)
f
+
F
N
+ u
N+1
= 0(unknown) (2.64)
f
+
M
N
+c
N+1
= 0(unknown) (2.65)
At the intermediate points of the elements (for i = 1 to N1),
f
+
u
i
+f
u
i+1
= 0(unknown) (2.66)
f
+
i
+f
i+1
= 0(unknown) (2.67)
f
+
F
i
+f
F
i+1
= 0(unknown) (2.68)
f
+
M
i
+f
M
i+1
= 0(unknown) (2.69)
Chapter 2. Theory 17
Also in each of the elements (for i = 1 to N)
f
P
i
= 0, (unknown) (2.70)
f
H
i
= 0, (unknown) (2.71)
In addition to these set of equations, the formulation requires momnetumvelocity rela
tions of Eq.(2.27) and (2.28). Also, the following set of constitutive relations is required
to complete the formulation.
_
_
=
_
_
R S
S
T
T
_
_
_
_
F
M
_
_
(2.72)
2.5 Finite Rotation
Two popular methods for handling nite rotations are Rodrigues parameters and Wiener
Milenkovic parameters. The table below provides the expressions for parameters to be
used in nite elements analysis for rotation angle of (deg or rad). Rodrigues param
eters are a preferred choice for smaller angular rotations (< 90 deg) after which tan
2
becomes innite. For larger rotations (i.e., upto 180 deg) WienerMilenkovic parameters
are opted for.
Rodrigues WienerMilenkovic
c 2tan
2
4tan
4
c
0 1 +
c
T
c
4
2
c
T
c
8
C
1
c
0
[(1
1
4
c
T
c) +
1
2
cc
T
c]
1
(4c
0
)
2
[(c
2
0
c
T
c) 2c
0
c + 2cc
T
]
Q
1
c
0
[ c/2]
1
(4c
0
)
2
[(4
1
4
c
T
c) 2c +
1
2
cc
T
]
Table 2.1: Finite rotation parameters to be used in nite element equations.
Chapter 3
Beam Statics: Verication and
Validation
Static analysis for beams can be performed in a number of ways. The EulerBernoulli
and Timishenko Beam theories provide suciently accurate results for very small strains.
Nonlinear Taylor Series expansion methods as described in Hodges and Dowell [1] work
well for small to moderate deformations. Even multibody methods such as the one
described in Bauchau and Kang [5] are not exact as per analytical models. Therefore, to
model arbitrarily large deformations, Geometrically Exact Beam Theory is the preferred
choice.
The equations 2.582.71 described in Chapter2 could be modied for usage in static
analysis of highly deformable beam elements. Due to involvement of intrinsic rotation
term, the prediction of loaddeformation characteristics shows visible improvement over
nonlinear nite element methods as shown in Hodges and Patil [28] and multibody
formulations used in Hopkins and Ormiston [7]. The modied implementation of the
GEBT code for static analysis was used to solve the following benchmark problems:
Tip moment applied on elastica
Tip load applied on elastica
Princeton beam static large deformation experiment
18
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 19
3.1 Solution Procedure
The generalized dynamic analysis equations (2.58)(2.71) described in Chapter2 can be
specialized for static analysis. The terms involving time derivatives would be eliminated.
Similarly, the linear and angular velocities and their corresponding momenta would
become zero. The last two equations would be trivially satised leaving the formulation
with 12(N + 1) equations and the same number of variables. The modied equations
for static analysis with cantilevered boundary conditions are presented below[20]:
At the starting node,
f
u
1
F
1
= 0(unknown) (3.1)
f
M
1
= 0(unknown) (3.2)
f
F
1
u
1
= 0(known) (3.3)
f
M
1
c
1
= 0(known) (3.4)
At the ending node,
f
+
u
N
F
N+1
= 0(known) (3.5)
f
+
N
M
N+1
= 0(known) (3.6)
f
+
F
N
+ u
N+1
= 0(unknown) (3.7)
f
+
M
N
+c
N+1
= 0(unknown) (3.8)
At the intermediate points of the elements (for i = 1 to N1),
f
+
u
i
+f
u
i+1
= 0(unknown) (3.9)
f
+
i
+f
i+1
= 0(unknown) (3.10)
f
+
F
i
+f
F
i+1
= 0(unknown) (3.11)
f
+
M
i
+f
M
i+1
= 0(unknown) (3.12)
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 20
The modied f matrices for the static case are presented below:
f
u
i
= C
T
C
ab
F
i
i
(3.13)
f
i
= C
T
C
ab
M
i
m
i
L
i
2
[C
T
C
ab
(e
1
+
i
)F
i
)] (3.14)
f
F
i
= u
i
L
i
2
[C
T
C
ab
(e
1
+
i
) C
ab
e
1
)] (3.15)
f
M
i
= c
i
L
i
2
Q
1
a
C
ab
i
(3.16)
Here,
i
=
_
1
0
(1 )f
a
L
i
d (3.17)
f
+
i
=
_
1
0
f
a
L
i
d (3.18)
m
i
=
_
1
0
(1 )m
a
L
i
d (3.19)
m
+
i
=
_
1
0
m
a
L
i
d (3.20)
where,
=
x
1
L
i
L
i
(3.21)
The equations could be represented in compact notation as G(X,
F) = 0 where G rep
resents the set of vector equations (3.1)(3.12) as functions of:
12(N +1) unknowns X :
F
1
,
M
1
, u
1
, c
1
, F
1
, M
1
, ..., u
N
, c
N
, F
N
, M
N
, u
N+1
, c
N+1
12 boundary conditions
F : u
1
, c
1
, F
N+1
, M
N+1
The set G represents a set of nonlinear equations which cannot be solved explicitly,
hence, solved iteratively by NewtonRaphson method. The procedure for implementa
tion of the same is described below.
(i) Assume an initial guess for unknowns X. An ideal guess would be undeformed
state X = 0.
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 21
(ii) Calculate G(X,
F), where
F are known boundary conditions.
(iii) Populate Jacobian matrix by perturbing previous X such that j = 1 to 12(N+1);
B(:, j) = [G(X(j)=X(j)+,
F) G(X(j),
2
r
3
Analytical
Current
Figure 3.1: Spanwise position of elastica deformed by tip moment (when
2
R/N =
0.05556).
developed to model the deformations in this case. The governing dierential equation
for this case is given by Doyle [29] (page176).
EI
d
2
ds
2
= Psinsin Pcoscos = Pcos( +) (3.26)
Solving equation for transverse loading and cantilevered boundary conditions ( = 0),
the tip displacements are obtained by numerically evaluating the integrals:
J
1
(
L
) =
_
L
0
d
_
sin(
L
+) sin( +)
=
2 (3.27)
J
2
(
L
) =
_
L
0
sind
_
sin(
L
+) sin( +)
=
L
v
L
(3.28)
J
3
(
L
) =
_
L
0
(cos 1) d
_
sin(
L
+) sin( +)
=
L
u
L
(3.29)
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 24
1 0.5 0 0.5 1
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
Axial Position,
2
r
1
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
P
o
s
i
t
i
o
n
,
2
r
3
Analytical
RCAS
Current
Figure 3.2: Spanwise position of elastica deformed by tip moment (when
2
R/N =
0.2778).
Relevant properties for modeling are provided in Table  3.2. The present work obtains
excellent correlation with analytical solution as evident in Figs. 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5. The
superiority of the GEBT over multibody nite element formulation (used in RCAS)
results is also visible as the former unlike the latter not only follows the trend but also
makes accurate prediction of tip deformation and rotation.
Dimension
Material
Properties
Accuracy Boundary Conditions
L 6.096 m E 71.6 GPa Node,N 20 F
3
= EI/L
2
,
w 15.24 cm G 26.9 GPa Perturbation, 10
4
where, = 0 to 5
t 9.5 mm 2800 kgm
3
Tolerance, 10
9
Table 3.2: Simulation Parameters for Elastica with Tip Load
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 25
0 1 2 3 4 5
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Normalized Load, P
3
R
2
/EI
2
T
i
p
A
n
g
l
e
o
f
R
o
t
a
t
i
o
n
,

2
(
R
)

[
d
e
g
]
Analytical
RCAS
Current
Figure 3.3: Angle rotated by elastica tip under transverse load.
0 1 2 3 4 5
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
Normalized Load, P
3
R
2
/EI
2
N
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d
T
i
p
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
,
u
3
(
R
)
/
R
Analytical
RCAS
Current
Figure 3.4: Vertical deection of elastica tip under transverse load.
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 26
0 1 2 3 4 5
0.4
0.35
0.3
0.25
0.2
0.15
0.1
0.05
0
Normalized Load, P
3
R
2
/EI
2
N
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d
T
i
p
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
,
u
3
(
R
)
/
R
Analytical
RCAS
Current
Figure 3.5: Horizontal deection of elastica tip under transverse load
3.2.3 Princeton beam experiment
Princeton Beam experiments were a series of benchmark results published by Dowell and
Traybar [23, 24] to study the static nonlinear deformations of slender beams under tip
load. The deformations were identical to that of a rotor blade ap, lag and twist motion.
A number of previous attempts have been made to model these deections. Dowell
et al. [30] employed nonlinear theory for modeling moderate deformations. Hopkins and
Ormiston [7] employed RCAS to model these results using multibody methods. Hodges
and Patil [28] uses GEBT, as does the current work. Figure 3.6 provides a schematic of
the experimental setup used in the Princeton Beam experiments for static deformation
estimation. The setup consists of a milling machine type precision, indexingchuck with
specially fabricated end xtures to provide near ideal cantilevered boundary conditions
as well as to get desired pitch angle. Figure 3.7 shows loading condition and resultant
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 27
deformation for a general pitch angle, . The characteristic nonlinear aplagtorsion
coupling is easily visible.
Figure 3.6: Schematic of the experimental setup used in Princeton Beam experiments.
Figure 3.7: Load applied to a cantilevered beam: undeformed and deformed states[23].
For modeling the beam used in Princeton Beam experiments, the axis system like that
shown in Figure 3.8 was used. XYZ represents the inertial coordinate system, while
UVW represents body xed coordinate system post deformation. Figure 3.9 shows the
end view (tip to root) of the blade showing the reference pitch angle as well as the sense
of measurement of the same.
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 28
Figure 3.8: Beam crosssection showing spacexed and bodyxed axes system.
Dimension
Material
Properties
Accuracy
Boundary
Conditions
L 0.508 m E 71.6 GPa N 8 F
3
13.345 N
w 12.7 cm G 26.9 GPa 10
9
1
0to 90
t 3.2 mm 2800 kgm
3
10
9
Table 3.3: Princeton Beam Simulation Parameters
These experiments are testimonial of the fact that large deformations cannot be modeled
by linear methods which will simply ignore the coupling in bending and torsion modes.
Hence, a number of attempts have been made to model these deformations by nonlinear
methods, multibody formulation, GEBT etc. The present thesis uses geometrically exact
beam modeling to reproduce results in correlation with the experimental benchmarks.
The initial pitch deections were taken into account by the rotation matrix, C
ab
which
aligns the rotated coordinate system UVW with undeformed beam. The distributed
gravitational load as well as the tip load acted as dead load and were in the spacexed
coordinate system XYZ. The resultant deformations and twist are to be expressed in
the same spacexed coordinate system for validation with the previous results.
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 29
Figure 3.9: Princeton beam end view showing variation of the pitch angle, using
indexing chuck[24].
The beam is rectangular, prismatic with thickness and chord much smaller than the
length. The material of the beam is 7075T651 Aluminum alloy. The input parame
ters for the Princeton Beam problem are given in Table  3.3. Figure  3.10 shows the
vertical deections for the cantilevered beam as obtained experimentally and modelled
using GEBT. Figure  3.11 provides a comparison of the horizontal deections of the
cantilevered beam under vertically applied loads with excellent prediction of the experi
mental outcome. This shows coupling between ap and lag modes in the cases when the
beam coordinate system is not aligned with the spacexed coordinate system. Figure 
3.12 depicts the twist in the beam due to beams own weight and the applied tip load.
Once again good agreement (within experimental limitations) is demonstrated.
A slight discrepancy is observed in twist modeling which is not unique and is observed
in other methods also [7]. This can be attributed to the fact that twist deformation is
sensitive to tip twisting moment, which can arise due to even slight displacement of load
pane from centre of the chord creating a moment arm between beam vertical reference
line and the tip load.
These results show that GEBT is highly suitable for modeling slender beams undergoing
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 30
0 15 30 45 60 75 90
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
Pitch Angle, [deg]
N
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d
H
o
r
i
z
o
n
t
a
l
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
,

u
2
(
s
,
P
3
,
u
2
(
s
,
0
,
)

/
R
GEBT s/R = .25
GEBT s/R = .50
GEBT s/R = .75
GEBT s/R = 1.0
Exp. s/R = .25
Exp. s/R = .50
Exp. s/R = .75
Exp. s/R = 1.0
Figure 3.10: Horizontal deection vs. pitch angle of Princeton Beam for
Tip load = 3 lb (13.3 N).
0 15 30 45 60 75 90
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
Pitch Angle, [deg]
N
o
r
m
a
l
i
z
e
d
V
e
r
t
i
c
a
l
D
e
f
l
e
c
t
i
o
n
,

u
2
(
s
,
P
3
,
u
2
(
s
,
0
,
)

/
R
GEBT s/R = .25
GEBT s/R = .50
GEBT s/R = .75
GEBT s/R = 1.0
Exp. s/R = .25
Exp. s/R = .50
Exp. s/R = .75
Exp. s/R = 1.0
Figure 3.11: Vertical deection vs. pitch angle of Princeton Beam for
Tip load = 3 lb (13.3 N).
Chapter 3. Beam Statics: Verication and Validation 31
0 15 30 45
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
Pitch Angle, [deg]
T
w
i
s
t
,

1
(
s
,
P
3
,
1
(
s
,
0
,
)

[
d
e
g
]
GEBT s/R = .25
GEBT s/R = .50
GEBT s/R = .75
GEBT s/R = 1.0
Exp. s/R = .25
Exp. s/R = .50
Exp. s/R = .75
Exp. s/R = 1.0
Figure 3.12: Twist deformation vs. pitch angle of Princeton Beam for
Tip load = 3 lb (13.3 N).
arbitrary loading and deformations. The only condition is the linear constitutive rela
tions should hold good and the material should remain in elastic limits. Having said that,
it covers a large range of applications as mentioned earlier. Not only this, the beams
with initial curvatures, sweep or nonuniformity can be modeled using this method. A
particular utility of GEBT lies in modeling slender composite beams with any kind of
nonlinear coupling due to various ply arrangements. However, static deformation is just
a special case of the greater purpose that GEBT can serve beam dynamics.
Chapter 4
Beam Dynamics: Verication and
Validation
The dynamics of moving beams are of particular interest for various Aerospace and
Mechanical applications including ying wings, rotating blades, driving shafts, high
temperature gas turbines and wind turbines to name a few. In the previous Chapter a
specialized case of the mixed variational formulation of GEBT was used to demonstrate
its utility in static loaddeformation characterization. In addition to that, as mentioned
in Chapter2, GEBT can be used to predict the steadystate and timedependent re
sponse for slender beams. Also, this formulation can be used to predict the natural
frequencies of static and rotating beams by introducing small perturbations about the
steady state and performing eigenvalue analysis.
The complete set of equations (2.58)(2.71) described in Chapter  2 is required for
complete description of beam dynamics. The solution procedure for dynamic response,
though implemented, is not validated and hence left for future works to be pursued. The
present thesis validates the frequency estimation of beams for both xed and rotating
cases. A number of attempts have been made to validate several beam theories with the
frequency results of Princeton Beam for xed frame and Maryland Beam for dynamic
case. While GEBT is wonderful for response canculations, natural frequency estimation
is not straight forward. If all the subtleties of modeling are taken care of then the
GEBT makes quite accurate estimation of these frequencies as described in Hodges and
Patil [28] and Hodges et al. [19]. Only the multibody method adopted by Hopkins and
32
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 33
Ormiston [7] provides accuracy of the same order as the present methods. Following is
a list of cases considered for validation of frequency estimations by present work:
Analytical frequencies of a cantilevered beam
Fixed frame case of Princeton beam
Rotating frame case of Maryland beam
It should be noted that the natural frequency of the system decides the structural
dynamic characteristics of a system and hence is considered ahead of the beam response
problem.
4.1 Estimation of Natural Frequencies
The equations described in Chapter2 were represented in nonlinear form as
G(X,
X,
F) = 0 (4.1)
To calculate natural frequencies, these equations need to be linearized in time by intro
ducing small perturbations about the steady state. This gives a linear equation of the
form[19]
A
X+B
X =
F (4.2)
where
A =
G
X
B =
G
X
and
F represents dynamic boundary conditions which is 0 for analysis about the steady
state.
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 34
Frequency estimation is a two step procedure; rstly, determining the steady state of the
system under the given set of loading and boundary conditions, and then introducing
small perturbations to form the basis for eigenvalue analysis. Slender beams with pre
twist, taper, sweep and dierent elastic and CG axes can be modelled by this method.
Slight modications as discussed in Chapter2 can be made to accommodate complicated
boundary conditions like root oset, ap and/or lag hinge, and even joined beams and
exible root supports with a variety of spring coecients.
Another method which can be used to predict rst fundamental frequencies in all bending
and torsion modes is by obtaining the dynamic response of the system under an impulsive
loading. Then, performing the Fourier transform of this response gives the natural
frequencies of fundamental modes. However, this method is not suitable, as large amount
of time required for sucient number of time marches. Further, the resolution of the
FFT algorithm used for Fourier analysis depends on the number and size of the time
steps, which are dicult to predetermine.
4.1.1 Steady State Analysis
To perform steady state analysis the set of equations (2.58)(2.71) from Chapter  2 are
modied by eliminating the time dependent terms. This leaves the formulation with
18N + 12 equations and the same number of variables. Given below are the set of
equations required to perform the steady state analysis using GEBT:
At the starting node,
f
u
1
F
1
= 0(unknown) (4.3)
f
M
1
= 0(unknown) (4.4)
f
F
1
u
1
= 0(known) (4.5)
f
M
1
c
1
= 0(known) (4.6)
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 35
At the ending node,
f
+
u
N
F
N+1
= 0(known) (4.7)
f
+
N
M
N+1
= 0(known) (4.8)
f
+
F
N
+ u
N+1
= 0(unknown) (4.9)
f
+
M
N
+c
N+1
= 0(unknown) (4.10)
At the intermediate points of the elements (for i = 1 to N1),
f
+
u
i
+f
u
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.11)
f
+
i
+f
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.12)
f
+
F
i
+f
F
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.13)
f
+
M
i
+f
M
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.14)
The modied f matrices for the steady state are presented below:
f
u
i
= C
T
C
ab
F
i
i
+
L
i
2
[
a
C
T
C
ab
P
i
] (4.15)
f
i
= C
T
C
ab
M
i
m
i
L
i
2
[
a
C
T
C
ab
H
i
+C
T
C
ab
(e
1
+
i
)F
i
)] (4.16)
f
F
i
= u
i
L
i
2
[C
T
C
ab
(e
1
+
i
) C
ab
e
1
)] (4.17)
f
M
i
= c
i
L
i
2
Q
1
a
C
ab
i
(4.18)
f
P
i
= C
T
C
ab
V
i
v
i
a
u
i
(4.19)
f
H
i
=
i
C
ba
C
a
(4.20)
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 36
Here,
i
=
_
1
0
(1 )f
a
L
i
d (4.21)
f
+
i
=
_
1
0
f
a
L
i
d (4.22)
m
i
=
_
1
0
(1 )m
a
L
i
d (4.23)
m
+
i
=
_
1
0
m
a
L
i
d (4.24)
where,
=
x
1
L
i
L
i
(4.25)
The equations could be represented in compact notation as G(X,
F) = 0 where G rep
resents the set of vector equations (3.1)(3.12) as functions of:
18N + 12 unknowns X :
F
1
,
M
1
, u
1
, c
1
, F
1
, M
1
, V
1
,
1
, ..., u
N
, c
N
, F
N
, M
N
, V
N
,
N
, u
N+1
, c
N+1
12 boundary conditions
F : u
1
, c
1
, F
N+1
, M
N+1
Loading conditions: f , m, v,
The set G represents a set of nonlinear equations which cannot be solved explicitly,
hence, solved iteratively by NewtonRaphson method. The procedure for implementa
tion of the same is described below.
(i) Assume an initial guess for unknowns X. An ideal guess would be static, unde
formed state X = 0.
(ii) Calculate G(X,
F), where
F are known boundary conditions.
(iii) Populate Jacobian matrix by perturbing previous X such that j = 1 to 12(N+1);
B(:, j) = [G(XX(j)=X(j)+epsilon,
F) G(X),
u
1
F
1
= 0(unknown) (4.26)
f
M
1
= 0(unknown) (4.27)
f
F
1
u
1
= 0(known) (4.28)
f
M
1
c
1
= 0(known) (4.29)
At the ending node,
f
+
u
N
F
N+1
= 0(known) (4.30)
f
+
N
M
N+1
= 0(known) (4.31)
f
+
F
N
+ u
N+1
= 0(unknown) (4.32)
f
+
M
N
+c
N+1
= 0(unknown) (4.33)
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 38
At the intermediate points of the elements (for i = 1 to N1),
f
+
u
i
+f
u
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.34)
f
+
i
+f
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.35)
f
+
F
i
+f
F
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.36)
f
+
M
i
+f
M
i+1
= 0(unknown) (4.37)
Also in each of the elements (for i = 1 to N)
f
P
i
= 0, (unknown) (4.38)
f
H
i
= 0, (unknown) (4.39)
The modied f matrices for the perturbation case are presented below:
f
u
i
=
L
i
2
[
C
T
C
ab
P
i
] (4.40)
f
i
=
L
i
2
[
C
T
C
ab
H
i
] (4.41)
f
F
i
= 0 (4.42)
f
M
i
= 0 (4.43)
f
P
i
= u
i
(4.44)
f
H
i
= C
ba
Q
a
c
i
(4.45)
The equations could be represented in compact notation as G(
X,
F) = 0. These equa
tions will be trivially satised at the steady state. At this step, iteration is not required
and the A matrix can be determined in the same way as the Jacobian matrix B was
determined in section4.1.1 by following the steps given below.
(i) For each value of
X introduce small perturbations which is assumed to be small.
(ii) Corresponding to each of these perturbed values of
X, populate the A matrix one
column at a time by dividing the returned G vector with epsilon. In short, j = 1
to 18N+12; A(:, j) = G(
X
X(j)=
X(j)+epsilon,
EI
wtL
4
(4.46)
where w is the chord, t is the thickness and R is length of the beam. Table4.1 provides
the dimensions of the beam and its material properties. Table4.2 provides the atwise
and edgewise frequency data for analytical. experimental and simulaton results.
Dimension
Material
Properties
Accuracy
Boundary
Conditions
L 0.508 m E 71.6 GPa Node,N 30 Fixedfree with gravity
w 12.7 cm G 26.9 GPa Perturbation, 10
9
1
root
= 0and 90
t 3.2 mm 2800 kgm
3
Tolerance, 10
9
Table 4.1: Simulation Parameters for Frequency estimation of Cantilevered Beam
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 40
Method Flatwise Edgewise
Anaytical 10.049 40.196
GEBT 0 10.052 40.134
GEBT 90 10.053 40.125
Experimental 10.150 41.143
Table 4.2: Frequency data (in Hz) for Cantilevered Beam
4.2.2 Princeton Beam Experiment
Princeton Beam experiment established benchmark not only for static deections but
also for natural frequencies for a cantilevered case. The schematic of the experimental
setup is shown in Figure4.1. While the precision chuck and beam are same as in the
static case, load is applied by tip mass slid over the tip of the beam as shown in Figure
4.2. The two modes of vibration are shown in Figure4.3 for various root setting angles.
Figure 4.1: Schematic of the experimental setup used for frequency estimation in
Princeton Beam experiment showing tip mass.
The properties of the beam are given in Table4.3. The properties of tip masses are
provided in Table4.4. The nite dimension of these masses and their positioning with
each half on the either side of the beam tip has to be taken into account for modeling.
The beam (including tip mass) is divided into 16 nite elements for accurate analysis.
Weight of the beam as well as the tip mass has to be taken into account.
The beauty of GEBT lies in the fact that no separate treatment of the tip mass is
required. It can be considered as a nite element with dierent area and moment of
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 41
Figure 4.2: Princeton beam showing location of cylindrical tip mass[23].
Figure 4.3: Fundamental modes of vibration of Princeton beam at dierent root
setting angles[23].
Dimension
Material
Properties
Accuracy
Boundary
Conditions
L 0.508 m E 71.6 GPa N 8 F
3
13.345 N
w 12.7 cm G 26.9 GPa 10
9
1
0to 90
t 3.2 mm 2800 kgm
3
10
9
Table 4.3: Simulation Parameters for Frequency Estimation of Princeton Beam
inertias acted upon by the same gravitational acceleration as the rest of the beam. The
presence of nite rotations as intrinsic parameters facilitate the construction of trans
formation matrices from deformed to undeformed frame and vice versa. This further
simplies the treatment of dead forces like gravity and follower forces and moments like
aerodynamic lift, drag, pitching moment etc.
Figure4.4 shows the excellent correlation of the Princeton Beam experimental data with
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 42
Property Tip Mass I Tip Mass II
Mass 0.9072 kg 1.3608 kg
Length, L
tip
0.0615 m 0.0703
Outer radius, R
tip
0.0865 m 0.0895 m
Inner radius, r
tip
0.0762 m 0.0762
Modied Beam Length
L +L
tip
/2
0.5383 m 0.5428 m
Table 4.4: Properties of tip mass used in Princeton Beam experiment
0 30 60 90
1
2
3
4
5
Pitch Angle,  [deg]
N
a
t
u
r
a
l
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
[
H
z
]
Current Flapwise (2 lb)
Current Chordwise (2 lb)
Exp. Flapwise (2 lb)
Exp. Chordwise (2 lb)
Current Flapwise (3 lb)
Current Chordwise (3 lb)
Exp. Flapwise (3 lb)
Exp. Chordwise (3 lb)
Figure 4.4: Twist deformation vs. pitch angle of Princeton Beam for
Tip load = 3 lb (13.3 N).
the simulation results. These results surpass, in accuracy, those given in Dowell et al.
[30] and Hopkins and Ormiston [7].
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 43
4.2.3 Maryland Beam Experiment
Maryland beam experiments were designed to understand the eect of sweep on the
natural frequencies of a rotating beam made of both aluminum and composites. These
experiments were carried out in a vacuum chamber, hence the aerodynamic forces are
negligible and gravity is the only external force causing out of plane deformations. These
experiments served as the basis to verify the various theoretical models made to pre
dict these frequencies. Swept tips causes aptorsion coupling in cantilevered beams.
Previous attempts to model these experimental ndings have been made by Epps and
Chandra [25] using nonlinear methods, Hopkins and Ormiston [7] using multibody RCAS
code and Hodges et al. [19] using GEBT with varying degree of accuracy.
The present thesis uses GEBT for modeling the tipswept beams whose geometry is
shown in Figure4.5. The properties used in modeling are given in Table4.5. A root
oset of 2.5 in. was modelled by assuming a rigid element of that size. Tip sweep
was modelled by introducing an equivalent rotation angle in the undeformed coordi
nate frame and accounting for it in the C
ab
matrix. The angular velocity, of each
element considered for comparison with experimental data is 0, 500 or 750 RPM. The
corresponding velocity of each element is given by
v(i) = (i) r(i)
where r(i) is the radial location of the centre of element i in undeformed coordinate
system measured from the rotation axis. Figure4.6 provides the details of nite element
mesh used for the analysis and is inspired by Hodges et al. [19]. Rening meshes near
the junction takes into account the large changes in intrinsic variables between straight
and swept part.
Findings of the simulation along with the experimental results are reported in gures 4.7
to 4.11. There is a good correlation between the experimental and theoretical results for
lower frequencies. At higher modes due to coupling between ap bending and torsion the
results show some deviation. Nevertheless, the trend is accurately followed. A further
analysis of eigenvectors is required to resolve the issue of coupling for higher frequencies.
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 44
Figure 4.5: Schematic of Maryland beam showing tip sweep and root oset[19].
Figure 4.6: Finite element discretization of Maryland beam.
Dimension
Material
Properties
Accuracy
Boundary
Conditions
L 40 in E 1.06 10
7
psi N 16 Fixedfree
w 1 in G 4 10
6
psi 10
6
L
root
2.5 in
t 0.0625 in 2.51 10
4
lb.sec
2
/in
4
10
4
sweep
0to 45
L
swept
6 in t 10
3
RPM 0, 500, 750
Table 4.5: Maryland Beam Simulation Parameters
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 45
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
0 15 30 45
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
(
H
z
.
)
Tip Sweep Angle (deg.)
GEBT 0 RPM GEBT 500 RPM GEBT 750 RPM
Exp. 0 RPM Exp. 500 RPM Exp. 750 RPM
Figure 4.7: Eect of tip sweep and RPM on 1
st
apbending frequency of Maryland
Beam
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
0 15 30 45
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
(
H
z
.
)
Tip Sweep Angle (deg.)
GEBT 0 RPM GEBT 500 RPM GEBT 750 RPM
Exp. 0 RPM Exp. 500 RPM Exp. 750 RPM
Figure 4.8: Eect of tip sweep and RPM on 2
nd
apbending frequency of Maryland
Beam
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 46
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
0 15 30 45
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
(
H
z
.
)
Tip Sweep Angle (deg.)
GEBT 0 RPM GEBT 500 RPM GEBT 750 RPM
Exp. 0 RPM Exp. 500 RPM Exp. 750 RPM
Figure 4.9: Eect of tip sweep and RPM on 3
rd
apbending frequency of Maryland
Beam
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 15 30 45
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
(
H
z
.
)
Tip Sweep Angle (deg.)
GEBT 0 RPM GEBT 500 RPM GEBT 750 RPM
Exp. 0 RPM Exp. 500 RPM Exp. 750 RPM
Figure 4.10: Eect of tip sweep and RPM on 4
th
apbending frequency of Maryland
Beam
Chapter 4. Beam Dynamics: Verication and Validation 47
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
0 15 30 45
F
r
e
q
u
e
n
c
y
(
H
z
.
)
Tip Sweep Angle (deg.)
GEBT 0 RPM GEBT 500 RPM GEBT 750 RPM
Exp. 0 RPM Exp. 500 RPM Exp. 750 RPM
Figure 4.11: Eect of tip sweep and RPM on 5
th
apbending frequency of Maryland
Beam
These ndings show that the codes developed in the present thesis can be used for
xed as well as rotating beam dynamics including that of actual blade rotors. When
aerodynamics forces come in play, such as in actual rotor blades, the deformations
involved are much larger and nonlinear theories tend to fail in such cases. It is here that
GEBT acts as an integrated tool for dening the complete dynamics of practical beam
structures.
Chapter 5
Conclusion and Recommendation
This thesis discusses the development of a Geometrically Exact Beam Formulation for
modeling large deformation in advanced geometry rotor blades. Combined with a sec
tional analysis tool like VABS [31] a complete 3D analysis of slender beam with even
complex cross sections can be performed. The codes developed under the present thesis
are able to perform highdelity analysis of both statics and dynamics. These codes can
be used in various engineering disciplines that require accurate tools to model highly
deformable beams.
5.1 Summary
First, the verication of the present analysis for the deections of a cantilevered beams
loaded with tip moment and tip load was carried out. The predictions showed very good
correlation for deformation of elastica due to both tip moment and tip force. Next, the
present simulation was veried against the static deformations of the Princeton Beam
theory. Again, good correlation was obtained between the simulation and experimental
results.
The real application of GEBT lies in modeling dynamic response and natural frequencies
of beam structures. While the response part was left to be pursued in future, frequency
predictions were carried out for stationary and then rotating beams to validate the dy
namics modelling capability. Flatwise and chordwise frequencies of a slender cantilevered
48
Chapter 5. Conclusion and Recommendation 49
beam were obtained by GEBT and compared with analytical solution. The next step
was to calculate the ap and lag frequencies of a cantilevered beam with varying root
setting angle and a rigid mass slid at the tip of the beam. These results were compared
with the famous Princeton Beam Experiment with excellent agreement. Finally, the pre
diction for natural frequencies were compared for rotating beams with root oset and
tip sweep with those of the Maryland Beam Experiment. For the rst four fundamental
modes the frequencies matched well with the experimental data.
5.2 Scope and Recommendation
This thesis was taken up to develop codes for structural dynamic modeling part of a
bigger comprehensive rotor analysis system. A number of such software exists for com
mercial, military and research applications. Johnson [32] has talked in detail about
the historical development and progress made in the eld of rotorcraft comprehensive
analyses. He denes comprehensive analyses as the tools to predict the aeromechanical
characteristics of rotor and aircraft. These tools involve subsystems to model geome
try, structure, aerodynamics and control inputs. The aim is to estimate critical traits
like trim, air loads, structural loads, blade response, vibration, noise, stability and per
formance in an iterative fashion. Figure5.1 from [32] shows the history of various
comprehensive analysis tools and their corresponding funding agencies.
Since Geometrically Exact Beam Theory or any such predecessor is not a part of normal
curriculum, a lot of time was spent in exploring the literature and understanding the
concept. Being just a couple of decades old (after Hodges [13]), not many books and
papers are available explaining the solution procedure and the details of modeling. This
thesis has attempted to make the job easier by explaining the same in detail for the
GEBT in general in Chapter2 and for the problems solved in particular in chapters 3
and 4.
At present four types of problems as mentioned in Chapter2 can be solved using GEBT.
The trickiest part of is calculation of dynamic response. Here, convergence is required
at each time step with some values (as initial values) to be carried forward to next
Chapter 5. Conclusion and Recommendation 50
Figure 5.1: A brief history of comprehensive analyses tools and their developing
agencies[32].
steps. The time dependent variables are, by the design of this timemarching scheme,
not continuous between successive time steps. This blows up the time derivative terms
when they are approximated as
X =
X
t+t
X
t
t
Only few timemarching schemes such as backward dierencing converge for this case.
However, the response is somewhat dependent on the type of time marching scheme, and
the result from one type may not be as accurate as the other one. To resolve this issue,
a more indepth insight is required in FEM and timemarching procedures, with specic
reference to the current requirement. The eect of the length of time step also need to
be studies. One method is to employ a spacetime kind of shape functions[14] which
performs iteration over the whole time domain in one go. For large beams undergoing
Chapter 5. Conclusion and Recommendation 51
large deformations, variable order FEM as explained in Patil and Hodges [22] can be
performed for more accuracy and eciency.
A lot of research groups all over the academic world are using GEBT to solve many
challenging nonlinear problems. Khouli et al. [33] provides details of modeling for artic
ulated rotor blades with root oset, structural damping and tip sweep. Lee et al. [34]
combines GEBT with aerodynamic model of CAMRAD to model inow distribution for
helicopter in steady hover. Sotoudeh and Hodges [35] discusses various boundary con
ditions that need to be used while analyzing structures using GEBT. While the eects
of dynamics and elasticity are taken into account in GEBT, unsteady aerodynamics
and aeroelasticity are to be integrated for complete analysis. Further, GEBT is also
developed for thin elastic plates [36] which could be used to model thin plates and shells
undergoing arbitrary deformations.
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