Linear and bifurcation analyses combining shell and GBT-based beam finite elements
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This paper concerns a general and very efficient approach to model thin-walled members with complex geometries (including taper and/or connected through joints), which combines standard shell and GBT-based finite elements. This approach (i) allows a straightforward modelling of complex geometries and (ii) is very efficient from a computational point of view, as the shell model substructures can be condensed out of the global equilibrium equations. The capabilities of the proposed approach are demonstrated through several examples concerning the linear and bifurcation (linear stability) analyses of (i) members with tapered segments, (ii) members with holes and (iii) beam-column assemblies. The results obtained are compared with full shell finite element model solutions and an excellent match is obtained.