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Formulation of Continuum Shell Elements - ABAQUS

Dario Schiano Moriello's picture

I am looking for an explanation about the formulation used for CONTINUMM SHELL elements in ABAQUS.

The software manual only explains that SC hexaedral elements consist of 4 nodes, each with 3 translational degrees of freedom and no rotations , exactly as the normal CONTINUUM SOLID elements, but that apply a formulation similar to plane SHELL elements (plane stress state). The deflection in the third direction is then evaluated as the difference of displacement along z between elements with the same x,y coordinates, while a normal shell elements would use the rotational degrees of freedom.

Unfortunately Abaqus doesn't really explain what this special formulation is (normal solid or shell elements formulations are easily found in literature).
Does anyone has an in-depth explanation of how continuum shell elements work?

I am simulating the fracture of a metallic thin plate subject to impulsive loading in the third direction.
I managed to calibrate the shear and ductile damage initiation and evolution parameters for the metal (mild steel) by reproducing the tensile test of a dogbone specimen of the same material with continuum shell elements, and I am quite satisfied with the results obtained.
I want to study the formulation of such elements to try to understand why the same simulation running with normal solid or shell elements gives different ,and worse, results.

Thank you

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