Use of homogenization theory to build a beam element with thermo-mechanical microscale properties

B. A. Schrefler, M. Lefik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The homogenization method is used to develop a beam element in space for thermo-mechanical analysis of unidirectional composites. Local stress and temperature field in the microscale are described using the function of homogenization. The global (macroscopic) behaviour of the structure is supposed to be that of a beam. Beam-type kinematical hypotheses (including independent shear rotations) are hence applied and superposed on the microdescription. A macroscopic stiffness matrix for such a beam element is then developed which contains the microscale properties of the single cell of periodicity. The presented model enables us to analyse without too much computational effort complicated composite structures such as e.g. toroidal coils of a fusion reactor. We need only a FE mesh sufficiently fine for a correct description of the local geometry of a single cell and a few of the newly developed elements for the description of the global behaviour. An unsmearing procedure gives the stress and temperature field in the different materials of a single cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-630
Number of pages18
JournalStructural Engineering and Mechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • Beams
  • Composite materials
  • Finite element method
  • Homogenization
  • Superconducting magnets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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