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Thin-plate theory for large elastic deformations. (English) Zbl 1200.74098
Summary: Non-linear plate theory for thin prismatic elastic bodies is obtained by estimating the total three-dimensional strain energy generated in response to a given deformation in terms of the small plate thickness. The Euler equations for the estimate of the energy are regarded as the equilibrium equations for the thin plate. Included among them are algebraic formulae connecting the gradients of the midsurface deformation to the through-thickness derivatives of the three-dimensional deformation. These are solvable provided that the three-dimensional strain energy is strongly elliptic at equilibrium. This framework yields restrictions of the Kirchhoff-Love type that are usually imposed as constraints in alternative formulations. In the present approach they emerge as consequences of the stationarity of the energy without the need for any a priori restrictions on the three-dimensional deformation apart from a certain degree of differentiability in the direction normal to the plate.
74K20Plates (solid mechanics)