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J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Jan;125(1):154-63. doi: 10.1121/1.3021418.

Wave characterization of cylindrical and curved panels using a finite element method.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Universita degli Studi di Parma, Parma, Italy.


This paper describes a wave finite element method for the numerical prediction of wave characteristics of cylindrical and curved panels. The method combines conventional finite elements and the theory of wave propagation in periodic structures. The mass and stiffness matrices of a small segment of the structure, which is typically modeled using either a single shell element or, especially for laminated structures, a stack of solid elements meshed through the cross-section, are postprocessed using periodicity conditions. The matrices are typically found using a commercial FE package. The solutions of the resulting eigenproblem provide the frequency evolution of the wavenumber and the wave modes. For cylindrical geometries, the circumferential order of the wave can be specified in order to define the phase change that a wave experiences as it propagates across the element in the circumferential direction. The method is described and illustrated by application to cylinders and curved panels of different constructions. These include isotropic, orthotropic, and laminated sandwich constructions. The application of the method is seen to be straightforward even in the complicated case of laminated sandwich panels. Accurate predictions of the dispersion curves are found at negligible computational cost.

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