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# Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

Faces of Shell Elements The six faces of a shell element are defined as the positive 1 face, negative 1 face, positive 2 face, negative 2 face, positive 3 face and negative 3 face as shown in the figure below. In this definition, the numbers 1, 2 and 3 correspond to the local axes of the shell element. The positive 1 face of the element is the face that is perpendicular to the 1-axis of the element whose outward normal (pointing away from the element) is in the positive 1-axis direction. The negative 1 face of the element is a face that is perpendicular to the 1-axis of the element whose outward normal (pointing away from the element) is in the negative 1-axis direction. The other faces have similar definitions.

Note that the positive 3 face is sometimes called the top of the shell element in ETABS, particularly in the output, and the negative 3 face is called the bottom of the shell element. Shell Element Internal Forces The shell element internal forces, like stresses, act throughout the element. They are present at every point on the midsurface of the shell element. ETABS reports values for the shell internal forces at the element nodes. It is important to note that the internal forces are reported as forces and moments per unit of in-plane length. The basic shell element forces and moments are identified as F , F , F , M , M , M , V 11 22 12 11 22 12 13 and V . You might expect that there would also be an F and M , but F is always equal to 23 21 21 21 F and M is always equal to M , so it is not actually necessary to report F and M . 12 21 12 21 21 The figure below shows internal F forces acting on the midsurface of a shell element. In the 11 figure, the force distribution labeled (a) represents an actual F force distribution. The force 11 distribution labeled (b) shows how ETABS calculates only the internal forces at the corner points of the shell element. Note that we could calculate these stresses at any location on the shell element. We simply choose to calculate them only at the corner points because that is a convenient location and it keeps the amount of output to a reasonable volume.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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The force distribution labeled (c) in the figure above shows how ETABS assumes that the F 11 forces vary linearly along the length of the shell element between the calculated F force values at 11 the element nodes for graphical plotting purposes only. The figure below illustrates the positive directions for shell element internal forces F , F , F , 11 22 12 V and V . Note that these shell element internal forces are forces per unit length acting 13 23 on the midsurface of the shell element. ETABS only reports the value of these forces at the shell element corner points.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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The figure below illustrates the positive direction for shell element principal forces, Fmax and Fmin. It also illustrates the positive direction for the shell element maximum transverse shear force, Vmax.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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For values of V and V at any angle, the maximum transverse shear stress, V-Max, can be 13 23 calculated as:

The figure below illustrates the positive directions for shell element internal moments M , M 11 22 and M . Note that these shell element internal moments are moments per unit length acting on the 12 midsurface of the shell element. ETABS only reports the value of these moments per unit length at the shell element corner points.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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Use the right hand rule to determine the sense of the moments shown in the figure above.

The figure below illustrates the positive direction for shell element principal moments, Mmax and Mmin.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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Shell Element Internal Stresses The basic shell element stresses are identified as S , S , S , S , and S . You might expect 11 22 12 13 23 that there would also be an S , but S is always equal to S , so it is not actually necessary to 21 21 12 report S . S stresses (where i can be equal to 1 or 2 and j can be equal to 1, 2 or 3) are stresses 21 ij that occur on face i of an element in direction j. Direction j refers to the local axis direction of the shell element. Thus S stresses occur on face 1 of the element (perpendicular to the local 1 axis) 11 and are acting in the direction parallel to the local 1 axis (that is, the stresses act normal to face 1). As another example, S stresses occur on face 1 of the element (perpendicular to the local 1 axis) 12 and are acting in the direction parallel to the local 2 axis (that is, the stresses act parallel to face 1,

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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like shearing stresses). The figure below shows examples of each of these basic types of shell stresses. ETABS reports internal stresses for shell elements at the four corner points of the appropriate face of the element. For example, refer to Figure "a" below. On the positive 1 face internal stresses are reported by ETABS at points A, B, C and D.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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Shell internal stresses are reported for both the top and the bottom of the shell element. The top and bottom of the element are defined relative to the local 3-axis of the element. The positive 3-axis side of the element is considered to be the top of the element. Thus in Figure "a" above, internal stresses at the top of the element include stresses at the joints labeled A and C and internal stresses at the bottom of the element include stresses at the joints labeled B and D. The Figure below clearly illustrates the points where ETABS reports the shell element internal stress values.

The transverse shear stresses calculated by ETABS (S and S ) are average values. The actual 13 23 transverse shear stress distribution is approximately parabolic; it is zero at the top and bottom surfaces and has its maximum or minimum value at the midsurface of the element. ETABS reports the average transverse shear value. An approximation to the maximum (or minimum) transverse shear stress would be 1.5 times the average shear stress. The figure below illustrates the positive directions for shell element internal stresses S , S , S , 11 22 12 S and S . Also shown are the positive directions for the principal stresses, S-Max and S-Min, 13 23 and the positive directions for the maximum transverse shear stresses, S-Max-V.

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011

## Output Convention for Shell Element Internal Forces

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For values of S and S at any angle, the maximum transverse shear stress, S-MaxV, can be 13 23 calculated from:

mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\Computers%20and%20Structures\ETABS%2... 05-09-2011