Due to their high stiffness, thin lightweight hybrid CFRP and metal laminates are usually prone to vibrations. Including additional elastomeric layers in the laminate can significantly reduce those vibrations by means of constrained layer damping. In order to take advantage of this mechanism on component level, knowledge of the deformation behavior is required.
Commonly used equivalent single-layer shell and plate theories, however, are unable to account for the strong heterogeneous stiffness distribution of the constituents within the laminate. Furthermore, the transverse shear and normal deformations in the elastomer layer are expected to significantly influence the deformation of the neighboring laminae. An accurate depiction of these transverse stresses requires a multi-layer shell theory as opposed to commonly used single-layer formulations.
Therefore a multi-layer finite shell element based on the Generalized Unified Formulation is developed in order to efficiently analyze and optimize the deformation behavior of such hybrid laminates on a structural level where the computational effort forbids the use of a three dimensional continuum formulation.