Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Nithi T Sivaneri

Committee Co-Chair

Victor H Mucino

Committee Member

Osama M Mukdadi


Composite materials are steadily replacing traditional materials in many engineering applications due to several benefits such as high strength to weight ratio and the ability to tailor the material for specific purposes. Over the last several decades the analysis of straight beams has received considerable attention while there is very little focus on curved composite beams.;In the present study, the formulation of the bending of a curved composite beam is based on the bending theory of thick shells. A variational formulation is employed to derive the governing equations. A consistent methodology is applied to reduce the two-dimensional nature of the composite constitutive equations (based on the classical laminate plate theory) to one dimension to reflect the nature of behaviour of a curved beam. In order to generate very accurate distributions of the stresses and strains in the curved beam, a higher-order finite element method (h-p version) is formulated. A unique curved-beam finite element is proposed.;A MATLAB code is written to carry out the numerical implementation of the composite curved beam problem. Results in the form of tangential stress distributions across the cross section and force and displacement distributions along the curved length of the beam are presented. The geometry of the composite curved beams considered include circular arcs. The study encompasses different types of loads and symmetric and unsymmetric layups.