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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 940347, 12 pages
Research Article

Higher-Order Hierarchical Models for the Free Vibration Analysis of Thin-Walled Beams

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, 5 Avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, 4362 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

Received 30 July 2015; Accepted 6 September 2015

Academic Editor: Xiao-Qiao He

Copyright © 2015 G. Giunta and S. Belouettar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper addresses a free vibration analysis of thin-walled isotropic beams via higher-order refined theories. The unknown kinematic variables are approximated along the beam cross section as a -order polynomial expansion, where is a free parameter of the formulation. The governing equations are derived via the dynamic version of the Principle of Virtual Displacements and are written in a unified form in terms of a “fundamental nucleus.” This latter does not depend upon order of expansion of the theory over the cross section. Analyses are carried out through a closed form, Navier-type solution. Simply supported, slender, and short beams are investigated. Besides “classical” modes (such as bending and torsion), several higher modes are investigated. Results are assessed toward three-dimensional finite element solutions. The numerical investigation shows that the proposed Unified Formulation yields accurate results as long as the appropriate approximation order is considered. The accuracy of the solution depends upon the geometrical parameters of the beam.