A fully nonlinear formulation for the dynamics of initially curved and twisted beams, undergoing arbitrary spatial motions, is presented. The formulation admits finite bending, shearing and extension of the beam. The Mode decomposition method is employed to modify the strains in the finite element discretization process leading to the elimination of shear and membrane locking phenomena that arise in curved elements. The model incorporates all inertia effects and is capable of accurately capturing the phenomena of dynamic stiffening due to the coupling of the axial and membrane forces to the flexural deformation. All motion is referred to the inertial frame. The nonlinear formulation is suitable for modeling flexible multibody systems. Examples are presented to illustrate the validity of the proposed formulation.

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