This paper presents a finite element analysis of inflated fabric beams that considers nonlinear material response and shear deformations. Applying the principle of virtual work, we obtain the FEM formulation for inflated fabric beams with material nonlinearity. Comparisons between 4-point bend tests of inflated woven fabric beams and finite element results indicate that the finite element analysis provides good estimates of deflections, and that it is important to incorporate the effects of shear deformation and pressure when predicting inflated fabric beam response.

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