This paper presents a finite element formulation for the dynamical analysis of general double curvature laminated composite shell components, commonly used in many engineering applications. The Equivalent Single Layer theory (ESL) was successfully used to predict the dynamical response of composite laminate plates and shells. It is well known that the classic shell theory may not be effective to predict the deformational behavior with sufficient accuracy when dealing with composite shells. The effect of transverse shear deformation should be taken into account. In this paper a first order shear deformation ESL laminated shell model, adopting B-spline functions as approximation functions, is proposed and discussed. The geometry of the shell is described by means of the tensor product of B-spline functions. The displacement field is described by means of tensor product of B-spline shape functions with a different order and number of degrees of freedom with respect to the same formulation used in geometry description, resulting in a non-isoparametric formulation. A solution refinement method, making it possible to increase the order of the displacement shape functions without using the well known B-spline “degree elevation” algorithm, is also proposed. The locking effect was reduced by employing a low-order integration technique. To test the performance of the approach, the static solution of a single curvature shell and the eigensolutions of composite plates were obtained by numerical simulation and are then compared with known solutions. Discussion follows.

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