In order to develop an active nonlinear beam model, the beam’s kinematics is examined by employing the kinematic assumption of a rigid cross section during deformation. As a mathematical tool, the moving frame method, developed by Élie Cartan (1869–1951) on differentiable manifolds, is utilized by treating a beam as a frame bundle on a deforming centroidal curve. As a result, three new integrability conditions are obtained, which play critical roles in the derivation of beam equations of motion. They also serve a role in a geometrically-exact finite-element implementation of beam models. These integrability conditions enable the derivation of beam models starting from the three-dimensional Hamilton’s principle and the d’Alembert principle of virtual work. Finally, the reconstruction scheme for rotation matrices for given angular velocity at each time is presented.

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