In this paper, based on the nonlinear strain–deformation relationship, the dynamics equation of a spatial curved beam undergoing large displacement and small deformation is deduced using the finite-element method of floating frame of reference (FEMFFR) and Hamiltonian variation principle. The stress-stiffening effect, which is also called geometric stiffening effect, is accounted for in the dynamics equation, which makes it possible for the dynamics simulation of the spatial curved beam with high rotational speed. A numerical example is carried out by using the deduced dynamics equation to analyze the stress-stiffening effect of the curved beam and then verified by abaqus software. Then, the modal synthesis methods, which result in much fewer numbers of coordinates, are employed to improve the computational efficiency.

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