A strength-of-materials approach is used to develop an approximate stiffness matrix for a uniformly-pretwisted beam segment. The beam element is a 12 degree-of-freedom member that includes shear effects, eccentric loading effects, axial-torsional and bending-torsional coupling, and the torsional stiffening effect of the natural pretwist. The current formulation can be employed as an inexpensive preliminary design tool for pretwisted blading that is suitable for implementation on low-core computer graphics systems. After obtaining a workable geometry, final design optimization can be performed by utilizing more sophisticated, and expensive, three-dimensional finite element models.

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