A geometrically nonlinear Cosserat shell model for orientable and non-orientable surfaces: Discretization with geometric finite elements

Research output: Preprint/documentation/reportPreprint



We investigate discretizations of a geometrically nonlinear elastic Cosserat shell with nonplanar reference configuration originally introduced by Bîrsan, Ghiba, Martin, and Neff in 2019. The shell model includes curvature terms up to order 5 in the shell thickness, which are crucial to reliably simulate high-curvature deformations such as near-folds or creases. The original model is generalized to shells that are not homeomorphic to a subset of $\mathbb{R}^2$. For this, we replace the originally planar parameter domain by an abstract two-dimensional manifold, and verify that the hyperelastic shell energy and three-dimensional reconstruction are invariant under changes of the local coordinate systems. This general approach allows to determine the elastic response for even non-orientable surfaces like the Möbius strip and the Klein bottle. We discretize the model with a geometric finite element method and, using that geometric finite elements are $H^1$-conforming, prove that the discrete shell model has a solution. Numerical tests then show the general performance and versatility of the model and discretization method.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages48
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2023
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External IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-1093-6374/work/142660182