### Exact Three-Dimensional Stability Analysis of Plate Using an Direct Variational Energy Method

F. C. Onyeka, B. O. Mama, T. E. Okeke

#### Abstract

In this paper, direct variational calculus was put into practical use to analyses the three dimensional (3D) stability of rectangular thick plate which was simply supported at all the four edges (SSSS) under uniformly distributed compressive load. In the analysis, both trigonometric and polynomial displacement functions were used. This was done by formulating the equation of total potential energy for a thick plate using the 3D constitutive relations, from then on, the equation of compatibility was obtained to determine the relationship between the rotations and deflection. In the same way, governing equation was obtained through minimization of the total potential energy functional with respect to deflection. The solution of the governing equation is the function for deflection. Functions for rotations were obtained from deflection function using the solution of compatibility equations. These functions, deflection and rotations were substituted back into the energy functional, from where, through minimizations with respect to displacement coefficients, formulas for analysis were obtained. In the result, the critical buckling loads from the present study are higher than those of refined plate theories with 7.70%, signifying the coarseness of the refined plate theories. This amount of difference cannot be overlooked. However, it is shown that, all the recorded average percentage differences between trigonometric and polynomial approaches used in this work and those of 3D exact elasticity theory is lower than 1.0%, confirming the exactness of the present theory. Thus, the exact 3D plate theory obtained, provides a good solution for the stability analysis of plate and, can be recommended for analysis of any type of rectangular plates under the same loading and boundary condition.

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#### Keywords

Exact Solution; Direct Variational Method; Compatibility Governing Equation; Critical Buckling Load; Stability Analysis; Trigonometric; Polynomial Displacement Functions.

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DOI: 10.28991/CEJ-2022-08-01-05

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