In this paper, the accuracy of the geometrically exact beam formulation and absolute nodal coordinate formulation are studied by comparing their predictions against experimental data referred to as the “Princeton beam experiment.” The experiment deals with a cantilevered beam experiencing coupled flap, lag, and twist deformations. In the absolute nodal coordinate formulation, two different beam elements are used. The first is based on a shear deformable approach in which the element kinematics are described using two nodes. The second is based on a recently proposed approach in which three nodes are used. The numerical results for the geometrically exact beam formulation and the recently proposed three-node absolute nodal coordinate formulation agree well with the experimental data. The two-node beam element predictions are similarly to linear theory. This study suggests that the latest developments of the absolute nodal coordinate formulation must be used to ensure accuracy under complicated loading conditions involving by twist deformation.

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