The aim of the present paper is to evaluate six particular beam finite elements based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF). Specifically, accuracy, computational efficiency and numerical stability are compared for those beam finite elements. The finite elements under consideration are planar as well as spatial beams, which are formulated both for the Bernoulli-Euler case as well as for shear and cross-section deformation. While all of the investigated elements have been exposed to specific numerical tests already before, a comparative test has not been performed in the past. The numerical examples cover large deformation static and dynamic problems, which represent typical applications of such beam elements. Finally, the dynamic test problems show that the thin spatial beam formulation, which includes a rotational parameter, leads to well-known numerical instabilities.

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