The present paper considers the linear static
thermal stress analysis of composite structures by means
of a shell finite element with variable through-thethickness
kinematic. The temperature profile along the
thickness direction is calculated by solving the Fourier
heat conduction equation. The refined models considered
are both Equivalent Single Layer (ESL) and Layer
Wise (LW) and are grouped in the Unified Formulation
by Carrera (CUF). These permit the distribution of displacements,
stresses along the thickness of the multilayered
shell to be accurately described. The shell element
has nine nodes, and the Mixed Interpolation of Tensorial
Components (MITC) method is used to contrast the
membrane and shear locking phenomenon. The governing
equations are derived from the Principle of Virtual Displacement
(PVD). Cross-ply plate, cylindrical and spherical
shells with simply-supported edges and subjected to
bi-sinusoidal thermal load are analyzed.Various thickness
ratios and curvature ratios are considered. The results, obtained
with different theories contained in the CUF, are
compared with both the elasticity solutions given in the
literature and the analytical solutions obtained using the
CUF and the Navier’s method. Finally, plates and shells
with different lamination and boundary conditions are analyzed
using high-order theories in order to provide FEM
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