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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 44, Number 4, November25 2012 , pages 431-448

Size-dependent analysis of functionally graded ultra-thin films
M. Shaat, F.F. Mahmoud, A.E. Alshorbagy, S.S. Alieldin and E.I. Meletis

    In this paper, the first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) (Mindlin) for continuum incorporating surface energy is exploited to study the static behavior of ultra-thin functionally graded (FG) plates. The size-dependent mechanical response is very important while the plate thickness reduces to micro/nano scales. Bulk stresses on the surfaces are required to satisfy the surface balance conditions involving surface stresses. Unlike the classical continuum plate models, the bulk transverse normal stress is preserved here. By incorporating the surface energies into the principle of minimum potential energy, a series of continuum governing differential equations which include intrinsic length scales are derived. The modifications over the classical continuum stiffness are also obtained. To illustrate the application of the theory, simply supported micro/nano scaled rectangular films subjected to a transverse mechanical load are investigated. Numerical examples are presented to present the effects of surface energies on the behavior of functionally graded (FG) film, whose effective elastic moduli of its bulk material are represented by the simple power law. The proposed model is then used for a comparison between the continuum analysis of FG ultra-thin plates with and without incorporating surface effects. Also, the transverse shear strain effect is studied by a comparison between the FG plate behavior based on Kirchhoff and Mindlin assumptions. In our analysis the residual surface tension under unstrained conditions and the surface Lame constants are expected to be the same for the upper and lower surfaces of the FG plate. The proposed model is verified by previous work.
Key Words
    functionally graded plates; surface energy effect; ultra-thin films; size-dependent analysis; finite element analysis
M. Shaat, F.F. Mahmoud, A.E. Alshorbagy, S.S. Alieldin: Mechanical Engineering Department, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt
E.I. Meletis: Material Science and Engineering Department, University of Texas at Arlington, USA

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