Derivation of a refined six-parameter shell model : descent from the three-dimensional Cosserat elasticity using a method of classical shell theory

Starting from the three-dimensional Cosserat elasticity, we derive a two-dimensional model for isotropic elastic shells. For the dimensional reduction, we employ a derivation method similar to that used in classical shell theory, as presented systematically by Steigmann (Koiter’s shell theory from the perspective of three-dimensional nonlinear elasticity. J Elast 2013; 111: 91–107). As a result, we obtain a geometrically nonlinear Cosserat shell model with a specific form of the strain energy density, which has a simple expression, with coefficients depending on the initial curvature tensor and on three-dimensional material constants. The explicit forms of the stress–strain relations and the local equilibrium equations are also recorded. Finally, we compare our results with other six-parameter shell models and discuss the relation to the classical Koiter shell model.


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