*Hemaraju Pollayi, Dineshkumar Harursampath*

**ABSTRACT:**
This paper is concerned with the dynamic analysis of flexible, non-linear multi-body beam systems. The focus is on problems where the strains within each elastic body (beam) remain small. Based on geometrically non-linear elasticity theory, the non-linear 3-D beam problem splits into either a linear or non-linear 2-D analysis of the beam cross-section and a non-linear 1-D analysis along the beam reference line. The splitting of the three-dimensional beam problem into two- and one-dimensional parts, called dimensional reduction, results in a tremendous savings of computational effort relative to the cost of three-dimensional finite element analysis, the only alternative for realistic beams. The analysis of beam-like structures made of laminated composite materials requires a much more complicated methodology. Hence, the analysis procedure based on Variational Asymptotic Method (VAM), a tool to carry out the dimensional reduction, is used here.

The analysis methodology can be viewed as a 3-step procedure. First, the sectional properties of beams made of composite materials are determined either based on an asymptotic procedure that involves a 2-D finite element nonlinear analysis of the beam cross-section to capture trapeze effect or using strip-like beam analysis, starting from Classical Laminated Shell Theory (CLST). Second, the dynamic response of non-linear, flexible multi-body beam systems is simulated within the framework of energy-preserving and energy-decaying time integration schemes that provide unconditional stability for non-linear beam systems. Finally, local 3-D responses in the beams are recovered, based on the 1-D responses predicted in the second step. Numerical examples are presented and results from this analysis are compared with those available in the literature.

**KEYWORDS:**
Comprehensive, Geometrically Non-linear, VAM, Flexible Multi-body Beam Systems, and Unconditional Stability