Finite Element Modeling of Small-Scale Tapered Wood-Laminated Composite Poles with Biomimicry Features<sup>1</sup>


  • Cheng Piao
  • Todd F. Shupe
  • R. C. Tang
  • Chung Y. Hse


Biomimicking, composite poles, finite element analysis, shear stress, taper


Tapered composite poles with biomimicry features as in bamboo are a new generation of wood laminated composite poles that may some day be considered as an alternative to solid wood poles that are widely used in the transmission and telecommunication fields. Five finite element models were developed with ANSYS to predict and assess the performance of five types of composites members: a tapered hollow pole with webs (Pole-A), a tapered hollow pole without webs (Pole-B), a tapered solid composite pole (Pole-C), a uniform-diameter hollow pole with webs (Pole-D), and a uniform-diameter hollow pole without webs (Pole-E). The predicted deflection by these models agreed well with those of the experiment, and the predicted normal stress agreed with those calculated. The normal and shear stress distributions inside the members were investigated, and stress distributions in the XY and YZ planes are exhibited. As expected, the webs reduced the local shear stress and improved shear capacity, especially in the top and groundline regions where shear levels were the highest. The webs had little effect on the normal stress. Shear stress increased from the bottom to the top for the members with taper. Large shear stress concentration was predicted in a small region close to the groundlines. The models also predicted that the shear stress of the tapered hollow poles would decrease from the inside to the outside surfaces in XY plane.


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