A shell is a three or four-node area object used to model membrane and plate-bending behavior. Shell objects are useful for simulating floor, wall, and bridge deck systems; 3D curved surfaces; and components within structural members, such the web and flanges of a W-Section.
Shells may be homogeneous or layered throughout their thickness. Temperature-dependent, orthotropic, and nonlinear material properties may be assigned to layered shells. Layered shells will exhibit localization of nonlinear behavior. Shells may be assigned edge constraints, and may be loaded in any direction, along any side.
Full shell behavior and the Mindlin-Reissner thick-plate formulation are recommended for analysis. Additional options and details are discussed in the CSI Analysis Reference Manual (Homogeneous and Layered, page 159).