An efficient C0 continuous finite element (FE) model is developed based on a combined theory (refine higher order shear deformation theory (RHSDT) and least square error (LSE) method) for the static analysis of a soft core sandwich plate. In this (RHSDT) theory, the in-plane displacement field for the face sheets and the core is obtained by superposing a global cubically varying displacement field on a zig-zag linearly varying displacement field with a different slope in each layer. The transverse displacement assumes to have a quadratic variation within the core and it remains constant in the faces beyond the core. The proposed model satisfies the condition of transverse shear stress continuity at the layer interfaces and the zero transverse shear stress condition at the top and bottom of the sandwich plate. The nodal field variables are chosen in an efficient manner to circumvent the problem of C1 continuity requirement of the transverse displacements. In order to calculate the accurate through thickness transverse stresses variation, the Least Square Error (LSE) method has been used at the post processing stage. The proposed combined model (RHSDT and LSE) is implemented to analyze the laminated composites and sandwich plates. Many new results are also presented which should be useful for future research.
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