11R4. Theories and Applications of Plate Analysis: Classical, Numerical and Engineering Methods. - R Szilard. John Wiley and Sons, Inc, New York. 2004. 1056 pp. ISBN 0-471-42989-9. $225.00.

Reviewed by AE Bogdanovich (R&D, 3TEX, Inc, 109 MacKenan Dr, Cary, NC 27511).

This over 1000-page monumental volume can be, probably, best categorized as encyclopedia of plate theories, analysis methods, and applications. This is a completely reworked and greatly extended version of the same author’s 1974 book Theory and Analysis of Plates: Classical and Numerical Methods. As the book author states in the Preface, this work tries to satisfy the requirements to a textbook, reference book and manual for practicing engineers simultaneously. This objective is very well accomplished. Indeed, the four distinct parts of the book address (i) plate theories (static, dynamic, linear, nonlinear, elastic, inelastic), (ii) analytical solutions and numerical analysis methods, (iii) examples of specific problem solutions and numerical results, and (iv) practical design methods and engineering solution procedures. There are no other available sources treating such a scope in a single book. Besides, the scope covers thin, moderately thick and thick plates, as well as very thin membranes. The book is well illustrated by large number of high quality figures, contains hundreds of references and bibliography placed at the end of each section, provides problems for individual work at the end of each chapter, and has concise subject index.

The book is based on the courses taught by the author and his research conducted at various universities in the US and Germany, as well as on his long-term experience as a practicing structural engineer. Accordingly, the book can be used as a text on plate theories, analysis methods, and their specific applications. At the same time, the volume can serve as a reference book for researchers and practicing engineers. Importantly, this volume is self-contained, i.e., no other sources are needed in most of the cases to fully understand the theories, analysis methods and specific problem solutions. In treating various plate theories and solutions of the pertinent plate problems, emphasis is placed on the fundamentals rather than on achieving exhaustive coverage of details.

The majority of plate structures is analyzed by applying the linearly elastic approach. Consequently, the main part of the book presents various linearly elastic plate theories and suitable analytical and numerical solution techniques. Plates having isotropic, orthotropic mechanical properties and composed of layered materials are considered. Significant place is allocated to large-deflection plate theory, including pertinent solution techniques, and to nonlinear elasticity and plasticity of plate materials. However, the book only slightly touches the problems of stress/strain and failure analyses of plates.

Numerical methods treated in this book include the finite difference, boundary element, gridwork, finite strip, and finite element methods. Importantly, the aforementioned numerical methods also applied to static, dynamic, and elastic stability problems.

Practicing engineers, who must deal with “real-life” problems, need a much broader coverage of more complex and unique problems than one can usually find in textbooks and reference books on plate theories and analysis methods. The present book covers a large spectrum of plate problems and their solution procedures typical for mechanical and aerospace engineering, civil engineering and marine structures. In general, strong emphasis is placed on practical applications, as demonstrated by a large number of worked problems, many of them taken directly from the engineering practice.

In addition to the main volume there is a plate analysis software provided on CD attached to the book. The computer programs enable for solving a broad spectrum of diverse plate analysis problems, by either plate formulas or numerical analysis tools. A collection of 170 most important plate formulas is given on the CD. The numerical analysis programs include the FORTRAN source codes, the executable forms of those computer codes for static and dynamic analyses of plates. The CD contains finite element code WinPlatePrimer, which not only solves static and dynamic plate problems, but also teaches it users how to write such programs by using readily available subroutines.

With no hesitation this book is recommended to researchers and engineers whose work involves modeling, analysis and design of plates and plate-containing structures. The book is definitely a valuable text for graduate students studying plate theory, numerical analysis methods and their applications, as well as practical analysis and design of engineering structures. The book is highly recommended to be purchased by libraries and interested individuals.