To homogenize lattice beam-like structures, a direct approach based on the matrix eigen- and principal vectors of the state transfer matrix is proposed and discussed. The Timoshenko couple-stress beam is the equivalent continuum medium adopted in the homogenization process. The girders unit cell transmits two kinds of bending moments: the first is generated by the couple of the axial forces acting on the section nodes, the other one is due to the moments directly applied at the node sections by the adjacent cells. This latter moment is modelled as the resultant of couple-stress. The main advantage of the method consists in to operate directly on the sub-partitions of the unit cell stiffness matrix. Closed form solutions for the transmission principal vectors of the Pratt and X-braced girders are also attained and employed to calculate the stiffnesses of the related equivalent beams. Unit cells having more complex geometries are analysed numerically. As a result, the principal vector problem is always reduced to the inversion of a well-conditioned (3 x 3) matrix employing the direct approach. Hence, no ill-conditioning problems, affecting all the known transfer methods, are present in the proposed method. Finally, comparing the predictions of the homogenized models with the finite element (f.e.) results of a series of girder, a validation of the homogenization method is performed.
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