The accuracy of the Variational Asymptotic Plate and Shell Analysis (VAPAS) is assessed against several higher order, zig zag,
and layerwise theories generated by using the invariant axiomatic framework denoted as Generalized Unified Formulation (GUF).
These theories are also compared against the elasticity solution developed for the case of a sandwich structure with high Face to
Core Stiffness Ratio. GUF allows to use an infinite number of axiomatic theories (Equivalent Single Layer theories with or without
zig-zag effects and Layerwise theories as well) with any combination of orders of the displacements and it is an ideal tool to precisely
assess the range of applicability of the Variational Asymptotic Plate and Shell Analysis or other theories in general. In fact, all the
axiomatic theories generated by GUF are obtained from the kernels or fundamental nuclei of the Generalized Unified Formulation
and changing the order of the variables is “naturally” and systematically done with GUF. It is demonstrated that VAPAS achieves
accuracy comparable to a fourth (or higher) order zig-zag theory or lower-order layerwise theories with the least number of Degrees
of Freedom. The differences between the axiomatic zig-zag models and VAPAS are also assessed. Range of applicability of VAPAS
will be discussed in detail and guidelines for new developments based on GUF and VAPAS are provided.
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