Inflatable Shells: In-Service Phase

by John W. Leonard,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 6, Pg. 67-86

Document Type: Journal Paper


Inflatable shells are extremely thin shells that undergo large displacements because of internal pressure. Their behavior can be divided into three phases. The first phase is the unfolding of the shell into its initial configuration. The second phase is the inflation of the shell into a desired final configuration. The third phase is that in which the shell is fully inflated and subjected to external loads. The third phase is investigated. The in-service behavior is considered as the superposition of small displacements on the pressurized shell. Since these displacements interact with the pressurization phase force resultants, the in-service equations are not linear in the usual sense of the word. The general in-service equations are specialized for axially-symmetric shells of revolution. This boundary value problem is reduced to a set of initial value problems, the numerical solutions to which are propagated along a shell meridian. Sample problems are used to demonstrate the solution method.

Subject Headings: Displacement (mechanics) | Load factors | Linear functions | Boundary value problem | Numerical methods

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