Inflatable Shells: Nonsymmetrical In-Service Loads

by John W. Leonard,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 5, Pg. 1231-1248

Document Type: Journal Paper


There are three stages in the behavior of an inflatable shell: (1) the unfolding phase; (2) the pressurization phase; and (3) the in-service phase. To describe completely the static behavior of inflatable shells, their action under non-symmetric in-service loads such as wind loads should be analyzed. The field equations for asymmetric superposed loads are also useful in describing the symmetric and asymmetric modes of free vibration for inflatable shells of revolution. The in-service field equations for a general shell of revolution under asymmetric loads is presented; small displacements are superimposed on the previously-solved nonlinear problem of the pressurization phase. 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: Wind loads | Asymmetry | Load factors | Static loads | Vibration | Displacement (mechanics) | Nonlinear analysis | Boundary value problem

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