American Society of Civil Engineers

Nonlinear Response of Fluid-Filled Membrane in Gravity Waves

by Amal C. Phadke, (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Ocean and Resources Engrg., Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI96822; presently, Naval Architect, Sea Engineering, Inc., Houston, TX 77084) and Kwok Fai Cheung, (corresponding author), (Prof., Dept. of Ocean and Resources Engrg., Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 E-mail:

Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 129, No. 7, July 2003, pp. 739-750, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper describes a time-domain model for the nonlinear response of fluid-filled membranes in gravity waves. A formulation based on the principle of virtual work provides an integral governing equation for membrane deformation that fully accounts for geometric nonlinearity, which is known to be important even for relatively small deformation. The incident wave amplitude and membrane deformation are considered to be small, to allow linearization of the hydrodynamic problems. The potential flows inside and outside the membrane are solved by two boundary element models, which are coupled to the finite element model of the membrane. An iterative scheme based on Newmark’s method integrates the resulting nonlinear equations of motion in time. The computed results for a bottom-mounted fluid-membrane system show favorable agreement with available experimental and numerical data. Membrane geometric nonlinearity increases the system stiffness due to strain-stiffening and gives rise to hysteresis response at some frequencies.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Boundary element method
Finite element method
Fluid-structure interactions
Gravity waves
Nonlinear response