Buckling of Cooling-Tower Shells: State-of-the-Art

by Peter P. Cole, (A.M.ASCE), Research Engr.; Laboratorium H. Hossdorf, Basel, Switzerland; formerly, Grad. Student, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Princeton Univ., Princeton, N.J.,
David P. Billington, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Princeton Univ., Princeton, N.J.,
John F. Abel, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Struct. Engrg.; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y.; formerly, Lect. in Architecture and Civ. Engrg., Princeton, Univ., Princeton, N.J.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 6, Pg. 1185-1203

Document Type: Journal Paper


Various analytical, experimental, and numerical contributions to the buckling analyses of large hyperbolic cooling towers are summarized. The previously published results for axisymmetric pressures and asymmetric wind loadings of hyperboloids are compared to new bifurcation predictions by a finite element method. A limited series of wind-tunnel tests remain the only standard against which various analytical and numerical approaches can be judged. However, numerical studies seem most promising for investigating the effect of such design factors as variable thickness, flexible supports, and edge stiffening.

Subject Headings: Buckling | Cooling towers | Wind pressure | Wind loads | Finite element method | Axisymmetry | Asymmetry | Load factors

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