Cooling Towers with Circumferential Imperfections

by Charles P. Ellinas, Assoc. Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. and Municipal Engrg. Unversity College, London, England,
Kenneth O. Kemp, Prof. and Head of Dept.; Dept. of Civ. and Municipal Engrg., University College, London, England,
James G.A. Croll, Lect.; Dept. of Civ. and Municipal Engrg., University College, London, England,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 12, Pg. 2405-2423

Document Type: Journal Paper


The effects of out-of-roundness errors, that cab be introduced durning the construction of cooling tower shells, on the linear stress distributions are examined. Using a simplified, statically equivalent, simulation of nonaxisymmetric geometric imperfections, it is shown that circumferential bending provides the major contribution to the shell's resistance to the effects arising from these imperfections. It is shown how meridional membrane stresses are also severely affected; this is particularly so if a loss of circumferential moment capacity occurs. The mechanics of behavior in the presence of circumferential imperfections is clarified by a systematic study of the effects of a number of the separate parameters defining the imperfection geometry. As a consequence, suggestions are made as to how the various forms of behavior could be incorporated into future design practice, for the provision of rational tolerance limits for out-of-roundness errors.

Subject Headings: Cooling towers | Stress distribution | Geometrics | Construction management | Linear functions | Bending (structural) | Load and resistance factor design | Membranes

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