Finite Element Analysis of Inflatable Shells

by Chin-Tsang Li, Engr.; Stone and Webster Engrg. Corp., Boston, MA,
John W. Leonard, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Illinois Inst. of Tech., Chicago, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pg. 495-514

Document Type: Journal Paper


A new curved element has been introduced for the purpose of modeling the nonlinear behavior of inflatable shells with arbitrary contours. With this new curved element, geometric slope continuities across interfaces may be enforced or at least may be minimized. Incremental theory within a finite element context has been used to approximate the nonlinear behavior during the pressurization and in-service phases. This method is particularly useful when the initial configuration of an inflatable shell is known a priori. For the linearized incremental procedure, the nonlinear solution is regarded as an accumulation of a sequence of linear solutions for initially-stressed shells.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Curvature | Nonlinear response | Linear functions | Arbitration | Geometrics | Slopes | Nonlinear analysis

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