Plastic Sandwich Buckle-Shell Structures

by V. James Meyer, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN,
Dhamo T. Ramani, Grad. Asst.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN,
Mark E. Greenwood, Engr.; Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., Huntingdon, PA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 11, Pg. 2381-2397

Document Type: Journal Paper


A method of constructing curved sandwich shell roof structures is presented which requires virtually no forming, shoring or bracing and allows the majority of work to take place at ground level with the roof in a flat configuration. Experimental and numerical (finite element) analysis techniques are discussed. Two models of such buckle-shell structures (a cylindrical shell and a groined vault) with urethane foam cores and glass reinforced polyester skins are described. Results of experimental investigations of the behavior of these two models are compared with numerical solutions obtained by the finite element method. It is concluded that the results of this work demonstrate the potential for the use of structural plastics in building structures.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Plastics | Buckling | Roofs | Curvature | Shoring | Bracing | Structural models

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