Probing shells against buckling: a non-destructive technique for laboratory testing
International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
World Scientific Publishing
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 30th December 2018 in compliance with publisher policy.
This paper addresses testing of compressed structures, such as shells, that exhibit catastrophic buckling and notorious imperfection sensitivity. The central concept is the probing of a loaded structural specimen by a controlled lateral displacement to gain quantitative insight into its buckling behaviour and to measure the energy barrier against buckling. This can provide design information about a structure's stiffness and robustness against buckling in terms of energy and force landscapes. Developments in this area are relatively new but have proceeded rapidly with encouraging progress. Recent experimental tests on uniformly compressed spherical shells, and axially loaded cylinders, show excellent agreement with theoretical solutions. The probing technique could be a valuable experimental procedure for testing prototype structures, but before it can be used a range of potential problems must be examined and solved. The probing response is highly nonlinear and a variety of complications can occur. Here, we make a careful assessment of unexpected limit points and bifurcations, that could accompany probing, causing complications and possibly even collapse of a test specimen. First, a limit point in the probe displacement (associated with a cusp instability and fold) can result in dynamic buckling as probing progresses, as demonstrated in the buckling of a spherical shell under volume control. Second, various types of bifurcations which can occur on the probing path which result in the probing response becoming unstable are also discussed. To overcome these problems, we outline the extra controls over the entire structure that may be needed to stabilize the response.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 27, No. 14