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Title no. 80-45

Buckling of Thin Concrete Domes

by Mehdi S. Zarghamee and Frank J. Heger

A design procedure for determining the buckling strength of concrete In the past 40 years, more than 3000 papers have
domes with prestressed concrete edge rings is presented. This proce been published on the buckling of spherical shells.
dure was developed using a conceptual model for predicting the
Comprehensive surveys of literature on the buckling of
buckling strength of concrete domes based on the available literature
on stability of spherical shells and creep of concrete. The model is spherical shells in general, and concrete domes in par
based on the assumption that the dome contains geometric imperfec ticular, are presented by Kaplan, I Hutchinson and Ko
tions in the form of spherical caps with different radii of curvature. iter," and Scordelis. J The main results of the published
The buckling strength of the dome is governed by the buckling research, significant in the development of our recom
strength of the least resistant cap. To predict the buckling strength of
a shallow concrete cap including the effects of geometric nonlinear
mended procedure for determining critical buckling
ity. creep. and material nonlinearity, a computer analysis of the load, are as follows:
buckling strength of spherical caps having several shallowness pa I. The critical buckling pressure of an elastic spheri
rameters in the critical range was performed using the BOSOR5 com cal shell can be predicted with the available computer
puter program. The effect of cracking on the buckling strength was ized models, considering the nonlinear axisymmetric
approximated by examining the stress states prior to buckling and ju
diciously selecting the time of failure.
deformations of the shell before buckling and the axi
The paper also contains the results of a survey conducted on 245 symmetric as well as the nonaxisymmetric, buckle
thin concrete domes built over large prestressed concrete tanks dur shapes. The results obtained are in agreement to within
ing the past two to three decades. These tend to substantiate the ad about 25 percent with the experimental results obtained
equacy of the proposed design procedure for such domes. Also. a
from carefully conducted tests on near perfect speci
survey of the actual geometry of a dome known to exhibit very se
vere imperfections and an evaluation of published creep buckling test
mens and specimens with specific imperfections.
results were conducted for further evaluation and validation of the 2. Buckles observed after the buckling process on ex
proposed design procedure. periments conducted on concrete and PVC domes are
nearly 2.5 JRi in diameter and are mostly located near
the boundary of the shell.
Keywords: bucklinR: compressive strength; computer programs; creep proper
ties: domes (structural forms); mathematical models; prestressed concrete:
3. The critical buckling load of a spherical shell is se
reinforced concrete: shells (structural forms); spherical shells; structural de verely affected by deviations from its perfectly spheri
sign; tanks (containers). cal shape that result in a significant change of R/t over
a large enough region of the order of magnitude of a
The purpose of this paper is to present a rational buckle size. Imperfections, which are the cause of the
procedure for predicting buckling loads for thin con discrepancy between the experimental results and those
crete spherical shells, similar to those constructed over computed based on the classical theory, result from in
prestressed water tanks. The scope of the procedure is stantaneous deformations, creep deformations, and
limited to thin shells with R/ t ~ 500. For these shells, manufacturing tolerances. The effect of imperfections
the stresses at the time of buckling are not high enough caused by instantaneous deformation is included in
that cracking would result in a significant reduction of nonlinear buckling analyses. Imperfections caused by
the critical buckling load. The procedure developed creep and manufacturing tolerances are responsible for
may be used to design thin reinforced concrete spheri observed deviations of the experimental results from
cal shells that are frequently used as roofs of cylindri those obtained through nonlinear analyses.
cal prestressed concrete water tanks. It may also be
used as the basis for developing design procedures for
Received Jan. 13, 1983, and reviewed under Institute publication policies.
spherical shell roofs of many other types of structures. Copyright 1983. American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved, including
For domes over occupied spaces, higher load factors lhe making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyrighl propri
etors. Pertinent discussion will be published in the September-October 1984 ACI
than the ones proposed may be appropriate. JOURNAL if received by June I, 1984.

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 487

Mehdi .\'. LarKhamee is an aSSUCI(lfe 01 Sunpson Gumpert:. & Heger Inc.. Con 4. Imposed imperfections in the form show in Fig.
sulting Engineers. Arlington. Mass. He received his PhD in structural engi I have little effect on the critical buckling load if such
l1eerlllg .Iroll1 the Unn'enllY of Illmois in /lJ65 and his Schll11 malhematics from imperfections are spread over regions much smaller
:HIT in 1968. Dr. Larghamee Iw.\ per/armed re~ea,.ch and ha.~ h'rlUen papers in
Ihelieltls o/struclural dynamIcs. stabilit.r. structural analysl.'). numerical mefh than the buckle size.
()d~. uptillfi:.atlul1. hydr(Julic.~. mathematics. und al1tefll1a~- litlll propoRalfons. He S. The theoretical study of Bushnell4.5 reveals that
has IX veurs ql experience III ell,stl11eennR pructJce. teach'n)!. and manuxement, imperfections with a diameter of 4.3 -JRt result in the
Frank J. Heger. f-~4 CI. is a sentor principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.. largest reduction of the critical buckling load. Further
Consulling Engineers. Arlington. Mass. and San FranCISCO. Calif. He ;.1 more, imperfections result in high bending stresses at
chalfman of ACI Cummi/lee 344, C{n:ular Prestressed Concrete StruclUres. atld
the boundary of the imperfection region, as well as in
" member 0/ ACI-ASCE CCmll11lflee 445. Shear alld TorSIOn. Dr. Heger re
ceived his ScD Jrom MIT in 1'162 und has JJ I'ears' expertence in structural en side the region. The buckling behavior of an imperfect
gineertnR pran{ce (lnll teachi,,!!.. His other research work has resulted in new spherical shell resembles that of a spherical cap with the
deSign methods .lor hUrled concrete pipe und box sectlOlH. bUried plastic tanks. same geometry as the imperfection and clamped at the
und the seismIC re,Hstum.:e 0.1 pre.... tressed concrete tanks.
6. Experimental studies performed by Krenzke and
Kiernan" on the buckling strength of spherical shells
with imposed imperfections, as shown in Fig. I, sug
gest that average local radii measured over a region of
diameter d = 2.4.JRi may be used for the determina
tion of buckling strength of an imperfect shell. The di
ameter d represents the size of the observed buckles in
the experiments. The expected buckling pressure, based
on these studies, is Pcr = 0.7 Pd' where Pd = 1.1 Et/R,mp
and R,mp is the radius of curvature of the imperfection
7. A theoretical study by Huang' indicates that the
critical buckling load of clamped spherical shells is
lower than that of a shell whose boundary displace
ment conforms with the membrane boundary condition
(i.e., free to displace radially). Therefore, the buckling
load of a deep spherical shell may be conservatively ap
proximated by that of a clamped shallow shell having
the same radius of curvature. Fig. 2 shows the buckling
load for a spherical shell with boundaries that are
clamped, hinged, or free to displace radially.
8. The creep buckling load of spherical shells is a
highly sensitive function of initial geometric imperfec
tions. 8 ,'
9. The creep of a reinforced concrete specimen in
Fig. I - Geometry of imperfection creases significantly as the volume-surface ratio drops'"
(as the shell becomes thinner). This fact not only sug
1.5 gests that thin reinforced concrete shells creep more
t han massive reinforced concrete structures, but also
clouds the results obtained experimentally through test
ing of very thin microconcrete shell specimens.
10. The design procedure presented in the report of
the ACI Committee 344 " yields domes significantly
thinner than the domes designed in accordance with the
~---------------- recommendations of the International Association for
Shell and Spatial Structures.3.12-ll

Slmpl, Supported S".lIow C.p



The concrete domes constructed on prestressed con

crete tanks" are in general characterized by a large ra
dius-to-thickness ratio (R/t ;;:: 500), a rise that is from
o II 10 20 so Vs to i';. of tank diameter, reinforcements located at
section middepth with areas equal to 0.2 to 0.3 percent
Fig. 2 - Comparison between analytical predictions
for buckling of deep and shallow shells with clamped of gross 'area, tapering edge thickness for cast-in-place
boundaries. simply supported boundaries, and bound domes, an edge ring prestressed to resist thrust from
aries free to displace radialIy. full dead load and partial to full live load, and a joint
488 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
between the bottom of the dome edge ring and the tank in the edge zone of cast-in-place domes. The longtime
wall that is either monolithic with the wall and pro deformation of the dome in the imperfection region re
vides full continuity between wall and dome ring, or is duces the curvature and drops the pressure that pro
separated by an elastomeric pad, or is constructed in duces instability. The Hfect of creep deformation is,
such a way as to provide only a partial bending re therefore, a continual reduction of critical buckling
straint. load with time. As the dome creeps and curvature is re
These domes are either cast-in-place using regular duced, membrane and bending stresses grow larger.
concrete or built from precast concrete trapezoidal sec Since the maximum bending stress exceeds the nominal
tions connected by cast-in-place joints. Shotcrete domes membrane stress for a clamped shell, tensile stresses
were used on many older tanks and on some modern form near the boundary of the imperfection regions.
tanks. The recommendations given herein cover only The concrete cracks, and as it cracks, bending mo
monolithic cast-in-place domes; further modifications ments are reduced by material compliance as well as by
can be developed covering specific arrangements of a shift in the neutral plane. Cracking may start at pres
panels and connections for precast domes. Shotcrete sure levels much lower than the buckling load and may
domes are similar to cast-in-place concrete domes and develop further or may be arrested during the buckling
are not recommended for climates subject to freeze process. If the crack grows during buckling, a loss of
thaw conditions. buckling resistance is unavoidable.
The simplified recommendations presented are pred In addition to cracking, high compressive stresses in
icated on the following assumptions about the se concrete, developed probably at the boundaries and in
quence of construction and loading. the cracked sections, may result in a loss of material
1. Dome is supported on its falsework and while so stiffness. A loss in material stiffness will in turn result
supported is properly cured for at least 7 days after in a reduction of buckling resistance.
concrete placement.'" Falsework is removed after 7

2. Dome is subject to dead load (own weight) effects DOMES TO RESIST BUCKLING

for its entire life. A conceptual model that can be used to develop de
3. Maximum live load is applied after the concrete sign formulas for concrete domes on prestressed con
has aged at least 30 days for a continuous duration not crete water tanks is presented. This includes a basic
exceeding one month. model for predicting buckling resistance of domes with
We are interested in knowing the greatest lower geometric imperfections and linear elastic materials and
bound of the ultimate external pressure p that produces its extension for predicting the reduction in this resis
creep buckling of the dome during its life. The ultimate tance due to creep, cracking, and material nonlinearity.
pressure p must satisfy the inequality
Basic model
p ~ 1.4DL + 1.7LL (1) First, consider a deep-clamped spherical shell made
from concrete. Concrete creeps with time, has a non
and is applied as follows: linear stress-strain relationship in compression, and
a fraction of p equal to 1.4DL/(1.4DL + 1.7LL) is cracks when the tensile stress exceeds certain limits.
applied initially; the remaining part of p may be ap Assume that the surface of this shell contains a number
plied at any time t (t is arbitrary) and sustained for 30 of geometric imperfections, each one in the form of a
days. spherical cap as shown in Fig. 1, with various imper
The coefficients 1.4 and 1.7 are the load factors for fection diameters and various imperfection radii of
dead load and live load recommended for use in build curvature. Based on the works of Bushnell: Krenzke
ing design by ACI 318. and Kiernan,6 and Huang,' assume that the buckling
After the application of the dead load by removal of strength of this shell is governed by the lowest buckling
falsework, the shell deforms instantaneously; the de load of the imperfection regions, each assumed to be
formation of the shell consists of a constant radial clamped at its boundary. Applying this assumption to
membrane displacement plus bending deformations the imperfections in our basic model, the buckling of
that occur near the boundary of the dome as well as in the shell is governed by the buckling strength of the
the imperfection regions. The zone of boundary effects imperfection least resistant to external pressure.
for a shallow spherical shell with compressive mem For a linear elastic material with no time-dependent
brane stress is larger than that predicted by a Geckeler properties, the buckling strength of a clamped spheri
type solution. In fact, as pip,./ increases to near unity, cal cap is shown in Fig. 2. The least resistant spherical
asymptotic analysis indicates that the boundary effects cap is the one with a shallowness parameter f,. = 4,
propagate well into the interior of the region without computed based on an average radius of curvature in
decay. Therefore, the deformations of shallow shells the imperfection region. The diameter of the imperfec
cannot be estimated by the membrane deformations. tion corresponding to A = 4 is d = 4.3 ..J Rim,,!, where
A buckle starts to form and grows with time at a
large enough imperfection region; the edge taper and .Domes on small tanks. i.e. tanks with diameters less than 100 ft. are pre
stressed a day or two after casting; for these domes. buckling is robl the govern
prestressed edge beam prevent a buckle from forming ing design criteria.

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 489

R imp and 1 are the average radius of curvature and the the shell segment over the length d is 0.78 1 = 3.13 in.
average thickness of the dome over the imperfection (8 cm). In order to preclude an increased radius due to
region. imperfections greater than 1.4 times the nominal value,
For an actual deep concrete dome, consider cap-like the shell rise over any 24 ft (7 m) diameter region must
regions of the dome centered at points P on the dome not be less than 0.561 = 2.24 in. (5.7 cm). Thus, the
with diameter d = 4.3 -./Rplp where R p and t" are aver shell surface must not deviate by more than 3.13
age radius of curvature and average thickness in the re 2.24 = 0.91 in. (2.3 cm) from the theoretical shape
gion. Let us denote the maximum radius-to-thickness over any 24 ft (7 m) diameter region on the shell sur
ratio in all such regions as face.
Such imperfections reduce the buckling load to a
value that is at least 50 percent of the buckling load of
a shell with no imperfections. The resulting critical
buckling load for a concrete dome, ignoring creep, ma
The buckling load of a clamped spherical cap with A terial nonlinearity, and cracking, is then
= 4 is Pcr = 0.66 E (tl R)2. This suggests that the buck
ling load Pcr of the imperfect dome, ignoring creep,
material nonlinearity, and cracking, may be expressed
Prr = 0.33 E (~ r (5)

The coefficient 0.33 is comparable to the buckling

coefficient of 0.25 given in the report of ACI Commit
tee 344. 11

Effects of creep
where For an elastic shallow spherical cap, creep is ex
pected to reduce the buckling strength of the shell con
1- RII J2 (4)
siderably. To quantify the effect of creep on buckling
13,mp = l(Rlt)m strength, the following two questions must be an
A bound on the magnitude of imperfections has been 1. What is the expected magnitude of the ultimate
defined by the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code l6 creep strain?
requiring that the maximum departure from the true 2. What is the effect of creep strain on the reduction
shape should be less than or equal to the shell thickness of the buckling strength for a spherical cap?
over a chord length of 4.7 .JRi for shells with R/I ~ The magnitude of ultimate creep depends on many
250. This requirement implies that for imperfections of factors including concrete strength, volume-surface ra
the form shown in Fig. 1, the rise of the imperfection tio, duration of load, age of concrete at loading, as well
may drop from 2.771 to 1.77t, corresponding to R;m/R as the average humidity during load application. A
= 1.56 and a reduction in Pcr by about 59 percent; procedure for determining creep of a spherical shell
Therefore, 13,mp = 0.41. [The chord length of 4.7 .J1[i subjected to a load applied on the 28th day after plac
corresponds to 4.7 -./R imp 111.56 = 3.8 -./R,mpl where ing the concrete is as follows:
R,mp and 1 are the average local radius and thickness of 1. Obtain the specific creep,18 the ratio of basic creep
the imperfect region; the corresponding value of A in strain-to-stress, as a function of concrete strength f: .
the imperfection region is 3.5, and Pcr is approximately 2. Obtain the drying creep,19 assuming that there is
0.66 E(tlR,mp)2 (Fig. 2.).] always 100 percent relative humidity inside the tank.
The British Standard BS 5500 17 for metal pressure Under this assumption, the thickness of the dome be
vessels requires that the local radius of curvature, based comes the effective volume-surface ratio.
on an arc length of 2.5 .JRt , should not exceed the 3. Modify drying creep for relative humidity of the
nominal value by more than 30 percent. Therefore, environment in accordance with the correction factor
R,m/R = 1.3, and correspondingly, 13imp = 0.59. The given by Fintel and Khan. '9
selection of 2.5 .J1[i in lieu of 4.3 .JRi is more conser 4. Add drying creep to basic creep to obtain total
vative and is based on the size of the large buckles ob creep for concrete loaded on the 28th day after casting.
served experimentally after the buckling process. (Further modifications for the age of concrete at load
For reinforced concrete domes, it is proposed that ing are discussed below.)
the following bound on the magnitude of imperfections Thin domes creep significantly even when they are
be imposed to prevent failure of domes with large im subjected to live loads, such as snow loads that are as
perfections designed in conformance to this model: The sumed to act for a one-month duration. The fraction of
average radius of curvature measured over a region of total creep that takes place during a month may be ob
diameter d = 2.5 -./RI should not exceed the nominal tained from Reference 10. For example, for a 4 in.
radius of curvature by more than 40 percent. (10.2 em) thick shell, 30-day creep is approximately 25
For a dome with RII = 800 and t = 4 in. (10.2 cm), percent of the ultimate creep. Creep strain due to live
the...minimum diameter of the buckle region is d = 2.5 load should be further reduced to account for the age
-./800/2 = 71 1 = 283 in. "'" 24 ft (7 m), and the rise of of concrete at the time of the application of live load.
490 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
The age of concrete at the time of live load application
cannot be assumed to be 28 days while simultaneously "
~ 2.0 D.... Lo." Cr R.H 10..
considering the ultimate creep for the dead load which ;;

~ .
occurs after infinite time. A reduction factor of 0.6 on :>o
the creep strain was used to account for the age of con
crete at the time of live load application for domes built
on water tanks.

The dead load creep and the live load creep of a c 1.0
dome built from an average concrete with 3750 psi ~
strength is shown in Fig. 3 as a function of shell thick ..

ness. u
For cast-in-place concrete domes prestressed before .. Av.r.g. 8now Lo." Cr....

the 28th day, the creep due to dead load will be more ..
than the total creep obtained from Fig. 3; the amplifi 0.0 L-_ _....L.._ _.....l ..I...._ _....J.. L-.....J
cation factor for the age of concrete at loading to be
applied to dead load is given by Fintel and Khan. 19 The
2 4

creep factors obtained from Fig. 3, after correction for Conor.t. Do... Thlc.. n In.

the age of concrete (7 days) at the time of loading, may Fig. 3 - Creep versus thickenss of a concrete dome lo
be used for design calculations. A single creep amplifi cated in an environment with an annual average out
cation factor may be calculated as the ratio of the sum side relative humidity of 50 percent (arid), 70 percent
of the creep strains due to a factored dead load applied (humid), and inside relative humidity of 100 percent
and loaded after 28 days with f.' = 3750 psi (25.9
on the 7th day and a factored live load applied as de MPA)
scribed above to the sum of the corresponding instan
taneous strains. This value is used for the determina
tion of the buckling strength of a spherical cap with properly, the states of stress near the time of buckling
time-dependent material properties. were examined to determine whether large tensile
The effect of creep strain on the reduction of the stresses had developed. The shell was considered buc
buckling strength of a concrete dome is predicted by a kled when the tensile stress, based on an uncracked
nonlinear analysis that includes the simultaneous ef shell, exceeded an arbitrary, but judiciously selected,
fects of creep, geometric nonlinearity, and stress-strain limit of 1200 psi.
nonlinearity. The analytical procedure employed is de
scribed later in this paper. Effects of material nonlinearity
The stress-strain relationship for concrete is highly
Effects of cracking nonlinear if stress exceeds 0.7 fi . In fact, we may as
To evaluate the effect of cracking, let us first con sume that for design purposes, the stress-strain relation
sider the case of linear elastic material with no time-de of concrete is a multilinear function as shown in Fig. 6
pendent properties. An analytical study by Bushnell on for a concrete with fi = 4000 psi (27.6 MPa).
a spherical shell with an imperfection having a shallow For a thin shell made from linear elastic materials,
ness parameter of" = 4 has shown bending stresses buckling will occur at nominal stress states that may be
which are approximately 1.4 times the nominal mem far below yielding. For example, a perfect dome made
brane stress just prior to buckling. of 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete with R/t = 840 buck
If we consider a section subjected to a combined les when the nominal membrane stress
nominal compressive membrane stress (1 and a maxi
mum bending stress of 1.4(1, a tensile stress of 0.4(1 and R
a compressive stress of 2.4(1 will ensue at the surfaces. (J=
2t Per
For thin domes with a large R/t, the tensile stress may
be less than the tensile strength of concrete. If a tensile ~ 0.33 E(~) = 1416 psi (9.76 MPa) (6)
crack starts at the outer surface of concrete dome, it
will propagate only partially through the thickness of
the dome as the tensile stress diminishes with the crack Geometric imperfections and creep increase the ef
depth due to the shift in the neutral axis. In general, fective radius-to-thickness ratio and hence reduce the
flexural tension cracking in a shell made of linear elas nominal stress (1 even further. For shells with imperfec
tic materials is a highly localized phenomenon and does tions, the combined membrane and bending stress is
not alter the stress state or the stiffness of the shell ap significantly below 2.4(J = 2.4 x 1416 = 3400 psi (23.4
preciably. MPa). Therefore, material nonlinearity is not expected
For nonlinear materials having time-dependent prop to result in a significant reduction of buckling strength
erties, we also expect that the effects of flexural crack for very thin spherical caps made of linear elastic ma
ing on the buckling strength of the dome to be insignif terials.
icant. Although the analytical procedure used for creep Assuming that the effective radius-to-thickness ratio
buckling of shallow caps does not model cracking at buckling due to imperfections is twice the nominal
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 491
value, it can then be estimated that, if the minimum the dome. The BOSOR5 program is applicable to any
nominal R/t is larger than 500, no significant reduc segmented or branched ring stiffened shell of revolu
tion of buckling strength due to material nonlinearity is tion; details of the analysis procedure and its applica
expected to occur. (If R/t is much less than 500, buck tions are given in References 21 through 26. In general,
ling is not expected to be the governing design criteria the analysis procedure involves subjecting the shell to a
for the shell.) fixed external load and computing the stress state and
When the material creeps, the bending moments the prebuckled, axisymmetric deflected configuration of
prior to buckling may grow large, and the maximum the shell at various times. Bifurcation buckling anal
compressive stress may exceed 2.4 times the nominal yses, considering nonsymmetric buckling modes, are
membrane stress assumed previously. Material nonlin made for each deflected configuration.
earity has been incorporated in the creep buckling The creep property of concrete is expressed with a
analysis model. transformed time scale t as
The model uses von Mises yield criteria that the plas
tic strain increment vector is normal to the yield sur (7)
face; therefore, incremental plastic strains are ex
pressed in terms of an effective plastic strain increment As a result of this assumption, specific creep is pro
and an effective stress defined as a = (a~ + a 22 portional to the transformed time 1; furthermore, the
a I0"2)'/,. The multilinear function shown in Fig. 4 is con analysis may be performed by equal time steps. There
sidered as the nonlinear relationship of the effective fore. the method of analysis reduces to determining the
stress to effective strain. transformed time t at which the shell buckles under the
applied loads. The axisymmetric prebuckling analysis
Analytical model and the nonsymmetric buckling analysis are described
For the analytical prediction of the buckling strength below. See Reference 25 for a more detailed descrip
of a reinforced concrete dome subject to creep, crack tion of this process.
ing, and material nonlinearity, Bushnell's BOSOR5
computer program 20 for the prediction of the buckling Axisymmetric prebuckling analysis
strength reduction of a clamped shallow cap with A = In the axisymmetric prebuckling analysis, large de
4 was used. This shell represents the least resistant im flection effects and elastic-plastic material behavior are
perfection of the dome to buckling. Its buckling load simultaneously accounted for by means of a double it
is assumed to be identical to the buckling strength of eration loop. In the inner loop, the nonlinear equa
tions, including terms due to moderately large deflec
tions, are solved by the Newton method. Material
properties, including nonlinearity and creep, are held
constant in this loop. In the outer loop, the material
properties are updated by means of a subincremental
process described in detail in Reference 21. This subin
cremental process permits the use of rather large load
increments without excessive loss of accuracy in the so
'i lution. Plasticity calculations are based on the von
,; Mises yield criterion and associated flow rule. Incre

.... 3000 mental flow theory is always used for the prebuckling
analysis. Iterations over the inner and outer loops con
tinue at a given load level until the displacement vector
converges within a certain prescribed amount. In this
2000 way the favorable convergence property of the Newton
procedure is preserved, equilibrium is satisfied within
the degree of approximation inherent in a discrete
model, and the flow law of the material is satisfied at
every point in the structure at every load increment.

Nonsymmetric buckling analysis

Bifurcation buckling loads corresponding to non
symmetric buckling modes are calculated by selecting
o an initial number of circumferential waves n. For this
.001 .002 .003 .004 .005 .ooe .007 wave number n, the stability determinant is calculated
for each load increment. The load is increased until the
Concr.te Str.ln, In.lln.
stability determinant changes sign and one or more ei
Fig. 4 - Concrete stress strain curve and its multili genvalues are detected between two sequential steps or
near representation for BOSOR5 (1000 psi = 6.894 until the maximum allowable user-specified load has
MPa) been reached. At this point in the calculations, a series
492 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
0 . 8 . - - - . . - - - - . - - -.....- - - - , : - - - - - . - - ,
of eigenvalue problems is set up and solved to deter
mine the bifurcation buckling load corresponding to the
nth circumferential wave. The value of n is changed
within a preselected range of values and the process is
I I.

~U Crackl.,. Not IftclucIad
Numerical results
Employing the analytical model described above for
":'" 0.8

a shallow spherical shell with A = 4 subjected to as ...~!l LIIllItIng T....... 8tr

sumed pressure levels, the state of stress and the defor

mation configuration are calculated at various times
until the shell buckles. The assumed shallow shell rep
resents the least resistant imperfection of a concrete
dome to buckling by external pressure. Using the re 0.4 L---1 ...J.... .L-_ _- - ' .........- - '

sults of this model, we expect to compute a buckling ll.8 1.0 1.8 2.0 2.8
load reduction factor which would be valid for the en eraap 8tra1n I IIl.t.llt....ou. 8tralll
tire dome. The geometry of the shallow shell consid
ered, which represents the imperfection region alone, is Fig. 5 - Reduction factor for buckling stre.ngth of. a
described below: shallow spherical concrete shell due to matenal nonlIn
earity, creep and cracking
R;mp 3000 in. (76.2 m)
t 4 in. (10 cm)
The ratios of the creep strain to the instantaneous strain
E 3.6 x 106 psi (24,800 MPa) for f/ 4000
psi (27.6 MPa) at such times were used to plot Fig. 5, which gives the
buckling reduction factor due to creep, tensile crack
/I 0.17
ing, and material nonlinearity of a concrete dome with
H 9.374 in. (23.8 cm)
O! 4.53 deg A = 4.
The component of deformation resulting from con
Note that R;m/t = 750 corresponds to a nominal ra crete creep increases the radius of curvature of the shell
dius-to-thickness ratio of 536, approximately a lower
and is equivalent to an effective reduction of the shal
bound of the R/t used in concrete domes over pre lowness parameter X. Therefore, it is not known
stressed tanks. For shells with larger radius-to-thick
whether the analysis performed for A = 4 results in "a
ness ratios, the stresses are expected to be lower and the minimum buckling load for a shell material that creeps
effect of the nonlinearity of stress-strain relationship with time. (Note that the value of X = 4 is selected
less significant. from Fig. 2 as the shallowness parameter correspond
For the shallow shell considered, the classical buck ing to the minimum buckling load of a spherical shell
ling load is Prl = 1080 psf (5270 kgflm 2). Assuming fi with a fixed Rlt, computed on the basis of linear elas
nite deformations but material linearity and elasticity tic materials with no time-dependent properties). To
(no time-dependent variation of properties), the critical test whether imperfections with larger shallowness pa
buckling load as expressed by Eq. (3) may be written as rameters (deeper shells) are more susceptible to creep
Pr, = 0.55Pd = 590 psf (2880 kgf/m 2 ). Using the buckling including material nonlinearity, a shallow shell
BOSOR5 program, the buckling strength of this shell with the same Rand t but with X = 6 was subjected to
considering creep, cracking, and material nonlinearity the same pressure levels, matching the critical trans
of concrete was predicted. These results were employed formed times corresponding to A= 4. The shell did not
to predict the values for the buckling load reduction buckle in either the axisymmetric or asymmetric modes.
factor of the concrete shell considered. The method of Therefore, critical imperfection is expected to have a
analysis consisted of applying various loads p < Pc, and shallowness parameter close to A = 4 with a buckling
analyzing the states of stress and deformation in the load, including the effects of cracking, material nonlin
shell at various times as the concrete creeps until the earity, and creep, which is not different appreciably
shell snaps through. from those obtained for A = 4 and reported herein.
When the shell buckles, the transformed time at
Note that snap-through buckling of the critical imper
buckling is the ratio of creep strain to instantaneous
fection takes place axisymmetrically; it, in turn may
strain. The analytical model does not incorporate the
trigger asymmetric snap-through buckling of the dome
effect of concrete cracking. In general, prior to insta
bility a small tensile region may exist near the bound
ary of the shallow shell. As the buckling load ap
proaches, large bending stress, and hence a tensile re BASIC DESIGN PROCEDURE
gion, develops near the center of the shell away from The procedure for the design of concrete domes over
the boundaries. We have examined the state of stress in prestressed concrete tanks to resist buckling, based on
the shell at times immediately prior to buckling and the foregoing discussion, is as follows:
have selected the time of failure as the time at which a 1. Select a trial value for dome thickness t for a dome
maximum tensile stress of 1200 psi (8.3 MPa) develops. having a given radius.
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 493
2. Estimate dead load DL, based on trial dome 5. Based on the design live load, select a value for
thickness, snow load SL, and live load LL. reducing buckling strength of the dome due to creep,
3. Compute factored dead load I.4DL, factored material nonlinearity, and cracking as follows
snow load 1.7SL, and factored live load 1.7LL.
4. Select a value of capacity reduction factor ep = 0.7 (3 _ {0.44 + 0.003 (LL) for 12 ~ LL < 30
to account for the variability of concrete properties, < - 0.53 for LL ~ 30 (11)
dome construction, and accuracy of buckling analysis.
5. Select a value for the reduction factor of buckling where LL is in psf.
strength due to imperfections {3;mp = 0.5 if the average If an existing dome has been designed for less than 12
radius of curvature R;mp measured over a re~ion of di psf (58.6 kgflm 2) live load, the reduction factor for
ameter d = 2.5.JRi is not more than IAR, where R is buckling strength becomes a function of thickness
the nominal radius of curvature; otherwise, select {3imp which may be expressed as
= (R/R;mp)2.
6. Select a buckling reduction factor {3< due to creep,
material nonlinerarity, and cracking of concrete by ob {3< = 0.476 + (0.0051 - 0.046) (I - ~~) (12)
taining the creep factor under the dead load and the
snow load from Fig. 3 after correcting the dead load
creep for the age of concrete at the time of loading '9 if
different from 28 days. From the dead-load and snow where LL is in psf.
load components of creep, total creep strain and, 6. Calculate E from Eq. (9).
therefore, {3< may be computed using Fig. 5. 7. Compute the creep buckling load of the dome Po,
7. Compute incorporating the effects of geometric imperfections
and of concrete properties from

P ~ = 0.66 ep {3;mp {3<E (~ y (8) (13)

where (3< is obtained from Eq. (11).
E = 57,000...g;, f: in psi (9) 8. Check that p ~ Po.


8. Check that the factored total load P ~ p~ where
A survey of large concrete domes that have been
constructed over prestressed concrete water tanks by
P = I.4DL + I.7LL (10)
the major builders of prestressed concrete tanks in the
United States was conducted as a part of our study.
Initially, a questionnaire was prepared to assemble the
A simplified design procedure is developed based on
basic geometric and loading information about existing
the basic procedure previously described. This simpli
large thin domes. Criteria were given so that the only
fied procedure is based on the following additional as
domes included were those whose R/l ratio resulted in
a safety factor of 6 or less, based on the following
The dead load of the dome is applied no sooner than
buckling equation given in the report of ACI Commit
7 days after the concrete is cast.
tee 344, and an assumed design live load of 30 psf (146
The live load is due only to snow.
The dome is designed for a minimum live load of 12 kgflm 2).
psf (58.6 kgflm 2).
The dome has a nominal thickness which is not less S(DL + LL)
~ (14)
than 2Yz in. (6.4 cm). R 0.25 E
Minimum nominal concrete strength is f: = 3000 psi
(20.7 MPa).
The simplified design procedure under these condi where DL and LL are unit dead and live loads. E is the
tions is as follows: initial elastic modulus of concrete, and S is the safety
1. Choose a trial thickness for a dome with radius R. factor which incorporates allowance for creep and is
2. Calculate the factored total load P from Eq. (10). normally between 4 and 6.
3. Select a value of ep = 0.7 to account for the vari The survey included 245 domes that were built pri
ability of concrete properties and accuracy of buckling marily in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s,
analysis. 1970s, and early 1980s. The frequency distribution of
4. Select a value for the reduction of buckling tank diameters and the rise, thickness, radius-to-thick
strength caused by imperfections {3;mp = 0.5 based on ness ratio, and concrete strength of the surveyed domes
the premise that the average radius of curvature R;mp are shown in Fig. 6 through 10. The type of construc
measured over a region of diameter 2.5 .JRi" does not tion of the dome, dome-to-tank wall joint, and the pre
exceed 1.4 times the nominal radius of curvature stressing levei are given in Table 1.
494 ACI JOURNAL I NovemberDecember 1983
67 187




80 100 120 140 180 180 200 220

Tank Dlemeter, It

Fig. 6 - Frequency distribution of tank diameter for 35

surveyed domes (1 ft :::: 0.3048 m)
2 1

1/8 1/10 1/12 1/14 1/18


Dome AI / B... DI.m.t.r

Fig. 7 - Frequency distribution of dome rise to base
diameter ratio for surveyed domes


25 26
2 3
I 3 2 1

2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 &00 &&0 800 850 700 7&0 800 8&0 100 1&0

t, tn. R/t

Fig. 8 - Frequency distribution of thickness for sur Fig. 9 - Frequency distribution of radius-to-thickness
veyed domes (l in. = 25.4 ,em) ratio for surveyed domes
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 495
132 Table 1 (a) - Type of construction of surveyed
Type Percent
Cast in place 74
Precast 4
Shotcrete or gunite 22


Table 1 (b) - Type of dome/wall joint of surveyed

Type Percent
Elastomeric pad 12
Monolithic 80
9 Partial 8

3500 4000 4500 5000
Table 1 (c) - Prestressing level of surveyed
t ~ ,pel
Type Percent
Fig. 10 - Frequency distribution of concrete strength Full live load 96

of surveyed domes (1000 psi = 6.894 M~a) Partial live load 4

The thickness of these domes ranges from 2 to 4.75 The following two ratios related to the design proce
in. (5.1 to 12.1 em). All the 2 in. thick domes included dures herein were also computed.
in the survey were built before 1965; in fact, after 1968 1. The ratio of Po the maximum factored total dead

there is no dome among those surveyed with less than 3 and live loads that the dome can carry computed from
in. (7.6 em) of thickness. our basic design procedure, to the sum of the corre
The nominal concrete strengths are in most cases in sponding factored design loads p. This ratio represents
the range of 3500 to 4000 psi (24.1 to 27.6 MPa). None an additional margin of safety against creep buckling
of the domes surveyed had a nominal concrete strength beyond the safety factor included in our design proce
of less than 3500 psi (24.1 MPa). With the exception of dure.
several shotcrete (or gunite) domes, concrete design 2. The ratio of Po, the maximum factored total dead
strengths of more than 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) are used and live loads that the dome can carry computed from
only occasionally. our simplified design procedure, to the sum of the cor
The radius-to-thickness ratios of the domes surveyed responding factored design loads p. This ratio should
range between 500 and 960. Several domes with a ra differ from the previous ratio only by the approxima
dius-to-thickness ratio of more than 900 were built in tion in simplification.
1960s, but none in the 70s or 80s. These analyses show that the proposed simplified de
sign procedure is quite accurate, and Po does not differ
The live loads used for the original design of the from Po by more than a few percent.
domes vary considerably, ranging from 2 to 40 psf (9.8 The frequency distribution of the additional margin
to 195.3 kgf/m 2 ). Extremely low values of live load, of safety, over and above the requirements of the pro
much less than the minimum value specified by BOCA posed simplified design method, is given in Fig. 11 for
and the Uniform Building Code, have been used for the surveyed domes. It shows that from the 245 domes
various domes located in the southern U.S. that were surveyed, eight domes are slightly underdesigned based
designed and built from late 1950s to as recently as on the proposed methods, two have no additional mar
gin of safety, and about seven domes have small addi
To analyze the data assembled through our initial tional margins with respect to the design criteria pre
survey, the ratio of Po. the sum of the allowable dead sented herein. Out of these 17 domes, 8 were built in
plus live loads computed from the design formula of 60s,S in 70s, and 4 in 80s. Several of these domes have
ACI 344 with S = 4, to the sum of the design dead and been designed for extremely small live loads, as low as
live loads p' were computed for each dome. The 5 psf. As far as we know, these domes have survived
amount of this ratio that exceeds one represents the ad since late 60s and early or mid 70s without any prob
ditional margin of safety of the dome against buckling lems.
beyond the minimum design criteria of ACI 344. The variation with live load of the safety margin
The results indicate that 41 domes, or one out of computed in accordance to the design criteria given in
every six domes surveyed, are thinner than required by this report to that computed in accordance with ACI
the design criteria of ACI 344. This conclusion is valid 344 is given in Fig. 12. The results shown in Fig. 12 in
not only for domes designed and built before ACI 344 dicate that the design criteria of ACI 344 correspond on
recommendations were published, but also for some the average to allowable loads that are about 25 per
domes built as late as 1981. cent more conservative than the allowable loads pre-
496 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
dicted from the simplified design criteria. This differ profile. If it is not assumed that the rib deflection has
ence reduces to about 12 percent when the design live been compensated, an error of I/. in. (6 mm) may en
load is very small and reaches about 35 percent for a 40 sue.
psf (195.3 kgf/m') live load. 4. The tolerances in cutting ribs and deflections of
The actual geometric and material characteristics of sheathing, etc., probably do not affect a large enough
the surveyed domes may differ from the nominal val region to cause a reduction of the buckling strength.
ues. The actual concrete strength, especially after suf On the b~sis of the peak errors assumed above. we
ficient time has elapsed for almost all creep deforma expect to have a peak geometric imperfection of less
tions to take place. is usually higher than the nominal than a I in. (25 mm) over a 20 ft (6 m) region. For a
design value. However, in certain circumstances there 3 in. (7.6 cm) thick concrete dome with R = 130 ft
is a possibility of delivery of a truckload of lower (39.6 m), this results in approximately 28 percent in
strength concrete. The concrete in a 10 yd 3 (7.6 m') crease in the radius of curvature, approximately ~!J of
mixing truck covers approximately 1000 ftc (93 me) of a the permissible imperfection of 41 percent.
3-in. (7.6-cm) dome. This area is equivalent to the area Recently, the deviations of the surface points from
of a circular disk 37 ft (9.1 m) in diameter. If concrete the true spherical shape of a 4 in. (10.1 cm) thick 240 ft
is cast in approximately circular areas, the area that (73.1 m) radius concrete dome were measured. The
contains the lower strength mix can be larger than a dome was built from 4000 psi (27.6 MPa) concrete and
buckle size. As concrete strength affects the instanta is believed to have very severe imperfections compared
neous modulus of elasticity by its square root, the ef to most concrete domes. The measured deviations are
fect on the critical buckling load of the variability in the shown in Fig. 13. Our calculations show that the radius
concrete strength is not expected to exceed the <b factor of curvature in the imperfection region is about 360 ft
of 0.7, which is equivalent to a concrete strength re (110 m), and the size of imperfection is sufficiently
duction by as much as 50 percent. large to affect buckling strengh. This results in a 13""1' =
The actual thickness of the dome is not expected to 0.45 which is only 10 percent less than the value rec
be significantly less than the design value because of the ommended herein for design purposes. Note that this
level of control exerted by the builders. Even if mea dome does not satisfy the bound we have placed on im
surable variation of thickness exists, it is not likely that perfections. The value for (3, from Fig. 5 is estimated at
a significant underthickness would extend over an area 0.51 [or from Eq. (II) at 0.50]. Therefore, the buckling
comparable in size to a 20 to 30 ft (6.1 to 9.1 m) diam strength of the dome computed from Eq. (8) is 106 psf
eter buckle, depending upon the radius and the thick (518 kgflm') or 104 psf (508 kgflm') using the simpli
ness of the shell. fied procedure, which is adequate for supporting its
The actual imperfections of a cast-in-place dome de factored dead plus live load of 102 psf (498 kgflm').
pend on the accuracy and stiffness of the formwork
and its support. One of the existing form work systems BUCKLING TESTS OF MODEL

was examined to estimate actual imperfections. This MICROCONCRETE DOMES

system was designed for a 130 ft (39.6 m) radius dome Vandepitte and Rathe'7.Z8 report on a series of exper
consisting of sheathing supported on curved radial ribs iments conducted on creep buckling of spherical domes
approximately II to 12 ft (3.3 to 3.7 m) long placed 3 made of microconcrete. The domes were approxi
ft (I m) on center which, in turn. are supported on mately 0.7 cm (0.28 in.) thick with a radius of 2.43 m
concentric rings. The ribs are cut of 2 x 10 No. I (96 in.) and a rise of 0.193 m (7.6 in.). Creep buckling
southern yellow pine and have a minimum depth at the tests were conducted on specimens with and without
center of 8 V, in. (21.6 cm). The rings are comprised of prestressed edge beams. Since the clamping device may
straight W8 x 10 wide flange steel sections supported cause significant deformations or imperfections near
independently at points approximately 10 ft (3 m) apart the boundary of an unprestressed shell and thus cause
located on a series of jack-supported purlins on the top scatter in test results, only results of the experiments
of scaffold towers. conducted on specimens with prestressed edge beams
The imperfections in the geometry of the dome are were considered. The average buckling strength of the
caused by test specimens under a short-time loading was reported
I. Error in the height of wide flange support result to be Pa = 0.62 E (fIR)'. The scatter in the data was
ing from measurement error in the height of a purlin, approximately 20 percent peak.
assembly tolerances. and differential deflections. Such Total creep was measured independently on thin bars
errors affect a region of the dome of the size compara of microconcrete cast from the same batches as the test
ble to a buckle. The peak error is considered to be specimens. The bars were kept under the same condi
about I/~ in. (13 mm). tions of temperature and humidity as the test speci
2. Error caused by the deflection of wide flange sec mens. The ratio of creep strain to instantaneous strain
tions, which also affects a region comparable in size to was computed for each bar on the day that the corre
a buckle. The magnitude of this error is about Vs in. (3 sponding test specimen buckled.
mm). Creep buckling tests were conducted by subjecting
3. Error caused by the deflection of the ribs. This er the domes to various percentages of the average buck
ror may be essentially compensated for in cutting the ling load and recording the time to failure. The anal
ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 497
58 1.40 r-----r---"T"""----r---.,-----,



.. ..
--- 1.10
.50 .75 1.0 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.0 2.25 2.50 2.75 3.0 3.211 3.50

1.00 L...-_ _......I. ....L..._ _---l ....L._ _---'

o 10 20 30 40 110

Fig. 11 - Frequency distribution of the ratio of buck

ling load Po to factored dead and live loads p of sur
Fig. 12 - Variation with live load of the ratio of the
veyed domes
safety margin computed according to our design crite
ria to that computed in accordance to the criteria given
in ACI 344 (1 psf = 4.883 kg/1m;)

0.8 r---~r__-__,r_-__,r_-__,----r----,



. 0.3

0.2 L..-_ _l..-_ _l..-_ _l..-_ _l..-_.....II-._--'

o 100 200 300 400 500 800

Time In Dey.

Fig. 14 - Calculated reduction in buckling strength of

prestressed test specimens of Vandepitte and Ralfle and
the measured results.
--'o~'t .~~",,-
~ 'Il-
f - I- ' - " - - - . ,

ling from Fig. 5. Results are presented in Fig. 14; test

____ I

" __ "

results performed from Vandepitte and Rathe are also

8'9;:-'- - - . . . _ - - - -
\ 41
plotted in Fig. 14. Note that the test specimens have a
radius-to-thickness ratio of about 350; consequently,
the effects of material nonlinearity and cracking on
buckling strength are much more significant than the
Fig. 13 - Difference in inches (1 in. = 25.4 mm) be concrete domes considered herein. Nevertheless. it can
tween the theoretical and the existing elevations for a 4 be concluded that our procedure is in general agree
in. (l0.2 cm) thick concrete dome covering a 185 ft ment with the test results. Note that the scatter in thc
(56.4 m) diameter prestressed concrete tank known to test results may be due to the material and geometric
have severe imperfections. variations in the test specimens.

yses presented by the authors in Reference 23 do not SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

appear to be satisfactory for our purposes. Employing Based on the studies conducted on the buckling
the calculated ultimate creep of 2.5 times the instanta strength of reinforced concrete domes built on pre
neous creep and the assumed variation of creep with stressed tanks, a conceptual model and a simplified
time based on Reference 10, the reduction factor in the procedure were developed for design of reinforced con
average buckling load of the specimens due to creep of crete domes against buckling. The proposed conceptual
concrete were computed for the elapsed time to buck- model and simplified design formulas are based on an
498 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983
extensive review of theoretical and experimental infor t thickness or average thickness
S safety factor in accordance with ACI 344-78.
mation on stability of domes, review of the creep phe
a halfsubtended angle of a spherical cap
nomenon in concrete materials, and an actual com {3,mp buckling strength reduction factor due to imperfection
puter analysis, using the BOSOR5 computer program, (3, buckling strength reduction factor due to creep. material
of the effect of the creep of concrete and nonlinearity nonlinearity, and cracking of concrete
of stress-strain relationship on the buckling strength of -y Poisson's ratio
E, creep strain
a dome. The effect of cracking was also incorporated
t, instantaneous strain
by examining the state of stress in the shell prior to
buckling and judiciously selecting the time of failure for A shallowness parameter = ,y12(1 - ,r) (~) "'a
design purposes as the time at which tensile region
starts to grow through the thickness. SI CONVERSIONS
The proposed design procedure is based on an as
I in. 25.4 mm = 2.54 em
sumed geometric imperfection where the average radius
1000 Iblin.' 6.894 MPa
of curvature over a region of at least 2.5 .JRT in di lib 4.448 N
ameter must not exceed the nominal radius by more I~f 4.882 kg!(m'
than 40 percent. Analysis of a method of forming of ..;];,J: in psi 0.083";]; when!: is in MPa
the dome during construction indicates that the actual
imperfections typically are less than those assumed. A
survey was conducted on an existing dome to quantify I. Kaplan, A . "Buckling of Spherical Shells," Thin Shell Struc
the magnitude of the actual imperfections. The sur tures-Theory, Experiments. and Design, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Engle
veyed dome was known to exhibit very severe geomet wood Cliffs, 1974, pp. 247-288.
ric imperfections. Our analysis of the strength of this 2. Hutchinson, 1. W., and Koiter. W. T., "Postbuckling The
ory," Applied Mechanics Review, V. 23, 1970, pp. 1353-1356.
dome supports the validity of our basic approach to
3. Scordelis. Alex c., "Stability of Reinforced Concrete Domes
geometric imperfections. and Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shells," Concrete Shell Buckling, SP-67,
The conceptual model and the simplified design pro American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1981, pp. 63-110.
cedure were applied to 245 thin concrete domes de 4. Bushnell, D., "Nonlinear Axisymmetric Behavior of Shells of
signed and built by major prestressed concrete tank Revolution," AIAA Journal, V. 5. No.3, Mar. 1967, pp. 432-439.
builders. The fact that there are at least 17 existing 5. Bushnell, D., "Symmetric and Nonsymmetric Buckling of Fi
nitely Deformed Eccentrically Stiffened Spherical Shells of Revolu
domes whose dimensions are close to the dimensions tion." AIAA Journal, V. 5, No.8, Aug. 1967. pp. 1455-1462.
that would result from our proposed design formulas is 6. Krenzke, M. A . and Kiernan, T. J., "The Effect of Initial Im
not proof but indicates that the proposed procedure is perfections on the Collapse Strength of Deep Spherical Shells," David
valid. Further, it is noteworthy that a few of these Taylor Model Basin Report 1757, Department of the Navy, Feb.
domes were designed primarily to carry their dead load 1965,34 pp.
7. Huang, N., "Unsymmetrical Buckling of Thin Shallow Spheri
with almost negligible design live loads. cal Shells," Journal of Applied Mechanics, V. 31, Transactions,
ASME, V. 86, Sept. 1964. pp. 447-457.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT 8. Shi, J. J. 1.; Connor, D. J.; and Bauld, N. R., Jr., "Applica
Financial support for the study was provided by three major pre tion of the Variational Theorem for Creep of Shallow Spherical
stressed concrete tank builders: The Crom Corporation, Gainsville, Shells," AIAA Journal, V. 8, No.3, Mar. 1970, pp. 469-476.
Fla., Natgun Corporation, Wakefield, Mass.; Preload Concrete 9. Jones, N., "Creep Buckling of a Complete Sphere," Journal of
Structures, Inc .. Garden City. N.Y.; and by Simpson Gumpertz & Applied Mechanics, V. 43, Transactions, ASME, V. 98, Sept. 1976,
Heger Inc., Consulting Engineers, Arlington, Mass. The three pre pp. 450-454.
stressed concrete tank builders also provided valuable technical co 10. Hansen, Torben c., and Mattock, Alan H., "Influence of Size
operation as well as most of the information for the survey of exist and Shape of Member on the Shrinkage and Creep of Concrete,"
ing domes. Additional information for the dome survey was pro ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 63, No.2, Feb. 1966, pp. 267-290.
vided by Crom Prestressing. Inc., and BRR Prestressed Tanks, Inc. II. ACI Committee 344, "Design and Construction of Circular
Prestressed Concrete Structures," (ACI 344R-70) (Reaffirmed 1981),
American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 1970, 16 pp.
NOTATION 12. "Recommendations for Reinforced Concrete Shells and Folded
d diameter of imperfection region Plates," International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures.
DL dead load Madrid, 1979,66 pp.
LL live load 13. Nelson, K. 0., and Henager, C. H., "Analysis of Shotcrete
H rise of dome Domes Loaded by Deadweight," Preprint No. 81-512, ASCE Con
E modulus of elasticity vention (St. Louis, Oct. 1981), American Society of Civil Engineers,
classical buckling load of a linear elastic dome New York, 1981. 11 pp.
critical buckling load of a linear elastic dome including fi 14. Dulacska, Endre, "Buckling of Reinforced Concrete Shells,"
nite deformations Proceedings, ASCE, V. 107, STI2, Dec. 1981, pp. 23812401.
p' critical buckling load of a concrete dome including finite de 15. Bi!lington, David P., Thin Shell Concrete Structures, 2nd Edi
formations, material nonlinearity, creep, and cracking tion, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1982, pp. 311-329.
factored dead and live load 16. Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, American Society of Me
nominal radius of curvature of dome chanical Engineers, New York, 1977, Section III, Divisions I and 2.
average radius of curvature of dome in an imperfection re 17. "Unfired Fusion Welded Pressure Vessels," (BS 5500-1976),
gion British Standards Institution, London, 1976.
average radius of curvature and thickness of dome over an 18. Hickey, Ken B., "Creep of Concrete Predicted from Elastic
imperfection region centered at point P Modulus Tests," Report No. C-1242, U. S. Bureau of Reclamation,
f: concrete strength Denver, Jan. 1968,29 pp.

ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983 499

19. Fintel, Mark, and Khan. Fazlur R., "Effects of Column Creep ASME, V. 99, Feb. 1977, pp. 54-63.
and Shrinkage in Tall Structures-Prediction of Inelastic Column 25. Bushnell, D., and GaJletly, G. D., "Stress and Buckling of In
Shortening," ACI JOURNAL, Proceedings V. 66, No. 12, Dec. 1969, ternally Pressurized Elastic-Plastic Torispherical Pressure Vessel
pp. 957-967. Heads-Comparisons of Test and Theory," Journal oj Pressure
20. Bushnell, D., "BOSOR5-Program for Buckling of Elastic Vessel Technology. Transactions. ASME, V. 99, Feb. 1977, pp. 39
Plastic Complex Shells of Revolution Including Large Deflections and 53.
Creep," Computers & Structures. V. 6, 1976, pp. 221-239. 26. Bushnell, D., "A Strategy for the Solution of Problems In
21. Bushnell. D., "Large Deflection Elastic-Plastic Creep Analysis volving Large Deflections, Plasticity and Creep," International
of Axisymmetric Shells," Numerical Solution oj Nonlinear Struc Journal oj Numerical Methods in Engineering. V. II, 1977, pp. 683
tural Problems, AMD-V. 6, American Society of Mechanical Engi 708.
neers, New York, 1973. pp. 103-138. 27. Vandepitte, Daniel; Rathe, Jaques; and Weymeis, Godelieve,
22. Bushnell, D., "Bifurcation Buckling of Shells of Revolution "An Experimental Investigation into the Buckling and Creep Buck
Including Large Deflections, Plasticity and Creep," International ling of Shallow Spherical Caps Subjected to Uniform Radial Pres
Journal oj Solids & Structures. V. 10, 1974, pp. 1287-1305. sure," Proceedings. lASS World Congress on Shell and Spatial
23. Bushnell, D., "Buckling of Elastic-Plastic Shells of Revolution Structures (Madrid, Sept. 1979), Laboratorio Central de Estructuras
with Discrete Elastic-Plastic Ring Stiffeners," International Journal y Materiales, Madrid, 1980, V. I, pp. 1.1-1.15.
oj Solids & Structures, V. 12, 1976, pp. 51-66. 28. Weymeis, G., "Investigation of Snap-Through Buckling of
24. Bushnell, D., "Nonsymmetric Buckling of Internally Presssur Concrete Domes (Onderzoek van het instabiliteitsverschijnsel bij be
ized Ellipsoidal and Torispherical Elastic-Plastic Pressure Vessel tonnen koepels)," Laboratory for Model Investigation, State Univer
Heads," Journal oj Pressure Vessel Technology. Transactions. sity. Gent, 1976, 149 pp.

500 ACI JOURNAL I November-December 1983