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The Islamic University of Gaza

Department of Civil Engineering

ENGC 6353

Shell Structures

Design of Spherical Shells (Domes)

Shell Structure

A thin shell is defined as a shell with a relatively small thickness, compared with its other dimensions.

Shell Structure

Four commonly occurring Shell Types:

Barrel Vault

Dome

Hyperbolic Paraboloid (Hypar)

Folded Plate

What is a shell structure?

To answer this question, we have to investigate some important notions

of structural design.

Two-dimensional structures: beams and arches

A beam responds to loading by bending

the top elements of the beam are

compressed and the bottom is extended:

the development of internal tension and

compression is necessary to resist the applied vertical loading.

An arch responds to loading by compressing.

The elements through the thickness of the arch are being compressed approximately equally. Note that there is some bending also present.

Plate Bending

A plate responds to transverse loads by bending

This is a fundamentally inefficient use of material, by analogy to

the beam. Moreover, bending introduces tension into the

convex side of the bent plate.

Plate bending vs. membrane stresses

Note: this is an experiment you can try yourself by folding a sheet

of paper into a box.

This slide shows a concrete plate of 6

thickness, spanning 100 feet, resisting

its own weight by plate bending

If the plate is shaped into a box,

then each of the sides of the box

resists bending by the development

of membrane stresses. The box

structure is much stronger and stiffer!

Domes

A shell is shaped so that it will develop membrane

stresses in response to loads

The half-dome shell responds to transverse loads by development of

membrane forces. Note that lines on the shell retain approximately their

original shape.

Domes

The primary response of a dome to loading is development of membrane

compressive stresses along the meridians, by analogy to the arch.

The dome also develops compressive or tensile membrane stresses along

lines of latitude. These are known as hoop stressesand are tensile at the

base and compressive higher up in the dome.

(comp.)

Circumferential Hoop Stress

Meridional Compressive Stress

Circumferential Hoop Stress (tens.)

In this figure, the blue color
represents zones of
compressive stress only.
The colors beyond blue
represent circumferential
tensile stresses, intensifying
as the colors move towards
the red.
A dome that is a segment of
a sphere not including
latitudes less than 50 does
not develop significant hoop
tension.

The half-dome shell does develop membrane tensile stresses, below about 50north latitude.These are also known as hoop stresses

Barrel Vaults

compression
Arch
(compression)
tension

A barrel vault functions two ways

In the transverse

direction, it is an arch developing

compressive

membrane forces that

are transferred to the

base of the arch

When unsupported along its length, it is more like a

beam, developing compressive membrane forces near

the crown of the arch, and tensile membrane forces at

the base.

Barrel Vaults

A barrel vault is a simple extension of an arch shape along the width. It

can be supported on continuous walls along the length, or at the corners, as in this example. If supported on the corners, it functions as an arch

across the width, and as a beam, with compression on the top and tension

on the bottom in the long direction.

This form is susceptible to distortion.

Barrel Vault, continued

As with any arch, some form of lateral restraint is required--

this figure shows the influence of restraining the base of

the arch--the structure is still subject to transverse bending

stresses resulting from the distortion of the arch.

Folded Plates

Folded plate structures were widely favored for their simplicity of forming, and the variety of forms that were available.

Perpendicular to the

main span, the shell acts

as short span plates in

transverse bending

In the main span direction, the

shell develops membrane tension

at the bottom and compression at

the top, in analogy to a beam in bending

Whats wrong with this Folded Plate Structure?

Compare to the discussion of barrel vaults, and see if you can tell what key

element is missing from the folded plate shown.

It is missing transverse diaphragms, especially at the ends.

When adding a diaphragm at the two ends and at midspan. The folded plate

shell distorts much less.

Thin Shell Structures

Two type of stresses are produced:

 1 Meridional stresses along the direction of the meridians 2 Hoop stresses along the latitudes

Bending stresses are negligible, but become significant when the rise

of the dome is very small

(if the rise is less than the about1/8 the base diameter the shell is

considered as a shallow shell)

Thin Shell Structures

Assumption of Analysis

 1. Deflection under load are small. 2. Points on the normal to the middle surface of deformation will remain on the normal after deformation 3. Shear stresses normal to the middle surface can be neglected

Spherical Shells

Internal Forces due to dead load w/m 3

Consider the equilibrium of a ring enclosed between two

Horizontal section AB and CD

The weight of the ring ABCD itself acting vertically downward

The meridional thrust Nper unit length acting tangentially at B

The reaction thrust N+d Nper unit unit length at point D

H

N

C

E
N 
A
F
B
D
a
r
d
a 

N +dN

E
N 
A r’
F
B
D
C
N
a
r
H
d
N 
a
Meridional Force N
Surface area of shell AEB
A 
2
a EF

+dN

EF

a

1

cos

W

W

N

r

'

N

w

 

D

w

 

D

A

2

D

a

2

(2

r

')sin

a

sin

2

a

EF

(1

w

D

cos

)

2

a

2

(1

cos

)

w

D

a

(1

cos

)

w

D

a

(1

cos

)

sin

2

(1 cos

)(1

cos

)

w

D

a

1

cos

+ve compression

-ve tension

E
N 
A
F
B
D
C
N
 +dN 
a
 r
H
d
N 
a 
Hoop Force N
The difference between the
N
and
N
 dN
which respectively acts at
N
angles
and
 d
with the horizontal give rise to the hoop force.
B
d
Hoope force = N ad
The horizontal component of
N
is N cos
W
D
N
causes hoop tension
N
a cos
sin
N  +dN 
similarly
The horizontal component of
N
+d
N
is
N
+d
N
cos
d

N

+d

N

causes hoop tension

N

+d N

cos

d

a

cos

d

E
N 
A
F
B
D
C
N
a
 r
H
d
N 
a
 

+dN

When increasein

issmall d

N

N ad

where

d

N

a cos

sin

N

N

w

D

a

(1

cos

)

w

D

a

sin

2

cos

-

1

1

cos

tends to be zero

w

D

a

cos

2

cos

1

1

cos

N
B
d
W
D

N +dN

Spherical Shells

HoopForce N

N

w

D

a

cos

-

1

1

cos

At crown

0

At base

90

when N

0

for

o

51 49

fo r

o

51 49

'

'

N

wa

2

N



wa

o

51 49

'

( compress ion

( tensio n )

N

N

will becompressive

will be tensile

)

Summary

In order to make the

Negative sign for compression and

+Positive sign for tension for Meridional and Hoop forces

The previous equations can be rewritten as follows:

N

N

w

w

D

a

1

D

cos

a

1

1

cos

cos

Spherical Shells

Spherical Shells

Ri ng Force H

H

N

cos

w

D

a

cos
1
 cos

at

o

51 49

'

N

0

&

H

is maximum

H

max

0. 382

w

D

a

Spherical Shells

Internal forces due to Live load (w L /m 2 )horizontal

Meridional ForceT

W

y

r

  w L   r  a (1  cos  a sin 

N

2

a

sin

2

)

w

L

sin

a

w

2

L

s in

2

a

2

s

in

2

N

w

L

a

2

Hoop Forc e N

N

w

L

a

2

cos 2

Ring Tension

H

at

N

cos

45

o

N

w

L

a

0

cos

2

& H

is maximum

H

max

0.35 35

w

L

a

Spherical Shells

Ring beam design

Design of the Circular Beam

Horizontal Load

A

s

T

T

Ultimate Load

0.9 f

y

H

r

Vertical Load

Vertical Uniform l oad (

w

V

)

N

Span length l

2

r

# of supports

sin

ow

.

 P  2  r w M max  ve  C 1 M max  ve  C 2
 V  P r  P r

(see the tables of circu lar beams

)

(see the tables of circular beams)

Edge Forces

In flat spherical domes, bending moments will be developed due to

the big difference between the high tensile stress in the foot ring and

compressive stresses in the adjacent zones

It is recommended to use transition curves at the edge and to increase the thickness of the shell at the transition curve.

Bending moments can be avoided if the shape of meridian is

changed in a convenient manner. This change can be done by a

transition curve, which when well chosen gives a relief to the stress at

the foot ring.

Edge Forces

In order to decrease the stress due to the forces at the foot ring, it is

recommended to increase the thickness of the shell in the region of

the transition curve.

Ring Beam

At the free edge of the dome, meridian stresses have a large

horizontal component which is taken care of by providing a ring

beam there. This ring beam is subjected to hoop tension.

In case of hemispherical domes, no ring beam are required

since the meridional thrust is vertical at free end

Reinforcement

Steel is generally placed at the center of the thickness of the

dome along the meridians and latitudes. If all the meridional

lines are led to the crown, there will be a lot of congestion of bars

and their proper anchorage may be difficult.

To overcome this problem, small circle is left at the crown and

all the meridional steel bars are stopped at this circle. Area

enclosed by this small circle at the top is reinforced by a separate

mesh.

Example: Design of a spherical dome

Design a spherical shell roof for a circular tank 12m in

diameter as shown in the figure. Assume the following

loading: Covering material = 50 kg/m2 and LL= 100 kg/m2

Use

f

c

'
300 kg
/
cm
2
and f
4200 kg
/ cm
y
y=1.4 m
r=6m
a

2

Example: Design of a spherical dome

2
2
2
a
 
r
a
y
2
2
2
2
a
 a
r
y
 2
ay
2
2
2
2
y=1.4 m
r
y
6
1.4
Radius
of the Shell a 
 13.56 m
2
y
2 1.4
r=6 m
6
sin
=
0.442
13.56
 26.23
cos
0.896
tan
0.493
a
Loading on roof
Assume shell thickness = 10 cm
Own weight = 0.1(2.5)= 0.25 t/m 2
Covering materials = 0.05 t/m 2
LL= 0.1 t/m 2
Note: the live load is considered as loading per surface area

Example: Design of a spherical dome

Design of Ring Beam:

Wu= 1.2(0.2+0.05)+1.6(0.1)=0.52 t/m 2 Total load on roof = 2ayWu=2(13.56)(1.4)(0.52)=62 ton

Vertical Load per meter of cylindrical wall

=62/(2*6)=1.645 ton/m

Outward horizontal force =1.645/tan=3.337 t/m

Ring tension in beam

T

H

r

3.337

5

 

A

T 20*1000

s f

y

0.9 4200

use 8

10 mm

20

tons

5.35 cm

2

Example: Design of a spherical dome

Design of the Shell

Meridian Force

Meridian force per unit length of circumference

N



W a

u

1

cos

at

0

N



W a

u

2



at foot

cos

N



0.52 13.56

1

0.896

0.896

 3.72

t

/

0.52*13.56

2



3.52

m

' (compression)

t

/

m

Use minimum reinf. ratio = 0.0018

A

s

use 5

0.0018(10)(100)

8 mm/m

1.8 cm

2

' (compression)

Example: Design of a spherical dome

Ring (Hoop) Force

 1   cos  1  cos   0 N  wr  2   0.896 N

N

w

u

r

0.52(13.56)

At crown

At foot

cos



 2  2.59 t / m

'

A

s

0.0018(10)(100)

1.8 cm

2

use minmum reinf. 5

8 mm/m

 3.52

t

/

m

' (compression)

(compression)

Example: Design of a spherical dome

Bending Moment

Assume that the thickness at the foot = 15 cm

x
0.6
at
0.6 13.56 0.15
0.85
cm
2
2
0.52 0.85
W x
u
Fixing moment
M
0.188
t
/
m
2
2
d
15
 
3
12
cm
6
0.85 300
1
2.61 10
0.188
1

0.0003 
min
2
4200
100 12
300

use minmum reinf. 5

8 mm/m

Example: Design of a spherical Dome

Reinforcement details