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Re: Steel Dome Deisgn

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When I think of a steel dome, I think of a framed assembly of ribs and
rings as shown in figures 5a and 5b on this web site:

For a dome such as this, with discrete elements such as wide flange
ribs, instead of true shell elements, do you think shell theory is the
way to go? It seems like there would be a lot of extrapolating required
to go from shell theory to a system of ribs and rings.

Like Rob who asked the original question, I have looked for references
on this sort of steel dome design, thinking there must be a book out
there somewhere but I couldn't find any good references either. I would
also be interested if someone knows of any design-oriented references on
the subject.


Rick Burch
Columbia, SC

Christopher Wright wrote:
> >Does anyone know of any good references specifically for steel dome
> >structures?
> You'll probably need to get comfortable with the mechanics of plates and
> shells and biaxial stress fields. Suggest you link to the Linda Hall
> Engineering Library or your large university library of choice and do a
> couple of searches on books for plates and shells for references. The
> prime referemce is Timoshenko's _Plates and Shells_ but you'll find
> others listed when you do the library search. When you find one that
> sounds right, shop around at second-hand book dealers web sites for the
> titles you like. You may still be able to get a publication of the AISI
> and Steel Plate Fabricators Assn called Design of Plate Structures Vol 2
> Useful Information...
> It's possible to do limit analysis with such structures, but it's nothing
> like LRFD, so you may be stuck with adapting ASD rules. The approach is
> usually to use a stiffened plate or shell rather than a full monocoque to
> address stability issues. Lots of simple shapes can be calculated with
> closed form methods a la Roark. or others. The trick is generally
> balancing the economics of thick shells with few stiffeners against
> thinner lighter shells with more stiffeners. Shells to not take kindly to
> loads which cause local bending, and your main concern will be direct
> stress which you can keep at 60% of the yield value to get equivalent
> strength to ASD rules. You can estimate buckling with closed form
> relationships and address them with the same safety factors against
> buckling as you'd use for ASD, although shell buckling is not the same as
> Euler buckling in columns.
> Pay attention to plate and shell mechanics when you get into unfamiliar
> territory and resist the urge to assume that everything is some sort of
> equivalent hipshot beam because it isn't.
> Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
> chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
> ___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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