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Re: Steel Dome Design

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For a shell of a non-compact shape [not formed as a surface of rotation],
instability caused by unbalanced loading may be a mode you will have to
study and design for.  Someone on the list recently called this kind of
response "snap-through" -- a turning of the shell inside-out.  An analysis
method that allows a progressive evaluation of secondary effects to let you
see if they lead to instability will be needed.  I have no references.

I backed away from this on a project who's schedule didn't have time for the
research into and the learning curve required for such an analysis method.
My steel dome, small, spanning a rectangular space, has a bottom chord, and
is trussed in one direction.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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