Computational & Technology Resources
an online resource for computational,
engineering & technology publications
Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 71
Edited by: G. De Roeck and B.H.V. Topping
Paper VI.2

Aspects of the Analysis of Membrane Structures

J. Bonet+, R.D. Wood+ and J. Mahaney#

+Department of Civil Engineering, University of Wales, Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
#Mercer University, Macon, GA., United Sates of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
J. Bonet, R.D. Wood, J. Mahaney, "Aspects of the Analysis of Membrane Structures", in G. De Roeck, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Computational Civil and Structural Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 105-113, 2000. doi:10.4203/ccp.71.6.2
This paper discusses two aspects of the finite element analysis of membrane structures; (i) the efficient finite deformation finite element analysis of membrane structures that have been inflated and are subsequently externally loaded under the condition that the enclosed mass of gas (usually air) remains constant, and (ii) the minimization of element distortion that can lead to a poor representation of the minimum surface during form-finding. The first problem is addressed by augmenting the total potential energy expression with a term representing the potential energy of the enclosed gas and relating enclosed pressure to volume using Boyle's law. The formulation develops the correct tangent matrix term relating to the constant gas mass constraint thereby maintaining quadratic convergence of the nonlinear solution. The second, formfinding, problem is incorporated into the general membrane formulation by introducing a pseudo strain energy function involving the surface area to be minimised together with distortional strain energy function employed to eliminate locally inplane mechanisms and minimise the element distortion. Alternatively the mesh distortion problem is solved by the popular dynamic relaxation procedure with the addition of 'viscous truss members'. Finally examples are presented which demonstrate the application of the techniques discussed.

purchase the full-text of this paper (price £20)

go to the previous paper
go to the next paper
return to the table of contents
return to the book description
purchase this book (price £75 +P&P)