Limit analysis of local failure in shallow spherical concrete caps subjected to uniform radial pressure

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Many thin-walled shallow concrete shells (or caps or domes) have experienced structural collapse during or subsequent to their erection. Very few experimental investigations have been reported of shallow concrete spherical caps that allow for the effects of geometric and material non-linearities and imperfections to be identified, despite this information being essential for the validation of sophisticated numerical treatments. Classical thin-shell theories for axisymmetric domes predict a global buckling mode, but observations from experimental tests show that failure in concrete spherical caps is usually localised within a relatively small region and at a load significantly less than the classical buckling load. An investigation of the non-linear behaviour of thin-walled concrete spherical caps is currently being carried out both experimentally and theoretically at The University of New South Wales. As part of this study, an approach based on limit analysis has been developed on the basis of a local failure model and it is used for analysis of concrete/mortar spherical caps described in the published literature. The ultimate bending strength of a unit width of a spherical shell section is derived from a typical non-linear concrete stress-strain relationship and the in-plane thrust from shell membrane theory. The analytical results based on a local failure yield line model are compared with the available experimental results in the literature as well as with classical theoretical buckling results. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Chang, Z. T., Bradford, M. A., & Ian Gilbert, R. (2010). Limit analysis of local failure in shallow spherical concrete caps subjected to uniform radial pressure. Thin-Walled Structures, 48(6), 373–378.

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