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Stability Assesment of Imperfect Cylindrical Shells .pdf



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¨ LEICHTBAU
LEHRSTUHL UND INSTITUT FUR
Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. H.-G. Reimerdes
– Fakult¨at f¨ur Maschinenwesen –

MINI THESIS
MTH-2014-01

Structural Stability Assessment of Geometrically Imperfect Circular
Cylindrical Shell Structures with automated ABAQUS Pre- and Post
Processing
Verfasser:
Lakshmi Narayanan Muthu
Betreuer:
L. Friedrich, M.Eng.

Aachen, April 2014

Eidesstattliche Erklärung: Ich versichere, dass ich die Mini Thesis selbstständig und
ohne Benutzung anderer als der angegebenen Quellen und Hilfsmittel angefertigt habe
und alle Ausfuhrungen, die wörtlich oder sinngemäß übernommen wurden, als
solche gekennzeichnet sind, sowie dass die Mini Thesis in gleicher oder ähnlicher
Form noch keiner anderen Prüfungsbehörde vorgelegt wurde.
Affidavit: I hereby declare that I wrote this mini thesis on my own and without the
use of any other than the cited sources and tools and all explanations that I copied
directly or in their sense are marked as such, as well as that the mini thesis has not yet
been handed in neither in this nor in equal form at any other official commission.
Aachen, 23. April 2014

Lakshmi Narayanan Muthu

i

Abstract
In general, thin-walled and compression-loaded structures are prone to buckle. Due to the
sensitivity of thin-walled shell structures to geometrical imperfections on the buckling
behaviour, the initial imperfections of shells significantly reduce the buckling load in
comparison to theoretically determined loads. Within the EU-project DESICOS, it is desired to
further investigate imperfection sensitivity of composite launcher structures. To perform
parameter studies, it is essential to automate the pre-processing steps with the commercial code
Finite Element Method ABAQUS, as well as the post-processing steps needed. Thereby,
different kinds of initial imperfections, such as axis-symmetrical imperfections and non axissymmetrical imperfections have to be taken into consideration.

ii

Acknowledgements

This mini thesis work has benefited greatly from the support of many people, some of whom I
would sincerely like to thank here.
To begin with, I am deeply grateful to both Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Günther Reimerdes and Linus
Friedrich, M.Eng. for offering me such an interesting topic of investigation.
Mr. Linus Friedrich, as the guide for all my thesis work throughout the past year, deserves special
recognition for his always highly competent remarks and suggestions and particular praise for his
openness and his calm and friendly manner which allowed him to convey everything most
graciously. Thank you very much Sir.
Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Günther Reimerdes had a very positive influence on me from the very
beginning of my work. His continued inspiration along the way as well as his generous hospitality
by providing me with a comfortable atmosphere to work in his group was of immeasurable value.
As student of RWTH Aachen University, I have been surrounded by wonderful peer members who
always come forward to lend their mind and hand for my work. I would like to thank the RWTH
University, Chair and Institute for Lightweight Structures, and RWTH Compute Cluster for the
same.
Finally, but first in my heart, my parents are due my deep gratitude for their continued moral and
financial support throughout my studies, the former being of much greater importance. The broad
education that I am enjoying right now while growing up has proven invaluable.
Lakshmi Narayanan Muthu
Master Student,
Computer Aided Conception and Production in Mechanical Engineering.

iii

Table of Contents
Abstract ....................................................................................................................................ii
List of Figures ........................................................................................................................ v
List of Abbreviations ...........................................................................................................vii
1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 8
2. Structural Stability................................................................................................................. 9
2.1

Basic Theory ............................................................................................................... 9

2.2

Buckling load ............................................................................................................ 10

2.3

Buckling of cylindrical shells .................................................................................... 14

2.4

Imperfection modelling of unstiffened circular cylindrical shells ............................... 18

2.5

Introduction to Finite Element Method ...................................................................... 20

3. ABAQUS Input Script Generator Program .......................................................................... 23
3.1

Purpose of Automation.............................................................................................. 23

3.2

Parametric input data file .......................................................................................... 24

3.3

Algorithm ................................................................................................................. 27

3.4

Structure of an ABAQUS Input File .......................................................................... 30

3.5

Determination of the node coordinates of 3D shell model .......................................... 32

3.6

Mesh Generation and Element Definition .................................................................. 33

4. Simulation Study ................................................................................................................. 35
4.1

Single Perturbation Load Approach ........................................................................... 35

4.2

Linear bifurcation analysis ........................................................................................ 37

4.2.1

Convergence Study ............................................................................................ 37

4.2.2

Parameter Study ................................................................................................. 40

4.3

Non-linear static analysis .......................................................................................... 47

4.3.1

Convergence Study ............................................................................................ 47

4.3.2

Modified Riks Method ....................................................................................... 48

5. Summary and Conclusions .............................................................................................. 49
5.1

Conclusions .............................................................................................................. 49

5.2

Outlook ..................................................................................................................... 49

Bibliography ......................................................................................................................... 50
Appendix A..................................................................................................................................52
Appendix B..................................................................................................................................83
Appendix C..................................................................................................................................85
iv

List of Figures
Figure 2.1 Ball analogy for the bifurcation diagrams ............................................................... 10
Figure 2.2 Buckling into an adjacent stable equilibrium state................................................... 11
Figure 2.3 Buckling into a Non-Adjacent stable equilibrium state ........................................... 11
Figure 2.4 Load deformation behaviour of cantilever beam subjected to axial compression. (a)
Laterally deflected shape (b) P-∆ curve (c) P-y curve .............................................................. 12
Figure 2.5 Load deformation behaviour of an axially loaded bar.............................................. 12
Figure 2.6 Load deformation behaviour for an in-plane loaded plate........................................ 13
Figure 2.7 Types of post buckling behaviour for perfect structural elements ............................ 14
Figure 2.8 Equilibrium paths for perfect and imperfect shells .................................................. 15
Figure 2.9 Influence of axisymmetric imperfections on the buckling ....................................... 15
Figure 2.10 Knock down factor vs. R/t-ratio according to Seide .............................................. 17
Figure 2.11 Knock down factor vs. R/t-ratio according to Takano approach and NASA SP-8007
Guideline ................................................................................................................................ 17
Figure 2.12 Imperfection Modelling Approaches ..................................................................... 19
Figure 2.13 Methods to solve any engineering problem ........................................................... 20
Figure 3.1 Class diagram of Abaqus Input Script generator program ....................................... 27
Figure 3.2 Flowchart of Abaqus Input Script Generator program ............................................. 30
Figure 3.3 Structure of 3D shell model node coordinates file.............................................. 32
Figure 3.5 Structure of 3D shell model element definition file ............................................ 33
Figure 3. 4 Clockwise convention used to define the element ............................................ 33
Figure 3.6 Perfect Shell Model ................................................................................................ 34
Figure 3.7 Axisymmetric Imperfect Shells (On left - m=5 and on right m=10) ........................ 34
Figure 3.8 Non axisymmetric Imperfect Shells (On left - m=10,n=10 and on right m=16,n=16)
................................................................................................................................................ 34
Figure 4.1 Snapshot of Abaqus model depicting SPLA approach............................................. 36
Figure 4.2 Load Vs Displacement graph of SPLA_iso_t0-5_LR1_Rt500_P12_SS................... 36
v

Figure 4.3 Load Vs Displacement graph of SPLA_iso_t0-5_LR1-3_Rt500_P12_SS ............... 37
Figure 4.4 Convergence Study of Perfect Shell and Axisymmetric imperfect shell .................. 38
Figure 4.5 Convergence Study of Non axisymmetric imperfect shell (m=03, n=18)................. 38
Figure 4.6 Convergence Study of Non axisymmetric imperfect shell (m=11, n=03)................. 39
Figure 4.7 Convergence Study of Non axisymmetric imperfect shell (m=16, n=16)................. 39
Figure 4. 8 Recommended mesh sizes for parameter study ...................................................... 40
Figure 4.9 L/R Ratio Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell (w/t=0.2 and SS)....................... 41
Figure 4.10 L/R Ratio Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell (w/t=0.5 and SS) ..................... 41
Figure 4. 11 Number of half waves (m) Vs Delta Study for ASI Shell (w/t=0.2 and SS) .......... 42
Figure 4. 12 Number of half waves (m) Vs Delta Study for ASI Shell (w/t=0.2 and Cl)........... 43
Figure 4. 13 Number of half waves (m) Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell
(w/t=0.5 and SS) ..................................................................................................................... 43
Figure 4. 14 Number of half waves (m) Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell
(w/t=0.5 and Cl) ...................................................................................................................... 43
Figure 4. 15 Number of half waves (m) Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell T1 Laminate
configuration i.e. 90,0,0,90 (w/t=0.5 and SS) ........................................................................... 44
Figure 4. 16 Number of half waves (m) Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell T2 Laminate
configuration i.e. 0,90,90,0 (w/t=0.5 and Cl) ........................................................................... 44
Figure 4. 17 L/R Ratio Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell T1 Laminate configuration i.e.
90,0,0,90 (w/t=0.5 and SS) ...................................................................................................... 45
Figure 4. 18 L/R Ratio Vs Delta Study for Axisymemtric Shell T2 Laminate configuration i.e.
0,90,90,0 (w/t=0.5 and SS) ...................................................................................................... 45
Figure 4. 19 Number of half waves (m), Number of full waves (n) Vs Delta Study for
Nonaxisymemtric Shell (L/R=2, R/t=500, t=0.5, w/t=0.5 and SS) ........................................... 46
Figure 4. 20 Convergence Study - Non-linear static analysis ................................................... 47
Figure 4. 21 Load Vs Displacement Curve - Non-linear static analysis (m15 and m19) ........... 48

vi

List of Abbreviations

θ

Angle between the nodes on 3D shell model

F

Axial compressive load

L

Cylinder length

R

Cylinder radius

T

Cylinder thickness

m

number of buckling half-waves in longitudinal direction

n

number of buckling full-waves in circumferential direction

P

Perturbation load

w

Imperfection amplitude

N

Node numbers of 3D axis-symmetrical model

ND

Number of elements along the circumference of 3D shell model

ST

Starting node of line element of 2D axisymmetrical model

X

X coordinates of 3D shell model of revolution

XPOS

X coordinates of 2D axisymmetrical model

Y

Y coordinates of 3D shell model of revolution

Z

Z coordinates of 3D shell model of revolution

γ

empirical knock down factor

δ

imperfection reduction factor

vii

1. Introduction
Thin-walled shell structures are used extensively in a wide variety of engineering applications
which includes aerospace, spacecraft, nuclear reactors, pressure vessels, pipelines and offshore
platforms. In contrast to one dimensional structures (beams) and two dimensional structures
(plates), thin walled shell structures are imperfection sensitive, i.e. the actual buckling load of
these structures is significantly lower than the theoretically predicted buckling load. Shell
structures subjected to axial compression are found to be most sensitive towards geometric
imperfection .
The tendency to replace expensive experimental investigations by numerical simulation has
been evident with the onset of the era of supercomputing. Analysis of different types of
aerospace, marine and civil engineering structures using large general purpose computer codes
has drawn attention in the recent days and is well accepted. These programs facilitate
the calculation of stress and deformation patterns of very complicated structural
configurations successfully with the desired accuracy as demanded in engineering analysis.
Within the framework of the EU-project DESICOS [1], numerical parameter studies to assess
the buckling load of geometrically imperfect shells have to be performed with the help of the
commercial FEM-Software ABAQUS [2]. Due to the high number of possible parameter
configurations, these computations have to be performed in an automated manner. Therefore, a
parametric ABAQUS input script and python script has to be developed by making use of C++
programming.
The second chapter explains the theory behind buckling analysis of cylindrical shells and on
imperfection modelling of unstiffened circular cylindrical shells. The third chapter details the
purpose of the routine and the algorithm that generates ABAQUS input scripts and python
scripts (used for post processing in case of non-linear analysis) with the parameters defined by
the user through a configuration file. The fourth chapter illustrates the naming convention
followed while creating these script files, linear bifurcation analysis and non-linear static
analysis. It includes convergence study (to determine the recommended mesh size), parameter
study along with verification (with results generated through AstrA Code [3]), SPLA
(validation of code) and Modified Riks Method and the fifth chapter forms the summary and
conclusion.

8


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