Effect of the initial imperfection on the response of the stainless steel shell structures

Çelik A. İ., Zeybek Ö., Özkılıç Y. O.

STEEL AND COMPOSITE STRUCTURES, vol.50, no.6, pp.705-720, 2024 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.12989/scs.2024.50.6.705
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.705-720
  • Kayseri University Affiliated: Yes


   Analyzing the collapse behavior of thin-walled steel structures holds significant importance in ensuring their safety and longevity. Geometric imperfections present on the surface of metal materials can diminish both the durability and mechanical integrity of steel shells. These imperfections, encompassing local geometric irregularities and deformations such as holes, cavities, notches, and cracks localized in specific regions of the shell surface, play a pivotal role in the assessment. They can induce stress concentration within the structure, thereby influencing its susceptibility to buckling. The intricate relationship between the buckling behavior of these structures and such imperfections is multifaceted, contingent upon a variety of factors. The buckling analysis of thin-walled steel shell structures, similar to other steel structures, commonly involves the determination of crucial material properties, including elastic modulus, shear modulus, tensile strength, and fracture toughness. An established method involves the emulation of distributed geometric imperfections, utilizing real test specimen data as a basis. This approach allows for the accurate representation and assessment of the diversity and distribution of imperfections encountered in real-world scenarios. Utilizing defect data obtained from actual test samples enhances the model's realism and applicability. The sizes and configurations of these defects are employed as inputs in the modeling process, aiding in the prediction of structural behavior. It's worth noting that there is a dearth of experimental studies addressing the influence of geometric defects on the buckling behavior of cylindrical steel shells. In this particular study, samples featuring geometric imperfections were subjected to experimental buckling tests. These same samples were also modeled using Finite Element Analysis (FEM), with results corroborating the experimental findings. Furthermore, the initial geometrical imperfections were measured using digital image correlation (DIC) techniques. In this way, the response of the test specimens can be estimated accurately by applying the initial imperfections to FE models. After validation of the test results with FEA, a numerical parametric study was conducted to develop more generalized design recommendations for the stainless-steel shell structures with the initial geometric imperfection. While the load-carrying capacity of samples with perfect surfaces was up to 140 kN, the load-carrying capacity of samples with 4 mm defects was around 130 kN. Likewise, while the load carrying capacity of samples with 10 mm defects was around 125 kN, the load carrying capacity of samples with 14 mm defects was measured around 120 kN.