This study is focused on the buckling behavior of spherical concrete shells (domes) under different loading conditions.
The background of analytical analysis and recommended equations for calculation of design buckling pressure for spherical shells are discussed in this study.
The finite element (FE) method is used to study the linear and nonlinear response of spherical concrete shells under different vertical and horizontal load combination buckling analysis. The effect of different domes support conditions are considered and investigated in this study.
Several dome configurations with different geometry specifications are used in this study to attain reliable results. The resulted buckling pressures from linear FE analysis for all the cases are close to the analytical equations for elastic behavior of spherical shells. The results of this study show that geometric nonlinearity widely affects the buckling resistance of the spherical shells.
The effect of horizontal loads due to horizontal component of earthquake is not currently considered in the recommended equation by The American Concrete Institute (ACI) to design spherical concrete shells against buckling. However, the results of this study show that horizontal loads have a major effect on buckling pressure and it could not be ignored.