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Advances in Fabric and Structural Analyses of Pressure Inflated Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Claudia J. Quigley

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Natick, MA

Paul V. Cavallaro

U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, RI

Arthur R. Johnson

U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Hampton, VA

Ali M. Sadegh

City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY

Paper No. IMECE2003-55060, pp. 19-25; 7 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Textile Engineering
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Textile Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3729-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Novel methods for analyzing the response of air inflated fabric structures are presented. The first method determines the global structural response of air inflated beam and arch structures. It employs a previously developed specialized finite element. The element was derived by minimizing the strain energy potential for a cylindrical membrane deforming about its pressurized state. Through the use of displacement approximations defining the motion of the beam’s cross section, analogous to classical beam theory, the energy principle is reduced to one dimension. However, the effect of the pressure is included in the formulation. Numerical results compare favorably to experimental data for air beams constructed from Vectran® . The second method is based on the micromechanics of plain-woven fabrics. It employs nonlinear kinematics to predict the load-displacement response of a biaxially loaded fabric. Based on the fabric strip model, this method includes the effects of crimp in nonlinear kinematic material behavior and estimates values of effective material properties in tension and shear.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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