Behavior of cylindrical steel shells supported on local brackets

Cornelia Doerich, J. Michael Rotter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The connection of a local support to an elevated cylindrical metal silo shell is a long-standing difficult problem in shell analysis, and most designs are based on simple ideas using past experiences of successes and failures. Smaller silo structures are often supported on local brackets attached to the side of the shell, but very few investigations of the behavior or strength of such an arrangement have ever been made. This paper presents an outline description of the behavior of a cylindrical steel shell that is discretely supported on several brackets, each rigidly connected to a stiff column or floor. The linear, materially nonlinear, geometrically nonlinear, and bifurcation behaviors of the shell under these conditions are outlined. In this problem the prebuckling deformations, bifurcation mode, and plastic collapse mode are each local. This configuration presents some interesting questions concerning the relative importance of geometric nonlinearity and geometric imperfections. The problem is recommended to advanced shell analysts as a benchmark test of their analysis and interpretation techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1277
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number8
Early online date1 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Shell structures
  • Supports
  • Soils
  • Tanks
  • Cylinders
  • Elastoplasticity
  • Collapse


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