Modeling and stability investigation of a Glulam dome

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Virginia Tech


In order to predict the ultimate load capacity and failure modes of a glued-laminated timer dome, two dome models are analyzed by two finite element methods. I-DEAS is utilized to generate shell elements and to compute nodal forces for the dome model. Wind load requirements are studied, and the effect of wind loads is investigated.

At first, linear and nonlinear analyses of a space frame are carried out for four load combinations of dead load and snow load. The results are applied as a basis for the modeling of flexible joints and bracings.

Then, the 3-D, 3-noded, curved, isoparametric beam element in the first model is replaced by a 3D, 2-noded, straight beam element for the second model. Purlins consist of truss elements. Flexible joints are modeled by adding connector elements to the ends of each beam. A bracing of truss element is applied to simulate the contribution of the decking. The dome is analyzed for two load conditions. The buckling pressures, buckling modes and the material behavior prior to buckling are examined.

Finally, conclusions are made and several topics are recommended for future studies.