Modeling beam-decking connectors under failure conditions

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Virginia Tech


Finite element analysis of a large structure incorporating material and geometric nonlinearities can be very time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, the purpose of this study is to determine to what degree the finite element model of the dome can be simplified and still yield useful results.

The primary objective of this study is to determine if the nonlinear beam-decking connector (BDC) elements can be modeled as constant forces instead of as springs. Modeling the BDC elements in this way could greatly simplify the dome model.

Secondary objectives of this thesis include determining if the failure of the beam-decking connectors is such a dominant factor in the dome’s collapse that material and geometric nonlinearities can be neglected and useful results still be obtained. Since many different studies have been carried out on this dome model, this thesis will provide a summary of the major developments in the dome model. It will summarize the main assumptions made, and will state which assumptions have been verified and which are still under investigation.