Numerical analysis of shell and spatial structures.
"Bulletin of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures", v. 32
Since the advent of the computer into the engineering field, the application of the numerical methods to the solution of engineering problems has grown very rapidly. Among the different computer methods of structural analysis the Finite Element (FEM) has been predominantly used.
Shells and space structures are very attractive and have been constructed to solve a large variety of functional problems (roofs, industrial building, aqueducts, reservoirs, footings etc). In this type of structures aesthetics, structural efficiency and concept play a very important role. This class of structures can be divided into three main groups, namely continuous (concrete) shells, space frames and tension (fabric, pneumatic, cable etc )structures.
In the following only the current applications of the
FEM to the analysis of continuous shell structures will be discussed. However, some of the comments on this class of shells can be also applied to some extend to the others, but obviously specific computational problems will be restricted to the continuous shells.
Different aspects, such as, the type of elements,input-output computational techniques etc, of the analysis of shells by the FEM will be described below. Clearly, the improvements and developments occurring in general for the FEM since its first appearance in the fifties have had a
significative impact on the particular class of structures under discussion.