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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 10, Number 3, September 2000 , pages 245-262

Deformational characteristics of a high-vacuum insulation panel
Shu HS, Wang YC

    The objective of this study is to analyze the deformational characteristics of a high-vacuum insulation panel that is evacuated to eliminate significant gas-phase conductance through its thickness. The panel is composed of a metal envelope and low thermal conductance spacers. The problem is very challenging because several nonlinearities are involved concurrently. Not only are various finite element models such as triangular, rectangular, beam and circular plate models used to simulate the panel, but also several finite element programs are used to solve the problem based on the characteristics of the finite element model. The numerical results indicate that the effect of the diameter of the spacer on the vertical deformation of the plate panel is negligibly small. The parameter that mainly influences the maximum sag is the spacing between the spacers. The maximum vertical deformation of the panel can be predicted for a practical range of the spacing between the spacers and the thickness of the plate. Compared with the numerical results obtained by the finite element models and the experimental tests, they have a good agreement. The results are represented in both tabular and graphical forms. In order to make the results useful, a curve fitting technique has been applied to predict the maximum deformation of the panel with various parameters. Moreover, the panel was suggested to be a \"smart\" structure based on thermal effect.
Key Words
    characteristics, vacuum, insulation, panel
Shu HS, Chinese Mil Acad, Dept Civil Engn, 1 Hwang Poo Rd, Feng Shan 83000, Taiwan
Chinese Mil Acad, Dept Civil Engn, Feng Shan 83000, Taiwan

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