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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 42, Number 1, April10 2012 , pages 73-93

Effect of compressible membrane\'s nonlinear stress-strain behavior on spiral case structure
Qi-Ling Zhang and He-Gao Wu

    With an active structural involvement in spiral case structure (SCS) that is always the design and research focus of hydroelectric power plant (HPP), the compressible membrane sandwiched between steel spiral case and surrounding reinforced concrete was often assumed to be linear elastic material in conventional design analysis of SCS. Unfortunately considerable previous studies have proved that the foam material serving as membrane exhibits essentially nonlinear mechanical behavior. In order to clarify the effect of membrane (foam) material\'s nonlinear stress-strain behavior on SCS, this work performed a case study on SCS with a compressible membrane using the ABAQUS code after a sound calibration of the employed constitutive model describing foam material. In view of the successful capture of fitted stress-strain curve of test by the FEM program, we recommend an application and dissemination of the simulation technique employed in this work for membrane material description to structural designers of SCS. Even more important, the case study argues that taking into account the nonlinear stress-strain response of membrane material in loading process is definitely essential. However, we hold it unnecessary to consider the membrane material\'s hysteresis and additionally, employment of nonlinear elastic model for membrane material description is adequate to the structural design of SCS. Understanding and accepting these concepts will help to analyze and predict the structural performance of SCS more accurately in design effort.
Key Words
    spiral case structure; compressible membrane; foam material; nonlinear stress-strain behavior; hydroelectric power plant
Qi-Ling Zhang: Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute, 430010 Wuhan, Hubei, China
He-Gao Wu: State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, 430072 Wuhan, Hubei, China

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