112 W. Guggenberger et al.

the geometrically and materially nonlinear calculated strengths was also indicated in Fig. 3.12.

The effect of internal pressure
In all silo structures, the stored solid exerts an internal pressure on the wall of the structure, inducing circumferential tension. This tension is well known to increase the buckling strength of uniformly compressed cylinders (Hutchinson 1965; Rotter and Teng 1989; Rotter 1997), so it may be expected to enhance the buckling strength above a local support. The effects of internal pressure on the elastic buckling strength above a support was first explored by Li (1994). At high internal pressures, plasticity may intervene, leading to a dramatic reduction in buckling strength in the elephant’s foot mode (Rotter 1990). This applies to both the plastic and buckling limit states. The present study used the flexible support model, and extends Li’s (1994) study into the elastic–plastic domain. The numerical study was extended to very high internal pressures, finally reaching the case where pure circumferential yielding occurs. Because the results are intended to be used directly in design, appropriate geometrical imperfections and a realistic material law for structural steel was adopted (ideal elastic–plastic von Mises behaviour with fy = 235 N/mm2 ). The analysis model (R/t = 500) and loading is shown in Fig. 3.6(a). The axial load is applied uniformly at the upper circumference, as described in ‘Modelling assumptions of the present study’. Geometrical imperfections were adopted in the form of local inward shapes above the supports, mimicking the postbuckling mode of the perfect elastic structure (Guggenberger 1992), as shown in Fig. 3.7. The boundary condition at the local support was assumed to be ‘flexible’ (Fig. 3.3(a)), with the support applying a uniform compression throughout the width of the support. Whilst this assumption is not very realistic, it is conservative (Rotter et al. 1993). The numerical studies used progressively increased sophistication in the analyses, with the modelling assumptions as follows: 1 2 3 4 Geometrically linear analysis including material nonlinearity (MNA). Geometrically nonlinear analysis of the elastic perfect cylinder (GNA). Geometrically nonlinear analysis of the imperfect elastic cylindrical shell (GNIA). Geometrically and materially nonlinear analysis of the perfect (GMNA) and imperfect cylindrical shell (GMNIA).

A brief representation of some characteristics of the buckling behaviour when the internal pressure magnitude varies is given in Figs. 3.20 and 3.21. It illustrates the buckling behaviour for different levels of internal pressure, expressed by the ratio α of simple circumferential membrane stress (pR/t) to mean axial membrane stress (σmm ) just above the support. This ratio is defined here as α . For zero internal pressure, the buckling mode shows pronounced inward deflections, but high