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Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

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Thermal analysis of FRP chimneys using


consistent laminated shell element
A.A. El Damatty
a

a,*

, A.S. Awad b, B.J. Vickery

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, London,
Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
b
Structural Engineer, Mccavour Eng. Ltd, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Received 16 June 1999

Abstract
Due to their high corrosion and chemical resistance, fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) materials
are increasingly being used in the construction of industrial chimneys. The design of a chimney
is governed by wind loads as well as thermal loads resulting from the differences among the
ambient, the operating and the curing temperatures. This study involves an investigation for
the thermal stresses induced in angle-ply laminated FRP chimneys, using an in-house
developed laminated shell element model. The finite element model is verified by performing
thermal analysis of a number of plate and shell problems and comparing the results to those
available in the literature. An extensive parametric study is then conducted using the shell
element model to identify the parameters which significantly affect thermal stresses induced
in FRP chimneys.
The study indicates that the thermal stresses are only affected by the inclination of the
lamina plies, the percentage of fibers content and the through thickness temperature distribution. Analyses also show that localized cracks in the direction perpendicular to the fibers
are expected to occur due to the thermal loads. Finally, thermal stress values that can be used
in the design of FRP chimneys, when cracking is considered, are presented as function of the
through thickness temperature distributions. 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Laminated; Composite; Shell; Finite element; Thermal; FRP chimneys; Design

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-519-661-2139; fax: +1-519-661-3779.


E-mail address: damatty@julian.uwo.ca (A.A. El Damatty).
0263-8231/00/$ - see front matter 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 2 6 3 - 8 2 3 1 ( 9 9 ) 0 0 0 4 1 - 5

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1. Introduction
Due to their high corrosive and chemical resistances, fiber reinforced plastic
materials (FRP) are becoming widely used in the construction of industrial chimneys.
In 1984, Plecnik et al. [1] reported a 52 m height free-standing fiber glass stack
which was manufactured for a sugar processing plant in Moses Lake, Washington,
USA. During the past decade, a large number of FRP chimneys have been built in
North America and in various places around the world. FRP chimneys are commonly
applied in the pulp and paper and the chemical industries where highly corrosive
gases are produced. FRP flue gases have been also built in power generation stations.
FRP stacks are usually constructed from a large number of angle-ply layers. The
constituents of the layers are typically Vinyl Ester resin and E-glass fibers. A 70%
fiber content (based on weight) is typically used in the construction of FRP stacks
(as well as pipes).
No national code currently exists for the design of FRP chimneys. As stated by
Pritchard [2], an attempt is currently undertaken by the International Committee on
Industrial Chimneys, CICIND, to develop such a code. This study is a part of
research program to study the structural performance of FRP chimneys. This investigation focuses on the effect of thermal loads.
This study starts by briefly describing a laminated shell element model which is
employed in performing thermal stress analysis of FRP chimneys. The finite element
model is extended to include thermal loads and is verified using results of thermal
stress analysis for a number of plate and shell problems that are available in the
literature. The finite element model is then used to perform an extensive parametric
study in order to identify the main parameters affecting thermal stresses induced in
FRP chimneys. Practical considerations which should be taken into account in the
thermal stress analysis of FRP chimneys, are discussed. Finally, charts predicting
thermal stresses induced in FRP chimneys as functions of the parameters defining
the through thickness temperature distribution are presented.

2. Description of the CLS element and thermal loading


To the best of the authors knowledge, no closed form solution is currently available for thermal stresses induced in laminated cylindrical shells as a result of through
thickness temperature changes. Therefore, finite element analysis using shell element
models is the best alternative. Although a large number of finite element investigations have been conducted for thermal stresses induced in various shells of revolution [35], it appears that no attempt has been made to study thermal stresses in
FRP chimneys in particular.
Due to their simplicity, degenerated shell elements which are based on the Mindlin
plate theory, provide a suitable numerical tool for the chimneys application. Degenerated shell elements were first introduced by Ahmed et al. [6] through the nine-node
isoparametric element. However, degenerated isoparametric shell elements have
shown to predict very stiff solutions (locking) when used to model thin plate and

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59

shell structures. A consistent subparametric laminated shell element was recently


developed and used in various shell applications [7,8]. The main advantage of this
element is being free from the spurious shear modes; i.e. does not exhibit locking
when used to model thin shell structures.
In the consistent subparametric shell element, the displacement vector ui is
expressed in terms of the global displacement degrees of freedom u, v and w directed
along the axes x, y and z, respectively, and rotation a and b about the local y and
x axes, respectively. The subparametric shell element is free from the spurious shear
modes because the displacements are approximated using cubic interpolation functions and the rotations are approximated using quadratic interpolation functions. The
consistent shell element has thirteen nodes, ten nodes of which are used to achieve
complete cubic polynomial for the displacements, while six nodes are used to obtain
a complete quadratic polynomial for the rotations as shown in Fig. 1. The limitation
inherent in the element is that it does not include the normal stresses component
perpendicular to the surface (szz) in its formulation.
Different coordinate systems, used in the formulation of the consistent shell
element, are shown in Fig. 1. These coordinate systems are given as:

Fig. 1.

Consistent laminated shell co-ordinate system and nodal degrees of freedom.

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1. Global set of axes (x, y and z)


2. Local set of axes (x, y and z); x and y are tangent to the surface of the shell,
while z is perpendicular to the surface.
3. Material set of axes (1, 2 and 3), for a certain layer, axes 1 and 2 are tangent to
the surface, while axis 3 is perpendicular to the surface of the shell. Axis 1 is
directed along the fiber direction.
For a certain layer, the angle of orientation q is defined as the angle between the x
and the 1 axes.
2.1. Thermal load vector
The stressstrain relationship for shell structures in the local coordinate system
x,y,z is

sxx

syy

{s} txy [D][{e}{eo}{so}

(1)

txz
tyz

where o and so are the initial local strain and stress vectors, respectively. The
matrix [D] is related to the constitutive matrix for orthotropic material [D] using
the following transformation:
[D][Te]T[D][Te]

(2)

The constitutive matrix [D], given by Jones [9], is defined in the material axes
system 123. The matrix [T] represents the transformation matrix relating the local
axes system (x, y and z) to the material axes system (1, 2 and 3). An expression
for [T] is given by Cook et al. [10].
A temperature change T induces initial thermal strains {e12
oL} (in the material
axes 12) which are given by:
e1

a1LT

e2

a2LT

{e } g12 0
12
oL

g13

g23

(3)

where a1L and a2L are the thermal expansion coefficients of the Lth layer in the
direction of material axes 1 and 2, respectively. The transformation matrix [Te] is
applied to {e12
oL} to obtain the local initial strains {eoL} expressed relative to the
local axes x, y and z i.e.

A.A. El Damatty et al. / Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

{eoL}[Te]1{e12
oL}

61

(4)

by defining the potential energy of the system p (subjected only to thermal


stresses) as

p(1/2) {s}T{e}dv

(5)

and substituting Eq. (1) into Eq. (5) (putting {soL}={0}), the load vector {f} due
to temperature change is obtained using the principle of minimum potential energy
and is then incorporated into the shell element model.
3. Verification of the model
In order to verify the accuracy of the developed finite element model, thermal
analysis of a number of plate and shell problems is performed using the consistent
laminated shell element.
3.1. Isotropic plate subjected to linearly varying temperature change
A simply supported isotropic plate is analyzed under a linearly varying through
thickness temperature distribution. The temperature variation at any point within the
plate is expressed as: T(x,y,z)=TL z/H, where TL is the value of the temperature at
the top and bottom fibers of the plate; z is the coordinate normal to the plate and
measured from the mid-surface; and H is the thickness of the plate. The plate is
simply supported at its four edges.
Results of the analysis are presented using the dimensionless parameter wL, which
is defined as:
wLHw/a1TLA2
where: wL is the central deflection of the plate, a1 is the coefficient of thermal expansion, and A is the length of the plate along the x-axis.
The analyses are conducted for different A/B and H/A ratios; where B is the length
of the plate along the y-axis. Values of the dimensionless parameter wL resulting
from these analyses together with those predicted by Timoshenko et al. [11] are
presented in Table 1 showing an excellent agreement. It should be noted that the
displacements resulting from the thermal analysis of isotropic plate are independent
of the modulus of elasticity of the plate. In the analyses, the Poissons ratio of the
plate is assumed to be 0.3.
3.2. Anti-symmetric angle ply laminate plate subjected to linearly varying
temperature change
An angle ply () square plate is considered for thermal stress analysis using the
consistent shell element. The plate has the same boundary conditions and is subjected

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Table 1
Results of the analysis of an isotropic plate subjected to linearly varying temperature
wL
H/A

A/B=1.0

0.100
0.075
0.050
0.010

[11]
0.09578
0.09578
0.09578
0.09578

A/B=1.5
CLT
0.09598
0.09601
0.09623
0.09783

[11]
0.05824
0.05824
0.05824
0.05824

A/B=2.0
CLT
0.05832
0.05835
0.05844
0.05928

[11]
0.03702
0.03702
0.03702
0.03702

CLT
0.03706
0.03708
0.03712
0.03749

to the same through thickness temperature distribution described in the previous


example. The mechanical properties of the orthotropic lamina along the 12 directions (1 is the fibers direction and 2 is an axis perpendicular to the fibers in the
plane of the plate) are given as: E1=53.8 GPa, E2=17.9 GPa, G12=G13=G23=8.62 GPa,
n12=n13=n23=0.25, a1=6.3106 m/m/C, a2=20.5106 m/m/C. The aspect ratio of
the plate is chosen in such a way that: A/H=100; where A is the length of the plate
and H is the thickness.
The analyses are conducted for various angles of orientation and considering 2
and 4 layers, respectively. Results of the analyses are also presented using the dimensionless parameter wL and are given in Table 2 together with those predicted by a
finite element solution conducted by Wu et al. [12]. An excellent agreement between
the results of two sets of analyses is shown.
3.3. Isotropic cylinder subjected to linearly varying temperature change
A closed form solution for the thermal stress analysis of free standing isotropic
cylinder subjected to through thickness linearly varying temperature is given by
Timoshenko et al. [11]. According to this solution, the longitudinal stress syy and
the circumferential stress sxx at the outer and inner faces of the cylinder evaluated
at a point away from the boundary (either the restrained or the free end) are given
by the following relation:
Table 2
Results of the analysis of an anti-symmetric angle-ply plate subjected to linearly varying temperature
wL
Orientation angle

2 layers

q
0
15
30
45

[12]
0.16711
0.16792
0.16221
0.16071

4 layers
CLS
0.17141
0.16659
0.15525
0.14944

[12]
0.16711
0.15921
0.14419
0.13817

CLS
0.17141
0.16213
0.14573
0.13857

A.A. El Damatty et al. / Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

sxxsyy

Ea(T1T2)
2(1n)

63

(6)

T1 and T2 are the temperatures at the inside and outside faces of the shell, respectively. In the above equation, the stresses at the outer face are tensile if T1T2. An
isotropic free standing cylinder having a modulus of elasticity E=36.85 GPa, a Poissons ratio n=0.3, a coefficient of thermal expansion a=7.7106 m/m/C and a
diameter D=3.0 m has been modeled using the consistent laminated shell element.
The cylinder is subjected to the through thickness temperature distribution shown in
Fig. 2. The above parameters are substituted into Eq. (6) to obtain the stresses at a
cross section away from the boundaries. According to Eq. (6), such a section is
subjected to pure circumferential and longitudinal bending stresses (i.e. stresses at
the mid-surface equal zero) which are equal to 2.027 MPa and 2.027 MPa at the
inner and outer faces, respectively. Results of the finite element analysis together
with those predicted by Timoshenko et. al. [11] are presented in Fig. 2 by plotting
the stresses sbx, sby and sax along the length of the cylinder (in this figure y=0
corresponds to the free end), where: sbx is the outer circumferential bending stress,
sby is the outer longitudinal bending stress and sax is the mid-plane circumferential
stress. Fig. 2 shows that the longitudinal bending stress sby vanishes at the free end
and that both sbx, sby approach the exact value (2.027 MPa) away from the boundaries. It is also clear from the figure that a full agreement between the finite element
and the closed form solution is achieved.

Fig. 2. Variation of outer and mid-surface longitudinal and circumferential stresses at free end of cylinder
due to linearly varying temperature change.

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Fig. 3. Cross ply cylindrical panel.

3.4. Anti-symmetric cross ply cylindrical panel subjected to uniform temperature


A four-layer cross-ply (0/90/0/90) cylindrical panel has been considered for
thermal stress analysis. The panel is subjected to uniform temperature field and its
geometry is defined by the following ratios: A/B=1, A/H=100 and R/B=1, where the
variables A, B and R are shown in Fig. 3 and H is the thickness of the shell. Two
types of boundary conditions are considered in the analysis; BC1 has the four edges
of the panel clamped while BC2 has the circular edges (along x-axis) fully clamped
and the straight edges (along y-axis) simply supported.
The layers have the following properties defined in the directions of the material
axes (12): E1=181 GPa, E2=10.3 GPa, G12=G13=7.17 GPa, G23=6.21 GPa,
n12=n13=n23=0.25, a1=0.02106 m/m/C, a2=22.5106 m/m/C. Results of the
analyses are presented using the dimensionless parameter wL and are given in Table
3 together with those predicted by a finite element analysis conducted by Chandrashekhara et al. [13]. It could be concluded from the results shown in Table 3 that
Table 3
Results of the analysis of anti-symmetric cross-ply (0/90/0/90) cylindrical panel subjected to uniform
temperature (A/B=1, A/H=100, R/B=1)
Boundary condition

Source

WL

BC1

[15]
CLS
[15]
CLS

1.4106
1.4470
1.4326
1.4883

BC2

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65

the consistent laminated shell element provides a very good agreement with the
analyses conducted by Chandrashekhara et al. [13].

4. Thermal stress analysis of FRP chimneys


Having verified the accuracy of the consistent laminated shell element when
extended to thermal stress analysis, the finite element model is then used to study
the effect of various parameters affecting thermal stresses induced in FRP chimneys.
FRP chimneys are usually constructed from angle-ply laminates with orientation
angles varies between q=35 and 55. The use of angle-ply laminate in the construction for FRP chimneys is favorable than any other stacking sequence. This configuration minimizes the coupling between extension and bending and between shear
stresses and normal strains. Beside the ease of construction, the angle-ply configuration provides laminate with high in-plane shear stiffness compared to laminate constructed from a cross-ply configuration.
Thermal stresses induced in FRP chimneys depend on the curing temperature of
the composite. Unsaturated polyester and vinyl ester resins, which are commonly
used in the construction of FRP chimneys, are usually cured at a temperature ranging
between 50C and 150C, [14]. In order to study thermal stress resulting from the
difference between the operating and the curing temperatures, a number of FRP
chimneys constructed from a Der41145 matrix reinforced by E-glass fibers are modeled using the consistent laminated shell element. For a 70% fiber content (based
on weight), the mechanical properties for a laminate along the material axes are given
by: E1=36.85 GPa, E2=11.16 GPa, G12=G13=3.36 GPa, G23=4.32 GPa, a1=7.7106
m/m/C, a2=43.4106 m/m/C, where a1 and a2 are the coefficient of thermal
expansion in the fibers direction and perpendicular to the fibers, respectively.
The curing temperature (reference temperature of the composite) is assumed to
be equal to 100C and the chimneys are analyzed at interior (operating) temperature
and exterior (ambient) temperature equal to 70C and 30C, respectively. This
leads to temperature change (relative the curing temperature) at the interior (Tin)
and the exterior (Tout) surfaces of the chimneys equal to 30C and 130C,
respectively. The above mechanical properties and temperature variation are used to
perform a parametric study investigating the effect of various parameters (thickness
of the shell, number of laminate layers, orientation angle of the fibers, diameter and
height of the chimney) on the thermal stresses induced in FRP chimneys during their
operating stage. In all analyses, the boundary conditions are assumed to be full fixation at the bottom of the chimney and free displacements and rotations at the top.
4.1. The effect of the laminate thickness
A FRP chimney having a diameter D=3.0 m and a height L=40.0 m is considered
for thermal stress analysis. The laminate of the chimney consists of 5 angle-ply
layers (55/55 /55/55/55). Notice that these angles are measured relative to
the axis x which is tangent to the surface and located in a horizontal plane. The

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analysis is carried out by varying the laminate thickness in the range of 10 mm to


130 mm. Although, some of these thicknesses will lead to significant thick layers
(which might be unpractical), the purpose of this subsection is to investigate the
effect of varying the total thickness. The effect of varying the number of layers to
produce a certain thickness is investigated later in this paper. The temperature distribution is assumed to be linear with values of 30C and 130C at the interior
and exterior surfaces, respectively (as described in the previous section). The thermal
stresses (circumferential and longitudinal) that result from the analysis are plotted
in Figs. 4 and 5 for a location away from the boundary and for a point located at
the base of the chimney, respectively. Fig. 4 indicates that the thickness has no effect
on the thermal stresses at sections located away from the boundary. This is due to
the fact that by increasing the thickness of the shell, both the initial thermal strains
(external load) and the stiffness of the shell increase and thus the same values of
final thermal stresses are obtained. Fig. 5 shows that up to a thickness of 60 mm,
an increase in the thickness leads to a corresponding slight increase in the thermal
stresses at the base of the chimney. The same figure shows that beyond a thickness
value of 60 mm, stresses become almost constant. This behavior was also reported
for laminated plates by Thangaratnam et al. [15].
In summary, it can be concluded that beyond a certain thickness value, an increase
of the thickness of FRP chimney has no effect on the induced thermal stresses.
4.2. Effect of the diameter of the chimney
A chimney having a height equal to L=40 m, a thickness H=65 mm and consisting
of 5 layers symmetric angle-ply laminate (q55) is considered for thermal stress

Fig. 4. Circumferential and longitudinal stresses of five layers angle-ply (55) FRP chimney versus
the laminate thickness at a section away from the boundaries of the chimney.

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67

Fig. 5. Circumferential and longitudinal stresses of five layers angle-ply (55) FRP chimney versus
the laminate thickness at the base of the chimney.

analysis in order to asses the effect of the diameter of the chimney. The temperature
variation follows the linear distribution previously described when studying the effect
of the thickness. The parametric study is performed by varying the diameter of the
chimney in the range between 1.5 m and 6 m. The variation of the thermal stresses
induced at the base of the chimney versus the diameter is presented in Fig. 6. It
could be concluded from the figure that the change in the diameter has no significant
effect on the thermal stresses. In Fig. 7 both the hoop thermal stresses (sx) and the
axial (meridional) thermal stresses (sy) are plotted along the height of one of the
analyzed chimneys. As might be expected, both the hoop and the axial thermal
stresses have rapid fluctuations near the boundaries (for both the fixed and the free
boundaries). In general, the thermal stress distributions show high stress values which
occur very close to the boundaries and are localized in a narrow region.

Fig. 6.

The effect of the diameter on the thermal stresses induced at the base of a FRP chimney.

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Fig. 7. The hoop and the axial stresses at the inside face along the height of a FRP chimney subjected
to linearly varying temperature.

4.3. The effect of the height of the chimney


The effect of the height of the chimney on the induced thermal stresses is studied
by fixing both the diameter and the thickness of the FRP chimney and varying its
height. Analyses indicated that the maximum values of thermal stress (occurring near
the fixed bottom of the chimney) are independent of the height of the chimney. The
stress distributions along the height are typically as shown in Fig. 7; the change of
the height only affects the length of the region having a constant stress distribution.
4.4. The effect of the number of layers and fiber orientation
In this section, the effects of varying both the number of layers (keeping the total
thickness constant) and the orientation of the fibers on the thermal stresses induced
in FRP chimneys are studied. The parametric study is conducted by considering a
FRP chimney having a height L=40 m, a diameter D=3 m and a total thickness H=65
mm. This thickness is achieved by considering 2, 4, 5, 6 and 10 layers laminate,
respectively. The laminates 2, 4, 6 and 10 consist of anti-symmetric angle-ply layers

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69

() and the 5 layer laminate is a symmetric angle-ply laminate. For each laminate
configuration, the angle of orientation has been varied between 0 and 90. In Fig.
8, the variations of the maximum along fibers stresses s1 and transverse fibers
stresses s2 (occurring near the base) for the outside face of the chimney are plotted
versus the angle of orientation for different laminate configurations. Fig. 9 shows
similar graphs plotted for the inside face. Both figures indicate that the number of
layers has no significant effect on both the along fibers and the transverse fibers
stresses. It was found that for a certain thickness, the increase in the number of
layers would lead to a decrease in the transverse (interlaminar) shear stresses. As
such, a conservative approach can be adopted by using 10 layers (usually the number
of layers are larger than that) to develop charts for thermal stresses induced in FRP
chimneys. At the inside face of the shell, the increase of the fiber orientation leads
to an increase in the along fibers stresses reaching maximum values at =90 and
also leads to a decrease of the across fibers stresses which reach minimum values
at =90. For the outside face, the increase of the angle ply leads to a slight
decrease in the stresses which is then followed by a significant increase of the stresses
with the angle (at =37.5 for the case of s1).
4.5. Summary of the results of the parametric study
From the above conducted parametric study, it can be concluded that the height,
the diameter, the thickness and the number of layers used to achieve the thickness
have almost no effect on the maximum thermal stresses induced in FRP chimneys.

Fig. 8. The maximum longitudinal and transverse stresses at the outside face of the laminate vs the
angle of orientation.

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Fig. 9. The maximum longitudinal and transverse stresses at the outside face of the laminate vs the
angle of orientation.

Such stresses are usually very localized in a narrow region near the base of the
chimney. The main parameters affecting the values of the stresses are the temperature
profile, the angle of the orientation of the fibers, the coefficient of thermal expansion
and the modulus of elasticity along the fibers direction. For practical FRP chimneys
consisting of glass fibers and vinyl ester resin, the last two parameters depend mainly
on the percentage of the fibers content.
The practical range for the angle of inclination is between 35 and 55. Examining the stress values shown in Figs. 5 and 6 (these figures represent results for chimney having =55), it can be concluded that the maximum value for the stresses s1
(along the fibers direction) and s2 (perpendicular to the fibers direction) are approximately 100 MPa and 80 MPa, respectively. Typical ultimate bending strengths
(which are double the ultimate axial strengths) along the fibers s1u and perpendicular
to the fibers s2u have approximately the following values s1u=1100 MPa and
s2u=33.5 MPa (for 70% E-glass content based on weight). Comparison between the
induced stresses and the ultimate bending strength indicates that although large factor
of safety is achieved along the fibers direction, the cross fibers direction is unsafe.
As such, one would expect that cracks localized at the bottom part of the chimneys,
parallel to the fibers direction, would occur (independent of the value of the
thickness) due to thermal stresses.
4.6. Practical considerations for attempting design procedure of FRP chimneys
From the above discussions, it is clear that the temperature distribution assumed
in the analysis results in across fibers stresses which are approximately 2.5 times

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71

the ultimate stresses in that direction. As such, it is very hard to avoid cracking in
the across fibers direction unless insulation layer has been provided to reduce the
temperature gradient. Moreover, if the design is governed by preventing such cracks,
the fiber reinforcement would be redundant. Knowing that cracks will occur, it has
been decided to analyze the FRP chimneys under thermal loads by assuming that
the stiffness in the direction perpendicular to the fibers almost vanishes (i.e. E2 is
very small). This assumption is made for all layers along the height of the chimney.
The authors believes that this assumption is conservative because, in practice, cracks
will not occur in all layers and not necessary along the whole height of the chimney.
The safety of an FRP chimney analyzed under such an assumption can be checked
by assuring that the stresses along the fibers do not exceed the ultimate strength
divided by a suitable factor of safety and also that the interlaminar shear stresses
are also well below the ultimate shear strength. By assuring that the interlaminar
shear stresses are safe and using an angle-ply configuration, it is expected that the
cracks in one layer will be very much controlled by the stiffness of the two adjacent
layers along the fibers direction. Fig. 10 shows the variation of the along fibers
stresses s1 with the angle ply for a typical FRP chimney using the temperature
distribution described above (after degrading the across fibers stiffness). It should
be noted that the analysis has been performed for a practical range of varying
between 35 and 60. It should be mentioned that the circumferential forces (close
to the boundaries) have changed from tensile to compressive forces after degrading
the lateral modulus of the plies. Consequently, the compressive stresses in the inside
face of the shell have significantly increased compared to the increase of the tensile
stresses at the outside face of the shell. It can be concluded from Fig. 10 that the

Fig. 10. The maximum along fibers stresses at the inner and outer face of the laminate vs the angle of
orientation after degrading the across fibers stiffness of the layers.

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maximum stresses s1 do not exceed a value of 180 MPa. This value leads to approximately a factor of safety of six when compared to the ultimate strength. In order to
check safety against shear failure, the in-plane shear stress t12 as well as the transverse shear stresses t13 and t23 resulted from the same analyses are plotted in Fig.
11 versus the angle of orientation . The typical values for the ultimate shear strength
in-plane and transverse are given by t12=70.6 MPa, t13=70.6 MPa and t23=18.85
MPa. Comparison between the induced shear stresses and the ultimate ones reveals
that factor of safety of approximately 3.5, 15 and 5.6 are achieved for the in-plane
and the transverse shear stresses, respectively.
4.7. Thermal stress values to be used in practical design of FRP chimneys
As mentioned before, the thermal stresses induced from temperature variation in
FRP chimney depend on the following factors:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Fibers content
Angle of inclination of the fibers
Temperature profile
Type of fibers and resin

Restraining the design to FRP chimneys constructed from vinyl ester resin reinforced
by 70% (based on weight) E-glass fibers, for a certain angle of inclination of the

Fig. 11. The in-plane shear stress t12, transverse shear stress t13, t23, of 10 layer laminate at the bottom
of the chimney after degrading the across fibers stiffness of the layers.

A.A. El Damatty et al. / Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

73

fibers, the thermal stresses depend only on the temperature profile. This profile is
governed by two parameters which are:
1. The variation of mid-surface temperature with respect to the curing temperature
Tm.
2. The difference between the temperature at the inside and the outside faces
(T); T=TinsidToutsid.
Using the approach described in the previous section, analyses have been conducted
to determine the maximum stresses s1 as function of Tm and T for two angle
configurations, =35 and 55, respectively. Figs. 12 and 13 show the variation
of the maximum along fibers stresses s1 versus the temperature variation T for
different values of Tm and for =35 and 55, respectively. These graphs can be
used to estimate the stresses induced in a FRP chimney, having the above-described
properties under various temperature variations. Comparison between the two graphs
indicates that in general higher thermal stresses are introduced when the fibers
become more vertically inclined (i.e. =55 leads to higher thermal stresses than

Fig. 12. The along fibers thermal stress of 35 angle-ply FRP chimney for different temperature fields
(degraded across fibers modulus E2=E1/1000).

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A.A. El Damatty et al. / Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

Fig. 13. The along fibers thermal stress of 55 angle-ply FRP chimney for different temperature fields
(degraded across fibers modulus E2=E1/1000).

=35). The shear stresses associated with various temperature profiles are shown
in Tables 4 and 5 for =35 and 55, respectively. It should be noted that the
shear stresses vary linearly with the parameter Tm and independently of T. The
designer of FRP chimney has to assure that a sufficient factor of safety is achieved
against shear failure.

5. Conclusions
In this study, the formulation of the consistent laminated shell element is extended
to include thermal stress analysis. A number of plate and shell structures are modeled
for thermal stress analysis and the results are compared with those available in the
literature. In all examples, the element gives adequate predictions for thermal
stresses. The developed finite element formulation is then used to study the effect
of various parameters which might influence the thermal stresses induced in angleply laminated fiber reinforced plastic chimneys. Results of the parametric study indi-

A.A. El Damatty et al. / Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

75

Table 4
The in-plane and transverse shear stresses associated with the along fibers stresses in Fig. 12 for an angleply laminate 35
Middle surface temperature

Maximum in-plane shear stresses Maximum transverse shear stresses

Tm (C)

t12 (MPa)

t13 (MPa)

t23 (MPa)

0
20
40
60
80
100

0.00
5.22
10.44
15.66
21.88
26.10

0.00
0.14
0.27
0.41
0.54
0.68

0.00
0.25
0.50
0.75
1.00
1.25

Table 5
The in-plane and transverse shear stresses associated with the along fibers stresses in Fig. 13 for an angleply laminate 55
Middle surface temperature

Maximum in-plane shear stresses Maximum transverse shear stresses

Tm (C)

t12 (MPa)

t13 (MPa)

t23 (MPa)

0
20
40
60
80
100

0.00
5.25
10.5
15.75
21.00
26.25

0.00
0.85
1.70
2.55
3.40
4.25

0.00
0.77
1.52
2.28
3.04
3.80

cate that the thickness, the diameter, the height and the number of laminae have no
significant effect on the induced thermal stresses. Analyses indicate that the thermal
stresses depend mainly on the through thickness temperature distribution (relative to
the curing temperature), the angle of orientation of the fibers, the coefficient of thermal expansion and the modulus of elasticity along the fibers direction. The last two
parameters depend on the fiber content in the matrix. The thermal stress analysis of
typical FRP chimneys shows high stress concentration near the boundaries with inplane across fibers stresses exceeding the typical ultimate strength in this direction.
As such, cracks are expected to occur in FRP chimneys as a result of through thickness temperature variations. However, it is believed that these cracks will be controlled if the interlaminar shear stresses are less than the ultimate shear strength
divided by an appropriate factor of safety.
The analysis then proceeds by assuming a negligible value for the modulus of
elasticity in the direction perpendicular to the fibers. Results of this last set of analysis
indicate that for the practical range of the early mentioned influential parameters,
the along fiber direction stresses as well as the shear stresses of cracked chimneys
are within acceptable values. Finally charts predicting the along fiber thermal stresses

76

A.A. El Damatty et al. / Thin-Walled Structures 37 (2000) 5776

induced in typical cracked FRP chimneys (but limited to 70% fiber content and
angles of inclination = 35 and 55) as a function of the through thickness temperature distribution are presented. These stress values can be considered when the
design of a FRP chimney is attempted.

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