A model is proposed based on a Fourier series method to analyse the interactive bending wrinkling behaviour of inflated beams. The whole wrinkling evolution is tracked and divided into three stages by identifying the bifurcations of the equilibrium path. The critical wrinkling and failure moments of the inflated beam can then be predicted. The global–local interactive buckling pattern is elucidated by the proposed theoretical model and also verified by non-contact experimental tests. The effects of geometric parameters, internal pressure and boundary conditions on the buckling of inflated beams are investigated finally. The results reveal that the interactive buckling characteristics of an inflated beam under bending are more sensitive to the dimensions of the structure and boundary conditions. We find that for beams which are simply supported at both ends or clamped and simply supported, boundary conditions may prevent the wrinkling formation. The results provide significant support for our understanding of the bending wrinkling behaviour of inflated beams.
- Received June 21, 2016.
- Accepted August 4, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.