Compound Curved Sandwich Shell Structures
“Behaviour of Compound Curved Shell Structures”
Outstanding Success! Domeshells achieves Australian Building Code Certification
Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
In 2000, Domeshells commissioned a project with (QUT) to study the behaviour of “compound curved sandwich shell structures” (c2s3) utilising a polyurethane foam core with “glass fibre reinforced concrete” (GRC) coatings.
Queensland University of Technology School of Urban Development headed by Professor David P Thambiratnam have conducted extensive materials property testing, finite element modelling and physical testing of full scale prototypes underpinning Domeshells engineering credentials.
Domeshells structural knowledge base enable design in c2s3 for a wide range of applications under the severest operating conditions.
Domeshells is an expert in fabrication of GRC dome structures and in the manufacture of GRC landscape and architectural elements for a wide range of products.
Our experience, knowledge and accumulated data allows us to provide a unique range of services including:
- Finite Element Modelling
- R&D Services
- Shell Structure Design
- GRC Structural Design
As well as a complete range of conventional and civil services
“Compound Curved Sandwich Shell Structures” (c2s3™ for short)
DomeShells c2s3™ Technology combines two fundamental engineering concepts – the structural qualities of the compound curved shell, and the structural qualities of the sandwich panel.
Strength of the Compound Curve
In compound curved structures, the strength of the arch is magnified because energy forces are distributed both downwards and sideways. The eggshell provides a simple illustration of this principle. Try crushing an egg by placing its ends between your palms and pressing hard. You’re more likely to hurt your hands than crush the shell.
Like the eggshell, DomeShells take advantage of the inherent strength of the compound curve. The gravitational stresses in the overhead section are distributed out and around, enabling the building to be self-supporting without the need for beams, walls or columns.
Sample of the shell panel – A core of polyurethane foam sandwiched between two Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete structural skins.
Strength of the Sandwich Panel
The second element of c2s3™ Technology is the ‘sandwich’ panel which is both lightweight and extremely strong.
The basic principle of sandwich construction is to separate two load-bearing skins with a lightweight core material. In a sandwich panel under load, one skin is under compression while the other is in tension. The further apart the skins are, the greater the stiffness of the panel.
Thermal Performance and Energy Efficiency
The core of the sandwich panel is structural, close celled polyurethane foam which is one of the most efficient insulating materials available. Closed cell polyurethane is reported to be up to 97% efficient compared to some traditional systems which can be as low as 35% efficient.
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