Abstract: A general formulation for the curved, arbitrary shape of thick shell finite elements is presented in this paper along with a simplified form for axisymmetric situations. A number of examples ranging from thin to thick shell applications are given, which include a cooling tower, water tanks, an idealized arch dam and an actual arch dam with deformable foundation.
A new process using curved, thick shell finite elements is developed overcoming the previous approximations to the geometry of the structure and the neglect of shear deformation.
A general formulation for a curved, arbitrary shape of shell is developed as well as a simplified form suitable for axisymmetric situations.
Several illustrated examples ranging from thin to thick shell applications are given to assess the accuracy of solution attainable. These examples include a cooling tower, tanks, and an idealized dam for which many alternative solutions were used.
The usefulness of the development in the context of arch dams, where a ‘thick shell’ situation exists, leads in practice to a fuller discussion of problems of foundation deformation, etc., so that practical application becomes possible and economical.