Experimental study of deformation and of effective width in axially loaded sheet-stringer panels

Ramberg, Walter (National Bureau of Standards) MCPHERSON ALBERT E (National Bureau of Standards) Levy, Sam (National Bureau of Standards)
February 1939

The deformation of two sheet-stringer panels subjected to end compression under carefully controlled end conditions was measured at a number of points and at a number of loads, most of which were above the load at which the sheet had begun to buckle. The two panels were identical except for the sheet, which was 0.70-inch 24st alclad for specimen 1 and 0.025-inch 24st aluminum alloy for specimen 6. A technique was developed for attaching Tuckerman optical strain gauges to the sheet without disturbing the strain distribution in the sheet by the method of attachment. This technique was used to explore the strain distribution in the sheet at various loads. The twisting and the bending of the stringers was measured by means of pointers attached to the stringers. The shape of the buckles in the sheet of specimen 6 was recorded at two loads by means of plaster casts. The sheet and the stringer loads at failure are compared with the corresponding loads for five similar panels tested at the Navy Model Basin. A detailed comparison is made between the measured deformation of the buckled sheet and the deformation calculated from approximate theories for the deformation in a rectangular sheet with freely supported edges buckling under end compression advanced by Timoshenko, Frankland, and Marguerre. The measured effective width for the specimens is compared with the effective width given by nine different relations for effective width as a function of the edge stress divided by the buckling stress of the sheet. The analysis of the measured stringer deformation is confined to an application of Southwell's method of plotting deformation against deformation over load. It was concluded that the stringer failure in both specimens were due to an instability in which the stringer was simultaneously twisted and bent as a column.

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