Experimental Testing of an Accordion Shell for an Expandable Shelter
ARMY MATERIALS AND MECHANICS RESEARCH CENTER WATERTOWN MA
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The Armys prototype 50-foot expandable shelter consists of a rigid shipping container measuring about 8x20 feet x 8 feet high. The two 20-foot sides, each comprised of four hinged, rigid panels, expand to form the floor and end walls of an overall 20x50-foot shelter. Each expandable section is covered by an accordion-type sandwich panel shell which serves as the roof and side walls. The goal of this project was to evaluate the capability of the shell to sustain simulated snow loading so that future shells could be designed more effectively. The snow loading was simulated by placing plywood sheets on the shell roof incrementally. Deflection and strain measurements were obtained at various specific locations on the shell roof and one side wall using several telescopic measuring devices and strain gage rosettes. These data were to be subsequently compared with an existing finite element analysis. The deflection data were basically symmetric throughout the shell and relatively linear with the loading. The strain data were generally linear with the loading, but fairly low in value. These relatively low strain values were attributed to the fact that much of the structural response action of the shell to loading took place in the shells joints or folds.
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology