Dynamics & Stability
The shape of a lightweight structure strongly depends on any preloads and fabrication-induced residual stresses. Even relatively small changes in these conditions can introduce shape deviations that significantly affect the overall behavior of the structure. We have studied the century-old problem of the stability of axially-loaded cylindrical shells and found a design approach that eliminates shape-error sensitivity. For balloons and spinning membranes, we have developed numerical simulations that predict their experimentally observed, non-symmetric shapes.