Optimal stiffening configuration for locally supported cylindrical silos : engaged columns

A. Jansseune, W. De Corte, J.L.I.F. Belis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Cylindrical steel silos are often supported by discrete supports or columns to be able to provide a hopper and to facilitate emptying operations beneath the cylindrical barrel. The simplest mean of support for a light silo is by the use of engaged columns, without the use of unnecessarily expensive ring stiffeners. Such engaged columns gradually introduce the support load into the silo wall by shear, spreading the stresses in circumferential direction. In general, the highest axial compressive stress concentrations can be found in the shell wall in the vicinity of the top of the engaged column, resulting in failure due to excessive yielding and/or local instability.

    The study aims to identify the optimal combination of dimensions of an engaged column (i.e. the height, the widths in circumferential and radial direction and the thickness) to obtain a failure load as high as possible with as little material in the column as possible. An important condition is the requirement that the columns must withstand a higher load than the silo wall itself. In other words, failure should occur in the vicinity of the terminations of the columns (and not in the column itself). All results and conclusions are based on numerical finite element analyses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-29
    JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


    • Cylinder
    • Local supported
    • Engaged columns
    • Yielding
    • Buckling
    • Optimal stiffening configuration


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