Finite element analysis of stresses in flexible bulk solid container

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Current theories and design codes pertaining to storage structures for bulk solids have been developed in the context of rigid-walled silos and may not be applicable for smaller and highly flexible containers that are often used for industrial packaging and intermediate storage. The focus of this study is to investigate the effect of wall flexibility on the bulk stresses and wall pressures during storage using finite element analysis. The results show that when the wall stiffness is low, the computed bulk stresses in the vertical bin section are dominated by plasticity, while the stresses in the hopper section remain in the elastic state. In this situation, the wall pressure in the bin section is heavily influenced by the strength of the stored solid, which controls the extent of plastic flow. Overall, the normal wall pressure in the bin section is found to decrease with wall flexibility leading to a corresponding increase in vertical stress in the stored solid. As a consequence, the stresses in the hopper also increase leading to increasing loads on the hopper walls and potential exacerbation of handling issues for cohesive materials in highly flexible containers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2518-2533
JournalAdvances in Structural Engineering
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2018


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