A Consideration of the Structural Integrity of Time-Varying Mass Systems
Vanissorn Vimonsatit, Phung Tu, and Jack Fletcher
Appears on pages(s):
structural dynamics; silo integrity; silo quaking; time-varying mass structures
Traditionally, a time-varying mass system is viewed as the motion of moving bodies exiting or colliding with the system, such as rockets. A standing structure is not typically considered a time-varying mass system, but a silo during discharge of the infill is a subtle time-varying mass structure. Slender silos and silos with insufficiently stiffened supports are vulnerable to excessive vibration (silo quaking) and loud disruptive noises (silo honking) caused by the flow of the exiting masses. Using principles of mechanics and conservation of momentum, the equation of motion of such systems can be formulated to incorporate the discharge rate, material properties and the time-dependent characteristics of the system (mass, damping and stiffness). In this paper, the acceleration and mass flow of granular fill in a perspex tubing during discharge have been reproduced to simulate silo honking. By controlling the majority of influential factors, the replication of a small-scale silo design was possible with the repeatability of silo honking achieved in a controlled environment. A comparative study between discharge testing results of the sand fill with 0% (control), 5% and 10% moisture content shows that increasing the moisture content of the fill reduces the vibrational effect on the silo walls, and in turn reduces the magnitude of silo honking. Further, the effect of the sudden mass loss on a system of reinforced concrete columns depicting that of silo supports is investigated. The results show the exponential changes in the acceleration and velocity responses of the structure when subjected to a sudden mass loss. Finally, notes on how to consider the system of the forces in the silo structure based on the existing silo theory are provided.