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Design Considerations for Small-Scale Pipe Greenhouses to Prevent Arch Buckling Under Snow Load

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034047,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13861) @2003
Authors:   H. Moriyama, D. R. Mears, S. Sase, H. Kowata, M. Ishii
Keywords:   pipe greenhouse, structure, snow load, buckling analysis

Small-scale single-span pipe frame greenhouses (pipe houses) are widely used in Japan because these lightweight structures are suitable for construction by the farmers thus reducing labor cost. However, farmers without benefit of any structural analyses have erected these pipe houses. As a consequence, these pipe house structures are very weak and frequently damaged by buckling under snow load. To improve the design, stress and buckling analyses were conducted. The result shows that an unmodified design pipe house has a very low limit load (192 N/m2) with collapse caused by bending moment. In contrast, a pipe house reinforced by two steel wires, has higher limit loads. Both maximum stress and critical buckling analyses are necessary. To verify the numerical structural models, loading tests were also conducted. Pipe house designs reinforced by two steel wires showed 1.6 to 2 times the limit load as the unmodified structure. There was a good linear relationship between limit loads from FEM analysis and from loading test.

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