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An experimental investigation of the bifurcation in twisted square plates Howell, Robert A.


The bifurcation phenomenon occurring in twisted square plates with free edges subject to contrary self-equilibrating corner loading was examined. In order to eliminate lateral deflection of the test plates due to their own weight, a special loading apparatus was constructed which held the plates in a vertical plane. The complete strain field occurring at the plate centre was measured using two strain gauge rosettes mounted on opposing sides of the plate at the centre. Principal curvatures were calculated and related to corner load for several plates with differing edge length/thickness ratios. A Southwell plot was used relating mean curvature to the ratio mean curvature/Gaussian curvature, from which the Gaussian curvature occurring at bifurcation was determined. The critical dimensionless twist ka was then calculated for each plate size. It was found that there is a linear relation between the critical dimensionless twist ka occurring at bifurcation, and the thickness to edge length ratio h/a ratio, specifically: ka = 10.8h/a.

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