Experiments on the thermal post-buckling of panels, including localized heating

David A. Ehrhardt, Lawrence N. Virgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The suppression of expansion in thin clamped panels subjected to elevated thermal loading often results in buckling. However, a number of possible post-buckled equilibrium configurations typically exist, and which shape ensues depends on a number of factors including the role of symmetry, boundary conditions, aspect ratio, and the effect of small geometric imperfections associated with the initial shape. It is possible to force the panel to go between different buckled shapes, given a sufficiently large perturbation. Sometimes the panel will spontaneously jump, or snap, when the temperature is gradually increased or decreased (mode jumping). The extent to which these features occur when the thermal loading is applied locally is also investigated. This paper describes some interesting nonlinear (essentially buckling) behavior in thermally-loaded panels from a primarily experimental perspective, with an additional focus on non-uniform heating. The full force of stereo 3D digital image correlation and forward-looking infrared cameras are exploited to provide a relatively complete picture of this behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-309
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
StatePublished - Jan 20 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Buckling
  • Experiments
  • Full-field measurements
  • Localized heating
  • Nonlinear behavior
  • Plates
  • Thermal loading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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