Flow-induced buckling of flexible shells with non-zero Gaussian curvatures and thin spots
We study the influence of one or multiple thin spots on the flow-induced instabilities of flexible shells of revolution with non-zero Gaussian curvatures. The shell's equation of motion is described by a thin doubly-curved shell theory and is coupled with perturbed flow pressure, calculated based on an inviscid flow model. We show that for shells with positive Gaussian curvatures conveying fluid, the existence of a thin spot results in a localized flow-induced buckling response of the shell in the neighborhood of the thin spot, and significantly reduces the critical flow velocity for buckling instability. For shells with negative Gaussian curvatures, the buckling response is extended along the shell's characteristic lines and the critical flow velocity is only slightly reduced. We also show that the length scale of the localized deformation generated by a thin spot is proportional to the shell's global thickness when the stiffness of the thin spot is negligible compared with the stiffness of the rest of the shell. When two thin spots exist at a distance, their influences are independent from each other for shells with positive Gaussian curvatures, but large-scale deformations can be created due to multiple thin spots on shells with negative curvatures, depending on the thin spots' relative position.