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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 925428, 10 pages
Research Article

Experiment and Theoretical Analysis Study of ETFE Inflatable Tubes

1School of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

Received 10 August 2014; Revised 21 October 2014; Accepted 22 October 2014; Published 11 November 2014

Academic Editor: Hong Nie

Copyright © 2014 YanLi He and WuJun Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The load bearing capacity of an ETFE (ethylene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene) inflatable tube is tested in this paper, and a comparative study of two wrinkling theories, the bifurcation theory and the tension field theory, is carried out for wrinkling analysis of the ETFE inflatable tube. Results obtained from the bifurcation theory and experiment reveal the limitations of tension field theory on the wrinkling analysis. The load-displacement curves of inflatable beams under bending load are obtained and compared with the experimental results; curves obtained using the bifurcation theory show coincidence with experimental curves, but the curves obtained using the tension field theory have noticeable deviations between calculated and experimental results.