Conical indentation of thick elastic spherical shells Academic Article uri icon


  • Indentation of spherical shells by a rigid conical indenter is analyzed. Because the shape change associated with overall bending provides a main deviation from the corresponding indentation behavior of a half-space, finite deformation analyses are carried out. The shell material is characterized by a hypoelastic relation that reduces to isotropic linear elasticity for small strains and is an elastic relation at finite strains for fixed principal directions. Axisymmetric deformations are assumed. For indentation of shells there is a complex interaction between the indentation response and the overall structural response of the shell. The aim of the analyses is to give insight into the range of indentation depths for which the indentation response dominates so that an indentation analysis can be used to extract the elastic properties. Shells having various thicknesses are analyzed. It is found that for spherical shells with thickness to radius ratios less than or equal to 0.4 and for sufficiently shallow indentation depths, the scaling of the indentation load with contact area has the same form as that for indentation into a halfspace but with a different scaling constant.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures

author list (cited authors)

  • Ogbonna, N., & Needleman, A

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Ogbonna, Nkem||Needleman, Alan

publication date

  • June 2011