Iterative Fourier decomposition of imperfection measurements at non-uniformly distributed sampling points

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Buckling of cylindrical shells subject to axial compression is acutely sensitive to the form and amplitude of geometric imperfections present in the structure. As a result, many attempts have been made to measure geometric imperfections in cylindrical shells both in laboratory specimens and less frequently in full-scale structures. The imperfections are generally interpreted using the well-known method of Fourier decomposition, so that the different components of imperfections can be more easily related to structural features such as positions of welds and their effects on buckling strength better understood. A common situation in imperfection measurements on full-scale shell structures is that some parts of the structure are not accessible, due to the presence of accessories such as service ladders and pipes. As a result, a measurement grid with non-uniform intervals is generally employed in imperfection surveys on full-scale structures. This paper first shows that when results from such surveys are interpreted using the traditional Fourier decomposition method, the resulting Fourier series cannot provide an accurate representation of the discrete measurement data due to the non-uniform distribution of sampling points. The paper then presents an iterative Fourier decomposition method which overcomes this problem. The theoretical background of the proposed method is detailed, followed by a numerical demonstration of the effectiveness of the method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-924
Number of pages24
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003


  • Discrete data
  • Fourier decomposition
  • Fourier series
  • Imperfections
  • Iterative method
  • Non-uniformly distributed sampling points

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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