Simple Buckling Theory for Pressurized Cylinders

by Ronaldo C. Batista, Adjunct Prof.; Civ. Engrg., COPPE-Engenharia Civil Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
James G. A. Croll, Lect. in Civ. Engrg.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. College London, London, England,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 5, Pg. 927-944

Document Type: Journal Paper


Energy distribution within the critical modes of a classical energy eigenvalue analysis for circular cylindrical seashells under external pressure shows that a significant contribution to the stability of the shell is derived from membrane stiffness. It is argued from physical reasoning that the unstable post-critical behavior is the result of the loss of this membrane stiffness. To account for the combined effect of mode coupling and imperfections in eroding this membrane stiffness, a simplified theoretical analysis is described in which appropriate terms in the membrane potential energy are neglected. It is shown, by comparison with the writers' experiments, and with a collection of data found in the literature, that this reduced stiffness method provides lower bounds which, for shells with moderate imperfections, are reliable lower bounds of the experimental buckling pressures in the modes observed to trigger buckling. This lower boundedness combined with the conceptual and analytic simplicity of the reduced stiffness method make it a particularly attractive basis for the design.

Subject Headings: Stiffening | Membranes | Buckling | Cylinders | Power transmission | Eigenvalues | Cylindrical shells | Pressure distribution

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