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Buckling of thin cylindrical shells under uniform axial compression

J. Mchael Rotter, "Shell structures: the new European standard and current research needs", Thin-Walled Structures, Vol. 31, Nos. 1-3, May 1998, pp. 3-23

Buckling loads are far below the theoretical value because of the unavoidable presence of initial imperfections.

ABSTRACT: Shell structures are widely used in a great variety of applications from space rockets to domestic food and drink containers. Civil engineers are principally concerned with steel shell structures such as silos, tanks, pipelines, chimneys, towers and masts, though other examples may be found in offshore structures and stadium roofs.

This paper describes the treatment of terrestrial shell structures in Eurocode 3: Steel structures. It outlines the principles which are guiding the development of the standard, the range of applications covered, and some details of the current proposals. The axially compressed cylindrical shell is then chosen as an example illustrating the range of real problems which need to be addressed, and the paucity of current data on many aspects of these problems. This example is also used to outline the complexity involved even in this one area, recent progress and current needs.

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