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mylar model of the water tank, unbuckled & buckled

Experiments on mylar models of conical water tanks by van der Pitte and Lagae at the University of Ghent, Belgium clearly demonstrated the buckling phenomenon that caused the failure of the large water tank in 1972. The unbuckled mylar model is on the left; the buckled model is on the right. The buckles are long in the hoop (circumferential) direction and short in the meridional direction because the prebuckling load is hoop tension combined with meridional compression.

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