Descriptions of types of instability and classical buckling problems

Part of the Mechanics of Elastic Stability book series (MEST, volume 9)


To the layman, buckling is a mysterious, perhaps even awe-inspiring phenomenon that transforms objects originally imbued with symmetrical beauty into junk (Fig. 1). Occasionally unaware of the possibility of buckling, engineers have designed structures (Fig. 2(a)) with inadequate safety margins (Fig. 2(b)). The large cylindrical tower on the left in Fig. 3(a) failed in 1956 [1] because of buckling of a torispherical end closure at its lower end. The 38-meter-tall water tower sketched in Fig. 4(c) collapsed in 1972 [2] when it was being filled for the first time. The collapse of the entire tower (Fig. 4(a)) was triggered by local instability in the conical section at the deepest water level (Fig. 4(b)). A large, expensive shroud for a payload to be orbited around the earth (Fig. 5(a)) failed during proof testing because of local buckling near a field joint (Fig. 5(b, c, d)) [3].


Cylindrical Shell Critical Load Bifurcation Point Axial Compression Equilibrium Path 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lockheed Palo Alto Research LaboratoryPalo AltoUSA

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