Imperfection sensitivity

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


The emphasis in previous chapters of this volume has been on buckling either as a nonlinear collapse phenomenon or as a bifurcation phenomenon, as shown in Fig. 7. It has been implied that the load at which collapse occurs, λ s in Fig. 7(a), is obtained from a nonlinear analysis with use of a computer program for general shells such as STAGS [48] or a computer program for shells of revolution such as BOSOR [47]. The bifurcation load, λ c in Fig. 7(a), has been identified, by implication at least, with loss of stability of the structure. Many examples have been given involving comparisons between tests and predictions of bifurcation buckling loads and mode shapes for elastic and elastic-plastic shells of revolution under uniform and nonuniform loads, including and neglecting nonlinear prebuckling effects. The effect of imperfections in the structure has been to cause discrepancies between test and bifurcation buckling theory, such as demonstrated in the extreme cases of the cylindrical shell under axial compression (Fig. 19) and the spherical shell under external pressure (Fig. 30). With the exception of the examples in the previous chapter involving modal interaction in axially compressed columns and stiffened panels, the post-bifurcation states of structures have not been considered here explicitly in determinations of their load-carrying capacities.


Cylindrical Shell Critical Load Spherical Shell Initial Imperfection Cylindrical Panel 
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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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