Cylindrical shells under uniform bending in the framework of Reference Resistance Design

Jie Wang, Oluwole Fajuyitan, M. Anwar Orabi, J. Micheal Rotter, Adam Sadowski

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The resistance of cylindrical shells and tubes under uniform bending has received significant research attention in recent times, with a number of major projects aiming to characterise their strength through both experimental and numerical studies. However, the investigated cross-section slenderness ranges have mostly addressed low radius to thickness ratios where buckling occurs after significant plasticity and the influence of geometric imperfections is relatively minor. The behaviour under uniform bending of thinner imperfection-sensitive cylinders that fail by elastic buckling was largely omitted, as was the influence of finite length effects. The value of such resistance models that are only useful for thicker cylinders is therefore somewhat limited.
This paper offers the most comprehensive known characterisation of the buckling and collapse resistance of isotropic cylindrical shells and tubes under uniform bending. Expressed within the modern framework of Reference Resistance Design (RRD), it holistically incorporates the effects of material plasticity, geometric nonlinearity and sensitivity to realistic and damaging weld depression imperfections. The characterisation was made possible by the authors’ recently-developed novel methodology for mass automation of nonlinear shell buckling finite element analyses. A modification of the RRD formulation is proposed which facilitates its application to systems of low slenderness, and offers a compact algebraic characterisation of all potential imperfection amplitudes for this common shell structural condition. A reliability analysis is also performed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105920
JournalJournal of Constructional Steel Research
Early online date30 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) with grant contract EP/N024060/1 . O. Kunle Fajuyitan's contribution was funded by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) of Nigeria. The authors are grateful to Dr Peter Stafford of Imperial College London for his contribution to the reliability analysis. The reader is warmly invited to consult the authors' ResearchGate profiles for additional resources related to this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cylindrical shells
  • Geometric nonlinearity
  • Imperfection sensitivity
  • Plasticity
  • Reference Resistance Design
  • Uniform bending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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