Elastic imperfect cylindrical shells of varying length under combined axial compression and bending

Jie Wang, Adam Sadowski

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2 Citations (SciVal)


This paper presents a comprehensive computational investigation into the elastic nonlinear buckling response of near-perfect and highly imperfect uniform thickness cylindrical shells of varying length under combined uniform compression and bending. In particular, the elastic ovalisation phenomenon induced by the varying length of a cylindrical shell under combined compression and bending was systematically investigated for the first time. The study considered a representative range of practical lengths, up to very long cylinders where ovalisation is fully developed under uniform bending and Euler column buckling controls under uniform axial compression. The imperfection sensitivity of the system was also studied by introducing a single idealised axisymmetric weld depression imperfection at the midspan of the cylinder.

The predictions permit an exploration of the nonlinear mechanics of the generally unfavourable interaction between bending and axial compression at the elastic nonlinear buckling limit state in thin long cylinders. The interaction is at its most unfavourable in cylinders where Euler column buckling is about to become critical, and is qualitatively very different from the moment-force interaction at the plastic limit state which is widely known to be favourable. A simple closed-form algebraic characterisation of the interaction is proposed considering both imperfections and ovalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04020014
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Axial compression
  • Combined loading
  • Cylindrical shells
  • Imperfetion sensitivity
  • Length effects
  • N-M interaction
  • Nonlinear mechanics
  • Ovalisation
  • Uniform bending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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