Buckling of circular steel cylindrical shells under different loading conditions
Cylindrical shells are widely used in civil engineering. Examples include cooling towers, pipelines, nuclear containment vessels, steel silos and tanks for storage of bulk solids and liquids, and pressure vessels. The loading condition for these shells is quite varied depending on the function of the shell. Axial compression, global bending, external or internal pressure and wind loading are some of the most common loading forms for realistic structures. The failure of these cylindrical shell structures is often controlled by elastic or elastic-plastic buckling failure. Yield failure may occur in thick cylinders in some situations. A cylindrical shell under different loading conditions may display quite different buckling behaviour. The objective of this thesis is to investigate the characteristics of different buckling behaviours of cylindrical shell structures under axial compression, global bending, uniform external pressure and wind pressure. Some challenging practical problems in the design of these shell structures are explored. This thesis is expected to have some far-reaching impacts in defining how to design cylindrical shell structures to give them adequate strength to resist extreme events. Many aspects will be based on the latest Eurocode (EN 1993-1-6, 2007) and Recommendations (ECCS EDR5, 2008). The results show both some strength and some weaknesses in the Eurocode in design of shell structures. New methods are proposed for some practical problems. Some new conclusions and suggestions are derived and are expected to provide some useful knowledge for the improvement of the Eurocode in cylindrical shell design in general.