The Buckling of Thin Cylindrical Shells under Axial Compression

Theodore von Kármán and Hsue-shen Tsien

(California Institute of Technology)

In two previous papers[1,2] the authors have discussed in detail the inadequacy of the classical theory of thin shells in explaining the buckling phenomenon of cylindrical and spherical shells. It was shown that not only the calculated buckling load is 3 to 5 times higher than that found by experiments, but the observed wave pattern of the buckled shell is also different from that predicted. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the different explanations for this discrepancy advanced by L. H. Donnell[3] and W. Flügge[4] are untenable when certain conclusions drawn from these explanations are compared with ...

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