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 Structural Engineering and Mechanics   Volume 54, Number 1, April10 2015, pages 87-103 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12989/sem.2015.54.1.087 Buckling of axial compressed cylindrical shells with stepwise variable thickness H.G. Fan, Z.P. Chen, W.Z. Feng, F. Zhou, X.L. Shen and G.W. Cao Abstract     [Full Text] This paper focuses on an analytical research on the critical buckling load of cylindrical shells with stepwise variable wall thickness under axial compression. An arctan function is established to describe the thickness variation along the axial direction of this kind of cylindrical shells accurately. By using the methods of separation of variables, small parameter perturbation and Fourier series expansion, analytical formulas of the critical buckling load of cylindrical shells with arbitrary axisymmetric thickness variation under axial compression are derived. The analysis is based on the thin shell theory. Analytic results show that the critical buckling load of the uniform shell with constant thickness obtained from this paper is identical with the classical solution. Two important cases of thickness variation pattern are also investigated with these analytical formulas and the results coincide well with those obtained from other authors. The cylindrical shells with stepwise variable wall thickness, which are widely used in actual engineering, are studied by this method and the analytical formulas of critical buckling load under axial compression are obtained. Furthermore, an example is presented to illustrate the effects of each strake Key Words cylindrical shells; tanks; stepwise variable wall thickness; axial compression; critical buckling load Address H.G. Fan, Z.P. Chen, W.Z. Feng, F. Zhou, X.L. Shen and G.W. Cao: Institute of Process Equipment, Zhejiang University, 38 Zheda Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, P.R. China

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