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Towards imperfection insensitive buckling response of shell structures-shells with plate-like post-buckled responses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-253
Number of pages21
JournalAeronautical Journal
Issue number1224
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Jul 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2016


The imperfection sensitivity of cylindrical panels under compression loading is shown to be not only reduced but effectively eliminated using stiffness tailoring techniques. Shells are designed with variable angle-tow (VAT) laminae, giving their laminates variable-stiffness properties over the surface co-ordinates. By employing an asymptotic model of the non-linear shell behaviour and a genetic algorithm, the post-buckling stability was maximised with respect to the VAT design variables. Results for optimised straight-fibre and VAT shells are presented in comparison with quasi-isotropic designs. In the straight-fibre case, small improvements in the post-buckling stability are shown to be possible but at the expense of the buckling load. In the VAT case, on the other hand, considerable improvements in the post-buckling stability are obtained and drops in axial stiffness and load associated with buckling are reduced to negligible levels. The improvements are shown to be a result of a benign membrane stress distribution prior to buckling and a localisation of the buckling mode. The asymptotic results are compared with non-linear finite-element analyses and are found to be in good agreement. Potential future multi-objective optimisation studies are discussed.

    Research areas

  • Buckling, composite, Composite materials, imperfection-sensitivity, post-buckling, shells, variable stiffness



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