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An Experimental Investigation of the General Instability of Ring-Stiffened, Unpressurized, Thin-Walled Cylinders Under Axial Compression


McCoy, John Carver (1958) An Experimental Investigation of the General Instability of Ring-Stiffened, Unpressurized, Thin-Walled Cylinders Under Axial Compression. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/TR8H-6D86.


Eight different series of thin-walled Mylar cylinders were tested experimentally to investigate the general instability of ring-stiffened, unpressurized, thin-walled cylinders under axial compressive loading. The primary objectives for these tests were: to determine whether the bending or the torsional stiffness of the rings was the most effective stiffening parameter; to determine the relative effectiveness of ring-stiffeners around the inside and the outside of the cylinders; and to investigate the mechanism of buckling of unpressurized cylinders under axial compression. It was found that the torsional stiffness of the ring-stiffeners was the most important parameter for stiffening the thin-walled Mylar cylinders under axial loading. Ring-stiffeners with a low torsional stiffness did not stiffen the cylinder effectively until the rings were closely spaced. Ring-stiffeners on the inside of the cylinders did not affect the maximum buckling load when they were not bonded to the cylinder walls. Ring-stiffeners on the outside of the cylinders provided effective stiffening whether they were bonded to the cylinder walls or not. The experimental results of thin-walled cylinders under axial compression indicated that the cylinder walls expand laterally to some critical amount, at which time they become unstable and suddenly collapse into buckling. The ring-stiffeners increase the critical compressive load with their effective torsional stiffness by resisting the annular collapse of the cylinder walls into diamond shaped buckles. At an L/R ring spacing ratio of 1.0 or less, the walls tended to buckle across the ring-stiffeners.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautical Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sechler, Ernest Edwin
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1958
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01102006-133017
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:12 Jan 2006
Last Modified:16 Oct 2023 22:32

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PDF (McCoy_jc_1958.pdf) - Final Version
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