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The Effect of a Circular Hole on the Buckling of Cylindrical Shells


Starnes, James Herbert, Jr. (1970) The Effect of a Circular Hole on the Buckling of Cylindrical Shells. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/VGHN-EQ52.


An experimental and theoretical investigation of the effect of a circular hole on the buckling of thin cylindrical shells under axial compression was carried out. The experimental program consisted of tests performed on seamless electroformed copper shells and Mylar shells with a lap joint seam. The copper shells were tested in a controlled displacement testing machine equipped with a noncontacting surface displacement measuring device. Three-dimensional surface plots obtained in this manner showed the changes in the displacement field over the entire shell, including the hole region, as the applied load was increased. The Mylar shells were tested in a controlled load testing machine and demonstrated the effect of increasing the hole radius on the buckling loads of the cylinder.

The theoretical solution was based on a Rayleigh-Ritz approximation. The solution provided an upper bound for the buckling stresses of the cylinders tested for hole radii less than ten per cent of the shell radii. The theoretical solution also identified the governing parameter of the problem as being related to the hole radius, the shell radius, and the shell thickness.

The theoretical part of the investigation showed that even a small hole should significantly reduce the buckling stresses of circular cylinders. Experimentally, it was found that the effect of a small hole is masked by the effects of initial deformations but, at larger hole radii, the reduction in buckling stress took the form predicted by the theory. The experimental results also showed that the character of the shell buckling was dependent on the hole size. For very small holes the shell buckled into the general collapse configuration and there was no apparent effect of the hole on the buckling mode of the shell. For slightly larger holes the shell still buckled into the general collapse configuration, but the buckling stresses of the shell were sharply reduced as the hole size increased. For still larger holes the buckling stresses did not decrease as sharply as the hole size increased and the shell buckled into a stable local buckling configuration.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Aeronautics)
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:8 May 1970
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04012009-110903
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1244
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Apr 2009
Last Modified:07 May 2024 18:53

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