 19 
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
In separatedtype water tunnel structure, when the point supported steel liner is subjected to the
uniform external pressure, the contact between tunnel lining and liner is difficult to happen
because the developed compressive hoop thrust in pipe only shortens the circumference of liner
and then enlarges the gap between liner and host. Therefore, the buckling of the uniformly point
supported liner can be considered a rotary symmetric buckling likely the buckling of free pipe
under external pressure. In this chapter, the buckling of free pipe is investigated.
2.1 Introduction
2.1.1 Plain Pipe vs. Stiffened Pipe
The choice of plain versus stiffened steel pipe for a tunnel liner is primarily not only a cost
issue, but also have to consider other issues such as the safety, constructability, and the
inspection/ maintenance. For instance, steel pipe with diameter to thickness ratios of more than
about 300 or thickness more than 45mm are usually not practical due to handling limitations.
On the other hand, the steel pipe must have the sufficient capacity to resist the internal pressure
and external pressure, while the external pressure is vulnerable to cause the buckling of pipe.
Generally, the steel pipe thickness designed for external pressure is usually much thicker than
that for internal pressure. In engineering practice, plain steel pipe has many advantages as
shown in followings,
Design and analysis are relatively simple and well understood.
Outer diameter of a plain steel pipe is less than a stiffened steel pipe; hence the excavated
tunnel diameter can be reduced.
Manufacture of a plain steel pipe is simpler, particularly for wall thickness less than about
20mm. The manufacture cost per unit length of stiffened steel pipe is generally higher than a
plain pipe with same thickness, considering the required stiffener welding work.
However, when the water tunnel is built in deep underground, the groundwater pressure is
relatively high and the structure design has to consider the bucking of steel pipe under external
pressure principally. In such case, the stiffened pipe is required considering its following
advantages,
Stiffened steel pipe can be designed lighter than a plain pipe.
Buckling mode of a stiffened pipe can be controlled, and the long steel pipe collapse can be
avoided if appropriately design.
Thinner pipe can be used, hence not only quantities of steel materials but also the welding
works are possibly reduced. In addition, the construction of deep water tunnel can become
possibility when the steel pipe rolling process is limited in thickness due to available
fabrication machinery and other restrained conditions.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 20 
Otherwise, the application of the external circular stiffeners usually called ring stiffener should
be considered when the thickness of a plain pipe designed for external pressure exceeds the
thickness required by internal pressure. Finally, the design should be carried out based on
economic considerations of the following three available options: a) increasing the thickness of
the pipe, b) adding external stiffeners to a pipe with thickness required for internal pressure, and
c) increasing the thickness of pipe and adding external stiffeners, and satisfy the design
requirement for the external pressure. In addition, the economic comparison between plain and
stiffened pipe must consider the extra cost of welding, tunnel excavation and backfill.
In the current study, the stiffened pipe is considered as the tunnel liner in principle considering
the safety and cost of the water tunnel built in urban deep underground. The stiffeners are
installed with a constant spacing on the steel pipe, and are welded with fillet welding around
and at the exterior of pipe. The stiffener is assumed having sufficient second moment of inertia
to avoid buckling of itself, since it is principally used to holding the pipe in a circular shape. As
the stiffener types, there are 4 common types as shown in Fig. 2.1, called tee bar, rolled channel
stiffener, rolled plate stiffener, and flat bar, respectively. Tee bar is theoretically the most
efficient as a stiffener, however the complicated fabrication is the vital shortcoming. Moreover,
the available reduction of cross section is limited because the failure of flange or web has to be
avoided. Rolled channel stiffener is also structural efficient, by which a greater spacing of
stiffener becomes possible because of its larger inertia moment and two connection points with
steel pipe. The problem of rolled channel stiffener is that there are no effective means to treat
the void created by stiffener. A rolled plate oriented parallel to the steel pipe cannot add the
second moment of inertia of steel pipe to resist buckling. It is therefore that the rolled plate is
not used as main stiffener, just used for reinforcing the connection of steel pipe. A flat bar
(Rolled or cut plate placed perpendicular to pipe) are the most commonly used stiffener due to
not only its easily manufacturing but having efficient second moment of inertia to improve the
capacity of buckling resistance. Accordingly, in this study, the flat bar is adopted as stiffener in
terms of the design and construction of stiffened pipe. The crosssection profile of a pipe
stiffened with flat bar is shown in Fig. 2.2, where the related notations about stiffened pipe are
shown
1)
.
a) Rolled tee b) Rolled channel c) Rolled plate d) Rolled /Cut plate
(Tee Bar) (Parallel to pipe) (Perpendicular to pipe)
(Flat Bar)
Fig. 2.1 Typical stiffeners
Steel pipe
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 21 
Fig. 2.2 Wall crosssection of stiffened pipe
2.1.2 Existing Buckling Theories Review
In the past decades, many researchers have studied the buckling problem, for instance, Von
Mises, Donnel, Southwell, Timoshenko, Flgger, Tokugawa , etc.., investigated the free pipe
with two ends held in circular shape and presented analytical solutions respectively; Kendrick,
Bryant etc. investigated the stiffened pipe and presented analytical equations taking into account
the flexural rigidity of stiffener, Koter, Yamaki and others investigated the nonlinear theory of
thin shells and the influence of imperfection.
Plain Pipe
When a free pipe is subjected to uniform external pressure, the tangential compressive stress
will be developed in pipe and increases with the external pressure increases. When the
tangential compressive stress reaches a limit value, the pipe is not able to maintain its initial
circular shape, and distorts unstably in buckling.
For a finite long free pipe with radius R, thickness t, the buckling has been discussed by Von.
Mises
2)
, Donnel
3)
, Southwell
4)
, Timoshenko
5)
, Flgger
6)
, Tokugawa
7)
, etc.. The corresponding
buckling equations will be referred in following section for stiffened pipe. However for an
infinite long free pipe, the buckling equation can be derived using the Euler buckling theory, by
assumed as a ring with the second moment of inertia (I).The buckling equation is expressed as
follows,
3
2
3
2
12
) 1 ( ) 1 (
=
R
t E n
R
EI n
P
cr
(2.1a)
However, if the pipe is longitudinal restrained, Eq. (2.1a) should be modified by considering
the Poissons effect. The equation of critical pressure is then given by the following,
R
2S
t
t
r
h
r
R
c
Rt Be 56 . 1 =
R
0
Effective crosssection
Neutral axis
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 22 
3
' 2
3
2
2
12
) 1 (
) 1 ( 12
) 1 (
=
R
t E n
R
t
v
E n
P
cr
(2.1b)
Where, the E=E/(1v
2
) is often used in practice, commonly called effective elastic modulus.
As for a long free pipe, since the lowest critical pressure is always produced when the number
of wave n is equal to 2, the number of waves is commonly given 2. Thus the buckling equation
of a long pipe can be expressed by Eq. (2.2).
3
'
4
=
R
t E
P
cr
(2.2)
Moreover, the analytical solution using Eq. (2.2) is only valid for hydrostatic pressure with the
acting direction normal to pipe surface. For a conservative load maintaining their direction, the
denominator 4 in Eq. (2.2) should be replaced by 3.
Stiffened Pipe
As the ringstiffened pipe is generally considered a stiffened cylindrical shell, the following
studies should be mentioned. The buckling of ringstiffened cylindrical shells under external
pressure has been studied by the following researchers. Reis and Walker
8)
analyzed the local
buckling strength of ringstiffened cylindrical shells by nonlinear buckling analysis. Y.
Yamamoto
9)
studied the general instability of ringstiffened cylindrical shells using experiments.
S. S. Seleim et al.
10)
, systemically studied the buckling behavior of ringstiffened cylinders.
From the studies mentioned above, it is confirmed that the buckling behavior of ringstiffened
cylindrical shells involves three types of failure: interring shell buckling, general buckling, and
ringstiffener stripping. Regarding buckling design, Charles P. Ellinas and William J. Supple
11)
conducted a comprehensive investigation on buckling design for ringstiffened cylinders.
Generally, the studies on buckling of stiffened pipe can be divided into two groups. One group
focused the buckling of the shell between adjacent stiffeners, while another group focused the
buckling of overall pipe. The two buckling forms are usually called general buckling and local
buckling, and their buckling forms are shown in Fig. 2.3, respectively. The representatives of
former group include Von Mises, Donnel, Southwell, Timoshenko, Flgger, Tokugawa, etc,
while the latter are represented by Kendrick
12)
, Bryant
13)
, etc..
In the research of former group, the stiffened pipe is simply assumed that the two ends of a
plain pipe are held in circular shape, and buckling occurs in a rotarysymmetric buckling with
sinusoidal wave. The related equations were derived by Southwell in 1913, Von Mises in 1914,
Timoshenko in 1938, Flgger in 1960, Tokugawa in 1961, Donnel in 1976. However, since the
Timoshenkos equation obtained by Von Mises firstly are usually used in engineering practice.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 23 
a) Initial shape b) bucking of inter stiffener shell c) buckling of overall pipe
(Local buckling) (General buckling)
Fig. 2.3 Buckling forms of stiffened pipe
The Timoshenko and Von Mises buckling equation for a stiffened pipe with radius R,
thickness t and spacing S is given in Eq. (2.3). Where, the approximate wave number can be
determined by following Eq. (2.4).
( )
=
1
1 2
1
) 1 ( 12
1 ) 1 (
1
2
2
2
2
3 2
3
2
2
2 2
S
R
n
n
n
R
Et
S
R
n n
R
Et
P
cr
(2.3)
( )
8
2 2 2
4
) 1 ( 12
3
R t
S
R
n
= (2.4)
When the spacing S in Eq. (2.3) is replaced by the length of a plain pipe L, the Von Mises
buckling equation can also be used for a finite long pipe.
In Japan, Tokugawa equation is also used in buckling design as shown following,
( )
( )
( )
( )
+
+
+
+
+
=
2
2 2
2 4
2
2 2
2
0
2 2
2 2
4
2
2
0
1 2
) 1 ( 3
2 2
2
1
n
n n
n
D
t
n
n
D
t
E
P
cr
(2.5)
Where,
S
D
2
0
=
25 . 0
0
5 . 0
0
63 . 1
=
t
D
S
D
n
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 24 
In the latter group, for the buckling of stiffened pipe, Kendrick and Bryant presented their
theoretical solutions using the energy approach in 1953, 1954 respectively, based on the
phenomenon of buckling deformation that stiffeners and shell distorts simultaneously when
buckling occurs. Kendrick and Bryants theoretical equations are given in Eq. (2.6) and Eq.
(2.7), respectively.
S R
n I
n n R
Et
P
e
cr 3
2 2
2 2 2 2 2
4
) 1 (
) )( 1 2 (
+
+ +
=
(2.6)
S R R
n I
n n R
Et
P
c
e
cr 2
0
2 2
2 2 2 2 2
4
) 1 (
) )( 1 2 (
+
+ +
=
(2.7)
Kendricks theoretical solutions was derived by assuming the displacement variations as
sinusoidal functions and applying the RayleighRitz approach, and was experimentally verified
by Galletly et al.. Bryant used the same means in derivation of theoretical equation, however,
the effect of stiffeners eccentricity and the thickness of shell were taken into account. Moreover,
Kendricks equation has been adopted in BS 5500 1994, while Bryants formula has been
recommended by the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC) in America and Associate of
Civil Engineer in Japan.
Nonlinear and Imperfection Theory
When a cylindrical shell is subjected to small external pressure, the small deformation with
rotations and strain will occur. In theoretical analysis, the liner expressions for both
displacementstrain relation and stressstrain relations can be applied, and the basic governing
equations in terms of deformation of shells results in the classical linear theory of elasticity.
However, if shells deforms largely, the geometric nonlinear and material nonlinear in terms of
displacementstrain relation and stressstrain relations will happen. In such case, the governing
equations have to be expressed by adding many nonlinear terms, which results in the nonlinear
theory of elasticity.
The famous research was carried out by Donnell
14)
and Yamaki
15)
. The first nonlinear theory of
cylindrical shells was established during analysis of torsion buckling of thinwalled pipe by
Donnell in 1933. Due to its relative simplicity and practical accuracy, the theory has been most
used for analyzing both buckling and postbuckling problems. However, Donnells nonlinear
theory was established based on many assumptions as follows,
a) shells is sufficiently thin,
b) strains are sufficiently small and Hookes law holds,
c) there is no deformation in the middle plane,
d) points of shells lying initially normal to middle plane remains the normal to middle
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 25 
surface of shell after deformation, and
e) normal stress in the direction transverse to shells can be disregarded.
Where, the assumptions d) and e) consists the socalled Kirchhofflove hypotheses. From
assumptions above, Donnells theory is only suitable for the shallow shell with small
deformation, while for the analysis of larger deformation of cylindrical shell it is not applicable.
Yamaki found out the problems and presented a modified nonlinear theory based on Flgge
theory. Using modified nonlinear theory, the buckling and postbuckling problems were
investigated, otherwise the influence of initial imperfection was investigated and corresponding
solution was presented.
As the imperfection problem of thin shells, the Koitors research should be mentioned. In 1945,
Koiter
16)
clarified the bifurcation stability with the asymptotic analysis of total potential energy
of system, by which the initial postbuckling behavior and the influence of small initial
imperfections on the critical pressure are reasonably predicted. Moreover, in Koitors research,
the general nonlinear theory of thin shells and various simplifications of energy functions were
also discussed. Based on the general nonlinear theory, the equations of equilibrium were
described in both fundamental state I and an infinitesimally adjacent state II. It was clarified that
the energy function for both dead and pressure loading are identical. As the
imperfectionsensitivity analysis, the imperfection of a structure is closely related to its initial
postbuckling behavior and the theory is exact in the asymptotic sense. As shown in Fig. 2.4, the
shape of the secondary initial equilibrium path plays a vital role in determining the influence of
the initial imperfections. When the initial portion of the secondary path has a positive curvature
(see Fig. 2.4 a)), the structure can develop considerable postbuckling strength and loss of
stability of primary path does not result in structural collapse. However, when the initial portion
of the secondary path has a negative curvature (see Fig. 2.4 b)) then in most cases buckling will
occur violently and the magnitude of the critical load is subject to the degrading influence of
initial imperfections. For those cases where as shown in Fig. 2.4, the bifurcation point is
symmetric with respect to the buckling deflection, the initial postbuckling behavior is governed
by
/
c
=1+b
2
(2.8a)
Where, is the applied load (axial load P or external pressure p) and
c
is the classical buckling
load. The amplitude of the buckling displacement normal to the shell w have been normalized
with respect to the shell thickness t, thus =w/t. Accordingly, if the postbuckling coefficient b
is negative, the equilibrium load falls following buckling and the buckling load of the real
structure
s
is expected to be imperfectionsensitive. In this case, the asymptotic relationship
between the buckling load of the imperfect shell and the imperfection amplitude * is
(1
s
)
3/2
= 1.5(3b)
0.5

*

s
(2.8b)
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 26 
a) Stable postbuckling b) Unstable postbuckling
Fig. 2.4 Equilibrium paths for perfect and imperfect shells
Where,
s
=
s
/
c
and
*
is the normalized amplitude of the initial imperfection in the form of the
classical asymmetric buckling mode
17)
. In the latter the theory was developed and refined by
Thompson and Hunt
18)
, etc..
However, as the buckling of stiffened pipe under external pressure, that the imperfection has
far less influence on the critical pressure, and in most cases the experimental buckling pressure
is higher than the analytical value by as much as 15% has been verified by the Tennyson
19)
.
2.1.3 Numerical Analysis Method and FEM Software
20)
The numerical analysis is carried out using FEM software MSC.Marc, which has been used
to analyze numerous problems successfully in various fields. The buckling analysis provided
can estimate the collapse loading / buckling load of a structure in three means: 1) linear
buckling analysis in which the eigenvalue analysis is extracted in a linear problem, 2) nonlinear
buckling analysis in which eigenvalue analysis is performed in a nonlinear problem based on
the incremental stiffness matrices, and 3) Arclength method which is usually applied for both
geometric (large deformation) and material (elastoplastic material) nonlinear problem. The
buckling load can be estimated directly when apply 1) and 2) analysis method. However, the
estimation of buckling load requires to investigate the behavior of load and displacement when
use the arclength method.
In MSC.Marc, to activate the buckling option in the program, the parameter BUCKLE should
be used. If a nonlinear buckling analysis is performed, also use the parameter LARGE DISP.
Otherwise, the history definition option BUCKLE can be used to input control tolerances for
buckling load estimation (eigenvalue extraction by a power sweep or Lanczos method). The
Perfect shell
Imperfect shell
Imperfect shell
Perfect shell
Limit point
Bifurcation point
/
c
/
c
/
c
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 27 
buckling load can be estimated after every load increment. However, the BUCKLE
INCREMENT option should be used if a collapse load calculation is required at multiple
increments. The linear buckling load analysis is correct when one takes a very small load step in
increment zero, or makes sure the solution has converged before buckling load analysis (if
multiple increments are taken). Although the linear buckling (after increment zero) can be done
without using the LARGE DISP parameter, in which case the restriction on the load step size no
longer applies, the estimated bucking load should be used with caution, as it is not conservative
in predicting the actual collapse of structures. Generally, for a buckling problem that involves
material nonlinearity (for example, plasticity), the nonlinear problem must be solved
incrementally because a failure to converge in the iteration process or nonpositive definite
stiffness can signal the plastic collapse during the analysis. Moreover, for extremely nonlinear
problems, since the BUCKLE option cannot produce accurate results, the history definition
option AUTO INCREMENT should be used to allow automatic load stepping in a quasistatic
fashion for both geometric large displacement and material (elasticplastic) nonlinear problems.
By the option the elasticplastic snapthrough phenomena can be handled and the postbuckling
behavior of structures can be analyzed.
In the liner buckling analysis, the buckle option solves the following eigenvalue problem by
the inverse power sweep or Lanczos method using the following matrix formula.
( ) 0 ] , , [ = +
i G i
u u K K (2.9a)
Where, K is the stiffness matrix of structure, K
G
is assumed a linear function of the load
increment P to cause buckling.
The geometric stiffness K
G
used for the buckling load calculation is based on the stress and
displacement state change at the start of the last increment. However, the stress and strain states
are not updated during the buckling analysis. The buckling load P
cr
is therefore estimated by:
P P P
i cr
+ =
0
(2.9b)
Where, for increments greater than 1, P
0
is the load applied at the beginning of the increment
prior to the buckling analyses, and
i
is the ith mode value obtained by the power sweep or
Lanczos method. As the control tolerances, the maximum number of iterations and the
convergence tolerance can be inputted. For the inverse power sweep method, the power sweep
terminates when the difference between the eigenvalues in two consecutive sweeps divided by
the eigenvalue is less than the tolerance. The Lanczos method concludes when the normalized
difference between all eigenvalues satisfies the tolerance.
In the current study, the numerical analysis for investigation of buckling behavior is
conducted applying linear buckling analysis, considering the nonlinear characteristics has little
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 28 
influence on the elastic buckling of a perfect cylindrical under uniformly external pressure. As
the analysis result, the estimated critical load can be used to evaluate whether material
nonlinearities occurred before buckling. Moreover, the buckling mode should be plotted and
studied, by which whether the modeled mesh size is sufficient to describe the collapse mode can
be checked.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 29 
2.2 Buckling Behavior of RingStiffened Pipe
2.2.1 Generalization on Buckling of Stiffened Pipe
In general, the buckling of stiffened pipe is much more complicated than that of plain pipe, the
bucking form (type) include a) buckling between stiffeners (local buckling ), b) buckling of
general pipe (general buckling), and, c) tripping of stiffeners. As shown in Fig.2.5, the local
buckling occurs in the cylinder between stiffeners and distorts into several waves, while the
stiffeners remain circular shape; the general buckling stands for the buckling of overall stiffened
pipe accompanied with stiffeners and pipe deformed in same waves. The tripping of stiffener is
same as the buckling of a plate with a clamped edge twist about its point of attachment to shell,
and can be avoided if the aspect of cross section is ensured
21)
.
Fig. 2.5 Local buckling and general buckling
However, in practice, an unappropriate conception is prevailing until present that the buckling
between stiffeners will occur in a stiffened pipe with relatively heavy stiffeners, while general
buckling failure will occur in a stiffened pipe with the light stiffener. Actually, the buckling
failure type of stiffened pipe is determined not only by the flexural rigidity of stiffeners but the
spacing of stiffeners and the geometries of pipe. Buckling behavior of stiffened pipe with
respect to buckling type has been investigated by author using numerical analysis method,
where the uniformly stiffened pipe is focused, and the second moment of inertia referring the
flexural rigidity of stiffener is briefly named stiffness, since Youngs modulus is a constant
22) 23)
.
Stiffener
Pipe
Pipe
Stiffener
Pipe
Stiffener
Stiffener
Pipe
General buckling
Local buckling
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 30 
2.2.2 Investigation through Numerical Analysis
The buckling behavior of stiffened pipes was investigated using numerical analysis. Since the
unstiffened cylindrical shells always occurs general buckling, while stiffened cylindrical shells
have three types of buckling types, the decisive element can be considered the ring stiffeners.
Therefore the effects of stiffeners in terms of its stiffness and spacing should be investigated
first. Meanwhile, the influence of the pipe
dimensions is examined. Pipe dimensions of the
analysis models and their material properties are
given in Table 2.1 and Table 2.2 respectively.
However, where to prevent ring stiffener from
stripping failure, the ratio of height and thickness
h
r
/h
t
is set less than 17 based on Eq.(2.10).
y
r r
f
E
t h 0.4 (2.10)
The buckling behavior is discussed from the
two aspects of: a) effects of stiffness and spacing
of stiffeners b) effect of the pipe dimensions.
Effects of Stiffness and Spacing of Stiffeners
The buckling behavior is investigated in terms of
buckling wave and critical pressure, as well as the
effects of stiffness and spacing of stiffener, as
shown in Fig.2.6
Table 2.1 Analysis Models
Pipe geometries
Stiffener
variations
model
R(m) t(mm) L(m) S(m) I
r
(m
4
)
1 1.5
2 1.0
3
10 3
0.5
4 10 6 1.0
5 10 9 1.0
6 5.0 3 1.0
7 5.0 6 1.0
8 5.0 9 1.0
9
1.50
7.5 3 1.0
h
r
/t
r
17
Table 2.2 Material properties
Yong's
Modulus
Poissons
Ratio
Yield Stress
E(N/mm
2
)
y
(N/mm
2
)
2.1+E5 0.3 325
a) Buckling waves b) Critical pressure
Fig.2.6 Effects of stiffness and spacing on buckling of uniformly stiffened pipe
r
I
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
3500
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
Model1
Model2
Model3
B
u
c
k
l
i
n
g
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
Second moment of area of ring stiffeners Ir (cm
4
)
I
I
I
II
II
II
I : General buckling
II: Local buckling
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
0 20 40 60 80 100
Model1
Model2
Model3
N
u
m
b
e
r
o
f
l
o
b
e
s
n
Second moment of area of ring stiffeners Ircm
4
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
Ir(cm
4
)
t=10mm
t=7.5mm
t=5mm
Model6
Model9
Model2
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
Second moment of inertia of stiffeners
I
4
)
0
100
200
300
400
500
0
500
1000
1500
2000
20 40 60 80 100 120
Model6
Model7
Model8
Model2
Model4
Model5
B
u
c
k
l
i
n
g
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
Second moment of area of ring stiffeners Ir (cm
4
)
B
u
c
k
l
i
n
g
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
Second moment of inertia of stiffeners I
r
(cm
4
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
k
N
/
m
2
)
t=5mm t=10mm
L=3.0 m
L=6.0 m
L=9.0 m
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 32 
almost maintaining the maximum critical pressure of general buckling in local buckling.
However, from Fig.2.7 a), that the critical pressure and limit stiffness increase with the increase
of wall thickness can be observed. In terms of the length of stiffened pipe, as shown in Fig.2.7
b), the limit stiffness of ring stiffeners, is required to be larger with an increase of pipe length,
while the local buckling pressures are almost the same values, which are determined only by
interring shells. Moreover, the influence of length change on the limit stiffness and critical
pressure becomes greater with the thickness increase.
Summary
From this study, the buckling behavior was clarified as shown in Fig.2.8. For an individual
stiffened pipe, with the increase of flexural rigidity of stiffener briefly named stiffness the
critical pressure increases in first phase of general buckling, while almost maintains constant in
second phase of local buckling. Furthermore, the buckling type is always general buckling
before the stiffener stiffness reaches the limit value, then turns to local buckling once exceeds
the limit value. Also, from Fig.2.8, a similar behavior is shown for pipe stiffened with a
different spacing. However, the changes in terms of limit stiffness of stiffeners and the critical
pressure due to the spacing change are expressed significantly. Generally the wider the spacing
is the smaller the limit stiffness of stiffeners, and the smaller the critical pressure. As the effects
of pipe dimensions, the length, radius, and wallthickness of pipe affect the buckling behavior in
terms of the critical pressure and the limit stiffness of stiffeners. Generally, the limit stiffness
decreases with the increasing of the ratio of radius to thickness (R/t), as well as the critical
pressure. Similarly, with the increasing of length, the limit stiffness and critical pressure
decreases.
Fig.2.8 Buckling behavior of uniformly stiffened pipe (spacing S
1
>S
2
)
General buckling
Local buckling
L
cr
P
1
cr
P
0
cr
P
L
r
I
2
:Critical pressure
:Critical pressure of pipe
:Critical pressure of local buckling
: Second moment of inertia of stiffener
:Limit second moment of inertia
L
cr
P
0
cr
P
cr
P
L
r
I
r
I
S2
S1
L
cr
P
2
L
r
I
1 r
I
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 33 
2.2.3 Consideration and Subject
From the results mentioned above, it is clear that the buckling behavior of uniformly stiffened
pipe is more complicated. For a stiffened pipe, there are two potential buckling types, and the
buckling type is determined not only by stiffness and spacing of stiffeners but also by the pipe
dimensions. The complex buckling behavior makes the solution of buckling problem more
difficult in terms of the critical pressure and buckling mode, because the mechanisms of two
buckling types are far distinct and there is not an existing method to estimate the buckling types
previously. The obtained bucking behavior brings a light to solve the buckling problem of
stiffened pipe. If the limit stiffness of stiffeners is known previously, the buckling type can be
predicated by comparing the stiffness of existing stiffeners with limit stiffness, since the local
buckling happens only when the stiffness of stiffeners exceeds the limit value. As the limit
stiffness of stiffener, its magnitude can be obtained considering that the maximum critical
pressure of general buckling is identical to that of local buckling at the limit stiffness.
However, the theoretical analysis for buckling of stiffened pipe requires the corresponding
buckling equations to calculate the critical pressure. For local buckling, the theoretical equation
may be simple because only the interstiffener shell is concerned. Whereas the general buckling,
that the theoretical equation is much complicated because the stiffener has to be taken into
account, and the interaction between stiffener and pipe shell still remains a difficult question.
The theoretical equations will be introduced as well as its utilization method in the next section.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 34 
2.3 Derivation of Theoretical Buckling Equations for Ringstiffened Pipe
24)
The buckling behaviors of uniformly stiffened pipe have been clarified. In particular, the
buckling type that will eventually change from general buckling to local buckling with the
increasing of stiffness of ring stiffeners was identified. Since the general buckling is far
different from the local buckling, and the pipe and stiffeners is required to consider
simultaneously, the accurate critical pressure of an arbitrary stiffened pipe can be obtained only
if the buckling type is known previously. In flowing paragraphs, the theoretical equations of
critical pressure are derived taking into account characteristics of general buckling and local
buckling first. The solution for buckling of stiffened pipe is then presented based on the
theoretical equations. Finally, the verification of the theoretical equations and the presented
solution are carried out using numerical analysis and existing experiments.
2.3.1 Introduction
As discussed above, since the buckling of stiffened pipe involves two buckling types of
general buckling and local buckling, it is necessary to derive the theoretical equations in terms
of general buckling and local buckling, respectively. As for the initial imperfection
25)
, its
influence on critical pressure is smaller in the case that Baterdf parameter Z
b
Z
b
=(1v
2
)
1/2
L
2
/R/t
is greater than 10
3
, while can be reduced due to supporting of stiffeners in the case that Z is
smaller than 10
2
. Furthermore, since the imperfection of stiffened pipe is still in the research
stage and there is not a practical solution until present, in the current study, the imperfection is
disregarded in theoretical analysis, however will be taken into account in stiffened pipe design
using safe factor. Otherwise, the material stress state is another important issue for buckling
analysis, because the elastic or inelastic buckling is determined by whether the stress level of
material is beyond the proportional limit or not. In [Buckling Design Specification]
26)
published
by JSCE, a simple formula as shown in Eq. (2.11) has been given to estimate the instability type
for a cylindrical shell. If K
c
1.2, the buckling is elastic buckling, or inelastic buckling. For an
infinite long stiffened pipe, the buckling can always be considered elastic buckling generally
considering of the infinite long length.
2 / 1 4 / 3
)
2
( )
2
(
RE
Lf
t
R
K
y
c
=
(2.11)
On the other hand, for the theoretical analysis, in the case that it is difficult to determine the
exact buckling load in complex structures using the Euler formula due to the difficulty in
organizing the constant stiffness matrix, the buckling load is often approximated using energy
conservation. This means that predicting buckling load is often referred to as the energy method
in structural analysis
27), 28), 29)
. Therefore, in the current study, the theoretical equations based on
buckling behavior are discussed using the energy method disregarding the imperfection and
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 35 
nonlinear of material, while the solution for buckling pressure uses the Ritz method
30)
, which is
a variational method named after Walter Ritz, and one effective method for finding
approximations to the lowest energy eigenstate or ground state in mechanics.
2.3.2 Strains in Shell
The strains of pipe can be discussed
using Timoshenkos bending theory of
thin shells. The arbitrary infinitely small
element is presented in Fig. 2.9 a), which
is obtained through cutting off from shell
by two pairs of adjacent planes normal to
the middle surface of shell and containing
its principal curvatures. In addition, when
the lateral sides of the element are
displaced parallel to themselves owing to
stretching of middle surface, the
deformation of element is shown in Fig.
2.9 b), where x, y and z denote axial,
tangential and radial direction in terms of cylindrical coordinate. From the Fig. 2.9, the unit
elongations (strain) of a thin lamina at a distance z from the middle surface can be given as,
z
R R
z
x
x
x x
x x
0 0
'
0
)
1 1
( = = (2.12)
z
R R
z
y
y
y y
y y
0 0
'
0
)
1 1
( = = (2.13)
Where,
x
and
y
are strains of the lamina,
0
x
,
0
y
and
0
x
,
0
y
0
xy
xy
0
x
0
y
yx
R
x(y)
0
ds
R
x(y)
x(y)
O
z
ds
O
z
x(y)
Focused
lamina
Middle surface
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 36 
2.3.3 General Buckling Equation
As discussed before, general buckling is
the buckling type that the pipe and
stiffeners deformed in same waves.
Accordingly, the curvature change of
stiffeners can be assumed to be the same as
that of pipe. Fig. 2.10 shows the model,
loading as well as the cylindrical coordinate,
where u, v and w are the displacements of
axial, tangential, and radial direction
respectively. Also, the detailed information of longitudinal cross section of stiffened pipe can be
referred to Fig. 2.2.
Stiffened pipes are reasonably considered to have orthotropic properties in most applications
because of the deformation of stiffened pipe resulted from interaction of bending behaviors of
ring beam and thin shells. In the current study, the stiffened pipe as orthotropic structure is
discussed through investigating the pipe and stiffeners respectively. However, outofplane
bending, torsional and warping strain of the stiffeners are disregarded because they are found
that their effects can be negligible for isotropic stiffened pipe in previous studies
12), 31)
, and are
not expected to be significant for the orthotropic case.
However, for such a complicated system, the solution of buckling of stiffened pipe need to use
the potential energy theory. The potential energy of the ringstiffened cylinder is expressed as
follows:
s p
V V U = (2.15)
Where,
: total potential energy of stiffened pipe
V
p
: strain energy of pipe
V
s
: strain energy of ring stiffeners
U : work done by external pressure during buckling
Strain Energy in Pipe
The general strain energy of a thin shell can be written as follows:
dxdydz V
yz yz xz xz xy xy z z y y x x
] [
2
1
+ + + + + =
(2.16)
Where, the assumption for thin shells and the stressstrain relationships from Hock are
introduced as follows:
Fig. 2.10 Schematic of model and loading
External pressure P
R
y
u
w
x
z R
t
L
Pipe
Plat stiffener
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 37 
0 = =
xz yz
(2.17a)
0
z
= (2.17b)
) (
1
2
y x x
E
= (2.18a)
) (
1
2
x y y
E
= (2.18b)
xy xy
E
) 1 ( 2 +
= (2.18c)
Substituting Eqs. (2.18) into Eq. (2.16), the strain energy then can be written into Eq. (2.19),
dxdydz
E
V
xy y x y x
] ) 1 (
2
1
2 [
) 1 ( 2
1
2 2 2
2
+ + +
=
(2.19)
Since the pipe is treated as the isotropic thin shells, substituting Eq. (2.12), Eq. (2.13) and Eq.
(2.14) into Eq. (2.19), the strain energy of pipe then can be written as
( )
+ + +
=
2
0
2
0 0 0
2
0
2
1
2
1
2 {
) 1 ( 2
1
xy y y x x p
E
V
( ) ( ) ( ) ] 1 [ 2
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
xy xy x y y y x x
z + + + + (2.20)
( ) dxdydz z
xy y y x x
]} 1 2 2 [
2
0
2
0 0 0
2
0 2
+ + + +
Integrating Eq. (2.20) with respect to t from 0.5t to 0.5t and rearranging the equation, the
strain energy of pipe is then expressed by bending strain energy (V
p1
) and extensional strain
energy (V
p2
) of pipe.
2 1 p p p
V V V + = (2.21)
Where dxdy
Et
V
xy y x y x p
)] )( 1 ( 2 ) [(
) 1 ( 24
2
0 0 0 2 0 0
2
3
1
=
dxdy
Et
V
xy y x x p
+ + +
= ] ) 1 (
2
1
2 [
) 1 ( 2
2
0
2
0
2
0 0
2
0
2 2
Strain Energy in Stiffener
The strain energy of stiffeners is computed using curve beam theory. The plain strain is
assumed to distribute invariably. Using crosssection area A
r
, second moment of inertia
0
r
I , the
strain energy of a stiffener can be expressed as
+ = dxdy
EI
dxdy
EA
V
y
r
y
r
s
2
0
2
2 2
(2.22)
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 38 
Since the stiffeners deformation is identical with shells strain for general buckling, the
curvature change is same as that of shell. In addition, the strains produced due to axial force is
relatively smaller than that due to bending deflection, the strains can be expressed using the
curvature change of shell. Thus, the strain energy of a stiffener can be written as Eq. (2.23),
where, I
r
is expressed as Eq. (2.24), is defined as effective second moment of inertia.
+
+
=
dxdy
EI
dxdy
EI t h EA
V
y
r
y
r r r r
s
2 0
2 0
0
2
) (
2
) (
2
)
2
(
2
(2.23)
0 2
4 ) (
r r r r
I t h A I + + = (2.24)
Where,
r r r
b h dA A = =
12
2 0
r r r
h t I =
Moreover, since the pipe is stiffened uniformly, the number of stiffeners then can be computed
as L/S for a stiffened pipe. Accordingly, the strain energy of all stiffeners is obtained as shown
below,
= dy
EI
S
L
V
y
r
s
2
0
2
(2.25)
Work done by External Pressure
The work done by external pressure is
estimated from the bending deformation of
infinite element (see Fig. 2.11). When pipe is
subjected to external pressure, the axial force
N
y
develops around stiffened pipe before
buckling, and the structural stability is kept.
However, once buckling occurs, the radial
displacement is developed, which induces a
relative rotation angle
y
Rd/2 between middle
surface and axial force. The axial force then
can be divided into perpendicular force
N
y
sin(
y
Rd/2) and tangential force
N
y
cos(
y
Rd/2) with respect to deflected
middle surface. Considering the assumption of
Fig.2.11 Work mechanism of infinite small
element during buckling
N
y
N
y
R
N
y
d
Rd
p
w
Deflected
Initial
2 / Rd
y
) 2 / sin( Rd N
y y
) 2 / cos( Rd N
y y
2 / Rd
y
2 / Rd
y
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 39 
inextensional deformation of cylindrical shell, the work done by tangential force can be
disregarded, the work done by external pressure during buckling is therefore equal to that done
by perpendicular force. The Eq. (2.26) expresses the work done by external pressure for a
infinite element
wdx Rd N
y y
) 2 / sin( (2.26)
Moreover, since
y
Rd/2 is very small and relative rotation angle
y
is identical to curvature
change of middle surface of pipe, the total works can be written as follows,
dx wd N
R
U
y y
=
0
2
(2.27)
where
pR N
y
= (2.28)
Substituting Eq. (2.28) into Eq. (2.27), the total works done by external pressure of stiffened
pip can be expressed as shown in Eq. (2.29).
dx wd
pR
U
y
=
0
2
2
(2.29)
Total Potential Energy and Solution
Based on the above discussion, the overall potential energy can be obtained by substituting Eq.
(2.20), Eq. (2.25) and Eq. (2.29) into Eq. (2.15), as shown in following equation.
dx wd
pR
V V U
y s p
= =
0
2
2
( ) dxdy
Et
xy y x y x
+
)] ( 1 2 ) [(
) 1 ( 24
2
0 0 0 2 0 0
2
3
( ) dxdy
Et
xy y x x
+ + + ] 1
2
1
2 [
2
2
0
2
0
2
0 0
2
0
dy
EI
S
L
y
r
2
0
2
(2.30)
As similar with other variational method, a trial wave function is required on the system in
Ritz method. The trial function should be selected to meet boundary conditions (and any other
physical constraints). Since the exact function is not known previously the trial function should
contain one or more adjustable parameters, which are varied to find a lowest energy
configuration. Where, the displacements in x, y and z direction denoted u, v and w respectively
are expressed by trial wave function as shown below, taking into account the support boundary
at two ends and the buckling deformations.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 40 
L
x m
n A u
cos sin = (2.31a)
L
x m
n B v
sin cos = (2.31b)
L
x m
n C w
sin sin = (2.31c)
where
AB and Cconstant factors of displacement u, v and w
mnumber of longitudinal buckling waves
nnumber of circumferential buckling waves
As for the straindisplacement relation, the equations can be given as follows according to
Flggers cylindrical shell theory:
x
u
x
=
0
(2.32a)
) (
1
0
w
v
R
y
(2.32b)
=
u
R x
v
xy
1
0
(2.32c)
2
2
0
x
w
x
= (2.32d)
) (
1
2
2
2
0
w
w
R
y
+
(2.32e)
) (
1
2
0
x
v
x
w
R
xy
(2.32f)
Additionally dy= Rd, substituting it and Eqs. (2.32) into Eq. (2.30) and integrating, the total
potential energy of stiffened pipe can be written as following equation.
=
2 2
r
2 2 2
2 2 2 2 2
2
n n A
tl
1
2
m ) 1 (
B n ) 1 (
2
1
m A
1
Et
R 4
L
( )
+ + +
1 )
) 1 (
1 (
1
1
12
) 1 (
1
2
2
2 2
2
2 2 2
2
2
2
2
2
R A
n I
A
tl
n m
R
t
n p
Et
C
r
r
r
+ + AC m BC A
tl
n AB mn
r
2
1
1 2 ) 1 (
2
(2.33)
Moreover, based on the assumption of inextensional deformation of a cylindrical shell, C= Bn
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 41 
can be obtained by substituting equations (2.31b and c) into Eq. (2.32b). Omitting the smaller
terms and rearranging, the total potential energy of stiffened pipe can be briefly written as Eq.
(2.34).
[ ]
m AC n m A
Et
R
L
) 1 ( ) 1 (
2
1
1 4
2 2 2 2
2
+
=
( )
+ +
2
2 2 2
2
2
2
2
2
1
12
) 1 (
1
n m
R
t
n p
Et
C
+
+
2
2 2
2
2 2 2
2
) 1 (
)
) 1 ( 1
n
m
R
n I
tS
r
(2.34)
where
L
R
=
Critical Pressure and Buckling Wave
To obtain the buckling equation, the minimum total potential energy principle is adopted with
respect to the overall potential energy of stiffened pipe. Since the displacement variations are
reduced from three to two, the minimum total potential energy principle can be written as Eq.
(2.35), on account of two constant factors A and C with respect to axial and radial
displacements. The main advantage of this method is that the potential energy is minimized at
equilibrium with respect to any unconstrained internal variables for a closed system, besides the
reduction in the number of variables is a useful simplification.
0 =
A
(2.35a)
0 =
C
(2.35b)
Substituting Eq. (2.34) into Eq. (2.35), the simultaneous equations Eq. (2.36) are obtained.
[ ] 0 ) 1 ( ) 1 ( 2
2 2 2
= + C m n m A (2.36a)
( )
( )
+
+ +
2
2 2
2
2
2 2
2
2 2 2
2
2
2
) 1 ( ) 1 ( 1
1
12
2
n
m
R
n I
tS
n m
R
t
C
r
0 ) 1 ( ) 1 (
) 1 (
2
2
=
A m n
Et
pR
(2.36b)
The two equations can be satisfied by putting A and C equal to zero, which corresponds to a
uniformly compressed circular form of equilibrium of shell. However a buckled form of
equilibrium becomes possible only if Eq. (2.36) yields for A and C solutions different from zero;
this requires the determinant of these equations becomes zero. In this manner the equation for
determining the critical load is obtained. The equation has the matrix form as follows.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 42 
0
2 2 1 2
12 11
=
X X
X X
(2.37)
In whichX
11
, X
12
, and X
22
have the following meanings:
2 2 2
11
) 1 ( 2 n m X + = (2.38a)
m X X ) 1 (
21 12
= = (2.38b)
( )
( )
+ + =
2
2
2 2
2
2 2 2
2
2
22
) 1 ( 1
1
12
2
R
n I
tS
n m
R
t
X
r
+ ) 1 (
) 1 (
2
) 1 (
2
2
2
2 2
n
Et
pR
n
m
(2.38c)
Substituting Eq. (2.38) into Eq. (2.37) and solving, the following equation can be obtained,
( )
+
+ +
2
2 2
2
2
2 2
2
2 2 2
2
2
2
) 1 ( ) 1 ( 1
1
12
2
n
m
R
n I
tS
n m
R
t
r
2 2 2
2 2 2
2
2
) 1 ( 2
) 1 (
) 1 (
) 1 (
n m
m
n
Et
pR
+
(2.39)
After omitting the small terms which have very little effect on the magnitude of the critical
pressure, the critical pressure can be obtained in which the potential energy becomes the
smallest. Where, the longitudinal waves is assumed as m=1. The critical pressure equation can
be rewritten after rearranging,
( )
+
+
=
2
2 2
4
2
2 2
2 2
2 2 2 2
2
) 1 (
) 1 ( 12
) 1 (
) 1 (
n
S tR
n I
R
n t
R n
Et
P
r G
cr
(2.40)
However, the circumferential waves (n) is demanded when computes the critical pressure. The
minimum energy principle is applied to find the number of circumferential waves. Assuming
1 < and n>2 and substituting into Eq. (2.40), the Eq. (2.40) can be simplified as follows,
+ +
=
6
4
2
2
2 2
2 2
) 1 ( 12 n S tR
n I
R
n t
R
Et
P
r G
cr
(2.41)
To obtain the smallest critical pressure, the Eq. (2.41) should satisfy the Eq. (2.42).
Substituting Eq. (2.41) into Eq. (2.42), the equation of wave to get critical pressure can be
obtained as shown in Eq. (2.43).
0 =
n
P
G
cr
(2.42)
8
4
3
K
n
= (2.43)
where
S tR
I
R
t
K
r
2 2 2
2
) 1 ( 12
+
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 43 
2.3.4 Local Buckling Equation
The local buckling is the buckling type in which, the stiffeners remains its initial circular
shape while the interstiffener steel plate deforms with several waves around pipe and a wave
along pipe. Hence the theoretical buckling can be investigated only considering the
interstiffener pipe. The corresponding expression of potential energy can be obtained from Eq.
(2.34) by omitting the terms related to stiffeners and replacing the overall length by spacing of
stiffener.
[ ]
m AC n m A
Et
R
S
) 1 ( ) 1 (
2
1
1 4
2 2 2 2
2
+
=
( )
+ +
2
2 2 2
2
2
2
2
2
1
12
) 1 (
1
n m
R
t
n p
Et
C
+
2
2 2
2
) 1 (
n
m
(2.44)
In the same way, the equation of critical pressure can be obtained using the minimum principle
of potential energy and omitting the small terms, as written in Eq. (2.45).
( )
+
+
=
2
2 2
4
2 2
2 2 2 2
2
) 1 ( 12
) 1 (
) 1 (
n
R
n t
R n
Et
P
L
cr
(2.45)
In the same way, the equation to find the number of circumferential waves can be obtained.
8
4
3
K
n
= (2.46)
where
2 2
2
) 1 ( 12 R
t
K
=
S
R
=
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 44 
2.4 Application and Verification of Buckling Equations
2.4.1 Twostage Method
From the above discussion, that the stiffened pipe has two buckling types and the critical
pressure equations of two buckling forms vary from each other has been confirmed. It is
therefore, the critical pressure of stiffened pipe should be calculated with respect to the
corresponding buckling type. In this study, the twostage method is presented by which, the
critical pressure can be obtained through two stages of judging the buckling type and estimating
critical pressure.
As the first stage, the buckling type is judged using the critical pressure equations derived
above. The procedure is given by followings, 1) estimate all the respective critical pressure with
the corresponding theoretical equations (Eq. (2.40) and Eq. (2.45)) in terms of general buckling
and local buckling; 2) compare the two estimated critical pressure and judge the buckling type.
If the critical pressure of general buckling is greater than that of local buckling, the local
buckling occurs first is judged, or the general buckling, based on the buckling behavior of
stiffened pipe. It therefore the bucking type of the stiffened pipe can be determined. In the
second stage, the critical pressure of the stiffened pipe can be estimated by using critical
pressure of judged buckling type. As the result, the accurate and practical critical pressure can
be estimated by the twostage method for any stiffened pipe.
However, since the study is conducted based on the assumption of elastic buckling, the
identification of elastic buckling should be carried out. The work can be done through checking
the stress of pipe under critical pressure which is given by Eq. (2.47), where
cr
is the critical
stressf
y
the yield strength. If
cr
<f
y
,it can be judged that the buckling of stiffened pipe is elastic
buckling.
t
RP
cr
cr
= (2.47)
To simplify the identifying work, the limit pressure of elastic buckling (P
L
) is introduced and
used to judge buckling state by comparing with the critical pressure. Where, the limit pressure
of elastic buckling (P
L
) is the acting external pressure when the critical stress is equal to
yielding strength, and its magnitude can be calculated by Eq. (2.48)Accordingly, the elastic
buckling can also be judged if the critical pressure is smaller than the limit pressure.
R
tf
P
y
L
= (2.48)
Furthermore, although the stiffener should be taken into account for general buckling, the
judgment method presented above is adopted for all buckling forms disregarding the reinforcing
effects of stiffeners, because the share of axial force by stiffeners is relatively smaller
comparing with that by pipe for a stiffened pipe subjected to uniform external pressure.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 45 
2.4.2 Verification of Twostage Method
The verification of twostage method is
carried out using the experimental results of
previous studies and the existing theoretical
equations. As for the experiments, although
there are many previous experimental
studies
10),32),33)
on the buckling of stiffened
pipe, the experimental studies on the buckling
behaviors has limited except the study of
Seleim et al. In this study, the buckling
behaviors in terms of buckling type and
critical pressure were investigated using ten
stiffened pipes with different stiffeners from
many equally spaced weak rings to a few
heavy rings. Moreover, the ideal critical
pressure (experimental critical pressure) was
estimated using Southwell method
34)
based on
the measured displacement besides the
collapse pressure. Here, their experiment
results are used to verify the theoretical
analysis presented above. The experimental
models and material properties are shown in Table 2.3 and Table 2.4. Where, because the test
models of Model29Model78, and Model310 are identicalthey are investigated as a
analytical model respectively with respect to the theoretical analysis. Moreover, for verification
of elastic buckling, the limit pressure of elastic buckling is estimated by Eq. (2.48), as P
L
=4.31
N/mm
2
. Otherwise, the existing buckling equations of Bryant, Kendrick, Tokugawa and
Timoshenko are examined through comparing with the results of twostage method and
experiment.
Verification by Experiment
The twostage method is examined in terms of judgment of buckling types and critical pressure.
All the experimental models shown in Table 2.3 are investigated by twostage method. First, the
buckling type of respective model is judged and examined through comparing with the
experimental result. Then, the critical pressure corresponding to the judged buckling type is
used and compared with the experimental result. The analytical buckling type and critical
pressure are summarized as shown in Table 2.5 for all models, as well as the corresponding
experimental results including buckling types, critical pressure and collapse pressure. Where,
Table 2.3 Test models
Stiffener
Models
spacing
S(mm)
Height
h
r
(mm)
thickness
t
r
(mm)
Aluminum
pipe
(Al6061)
Model1 49.28 7.37 3.56
Model2,9 222.25 17.27 8.64
Model3,10 63.50 8.38 4.06
Model4 148.08 13.46 6.60
Model5 74.17 9.14 4.57
Model6 111.25 11.43 5.59
Model 7,8 88.90 9.91 5.08
Radius:
R=128mm
Length:
L=889mm
thickness:
t=2mm
Table 2.4 Aluminum (Al6061) properties
Youngs
Modus
Poison Yield strength
E (N/mm
2
)
y
(N/mm
2
)
6.9E4 0.33 276
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 46 
the experimental critical pressure is ideal prebuckling pressure of perfect structure estimated by
Southwell method by plotting measured pressure to displacement curve of geometrically
imperfect model, while the collapse pressure is the measured pressure when the testing model
collapses. Moreover, from Table 2.5, that all the model buckles in elastic buckling can be found
because the critical pressure of all models is smaller than limit pressure of elastic buckling P
L
(4.31 N/mm
2
). The same result was also given by judging the strains obtained from the
experiment, which all of them are less than yield strain.
The bucking types judged by twostage method are identical to experimental results for
almost models except model7. The model7 and model8 have the same dimensions and material
properties, however, the buckling types vary each other with general buckling in model7 and
local buckling in model 8. The complex buckling phenomenon was explained in the referring
article, that the model7,8 failed in one of the two possible types (primary type) but their
behavior and ultimate collapse was influenced by the presence of the other type (secondary
type). The interaction role played by the secondary buckling type in buckling behavior was
found to affect the buckling type and deformation pattern but not the buckling pressure. It is
therefore more reasonable only to investigate buckling pressure for such case. As the feature of
respective buckling type, it can be indicated by the failure deformation. For those buckling
which failed by the shell instability form (local buckling), the collapse was always confined to
one bay only. Other bays were either not affected by the excessive deformations at the collapse
bay or developed a different pattern of deformation at collapse. Such behavior characterized the
localized nature of the shell instability form. On the other hand, for the models failed in the
general buckling, the deformation patterns of all the bays were forced to reshapes into the same
final buckling pattern. This characterizes the overall nature of the general buckling type.
As the buckling critical pressure, the errors of theoretical values obtained by twostage
method are 529 and 524, while those calculated by Kendricks equations in
Table 2.5
Comparison between analytical and experimental results ( unit: N/mm
2
)
Buckling forms Judgment Theoretical results Experimental results Error
Model
General
P
G
cr
Local
P
L
cr
Type Critical
P
cr
Waves
n
Collap
P
u
Critical
P
e
Waves
n
Type
Pu
Pcr
Pe
Pcr
Model2 8.77 1.30 L. 1.30 6 1.57 1.61 6 L. 1.21 1.24
Model4 5.4 2.04 L. 2.04 7 2.26 2.36 8 L. 1.11 1.16
Model6 4.14 2.87 L. 2.87 8 3.26 3.6 8 L. 1.14 1.25
Model7 3.4 3.81 G. 3.40 2 2.94 4.06 8 L. 0.86 1.19
Model9 8.77 1.30 L. 1.30 6 1.36 1.36* 6 L. 1.05 1.05
Model1 2.35 8.70 G. 2.35 2 3.03 3.03 3 G. 1.29 1.29
Model3 2.7 6.08 G. 2.70 2 2.83 2.96 3 G. 1.05 1.10
Model5 3.08 4.87 G. 3.08 2 3.19 3.28 3 G. 1.04 1.06
Model8 3.4 3.81 G. 3.40 2 3.52 3.58 3 G. 1.04 1.05
Model10 2.7 6.08 G. 2.70 2 3.12 3.17 3 G. 1.16 1.17
*:Model9, the collapse pressure is used for critical pressure due the experiment failure
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 47 
Seleims article are 1233 and 1927 less than corresponding experimental results
for general buckling and local buckling, respectively. It is therefore some more valid to use the
twostage method for investigating the buckling of stiffened pipe, especially under the condition
of known buckling types if use the twostage method. Moreover, the Kendricks equation is
well known of use for general buckling, the application for local buckling is not demonstrated
well although used in the study of Seleim et al.. Furthermore, as the most interest to engineering
practice, the theoretical pressure is always less than experimental value. This means the
influence of imperfection is so little that can be ignored. The explanation can be considered as
follows: the influence of imperfection on a stiffened pipe is far different from a plain thin wall
pipe because the buckling resistance capacity is determined not only by the pipe shell but also
the stiffeners for stiffened pipe; in addition, the interaction of pipe shell and stiffeners may
reduce the influence of imperfection; otherwise, the theoretical critical pressure may be
underestimated due to the modeling with shell and beam element for pipe and stiffeners
respectively and disregarding the effect of interaction between pipe and stiffeners in theoretical
analysis. In Tennysons study, the same results that the theoretical critical pressure is 15% less
than experimental value has been mentioned. Accordingly, it should be correct to consider that
the effect is greater due to interaction of stiffeners and pipe than imperfection in practical
buckling behaviors of stiffened pipe under lateral pressure.
From the above studies, it was verified that the twostage method is rather valid solution for
analysis of stiffened pipe buckling, because not only the buckling type but also the more
accurate critical pressure can be predicted. Furthermore, since the twostage method always
gives conservative critical pressure, the stiffened pipe may also be designed safely when apply
this method.
Comparison between Twostage Method and Existing Buckling Equations
As discussed above, the buckling theory of stiffened pipe has been studied by Tokugawa,
Timoshenko, Bryant and Kendrick, and the corresponding solution equations have been given.
However, the validation of all the theories for an arbitrary stiffened pipe should be examined. In
this study, the examinations are carried out through comparing theoretical results with
experimental results and the analytical results by twostage method for all test models, in terms
of the number of buckling waves and critical pressure. The comparison results with respect to
the number of buckling waves and the critical pressure are shown in Figs. 2.12, 2.13, 2.14, 2.15
and 2.16, respectively. Where, the number of buckling waves and theoretical pressures are
calculated using the respective buckling equations presented previously.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 48 
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
m
o
d
e
l
2
m
o
d
e
l
4
m
o
d
e
l
6
m
o
d
e
l
7
m
o
d
e
l
9
m
o
d
e
l
1
m
o
d
e
l
3
m
o
d
e
l
5
m
o
d
e
l
8
m
o
d
e
l
1
0
N
u
m
b
e
r
o
f
b
u
c
k
l
i
n
g
W
a
v
e
s
Twostage method Kendrick Btyant
Timoshenko Tokugawa Experiment
Local buckling General buckling
Fig. 2.12 Comparison of numbers of buckling waves
Form Fig. 2.12, all the number of buckling waves calculated by twostage method generally
agrees with corresponding experimental result can be found. On the other hand, the number of
buckling waves predicted from the buckling theory of Tokogawa and Timoshenko agrees with
experimental result in local buckling, while is far different from that in general buckling. In
contrary, the buckling wave number of Bryant and Kendrick coincides with experimental result
well in general buckling while far less in local buckling. This may imply the existing buckling
theories should be selected according to the buckling type when applied.
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
m
o
d
e
l2
m
o
d
e
l4
m
o
d
e
l6
m
o
d
e
l7
m
o
d
e
l9
m
o
d
e
l1
m
o
d
e
l3
m
o
d
e
l5
m
o
d
e
l8
m
o
d
e
l1
0
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
/
C
o
l
l
a
p
s
e
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
N
/
m
m
2
Twostage method
Kendrick
Experimental critical pressure
Experimental collapse pressure
Local buckling General buckling
Fig. 2.13 Comparison with Kendrick theory Fig. 2.14 Comparison with Bryant theory
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
m
o
d
e
l2
m
o
d
e
l4
m
o
d
e
l6
m
o
d
e
l7
m
o
d
e
l9
m
o
d
e
l1
m
o
d
e
l3
m
o
d
e
l5
m
o
d
e
l8
m
o
d
e
l1
0
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
/
C
o
l
l
a
p
s
e
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
N
/
m
m
2
Twostage method
Byant
Experimental critical pressure
Experimental collapse pressure
Local buckling General buckling
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 49 
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
m
o
d
e
l2
m
o
d
e
l4
m
o
d
e
l6
m
o
d
e
l7
m
o
d
e
l9
m
o
d
e
l1
m
o
d
e
l3
m
o
d
e
l5
m
o
d
e
l8
m
o
d
e
l1
0
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
/
C
o
l
l
a
p
s
e
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
N
/
m
m
2
Twostage method
Tokugawa
Experimental critical pressure
Experimental collapse pressure
Local buckling General buckling
Fig. 2.15 Comparison with Tokugawa theory Fig.2.16 Comparison with Timoshenko theory
The implication is tested by the subsequently calculated critical pressure. As shown in Figs.
2.13 and 2.14, the experimental results generally are coincident with Bryant and Kendricks
critical pressure in general buckling, however there is great difference existing in local buckling.
Inversely, as shown in Fig. 2.15 and 2.16, the critical pressure from Tokogawa and
Timoshenkos equations agrees well with the experimental results in local buckling while
disagrees with those in general buckling. However, with respect to difference between the
existing buckling theories, there is little difference between Tokogawa and Timoshenkos
critical pressure in general buckling, while Bryants solution presents more conservational
critical pressure than Kendricks in general buckling. On the other hand, only the critical
pressures estimated by towstage method are satisfied with experimental results in all general
and local buckling.
Consequently, it is more rational and reasonable to consider that the buckling theories of
Tokugawa and Timoshenko are only suitable for local buckling and those of Kendrick and
Bryant are suitable for general buckling. While for an arbitrary stiffened pipe with buckling type
unknown previously, the critical pressure should be estimated using the twostage method.
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
m
o
d
e
l2
m
o
d
e
l4
m
o
d
e
l6
m
o
d
e
l7
m
o
d
e
l9
m
o
d
e
l1
m
o
d
e
l3
m
o
d
e
l5
m
o
d
e
l8
m
o
d
e
l1
0
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
/
C
o
l
l
a
p
s
e
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
N
/
m
m
2
Twostage method
Timoshenko
Experimental critical pressure
Experimental collapse pressure
Local buckling General buckling
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 50 
2.4.3 Buckling Behavior Simulation
The twostage method is a very useful and rational tool to solve the problem of stiffened pipe
buckling under external pressure has been confirmed from the above discussion. However, as
for the bucking design, the theoretical analysis of buckling behavior is required in many cases
other than the buckling critical pressure. Until present, the investigation of buckling behavior
can only be carried out using the numerical analysis (FEM) or experiment because there is no a
reliable analytical solution. Since the investigation for the buckling behavios of pipe usually
requires much time and cost, no matter using numerical analysis or experiments, the theoretical
solution should be discussed. In the following paragraph, an effective and simple theoretical
analysis method using twostage method will be presented, and be examined by conventional
methods of numerical analysis. Meanwhile, the more detailed description on buckling behavior
will also be given. Where, the testing models used in former paragraphs, are adopted in the
analytical models with respect to the numerical and theoretical analyses.
Theoretical Analysis by Twostage Method
The buckling behavior is discussed from the following three aspects: a) buckling behavior with
changing of the second moment of inertia of stiffeners with respect to a particular spacing, b)
buckling behavior with changes in the spacing of stiffeners, and, c) influence of the geometry of
cylindrical shells. Accordingly, the analysis of buckling behavior using twostage method can
be carried out as follows: 1) increase the rigid stiffness of stiffeners and calculate the
corresponding buckling critical pressure using twostage method; 2) repeat step 1) with respect
to the constant pipe with a alterative spacing of stiffeners; and, 3) repeat step 1) with respect to a
alterative pipe with a constant spacing of stiffeners. Thus, the buckling behavior of any an
arbitrary stiffened pipe can be obtained in terms of the relation of critical pressure to second
moment of inertia of stiffener.
Numerical Analysis by Finite Element Method
The numerical analysis is carried out using FEM software MSC.Marc. In the current study,
the investigation of buckling behavior is conducted by applying linear buckling analysis,
considering the nonlinear characteristics has little influence on the elastic buckling of a perfect
cylindrical under uniformly external pressure.
As for the modeling of stiffened pipe, considering the interaction between pipe and stiffeners is
mainly due to transverse shear, the stiffener and pipe are modeled using bilinear thickshell
element, which is a fournode, thickshell element with global displacements and rotations as
degrees of freedom. Bilinear interpolation is used for the coordinates, displacements and the
rotations. The membrane strains are obtained from the displacement field; and the curvatures are
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 51 
from the rotation field. The transverse shear strains are calculated at the middle of the edges and
interpolated to the integration points. In this way, a very efficient and simple element is
obtained which exhibits correct behavior in the limiting case of thin shells. The element can be
used in curved shell analysis as well as in the analysis of complicated plate structures. For the
latter case, the element is easy to use since connections between intersecting plates can be
modeled without tying. Due to its simple formulation comparing to the standard higher order
shell elements, it is less expensive and, therefore, very attractive in nonlinear analysis. The
element is not very sensitive to distortion, particularly if the corner nodes lie in the same plane.
All constitutive relations can be used with this element.
Verification of Buckling Behavior
The buckling behaviors of all models are simulated using theoretical and numerical analysis,
which are shown in Figs.2.17~2.23, respectively. Meanwhile, the experimental results are also
given in the corresponding figure. In addition, the limit stiffness of stiffener and the buckling
deformation profile of respective model are also shown in these figures. Otherwise, to illustrate
the buckling deformation type and counting method of the number of buckling waves, the
buckling deformation are demonstrated in Fig. 2.24, in terms of 3D view and plan view, where
the bucking deformation of a general buckling and two patterns of local buckling are shown.
The deformed location varies with the spacing of stiffeners; generally for large spacing the
buckling deforms all interstiffener shells of overall stiffened pipe, while interstiffener shell at
the end of stiffened pipe deforms for narrow spacing. As the number of buckling waves, it is
equivalent to the number of outer wave peaks for general buckling and pattern 1 of the local
buckling, half of number of outer wave peaks for pattern 2 of the local buckling.
Figures 2.17~2.23 indicate that all the buckling behavior obtained by twostage method agree
well with the corresponding numerical analysis results. The buckling behavior expresses the
feature that the buckling type changes from general buckling to local buckling when the
stiffness of stiffeners reaches the limit stiffness; the critical pressure increases with the increase
of stiffeners stiffness in general buckling, while maintains the maximum critical pressure of
general buckling in local buckling. In addition, that the experimental results of buckling type
and critical pressure are satisfied well by corresponding numerical and theoretical analysis
results is illustrated except model7. It is therefore easy to consider that an arbitrary stiffened
pipe can be estimated in terms of the buckling type and critical pressure if the buckling behavior
is known. However, it may be noted that there is a little difference between numerical and
theoretical analysis in local buckling. The critical pressure obtained from numerical analysis has
a trend of increasing with the enlargement of stiffener. The reason may be considered that the
supports at two ends of interstiffener shell become stronger and the spacing decrease with the
increase of stiffness of stiffeners.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 52 
Fig. 2.17 Buckling behavior (Model1) Fig. 2.18 Buckling behavior (Model2,9)
Fig. 2.19 Buckling behavior (Model3, 10) Fig. 2.20 Buckling behavior (Model4)
Fig. 2.21 Buckling behavior (Model5) Fig. 2.22 Buckling behavior (Model6)
a) General buckling b) Locally local buckling c) Generally local buckling
Fig. 2.23 Buckling behavior (Model7,8 ) Fig. 2.24 Buckling deformation
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000
2(mm
4
)
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
697 3899
Moment of inertia of stiffener I
r
(mm
4
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
Numeri cal Theoret ical Experi mental
G.B. domain
G.B.
L.B.
L.B. domain
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
0 2500 5000 7500 10000 12500 15000 17500 20000
2Ir(mm
4
)
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
949 17604
2
Numeri cal Theoret ical Experi mental
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
G.B. domain
G.B. L.B.
L.B. domain
Moment of inertia of stiffener I
r
(mm
4
)
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000
2(mm
4
)
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
1123 3278
2
Numeri cal Theoret ical Experi mental
Moment of inertia of stiffener I
r
(mm
4
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
G.B. domain
G.B.
L.B.
L.B. domain
0.0
0.3
0.5
0.8
1.0
1.3
1.5
1.8
2.0
2.3
2.5
2.8
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000
2(mm
4
)
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
1980 6678
2
Numeri cal Theoret ical Experi mental
Moment of inertia of stiffener I
r
(mm
4
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
G.B. domain
G.B. L.B.
L.B. domain
n=3
n=10
n=8
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000
2(mm
4
)
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
1597 2970
2
Numeri cal Theoret ical Experi mental
Moment of inertia of stiffener I
r
(mm
4
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
G.B. domain
G.B. L.B.
L.B. domain
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000
2(mm
4
)
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
2500 3589
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
2204 2622
2
Numeri cal Theoret ical Experi mental
Moment of inertia of stiffener I
r
(mm
4
)
C
r
i
t
i
c
a
l
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
P
c
r
(
N
/
m
m
2
)
G.B. domain
G.B.
L.B.
L.B. domain
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 53 
As the special case that the same model as model 7, 8 buckled in two bucking types in
experiment, its explanation can be found in the buckling behavior. As shown in Fig. 2.23, the
second moment of inertia of stiffeners for model7, 8 is 2204mm
4
, almost equivalent to
2622mm
4
, the limit stiffness of stiffeners. This means the stiffening condition is just near to the
boundary of local buckling and general buckling. In fact, the interesting phenomenon also
induces an important issue for buckling of stiffened pipe. For stiffened pipe, there exists a
crossing range of buckling types in which the stiffened pipe failed in one of the two potential
buckling types. The range is defined with respective of the stiffness of stiffeners, named
crossing range. Actually, the existence of crossing range is not only indicted in the referring
experiments but also in the experimental results shown in DNV
35)
BS5500
36)
and ASME
37)
CodeHowever, in theoretical analysis using twostaged method the buckling type is always
determined as that having smaller critical pressure of general buckling between local buckling.
Accordingly, the conservative critical pressure can be ensured in crossing range
On the other hand, another interesting phenomenon that there are two buckling patterns
existing in local bucking was confirmed through the numerical analysis. One of buckling
patterns is that only buckled at the end of stiffened pipe, namely end local buckling, while the
other happens in overall stiffened pipe, namely overall local buckling. Moreover, the buckling
pattern is related to the ratio of spacing to radius S/R, generally end local buckling for S/R1 ,
overall local buckling for S/R>1. This can be found by focusing on the deformation profile
shown in Figs.2.17 ~24. Model1, Model310Model5 and Model78 , whose ratio of spacing
to radius S/R is less than 1, occurred end local buckling, while the other models with S/R greater
than 1 buckled in overall buckling. The reason has been given by Charles as that stresses
distributed in supported ends of pipe reaches plasticity and induced a plastic buckling. The
additional explanation can be considered that for stiffened pipe with wider spacing the critical
pressure of local buckling was smaller and the local buckling was elastic buckling, then overall
local buckling happened.
The buckling behavior analysis using twostage method is confirmed in terms of validation
and an efficient method for buckling study. In addition, the details on the buckling behavior of
stiffened pipe have been investigated and discussed. As a result, the buckling behavior
simulation can provide the accurate analysis of any stiffened pipes, with respect to not only the
buckling types and critical pressure but also the various buckling phenomenon.
Chapter 2 Buckling of Free Pipe under External Pressure
 54 
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