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Experiment on perspective pressure vessels

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Experiment on perspective pressure vessels

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Vessel Components

J. Bachut

Institute of Physics,

Cracow University of Technology,

ul. Podchoraz_ych 1,

Krakow, 30-085 Poland

This review aims to complement a milestone monograph by Singer et al. (2002, Buckling

ExperimentsExperimental Methods in Buckling of Thin-Walled Structures, Wiley, New

York). Practical aspects of load bearing capacity are discussed under the general umbrella of buckling. Plastic loads and burst pressures are included in addition to bifurcation and snap-through/collapse. The review concentrates on single and combined

static stability of conical shells, cylinders, and their bowed out counterpart (axial compression and/or external pressure). Closed toroidal shells and domed ends onto pressure

vessels subjected to internal and/or external pressures are also discussed. Domed ends

include: torispheres, toricones, spherical caps, hemispheres, and ellipsoids. Most experiments have been carried in metals (mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum); however,

details about hybrids (copper-steel-copper) and shells manufactured from carbon/glass

fibers are included in the review. The existing concerns about geometric imperfections,

uneven wall thickness, and influence of boundary conditions feature in reviewed

research. They are supplemented by topics like imperfections in axial length of cylinders,

imperfect load application, or erosion of the wall thickness. The latter topic tends to be

more and more relevant due to ageing of vessels. While most experimentation has taken

place on laboratory models, a small number of tests on full-scale models are also referenced. [DOI: 10.1115/1.4026067]

Keywords: cones, ellipsoids, hemispheres, toricones, torispheres, toroids, external, internal pressure, buckling, plastic load, burst pressure

Introduction

found in pressure vessels, has been the subject of numerous studies over many decades. A substantial wealth of accumulated

knowledge exists in the form of books, conference proceedings,

reviews, and other published material. To this end, books covering

experimental aspects of buckling of pressure vessels or their components include: [16]. Reference [7] can be regarded as a milestone piece of work entirely devoted to experimental

methodologies associated with, per se, buckling. It contains a

comprehensive list of references. Conference proceedings dealing

entirely with buckling include Refs. [813]. A large number of

conference papers in the proceedings are explicitly devoted to

buckling experiments. Summary of the current set of design recommendations on buckling prone, thin-walled shell components,

e.g., cylinders, cones, and/or doubly-curved shells can be found in

Ref. [14]. The authors list some existing shell stability technical

issuesmany of which are not addressed in the NASA recommendations (Refs. [1517]). Initial geometric imperfections, nonlinear prebuckling deformations, boundary conditions, load

introduction effects, combined loads, and variation in material

properties are just a sample of topics still awaiting further investigations. The reliance on arbitrarily chosen knock-down factors is

also echoed in Refs. [18,19]. There have also been a number of

published reviews of research on buckling, e.g., Refs. [2022]. In

many instances, experimental data was used to develop design

standards. A good example would be the predecessor of the current code [23], where design of externally pressurized hemispherical/torispherical domes is entirely empirical. It is based on the

lower bound to known experimental results being further reduced

by a safety factor [24]. Authors of a review Ref. [25] poses a quesManuscript received August 18, 2013; final manuscript received November 14,

2013; published online December 30, 2013. Editor: Harry Dankowicz.

tion: why, despite a great research effort, has the scientific community failed to develop procedures for shell design that are not

based on empirical data, i.e., on lower-bound followed by a

knock-down factor? They do not provide a definitive answer to

this dilemma which still exists more than ten years on. Instead

they propose a number of procedures aiming at improvement of

over-conservativeness of the lower-bound design philosophy for

the case of axially compressed cylinders (including FRP cylinders). In a review of the buckling resistance of thin and slender

structures typically found in nuclear industry, Ref. [26], back in

1984, categorized vessel related components, prone to buckling,

as: (i) stiff (buckling in plastic range), (ii) medium (elastic/plastic

buckling), and (iii) soft (elastic buckling). The criterion used here

was the ratio, REY, of elastic bifurcation-to-first yield load. For

REY 5 the component was deemed to be stiff. For REY 0:2,

structure was classified as soft. In this context, the results of 42

experimental buckling tests have been compared with computed

predictions of buckling. The tests were on metallic torispherical

and elliptical heads, cylinders under: shear, axial compression or

external pressure, spherical caps, spheres, and stiffened/unstiffened baffles. Scatter of results is provided here as Table 1 (from

Ref. [26]). Table 1 shows the difference between tests and numerical predictions of buckling together with the number of tests carried out. It is seen here that the range of errors varies from 30%

to 50%. The discrepancies between experimental and computed

values have been attributed to: (i) specimen geometry, (ii) boundary conditions, and (iii) material data. It was also noted that in

some cases the buckling was difficult to observe experimentally

and it was subjective (internally pressurized domes; for example).

Progress has been made in assessing the issues leading to big discrepancies between test data and theory since the publication of

Ref. [26]. Testing methods, for example, have improved and they

have been more focused [2730]. It is true to say that buckling

experiments are now better instrumented than in the past; for

example, in Refs. [27,28,3033]. Equally, more rigorous

C 2014 by ASME

Copyright V

from Ref. [26] (Pexp tl is experimental buckling load, and Pc is

computed buckling load)

Pexp tl Pc

Pexp tl

30% to 20%

20% to 10%

10% to 0%

0% to 10%

10% to 20%

20% to 30%

30% to 40%

40% to 50%

Number of tests

3

5

5

7

6

6

5

5

[3439]. References [7] and [30], for example, provide a thorough

review of experimental techniques and results obtained in a wider

context of structures prone to buckling. Recent review papers,

Refs. [20,21], address structural behavior of domed ends and add

to the accumulated know-how base. Design methodology is available in the form of various codes [1517,23,4042], and are also

available in a specialized stability handbook [43] (see also Ref.

[44]). As mentioned earlier, one of unresolved issues within structures prone to buckling is the effect of initial shape imperfections

on the magnitude of buckling load. Despite efforts aiming at finding a universal answer to the dilemma, it still remains a subject of

active research. It is true to say that the detrimental effect of initial

shape imperfections has been quantified for a range of structural

components and loading conditions. However, it is, by-and-large,

still based on a component by component basis. An attempt of a

unified approach to the design of imperfection sensitive structural

components can be found in Ref. [42], where a better manufacturing quality of a member results in the attainment of higher buckling loads. However, research into the derivation of less restrictive

knock-down factors still continues, e.g., Ref. [45]. A different

way of reducing imperfection sensitivity of axially compressed

cylinders is explored in Ref. [46]. Numerical results suggest that

cylinders filled with, and/or surrounded by a compliant core, can

be less imperfection sensitive. Finally, it is worth mentioning a

better access to the specialized buckling-related, and web based

resources, e.g., Refs. [47,48].

Cylindrical Shells

of other load bearing components in variety of on land, in the sea,

and in the air applications. As mentioned earlier, the comprehensive review of cylindrical shells under buckling conditions is

available in Ref. [7]. Historical background into early shell buckling tests is available in Ref. [49]. The earliest shell buckling tests

on thin-walled tubes under axial compression and bending were in

18451850. These tests were followed by experimental buckling

tests on tubes under external and/or internal pressure. Reference

[49] lists milestones in experimental buckling tests, and motivation behind them, for cylindrical shells for up to the 1970s. Tubular bridges motivated the very first buckling tests on tubes in the

mid-19th century. The next demand for experimental data came

from shipbuilders at the end of the 19th century. The needs arising

from the design of tunnel linings and submarines dominated

experimentation early in the 20th century. The latter designs specifically stimulated experimentation on stiffened cylinders. Aircraft structures were associated with tests on much thinner

cylinders. By then, the range covered the radius-to-wall thickness,

R/t, between 35 and 1440. The concept of knock down factor

appears to have been founded at that time. The next big impetus

in buckling of cylindrical shells took place in the 1960s and it was

associated with careful studies of buckling and post-buckling

patterns via high speed photography and the use of photoelasticity.

010803-2 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

about sources are given in Ref. [49]. Review of research into buckling of cylinders and domed closures onto cylindrical vessels is

available in Ref. [50]. Plain cylinders, cylinders reinforced by: (i)

rings, (ii) stringers, and (iii) rings and stringers are included. Loading includes: (i) axial compression, (ii) external pressure, and (iii)

axial compression and external pressure. Nonaxial compression is

also mentioned. Some of more recent research into static stability

of cylindrical shells is reviewed in what follows.

2.1 External Pressure. Corrosion damage to the wall thickness can affect the buckling strength of externally pressurized vessels. These effects have recently been researched for cylindrical

shells and domed ends. Buckling strength of cylindrical pressure

hulls with artificial damage introduced to the wall has been

researched in Refs. [5154]. Motivation for this comprehensive

experimental program was linked to naval submarines, which, if

not adequately protected, can suffer from corrosion damage. Once

the surface corrosion is identified in the pressure hull, a range of

repair possibilities exist. This includes anything from weld buildup of the lost wall thickness to the full replacement of affected

shell plates. However, all of these routes carry side effects, e.g.,

appearance of residual stresses, geometrical distortions, or change

of material properties in heat affected zones. An alternative

approach would be to allow operation of a corrosion affected vessel, but within a modified envelope of operations. References

[51,52] detail buckling tests on laboratory models of approximately 220 mm diameter, 2.5 mm nominal wall thickness, and

manufactured from 6082-T6 aluminum alloy. Buckling tests on

20 ring stiffened shells subjected quasi-static external hydrostatic

pressure were carried out. Eight models were near-perfect and

the rest had localized wall thinning in the form of rectangular

patches positioned at half length. The wall thickness loss of up to

25% was introduced on the outer surface, only. Corrosion to Ttype rings was also considered. Here, the breadth of the localized

flange damage was up to a maximum of 50% (with the web being

intact). Comparison of test data with submarine design formulae

prediction of collapse pressure is provided for both intact and corroded models. It is seen here that the experimental collapse values

are higher than those given by the existing design manual. However, at the same time, the reduction of collapse and yield pressures caused by the wall thinning was 20 and 40%, respectively,

when compared to intact models. Tests on additional eight models, three intact and five with simulated corrosion, are described in

Ref. [54]. This time a different aluminum alloy, AA-6082-F28,

was used. The principal idea behind choosing this alloy was its

elongation at break, which is comparable to steel plate used in

construction of submarines. Uniaxial tests have shown anisotropy

in material properties and the elongation at break ranging from 9

to 20% was recorded. However, the profile of stressstrain curves

resembled that of true material used in submarine pressure hulls.

Tests showed that collapse strength was related not only to the

yield point of the material, but also to the plastic reserve of the

material. In consequence, the full stressstrain curve would be

needed in the numerical predictions of collapse. Results based on

elastic perfectly plastic modeling would lead to conservative estimates of buckling strength. Although the tests were carried out on

aluminum models, their pattern of failure resembled that of hulls

made from high-strength steel found in real submarine pressure

hulls. Several proprietary finite element (FE) codes were

employed in Ref. [53] to utilize the vast amount of experimental

data collected (in Ref. [52]) in order to numerically estimate collapse pressures. Accuracy of the FE results is about 11%, while

the conventional design manuals are accurate to within 20% for

intact models, and 26% for corroded models. It has transpired that

the fine details had to be modeled and Ref. [53] provides these

details. The sensitivity of buckling pressures to manufacturing

defects in pipes with the ratio of diameter-to-wall-thickness, D/t,

within 10 to 25 has been investigated in Ref. [55].

Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 1

2.2 Axial Compression. Buckling strength of axially compressed cylindrical shells still attracts sizeable amount of research.

One specific topic has been devoted to buckling of variable length

cylinders under axial compression, as sketched in Fig. 1. When

two or more cylindrical segments form a prime load bearing structure then the interaction between two neighboring segments

become critical when the load is axial compression. The possibility of buckling of either one or both segments complicates the segment-to-segment interaction. Typical application exists in

aerospace where the gap between segments is filled by shimming

[56]. Once axial compression is applied to two segments where

there is a variable gap between them, then the uneven load results.

Diminishing axial gaps result in a variable length of hoop contact

between two cylinders and in localized plastic deformations.

These local effects at the imperfect end of the cylinder can propagate along the shells length. They in turn can trigger asymmetric

bifurcation buckling or collapse, and as such they can pose design

limitations. One aspect of this problem was studied in Ref. [57].

Cylinders with sinusoidal waviness of axial length were subjected

to axial compression by a rigid disk moving vertically. Numerical

results have highlighted a complicated nature of the interaction

between the plate and imperfect cylinder. A big drop in buckling

strength has been obtained for relatively small amplitude of waviness in length. In Ref. [58], 18 mild steel cylinders with the

length-to-radius ratio, L/R 2.4 and with the radius-to-wall thickness ratio, R/t 185 were collapsed by axial compression. Cylinders had variable length at one end of the sinusoidal profile. The

amplitude-of-axial-waviness-to-wall thickness ratio, 2A/t, was

varied between 0.05 and 1.0. Experimental results show that buckling strength strongly depends on the axial amplitude of imperfection (see Fig. 2). Average imperfect cylinders, with 2A/t 1.0, are

able to support 49% of experimental buckling load obtained for

geometrically perfect model. The largest sensitivity of buckling

strength was associated with small amplitudes of axial length. For

example, for axial length imperfection amounting to 25% of wall

thickness the buckling strength was reduced by 40%. It appears

that the number of sinusoidal waves in the imperfection profile

plays a secondary role, i.e., its role in reducing the buckling

strength is not a dominant factor. The paper provides experimental

details and comparisons with numerical results based on the FE

analyses.

Applied Mechanics Reviews

2.3.1 Straight Cylinders. Experimental program aiming at

reassessing NASA Space Vehicle Design Criteria guide SP-8007

(Ref. [15]) is reported in Refs. [5961]. Metallic cylinders with

the radius-wall-thickness ratio, R/t, varying between 250 and

1500 were buckled under static loading. Experimental models

were from copper, aluminum or stainless steel. Their diameter

was 135 mm. The whole program consisted from 150 carefully

conducted buckling tests. The role of geometrical imperfections

was of particular interest and it was closely monitored during

tests. It was noted, for example, that internal pressure reduced the

influence of imperfections on buckling, resulting in higher buckling strength. A stable post-buckling behavior of copper model (R/

t 1350) was obtained for the case of simultaneous action of internal pressure and bending. But for other cases, internal pressure

triggered local yielding and this, in turn, accelerated elasticplastic buckling. Some models were retested under a different set of

with various waviness of length

Fig. 4 Load carrying capacity of equivalent barrels as a function of barrelling, D/Ro. Photographs of tested models at a, b, c,

and d.

Fig. 3 Combined stability plot for cylindrical shell (axial compression, F, versus external pressure, p) [67]

loads. While these tests were within elastic domain, the concerns

were raised about the retest data. In view of this, Ref. [61] provides two sets of test data, i.e., single test and retest buckling

results. In a separate study, the influence of the thermal insulation

layer onto buckling performance of cantilevered cylindrical shell

is reported in Ref. [62]. This is both an experimental and numerical study. Vacuum induced buckling tests of small steel cylinders

are reported in Refs. [63,64]. Models were mass manufactured

industrial containers for storage of paint. Initial geometry of cylinders generators was carefully measured and the loading

amounted to hydrostatic external pressure. The content of Ref.

[65] is in many respects unique. It provides insights into load carrying capacity of on land vertical storage tanks, usually found in

the petroleum industry, under buckling conditions. Four steel

tanks with volume capacity ranging from 1000 m3 to 65,000 m3

(with radii between 5 m and 35 m) were in situ measured for geometry (geometrical imperfections), and then buckled by external

pressure (through the application of internal vacuum). The paper

provides a wealth of practical information including: design code

estimates, implications of quality of manufacturing, knock down

factors, and FE analyses (including axial compression generated

by roof-loading).

2.3.2 Bowed-out Cylinders. Buckling strength of axially compressed bowed out cylindrical shell can be larger than buckling

load of mass equivalent cylinder, as shown in Fig. 3 (with details

in Refs [66,67]). At the same time, barrels are more efficient in

supporting external pressure. This idea has been explored in Refs.

[6873] for underwater applications. Earlier background to the

above idea can be found in Refs [74,75]. It is seen in Fig. 4 that

external hydrostatic pressure increases with the amount of outward barrelling; it reaches maximum and then it drops when the

shell becomes the outer half of a toroid. A number of mild steel

models have been machined to test numerical predictions. All

models had the same mass as the reference cylinder and they had

integral flanges at both ends. Each shell after over machining was

stress relieved. Wall thickness and shape have been measured

prior to testing. The diameter of the tested shells was about

200 mm, their length varied from 75 to 100 mm in order to secure

the constant mass while the wall thickness was nominally 3.0 mm.

Thick flat plates were attached to tested models, which were then

filled with oil and vented to the atmosphere. Models were

010803-4 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

quasi-static pressure was applied while the amount of expelled oil

was measured. All shells failed suddenly with a loud bang and

rapid outflow of oil from inside. Hence, there has been no difficulty in identifying buckling pressure. Experimental buckling

pressures varied from 8 to 22 MPa. Figure 4 indicates four configurations a, b, c, and d, which were subject of experimentation. Bifurcation buckling was predicted for points a and b.

Photographs in the figure show the lobar mode of failure at a,

and b. At point c, both the machined barrel and tested model

are seen in the insert. Photographs of collapsed barrels at points

c and d are also depicted in Fig. 4. Good agreement has been

obtained between experimental results and numerical predictions.

The ratio of pnum =pexp tl varied from 0.98 to 0.99 for reference cylinders, and 0:90 pnum =pexp tl 1:02 for mass equivalent barrels.

The sensitivity of buckling/collapse pressures to the initial, eigenmode type geometric imperfections has been assessed for both cylindrical and bowed out geometries. It appears that barrelling does

not necessarily increase the sensitivity of buckling pressure to

shape deviations from perfect geometry. Reference [68] provides

further details. Buckling tests carried out in Ref. [68] proved that,

on a like for like basis, barrels were able to support pressure of

nearly 90% higher than mass equivalent cylinders. A more practical configuration of bowed out shell would be associated with a

barrel having the same length and top/bottom radii as the master

cylinder. This would require the readjustment of the wall thickness in the barrel in order to have both shells of the same mass. In

addition, a shells generator could be searched in a different class

of profiles than circular arcs. This approach was adopted in Ref.

[76]. The shape of the generator was assumed to be defined by a

generalized ellipse [77]

n2

n1

x

y

1

(1)

Ro D

0:5 Lo n3

where Ro is a barrels radius at top/bottom ends; D is the amount

of barrelling at the equator.

Parameters n1, n2, and n3, which strongly influencing the barrels meridian, were chosen as optimization variables. Simulated

annealing, SA, was utilized in the search for the optimal shape

leading to the maximum of buckling pressure under the equality

condition imposed on masses, m, of the cylinder and barrel, i.e.,

mcyl mbarrel.

A section through the design space is plotted in Fig. 5. It is seen

here that a significant increase in buckling pressure above the cylinders one was predicted. Detailed calculations were performed

for the reference cylindrical geometry given by Lo/Ro 1.0 and

Transactions of the ASME

described by generalized ellipse [76]. View of barrels shape at

bifurcation corresponding to pmax.

through the bifurcation buckling at pbif 10.5 MPa. The eigenmode corresponds to n 7 circumferential waves. The SA algorithm has found the global optimum at popt 14.71 MPa, and it

corresponded to the optimal design vector (n1, n2, 2n3/Lo)opt

(2.2, 2.0, 1.0). The predicted failure mechanism at the optimum

was through the axisymmetric collapse. A section through the

design space is shown in Fig. 6, where it is seen that feasible domain is not convex. Two nominally identical barrels were collapsed experimentally and they failed at 16.97 MPa and

16.83 MPa, respectively. After removal from the test tank both

barrels were photographed and these are seen as inserts in Fig. 6.

It is worth noting that the experimental buckling pressure for two

equivalent cylinders was 11.66 MPa and 11.58 MPa, respectively.

For barrels, this gives an increase of 45% in magnitude of external

hydrostatic pressure above the master cylinders buckling

strength. Depending on numerical modeling the ratio, pnum/pexp tl,

varied from 0.90 to 1.02. Additional calculations have shown that

the shape optimization has not created the solution which would

be dismissed from a practical point of view because of greatly

enhanced imperfection sensitivity of buckling load to initial geometric imperfections. It is seen from results given in Ref. [76] that

both the initial (cylinder) and optimal (barrel) designs have a comparable sensitivity to initial shape deviations from perfect

geometry.

Fig. 6 Plot of the cost function versus design vector components n1 5 n2. Also, photograph of two tested barrels E1 and

E1a [76].

flange thickness [67]

vessels made from bowed out cylinders (see Ref. [78]). It was

decided to investigate bowed out cylindrical shells which had the

same wall thickness as the reference cylinder. Although, per se,

these were not equivalent models since the mass was not the

same. Nevertheless, large increases in external buckling pressures

were predicted by numerical calculations. One of the outstanding

issues was the joining of two neighboring segments. One possibility was to have the integral flanges of adjoining segments bolted

together. Here, dimensions of flanges heavily influenced the load

carrying capacity of the whole assembly as illustrated in Fig. 7.

Two configurations were chosen for experimentation and they are

denoted in Fig. 7 as models DB1 and DB2. Numerical calculations

indicated that in both cases, the excessive yielding at the joints

controlled the failure. Post-collapse pictures of models DB1 and

DB2 are also seen in Fig. 7. One 4-segment vessel has also been

studied. Its collapsed view of global nature is shown in Fig. 8 (see

Ref. [79] for discussion of inter-stiffener collapse and overall collapse of cylinders). Connecting segments by bolting external

flanges performed satisfactorily for given arrangements. However,

not all possibilities, e.g., external versus internal flanges were

explored. In addition, the wall thickness of barrels was kept constant. It might be beneficial if variation of the wall thickness is

allowed in order to mitigate the edge effects. Numerical results

obtained in Ref. [70] indicate that in barrels made from fiber reinforced plastics (FRP), it is possible to reduce the edge effects

through the appropriate lamination stacking. In particular, free radial displacements at the top and bottom edges do not automatically lead to an inferior performance when compared with an

has been carried out.

Conical Shells

performance of cylindrical counterparts. Strong motivation for experimental and theoretical research into buckling of cones had

been, and still is [80,81], rooted into their substantial role in missiles and in space launchers. Account of these efforts is provided

in Ref. [82]. Past experiments on unstiffened conical shells are

briefly reviewed in Ref. [83]. Between 1958 and 2008, there have

been 484 buckling tests on unstiffened cones. Reference [83]

shows the number of tests per year, the type of applied loading, together with the source of data and the type of material from which

the tested shells were made. Apart from plain, i.e., not reinforced

cones, a range of stiffened cones has also been tested in the past:

111 in the same period. Most tests were on cones reinforced by

rings, and in most cases cones were made from steel. By far the

most frequent buckling tests have been carried out on cones subjected to a single load. However, buckling tests were also carried

out when two or more loads were applied at the same time. Details

about these tests can be found in Refs. [8385]. The above tests

have been carried out in elastic range. The next sections summarize recent experimental research effort for cones subjected to

external or internal pressure, axial compression, and cones subjected to combined loading. Most of these papers are related to

elasticplastic buckling with very few experimental data available

here.

3.1 Externally Pressurized Cones. It has to be mentioned

that studies into elasticplastic buckling of cones have not been a

subject of extensive research effort. Nevertheless some fresh experimental results have been reported. For example, details about

buckling tests on ten mild steel cones subjected to quasi-static

external pressure are reported in Ref. [86]. Shells were manufactured by rolling flat sheets followed by longitudinal welding. The

base diameter was about 300 mm and the wall thickness varied

between 0.5 mm and 0.8 mm. The collapse was a gradual process

but it is not reported what was the capacity the vacuum source

which served as means of loading. Measured geometry was utilized in subsequent FE analyses. The ratio of pexp tl/pnumerical, varied between 0.40 and 0.92. Tests on 19 steel, seamless cones

obtained by using the metal spinning, are described in Ref. [87].

The base diameter of all models was 500 mm and the wall thickness was 0.635 mm. Four models were unstiffened while the

remaining had external rings at various positions on the slant.

Models were subjected to quasi-static external hydrostatic pressure. The experimental buckling pressures were established visually once any bulge was visible on the cone surface. In this case,

the ratio of pexp tl/pnumerical varied between 0.62 and 0.80. In a separate research, with scattered results in Refs [8890], a series of

15 mild steel cones reinforced by external rings have been tested

under quasi-static external hydrostatic pressure. It is reported that

the failures were sudden with a loud bang accompanying failure.

Once a cone failed the pressure instantly dropped (for example,

from 14.46 MPa to 7.32 MPa for cone no. 10 in Ref. [88]). Strain

gauges on the inner surface, primarily used to indicate the number

of lobes in the failure mode, recorded large plastic strains just

prior to buckling. Thus, subjective identification of buckling load

appears to be removed during the latter tests. Comparisons

between experimental and numerical predictions measured by the

ratio, pexp tl/pnumerical, varied from 0.24 to 0.84 (Tables 4 and 5 of

Ref. [88]; see also Table 6 of Ref. [89], and Table 3 of Ref. [90]).

In an earlier series of buckling experiments on ring-reinforced

steel and aluminum cones summarized in Ref. [91], the same ratio

varies from 0.56 to 0.87. Over the years, a number of attempts

have been made to find a simplified design equation which could

provide an estimate of the buckling strength of cones subjected to

hydrostatic pressure. One such equation has been proposed in Ref.

010803-6 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

compares estimates given in Ref. [92] with numerical predictions

given by BOSOR5 code, Ref. [94] (see Fig. 9). It is seen here

that all Bosor5 predictions are higher than those given in

Ref. [92]. Comparisons have also been made between 17 test data

on steel/aluminum cones and the proposed equation. The ratio,

pexp tl/pnumerical, was found to be between 0.57 and 1.41. Estimates

of buckling pressures for thicker cones were on a safe side while

for thinner cones the above ratio was on unsafe side (between

0.57 and 0.91).

3.2 Internally Pressurized Cones. Results of an experimental study into the buckling of six scaled-down models of the inner

vessel relevant to a liquid metal fast breeder nuclear reactor are

reported in Ref. [95]. The models consisted of two cylindrical

shells connected by cone and toroid (all from stainless steel).

These compound shells were manufactured by rolling, forming,

and welding, and they were subjected to internal pressure and/or

concentrated loads applied to the stand-pipes. Diameters of cylinders were 420 mm and 810 mm with the wall thickness being

0.8 mm. The ratios of experimental buckling load to the FE estimates were between 0.95 and 2.02. Conical shells are frequently

used in metallic silos and storage tanks where internal pressure is

often an important loading condition. References [9698] discuss

internally pressurized cone-cylinder intersections under uniform

internal pressure. Details about a single, mild steel test conecylinder fabricated by rolling and welding steel sheets of 1 mm

thickness are given in Ref. [96]. Radius and length of the cylinder

were both 500 mm. Cone apex half angle was 60 degrees. The FE

results indicated that buckling load of the cone-cylinder intersections subjected to internal pressure appears not to be sensitive to

initial geometric imperfections. Test data on a further three conecylinder intersections is provided in Ref. [97]. Cones were made

by rolling and seam welding of 1 mm thick mild steel sheets.

[93]

Their apex half-angle was 40 deg. Under single incremental loading, they failed by bifurcation with a number of hoop waves at the

conecylinder junction. Additional conecylinder model, this

time with a horizontal ring of 20 mm depth and placed at the junction, is tested in Ref. [98]. It appears that in all three references,

an exact bifurcation buckling was difficult to establish experimentally and remained a fairly subjective process. The above three

references provide detailed discussions around this subject.

3.3 Buckling Under Axial Compression. Recent tests are

reported in Refs. [99,100]. Five steel models fabricated from steel

sheets by cold rolling and longitudinal seam-welding were collapsed by quasi-static axial compression. The base diameter of all

models was 450 mm and the wall thickness varied between

0.7 mm and 0.9 mm. Heavy plates were attached at both ends to

simulate clamped boundary conditions. Models failed through the

formation of axisymmetric bulge at the small-radius end. The test

ultimate loads were normalized by Rankine limit load, and the ratio varied between 0.98 and 1.11. In addition, 40 aluminum cones

fabricated by spinning [100] were subjected to axial squashing

between platens. The base diameter varied between 256 mm and

304 mm with the wall thickness being between 0.625 mm and

1.45 mm. Although the main objective was to evaluate the energy

absorption and folding mechanisms on the post-collapse path, the

collapse loads are also reported. Results of the FE analyses for

some models are given, and the ratio of experimental collapse force

to the FE estimate, Fexp tl/Fnumerical, was between 0.17 and 0.75.

3.4 Combined Loading. It appears that there has been very

limited research into elasticplastic buckling performance of conical shells, under the action of combined loads. The previous

research effort has primarily been limited to buckling by external

hydrostatic pressure which in fact corresponds to combined loading due to axial compression resulting from pressure action on

top/bottom flanges, e.g., Refs. [86,88,89,91].

In order to gain a better understanding of buckling of cones

under combined loading, two series of buckling tests on laboratory size steel cones have recently been carried out in Liverpool.

Models were CNC-machined and all of them had integral top and

bottom flanges. They were subjected to: (i) axial compression, (ii)

external radial pressure, or (iii) any combination of pressure and

axial compression. Nominal dimensions of the first set of models,

13 in total with designated names C1, C13, were as follows: the

cone semiangle, b 26 deg; the ratio of the larger radius, r2, to

wall thickness, t, was r2/t 34.0; the wall thickness, t 3.0 mm.

Details about experimentation and related FE computations can

be found in Refs. [83,93,101106]. The second set of ten models

had the following geometry: b 14 deg; r2/t 54.0, and the wall

thickness, t 2.0 mm. Here, details about the experiments and the

FE results can be found in Refs. [107111]. Figure 10 shows two,

as manufactured models (b 26 deg in Fig. 10(a), and b 14 deg

in Fig. 10(b)). None of the models were stress relieved prior to

testing. Combined loading was applied to them using arrangement

shown in Fig. 10(c). Heavy top and bottom plates were attached

to each cone. Flanges were partially embedded into the plates in

order to secure clamped-clamped boundary conditions as realistic

as possible. Axial compression was applied through a ram

attached to the bottom plate and connected, through an internal

bar and pivoted coupler, to the top flange (see Refs. [83,101,102).

The whole arrangement seen in Fig. 10(c) was immersed in

350 mm 1000 mm pressure tank. External pressure in the tank

was controlled manually. At the same time, through a separate

pressure line, compressive force was applied via the ram. Various

loading scenarios were explored during experiments. Both sets of

models developed plastic straining before buckling. Hence different loading paths were explored first, and this included: (i) pressure preloading followed by incremental axial force loading, (ii)

axial force preloading followed by incremental radial pressure,

and (iii) proportional loading. References [102,104,106] discuss

Applied Mechanics Reviews

and (c) arrangement for combined loading. Adapted from Ref.

[103].

load remain nearly the same for different loading paths; although

there were small differences in values of plastic strains at buckling. Figure 11(a) depicts loading paths for the first set of cones

(models C1,, C13). All models were filled with oil and vented

to the atmosphere. During loading, the amount of expelled oil was

measured. Failure of all models was sudden with large outflow of

oil and accompanied by a loud bang. As mentioned earlier, both

sets of cones were machined from two different billets of steel

and tests were carried out in order to establish the exact material

properties. Several round tensile specimens (10 mm diameter,

200 mm long) were cut from billets in different directions and

they have not been stress relieved prior to uniaxial tensile tests.

Full details about the material properties are available in

Refs. [102,104] for the first set of cones (b 26 deg). Tensile

stressstrain curves confirmed mild steel characteristics of material, i.e., well defined upper/lower yield followed by horizontal

plateau. Details about the evaluation of material properties for the

second set of cones are available in Refs. [108,111]. Under uniaxial tension the second material exhibits continuous strain hardening without a clearly defined yield point. Hence, 0.2% proof stress

was assumed for the yield point. The FE computing related to the

above experimentation identified the first yield envelope in addition to the collapse envelope. These are depicted in Fig. 11 for

b 26 deg and in Fig. 12 for b 14 deg models. It is seen here

that the first yield envelope is of by-and-large bilinear format.

For lower values of axial force, the plastic strains begin to grow

from larger-radius end of the cone. For higher values of axial

force, the plastic strains start to develop at the smaller-radius end

of the cone. The hatched area in Fig. 11 indicates the elasticplastic domain. Experimental results shown in Fig. 11 are cast in two

different formats. Experimental data points in Fig. 11(a) are nortl

malized: by average experimental collapse force, Fexp

avg , and by

tl

(note

that

there

average experimental buckling pressure, pexp

avg

were two nominally identical models tested under pure axial compression and two models tested under pure radial pressure). Experimental data points shown in Fig. 11(a) are normalized by the FE

predicted collapse force, Fcoll

o , and by the FE predicted pure radial

collapse pressure, pcoll . Both interactive plots shown in Figs. 11(a)

and 11(b) were obtained for elastic perfectly plastic modeling of

steel, experimentally measured average geometry and constant,

average wall thickness. Design guidance for the cones subjected

to interactive loads, as discussed above, is provided by the ASME

code [41]. Reference [42], on the other hand, provides the design

guidance for the cases of pure axial compression and lateral pressure only. Magnitudes of design loads were obtained for all tested

cones by using both codes in order to compare them with the test

JANUARY 2014, Vol. 66 / 010803-7

Fig. 11 Combined stability plots for b 5 26 deg cones [106]. Loading paths shown in Fig. 11(a) while configurations given by

the current Design Codes are superimposed in Fig. 11(b).

for tested models C1,, C13. The ASME predictions are marked

by open circles while the ECCS predictions are marked by asterisks. It is seen here that for some load configurations the recommended values would generate plastic straining under single

incremental loading. This happens, for example, for cones C8, C7,

C12, C5/C6, C1/C2 subjected to combined loading as well as to

C11 subjected to pure lateral pressure. The ECCS based design

010803-8 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

pressure for C11 also falls into the elasticplastic domain. The

same applies to cones C3/C4 subjected to pure axial compression.

While there is a substantial margin of safety against buckling

under a single incremental loading, the predictions of failures

inside of the elasticplastic domain can be of concern under

repeating loads. In the latter case, cones can fail through growth

of plastic strains if there is no shakedown. As mentioned earlier

the second set of experiments was carried out in order to verify

Transactions of the ASME

(b 5 26 deg for C6 model, b 5 14 deg for CS6 model)

these unexpected results. It is seen in Fig. 12 that some of recommended configurations would buckle with plastic strains being

developed. This applies to cones CS1, CS6, CS7 (ASME, Ref.

[41]), and CS3/CS4 (ECCS, [42]). Buckling under pure lateral

pressure predicted by both codes remains elastic (CS2/CS5).

Hence the same observation about safety under repeating loads

remains true here for cones with code-based design loads falling

inside of the elasticplastic domain. Finally, views of buckled

cones C6 and CS1 are seen in Fig. 13.

Initial geometric imperfection in conical shells can lower the

buckling strength and there have been numerous studies addressing this topic. However, only a handful of tests have been carried

out on cones with deliberately built-in shape deviation from perfect geometry. It has been generally believed that inward dimpletype axisymmetric shape deviations from perfect geometry are the

most dangerous imperfections, i.e., leading to the largest reduction

of the buckling load. Reference [112], for example, examined the

influence of axisymmetric inward-bulge type shape imperfection

on the magnitude of buckling load (axial compression). The

imperfections were deliberately introduced during manufacturing

(by electro-deposition of copper). Thirty cones with the top end

radius-to-the wall-thickness ratio ranging from 181 to 1115 were

tested. The extreme sensitivity of the buckling load to initial

imperfections of the order of a fraction of the wall thickness was

confirmed experimentally. Imperfections found in real structures

are likely to have neither axisymmetric nor have the shape of

buckling mode but they rather occur locally. One needs to exert

high degree of skills when assessing the load carrying capacity of

complex structures prone to buckling. A three stage approach is

advocated in Ref. [113] for the assessment of imperfection sensitive real structure. The effect of localized dimple-type imperfections on the buckling strength of axially compressed cones was

addressed in Ref. [114]. The FE results showed that buckling load

of the cone with inward axisymmetric imperfection was nearly

equal to the buckling load of local imperfections which extended

60 deg or more around the circumference. Twenty high quality epoxy conical shells were buckled in Ref. [115] by axial compression. The prime objective here was to develop experimental

knock-down factor against buckling. The paper also contains data

on axially compressed imperfect cylinders (built-in inward dimple). Recent numerical results given in Ref. [110] show that outward dimple-type shape distortion can be as bad as the

corresponding inward dimple. This directly contradicts the long

standing view that the inward shape imperfections constitute the

worst case. A subsequent study [116] considered geometrically

imperfect conical shells subjected to axial compression, external

pressure, or simultaneous action of both loads. Axisymmetric

shape imperfection was assumed to be an inward dimple, outward

dimple, or coexisting inward and outward dimples. The profile of

inward bulge was described by (see Fig. 14)

dz

8

>

>

<0

p

>

>

: di cos3

z zi

bA

9

bA >

>

2 =

bA >

;

jz zi j >

2

of its center along the generator, and bA is the extension of the

imperfection along the cones slant. The shape of outward axisymmetric bulge was also considered. Its form was given by Eq.

(2) in which zi was substituted by zo, and the slant extension was

assumed to be characterized by, bB (see Ref. [116] for details).

From a design point of view, it would be desirable to know in

advance what would be the lower bound response to any possible

shape deviations one could encounter in reality (inner and/or

outer). Typical parameters which influence the buckling strength

were assumed, and the worst scenario was sought using the Tabu

Search optimization method. Results were obtained for mild steel

cones for which earlier test results on perfect models had been

carried out [103,110]. Interactive diagrams obtained for inward

bulge, outward bulge, and coexisting inward/outward bulges are

shown in Fig. 15. It is seen from Fig. 15 that both inward and outward imperfections can significantly reduce the load carrying

capacity. However, the largest shrinkage of the interactive diagram is obtained for the case of coexisting inward and outward

initial shape imperfections in cones generator. Illustration of

imperfect initial geometry together with shape of the generator at

the collapse is plotted in Figs. 15(b)15(d) for selected points. In

Ref. [118], initial geometric imperfections were taken in the form

of the eigenmode, a single wave extracted from the eigenmode

and localized smooth dimple modeled analytically. Load carrying

jz zi j

(2)

Fig. 14 Geometry of inward, axisymmetric dimple imperfection

[116]

Fig. 15 The worst interactive stability plots for different imperfection profiles (a). Collapsed shapes at points a, b, and c [116].

stability domain using the finite element proprietary code. The FE

results showed that buckling strength of axially compressed and

imperfect cone was only 55% of geometrically perfect model.

Buckling strength of a cone subjected to lateral pressure; on the

other hand, amounted to 43% of the corresponding value of perfect model. However, it was the shrinkage of stability plot of

imperfect cone which was found to be significant. For imperfect

cones subjected to combined axial compression and external pressure, the collapse envelope shrunk by 48% with the elastic sub-set

being reduced by 51%. Numerical study into imperfection sensitivity of buckling loads for cones with the semiangle, b 30, 55,

60, 65, and 70 deg for the case of axial compression, was only carried out in Ref. [119]. Imperfections were taken in the form of

eigenshapes and the effect of different boundary conditions on

buckling was examined. Results are comparable to those obtained

in Ref. [118].

It appears that, so far, there has been no experimental verification of imperfection sensitivity of buckling loads for cones subjected to simultaneously acting axial compression and external

pressure.

Finally, Ref. [117] details development of a test rig for buckling

tests of shell components subjected to pressure and/or axial (centric/eccentric) loading. Test results were obtained for conical

shells made from Mylar. These delivered interactive stability diagrams. The effect of off-axis axial compression on the buckling

strength of pressurized cone was also investigated. Shape measurements gave information on the quality of tested models.

4.1 Hemispheres, Torispheres, and Toricones. End closures onto cylindrical vessels can take different shape forms ranging from flat plates to domed ends. The latter can include

spherical caps, hemispherical, ellipsoidal, torispherical or toriconical shapes. These shells also find way into other specialized

applications, e.g., large outer space mirrors. When the loading is

such that the internal stress is dominated by membrane stress

resultants and their associated, relatively high stretching stiffness

then the load carrying capacity becomes very efficient. In doubly

curved ends, the curvature of a shells mid-surface, together with

the high ratio of stretching to bending stiffness, generally leads to

a nonlinear interaction of membrane and bending effects. In cases

like that, the load carrying capacity of domed ends strongly

depends on their geometry, boundary conditions, material

010803-10 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

behavior, type of applied load and the presence, or absence, of initial geometric imperfections. Static stability of domed ends has

been researched for decades both theoretically and experimentally, e.g., Ref. [120]. Review of past efforts in this area can be

found, for example, in Refs [7,121]. It is worth noting here that

the first tests on externally pressurized spherical caps were at the

end of the 19th century. Buckling tests on domed ends of other

shapes have continued until today and they were driven by variety

of reasons. For example, in view of raised concerns that aluminum

caps tested in Ref. [122] had the base diameter only between

20 mm and 50 mm, it was decided to re-examine the sudden drop

in buckling strength around the shallowness parameter k, k 4.0,

1=4

where k 231 t2 H=t1=2 (see Fig. 16 for notation). Six

mild steel caps with 200 mm diameter were carefully machined

from a billet. Each model had an integral heavy base ring, and

joining arrangement of the shell with base ring is shown in

Fig. 16. Three rings were designed to fail elastically and the

remaining three to fail within the elasticplastic range. Six test

points are superimposed in Fig. 16 on the original 1963 test data

by Krenzke and Kiernan. It is seen that indeed there is a minimum

of the load carrying capacity for k 4.0, irrespective whether it is

in the elastic or elasticplastic regime. Further details are available in Ref. [123]. An interesting piece of experimentation is

reported in Ref. [124]. Spherical caps manufactured from brass

with the wall thickness, t 0.4 mm, were subjected to outward radial load applied at the base of the cap. Experimental buckling

loads compared favorably with the theory provided.

An empirical approach to design of externally pressurized

hemispheres, adopted by British Standards Institutions BSI 5500

(now PD 5500), has been reviewed in Ref. [24]. The paper

addresses elastic and elasticplastic buckling. It points to the most

consistent safety factor over the experimental data, together with

a definition of allowable shape that includes both overall shape

allowance and a local defect parameter. Extension of PD 5500 to

externally pressurized torispheres triggered concerns about the

safety factor for sharp knuckle torispheres. Experimental results

of Ref. [125] demonstrate the kind of issues (see Fig. 17). It is

seen here that several test points plot below the lower bound curve

to all previously known experimental points, i.e., domes 1A, 1C,

4A, 4C, 7A, and 7C (see Table 2 for model descriptions). While

domes 1A and 1C are outside the stipulated lower limit on

r/D 0.06, it is the remaining heads tested at Brown University,

which surprisingly fell below the PD 5500 design curve (after

being multiplied by the 1.5 safety factor) which raised the concern

about the universality of the proposed experimental-lower-bound.

In view of these findings, it has transpired there was not much

Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 16 Plot of buckling load versus shallowness parameter, k. Also, view of collapsed cap and joining arrangements between the cap and integral base flange

(adapted from Ref. [123]).

Fig. 17 Safe and unsafe domains in PD 5500 code. Models 1A and 1C fall outside admissible geometry stipulated by PD 5500

(a). Test data for ten machined and two spun torispheres is plotted in (b) (pe 1:21Et 2 =Rs2 and pyss 2ryp t=Rs ) adapted from

Ref. [138].

Table 2 Geometry, material properties, collapse pressures, and parameters K and D for externally pressurized torispheres

E

Dome

r/D

Rs/D

Rs/t

L/D

(GPa)

1

1A

1C

4A

4C

7A

7C

P2/1

P2/2

P2/3

P2/4

P4A/1

P4A/2

0.059

0.0427

0.0427

0.0492

0.0492

0.0501

0.0501

0.060

0.058

0.058

0.059

0.060

0.062

1.01

0.749

0.749

1.235

1.235

0.989

0.989

1.05

1.05

1.03

1.04

0.775

0.764

563.64

128.99

126.09

61.47

61.47

45.189

45.189

143.99

148.60

146.00

148.60

83.0

83.0

0.37

0.20

0.20

0.33

0.33

0.37

0.37

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.05

0.09

0.09

207.0

192.4

207.0

192.4

207.0

192.4

207.0

208.0

208.0

208.0

208.0

212.0

212.0

radii, r, in the region of lower limit of r/D 0.06. In response to

this, two research programs were carried out in Liverpool. The

first program concentrated on 24 torispherical heads, some hot

Applied Mechanics Reviews

ryp

pexp tl

(MPa)

370.0

220.4

435.2

243.6

365.4

243.6

365.4

430.0

430.0

430.0

430.0

426.0

426.0

0.128

0.662

1.172

3.862

5.655

5.793

7.586

1.71

1.78

1.78

1.67

4.65

4.62

Ref.

0.643

4.387

2.445

8.329

5.974

11.33

8.126

2.178

2.110

2.148

2.110

3.887

3.887

0.105

0.173

0.182

0.522

0.510

0.576

0.503

0.307

0.330

0.324

0.309

0.485

0.482

[120]

[125]

[125]

[125]

[125]

[125]

[125]

[128]

[128]

[128]

[128]

[127]

[127]

[126128]. The heads had R/t ratios between 85 and 330 and they

were about 0.75 m in diameter. A few of the test results fell below

the recommended PD 5500 design curve [23] (after they had been

JANUARY 2014, Vol. 66 / 010803-11

(b)). View of collapsed hemisphere (c).

Fig. 17). This led to the second set of tests on 16 torispherical and

2 hemispherical end-closures. Nominal dimensions of these

domes were as follows: diameter of approximately D 800 mm,

and wall thickness, t 6 mm. The ratio of the radius of spherical

portion, Rs, to diameter D, varied from Rs/D 0.75 to Rs/D 1.0.

The ratio of the knuckle radius, r, to diameter, D, varied from r/

D 0.064 to r/D 0.18. Each dome had L 50 mm cylindrical

flange. Some of tested heads were petal-welded simulating a procedure commonly used for fabrication of large end-closures. This

is illustrated in Fig. 18. Eight pressed petals and one spherical cap

are shown in Fig. 18(a). The wooden rig seen in Fig. 18(b) was

used to assemble the segments and then weld them. The shells

investigated were expected to be sensitive to deviations from the

perfect shape (see, for example, Refs [129135]). It was, therefore, decided to carefully monitor shells shape prior to testing,

i.e., after pressing, cutting, and welding. The shape of each head

was measured along 72 meridians at 2.5 deg intervals within the

spherical cap and 5 deg intervals within the knuckle. The cylindrical portion was scanned at 5 mm intervals. The shape measurements were made on the shells inside surface using an LVDT

transducer and a computer based data acquisition system. On average, there were about 2000 measured points per dome. The

same grid was used to measure the domes thickness using an ultrasonic probe. Material properties were obtained from test plates

which had accompanied the heads through their heating and heattreatment cycles. Results were obtained from two specimens per

test plate and, in modeling the stressstrain curve for the use in

subsequent numerical calculations, a multisegment technique was

used. Experimental value of the Youngs modulus was 189.0 GPa

with 0.2% proof stress being, ryp 665 MPa. The above data was

incorporated in several different ways into the numerical analyses.

Detailed description of manufacturing, pretest measurements, and

testing is given in Ref. [136]. Additional information is given in

Ref. [137]. It has been found that there was no definitive pattern

to the relative collapse pressures of the welded and nonwelded

heads. Furthermore, the collapse pressure of all tested domes,

were higher than the predictions of PD 5500 multiplied by the

safety factor of 1.5 (although some of the heads, as delivered, did

not pass the PD 5500 allowable tolerances on shape). Calculations

showed that the loss of strength, in almost all cases, was due to

formation of a single, localized, dimple which gradually deepened

collapse mode (see Figs. 18 and 19). The ratios of the experimental to the predicted collapse pressures by the FE were in the range

from 0.85 to 1.14 (for torispheres) and (1.02, 0.91) for two welded

hemispheres. Hemispheres described in Ref. [136] were relatively

thick, i.e., with R/t 62 and manufacturing the whole head would

be difficult due to the possibility of wrinkling. Thinner hemispheres on the other hand could be spun. Here, a series of 0.58 m

diameter with R/t varying between 190 and 780 were examined in

Ref. [131] both experimentally and numerically. One of the main

conclusions made was that one should use the minimum shell

thickness for design purposes and not rely on the average wall

thickness since three test results plotted below the design curve

when the average wall thickness was used. Additional computations have indicated that torispheres with sharp knuckle, r/D

0.06, might collapse well below the recommended design curve

[138]. A series of 12 collapse tests were carried out on torispheres

with r/D 0.6 in order to verify these findings. There were two

models having nominally the same geometry. Ten heads were

machined laboratory models and further two heads were industrially spun. Experimental results are shown in Fig. 17. It is seen in

Fig. 17(b) that all experimental data falls below the recommended

design curve. The implication of this is that the radius of the

knuckle in the torisphere needs to be considered in the calculations/design. Four titanium alloy spheres made by welding two

halves were collapsed by external pressure as a part of

research into deep sea vehicle [139,140]. Spheres had the

internal diameter of 500 mm, the wall thickness of about 9.0 mm,

and they disintegrated under implosion-type failure, at pressures

55.058.0 MPa. Experimental results compared satisfactorily with

the design equations which took into account shape and wall

thickness imperfections.

It is worth noting here the use of multilayer materials for the

construction of domed ends. These could be entirely layered metal

constructions, multiply constructions assembled from fiber reinforced plastics or hybrids. The first case can be illustrated by

recent buckling tests on spun hemispheres and torispheres from

copper-steel-copper flat sheets, as described in Refs. [78,141,142].

Flat sheets of three layer copper-steel-copper hybrid material

were manufactured by rolling diffusion. The resulting bonding of

layers was strong enough to withstand manufacturing of torispherical and hemispherical domes by spinning. No debonding was

Fig. 20 Female molding tool after the first ply being draped. Also, view of hemisphere after the

collapse test.

Fig. 21 Pattern of distorted fibers after draping (a). One quarter of draped fabric superimposed

on the FE grid (b) [151].

used for manufacturing pressure vessels to be loaded by internal

pressure. Wrapping of extruded cylindrical barrels by woven FR

is also known. The use of FRP as a material for manufacturing

domed ends to be subjected to external pressure has a much

shorter history. The use of patches of woven CFRP for reinforcement of deliberately made imperfect, steel torispheres has been

studied in Ref. [143]. Mild steel heads were machined with the

increased-radius flat patch at the apex. They were then reinforced

on inside with the aim of restoring the initial buckling strength

when subjected to external pressure. Details about damaged by

buckling, laboratory size hand laid-up domes, which were

repaired and then retested are available in Ref. [144]. Various

aspects of manufacturing and buckling/collapse of externally pressurised domed ends can be found in Refs. [145154]. These references consider shells of about 200 mm and 800 mm diameter,

their manufacturing, testing and theoretical analyses. The larger

heads were either filament wound or draped from woven fabric. In

both cases, the prepreg material was used (predominantly CFRP),

and there were no internal liners when loaded by external pressure. Some heads, both torispherical and hemispherical, were

laminated using petalled segments as illustrated in Fig. 20. These

segments of woven cloth were butt-jointed and it is seen in Fig.

20 that failure is due to large crack running in the hoop direction

while the butt-joining was not affected. Although the heads were

axisymmetric, their material properties were not. Fiber distortion

and the wall thickness were found from the draping algorithm.

Fiber orientation was measured along a number of meridians

using specially constructed jig. Measured distribution of the fiberangle compared well with predictions given by the draping algorithm [151]. Figure 21 shows how the woven fabric distorts when

draped over doubly curved surfaces. Draping process could be

enhanced by moving the focal point away from the apex in order

to mitigate the wall thickness build-up around the edges

[151,152,155].

The inclusion of toroidal (knuckle) segment between cylinder

and conical vessel end closure is a natural way leading to

Applied Mechanics Reviews

Refs. [38,156]). Results based on parametric studies carried out in

Ref. [156] show that the inclusion of the knuckle can significantly

increase elastic buckling strength. Larger the (r/D)-ratio larger is

the buckling strength. For a wide range of the apex semiangle,

30 deg b 75 deg, toricones are stronger than the corresponding

cones alone. However, there is very little experimental data in

support of the knuckles role and its influence. With this in mind,

eight steel toriconical shells have been buckled by quasi-static

external pressure in order to measure this problem [157]. The diameter of all models was 200 mm at the base and their wall thickness was 2 mm. The apex semiangle was b 45 deg for all shells.

A summary of experimental results, together with numerical estimates of bifurcation buckling pressures, are provided in Table 3.

It is seen here that experimental buckling pressures vary only

between 3.9 and 4.4 MPa despite large variation in shape. The ratio of experimental to numerically predicted values of buckling

loads varied between 1.03 and 1.18. Numerical estimates of buckling loads given in Table 3 are based on overall average geometry,

axisymmetric model and the use of elasticplastic modeling of

Table 3 Comparison of test data with computed results for

externally pressurised steel cones/toricones

pfailure

exp tl

Model

r/D

T1

T1a

T2

T2a

T3

T3a

T4

T4a

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.05

0.05

0.0

0.0

pfailure

numerical

failure

pdesign

(MPa)

4.38

4.35

4.14

4.10

3.86

3.86

4.14

4.14

3.95

3.97

3.52

3.50

3.68

3.42

4.03

3.99

pfailure

exp tl

pfailure

numerical

6.39

6.39

5.20

5.20

4.55

4.55

5.16

5.16

1.11

1.10

1.18

1.17

1.05

1.13

1.03

1.04

Fig. 22 View of cone T4 as machined (a), and after collapse (b). Buckled toricones T2 and T2a

are seen in (c) and (d). External pressure in all cases.

Fig. 23 View of collapsed ellipsoidal shells (adapted from Ref. [159]). External pressure.

material. Views of buckled toricones are provided in Fig. 22. Reference [156] provides design equations for elastic buckling pressures derived from parametric studies, and these are extended to

plastic region as well. According to Reference [156], plastic buckling pressure of a toricone, ppl

toricone , can be approximated by the

following expression:

el

pfailure

design 0:5po 0:4ptoricone

(3)

toricone , is approximated by

t 2:5

2 0:75

E sinbcosb1:5

pel

toricone 13:68 1 t

D

(4)

and D is given by

p

D D 2r cosb 1 2 rt sinb

(5)

The quantity, po is referred to as the yield pressure, and it corresponds to the pressure which causes the spread of plastic strains

anywhere in the shell reaching half of the wall thickness. The values of, po, for different values of (r/D), the yield point of material,

ryp, Youngs modulus, E, and the (D/t)-ratio can be read from

design diagram. When read from Fig. 6 in Ref. [156] these values

are: 4.95 MPa, 2.81 MPa, 2.25 MPa, 2.03 MPa for models T1/T1a,

T2/T2a, T3/T3a, T4/T4a, respectively. The resulting failure pressures are given in column 5 of Table 3. All estimated values are

significantly higher, ranging from 18 to 47%, than the test data.

However, it needs to be said that design the equations, Eqs.

(3)(4), have been obtained for geometrically perfect shells, elastic perfectly plastic modeling of material, and for cone/toricones

being supported by cylindrical shell unlike here [157] where the

heavy base ring simulated clamped boundary conditions. Furthermore, reading values of, po, from a nomogram was not accurate.

However, the tendency of buckling pressure variation with the

knuckle size was similar between the Eqs. (3)(4) and the current

test data.

4.2 Ellipsoids. Elliptical shells of revolution can be used in

specialized applications, e.g., in pressure hulls for rescue-type

submersibles. Early test data is available in Refs. [158,159] where

two prolate ellipsoids, machined from 7075-T6 aluminum, were

collapsed under incremental external pressure (see Fig. 23) for

their view after collapse. The semiaxes were B 75 mm and

A 25 mm, while the wall thickness was 0.76 mm. Despite

010803-14 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

different arrangements for boundary conditions around the equator, the collapse pressures differ only by about 10%. Results of the

buckling tests on an additional 33 machined epoxy resin models

together with the underlining theory are available in Ref. [160].

Elliptical shells of revolution can also be used to close the ends of

externally pressurized vessels, with typical applications in the

submersibles and space vehicle industry. Details about a recent

numerical and experimental study into buckling of steel ellipsoidal domes loaded by static external pressure can be found in Refs.

[77,161,162]. A range of geometries and thicknesses of domes

was examined, as was the influence of different boundary conditions. Shells were examined on the basis of having the same mass.

This meant that all shells were analyzed on a like for like basis,

and as such, each domes performance was easily quantified. Numerical analyses of both perfect and imperfect shells were carried

out. Two kinds of imperfections were considered: deterministic

imperfections derived from measured dimensions and eigenmode

imperfections. The main focus was on prolate domes, i.e., those

taller than a hemisphere of the same radius (Fig. 24). Numerical

predictions were confirmed by pressurizing six laboratory scale

prolate domes to destruction. Three current design codes summarized in these studies included: ASME VIII, PD5500, and the

ECCS. At present, prolate domes are not included in the three

codes. The method of calculating design pressures was outlined

and recommendations were made for the possible inclusion of

prolate ellipsoids into the codes. Currently allowed ellipsoids

(right of hemisphere) and suggested inclusion of prolate domes

(left of hemisphere) are depicted in Fig. 24. All domes in this figure have the same mass. Points (t1, t2, t3) are experimental points

(two tests per point). View of three nominally identical pairs of

prolate ellipsoids after testing is shown in Fig. 24. The ratio A/B

was 0.8, 0.65 and 0.5 for ellipsoids t1, t2, and t3, respectively. It is

also worth mentioning that the new European design rules for

externally pressurized vessels, EN 1993-1-6/Eurocode3, Part 1.6,

Refs. [163,164], do not contain prolate ellipsoidal shells. Oblate

ellipsoids, especially with (B/A)-ratio of two, have been frequently used as closures on cylindrical vessels. Oblate ellipsoids

with other (A/B)-ratios have not been widely used. The same

applies to domed ends whose generators were subject of structural

optimization. References [165,166] are two examples where the

shape of the meridian was searched for the best performance and

the optimum was subsequently subject of experimental verification. The latter reference examined the performance of externally

pressurized ellipsoids through the formal optimization process. In

this study, the highest buckling load was to be found within a

range of geometries of generalized ellipsoidal domes loaded by

Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 24 Currently allowed and proposed ellipsoids (a), prolate and oblate geometries sketched in (b), (c), and view of three

pairs of elliptical domes after tests (d)

external pressure. Generalized ellipsoids are a variation of standard ellipsoids in that the exponents used to size the dome are variables. A generalized ellipse is of the form

x v1 y v2

1

(6)

A

B

where

design space of variables v1 and v2. In terms of geometry of dome,

when v1 v2 1 the dome is conical. When v1 v2 2 the dome

is a standard 1:2 ellipsoid. Additionally if A B the dome

becomes hemispherical. As v1 and v2 are further increased, the

dome tends towards a closed cylinder. Details about the material

properties can be found in Ref. [166], and they were modeled as

being elasticperfectly plastic. The boundary conditions at the

base of the dome were set to fully clamped.

A hemisphere of the same material properties, boundary conditions, and thickness ratio D/tH 100 had a failure pressure of

pH 11.01 MPa. Mode of failure for this shell was axisymmetric

collapse occurring at the base of the shell. This hemisphere

(hereon termed the reference hemisphere) was the benchmark for

assessing the pressure resistance of generalized ellipsoids.

The condition of constant mass was imposed on all shells,

meaning that thickness of the ellipsoids is determined from its

shape. Where mass is calculated from:

The adaptive Tabu search method was employed to determine values of v1 and v2, which give the maximum pressure resistance of

ellipsoidal domed ends. The results of the Tabu search are shown

in Fig. 25. Also shown in Fig. 25 are the failure pressures for

standard ellipsoids (i.e., v1 v2 2) of the same material, boundary conditions and mass. The optimum shell corresponds to point

a in Fig. 25 and has geometry of v* (1.92857, 1.57937, 1.4).

The optimal dome is 20% stronger than the reference hemisphere,

and has a failure pressure of pmax 12.84 MPa, mode of failure is

axisymmetric collapse.

To confirm numerical results obtained, four geometries of the

dome were machined from a mild steel billet (global optimum

plus further three geometries). The geometries of dome machined

correspond to points a, b, c, and d in Fig. 25, and their

nominal dimensions are given in Ref. [166]. All ellipsoids had the

same mass. Domes were machined in pairs, to demonstrate repeatability of the experiment and also act as a safeguard should one of

the pair be damaged, e.g., during manufacture. The domes were

machined with integral flanges in order to attach them to a base

plate for testing, and also to make sure that no radial movement of

the base was allowed during testing. Before testing, domes were

carefully measured for any variations in shape and thickness

details are in Refs. [166,167].

The experimental failure pressures of all the domes tested are

listed in Table 4. Also given are numerical predictions made using

BOSOR5 based on average thickness. The numerical results are

normalized by the experimental pressures and shown in parentheses. The numerical predictions are all within eight percentage of

the experimental values.

It is worth noting here that structural optimization of pressure

vessel components subject to buckling constraints poses multifaceted challenge. At the structural analysis level, significant insight

is needed into the effects of, for example, the effects of initial geometric imperfections, nonlinear preloading, boundary conditions,

or follower-type loading on the type and magnitude of buckling.

At the optimization level, there is usually very little knowledge

about the nature of design space. For the two cases discussed in

the case of ellipsoids the design space proved to be nonconvex. In

situations like these the use of zero-order approach appears to be a

very efficient approach (Tabu search in this case). A reliable

(7)

where S is surface area and was calculated by integrating numerically. This condition means that taller, prolate shells will have a

thinner wall due to their larger surface area. Conversely, shallow,

oblate domes will be thicker than the reference hemisphere. In all

cases, the shell wall thickness was kept constant as one moved

along the meridian.

The modes of failure considered here were bifurcation buckling, pbif, and axisymmetric collapse, pcoll. The lower of these two

failure loads was taken to be the critical failure load, pcr.

The optimization problem can be formally expressed as

popt v max pcr v1 ; v2 ; v3

(8)

1:5 v1 2:5

(9)

1:5 v2 2:5

(10)

0:3 v3 4:0

(11)

(12)

v3 A=B

(13)

v v 1 ; v 2 ; v 3

(14)

Fig. 25 Failure pressures of optimized generalized ellipsoids. Also shown is the failure of standard ellipsoids (m1 5 m 2 5 2.0).

Points a, b, c, and d denote experiments (two tests per point) [166].

of CNC machined mild steel domes (numerical values are normalised by experimental values and given in parentheses)

Model

a

c

b

d

a1

a2

c1

c2

b1

b2

d1

d2

pexptl (MPa)

pnumerical (MPa)

13.24

13.46

7.98

8.14

10.21

10.14

5.07

5.07

12.88 (0.97)

12.90 (0.96)

8.18 (1.03)

7.98 (0.98)

9.77 (0.96)

9.69 (0.96)

5.47 (1.08)

5.39 (1.06)

man-years of development and quality assurances). The above

illustrates how this approach provided results for components

with complicated buckling behavior. Ellipsoidal shells have

recently been considered for tanks in rocket launchers. For example, an overall reduction in space vehicle mass has motivated

parametric studies of buckling performance of oblate bulkheads

for a propellant tank [168]. The paper considers both the oblate ellipsoidal shell and the combination of cylinder and bulkhead with

buckling being one of prime design considerations. The buckling

of the three ring-reinforced prolate ellipsoids subjected to external

pressure is reported in Ref. [169]. Three shells, of 200 mm base

diameter, were cast using thermoset polyurethane plastic. They

were then reinforced by equally spaced and externally attached

rings (ten in two domes and 13 in the third model). All three

domes failed through elastic bifurcation buckling. The reinforced

shells were at least four times stronger than their plain counterparts (based on the FE estimates).

been used commonly for liquid or gas storage in vehicles, aerospace structures and in specialized underwater applications. Due

to its compacted shape, a toroid is also suitable for breathing apparatus. It has proven to be a very desirable storage vessel in

space-limited applications since it permits various systems structures to be routed through its central opening [170]. Thin-walled

toroids, when subjected to external pressure, or vacuum, can

buckle. Early buckling tests are described in Ref. [171], and the

known experiments are listed in Ref. [172]. Results of extensive

parametric studies into stability of externally pressurized toroids

(with circular and noncircular cross-sections; with perfect and

imperfect geometries; metallic as well as from composites), can

010803-16 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

with circular cross-section and r/t 5 18.74 [177]

uniform wall thickness, t, and being subjected to uniform external

pressure, p. Assume that the mid-surface radius of the tube is, r,

and the distance from the shells axis of rotation to the center of

the cross section is, R, as sketched in Fig. 26. It is not immediately

obvious what boundary conditions should be applied to toroidal

shell shown in Fig. 26. This problem has been addressed in a number of previous studies. One particular approach, adopted in Ref.

[176], was based on a series of numerical runs in which various

combinations of restraints were imposed. The boundary conditions (BCs), which gave the lowest buckling pressure, were therefore identified numerically. Results shown in Fig. 26 have been

obtained for BCs applied at the inner and outer perimeters of the

equatorial plane. The prebuckling and buckling boundary conditions were different. At the prebuckling phase of the analysis:

u 0.0, v w b free. They were applied at the inner equator

only. The outer equator was left unconstrained. The BCs at the

buckling phase of computing were: u v w b free at both

the inner and outer equators. Typical results can be seen in Fig. 26

where in the insert, Fig. 26(a), prebuckling shape is shown, while

in 26(b) the buckling mode is plotted. Further details and other

results are given in Ref. [176]. Results seen in Fig. 26 show that

bifurcation buckling takes place for toroids with bigger (R/r)ratios. More compact toroids fail by collapse. The transition from

bifurcation to collapse depends not only on the (r/t)-ratio but also

on the yield point of material, ryp. The transition value, (R/r)tr,

between bifurcation and collapse can be calculated from the following equation:

Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 27 Two spun halves prior to welding into TS1. Toroids TS1 and TS2 after collapse [177].

the inside of shells was open to the atmosphere during the application of external pressure. The aim here was to avoid an

implosion type collapse of shells. The external pressure was

applied at Dp 0.04 MPa. The end of the load bearing capacity

was associated with a sudden loud bang, large outflow of oil

through the vent, and big drop in pressure. Photographs of shells

after removal from the pressure tank are depicted in Fig. 27 and

Fig. 28. Experimental collapse pressures are given in Table 5 together with numerical estimates based various modeling assumptions. It is seen that a reasonable agreement has been obtained

between experimental failure pressures and numerically predicted

values. The ratio of (pexp tl/pnum) varies between 0.82 and 1.0

while results, which have so far been published in the literature,

oscillate between 0.40 and 1.40.

5

Fig. 28 View of stainless steel toroidal shell, TE1 being lowered to pressure tank for testing (a), and the model after collapse (b) [177]

Table 5 Externally pressurised steel toroids: comparison

of experimental and numerical pressures for different

numerical models (1 5 nominal, 2 5 average, 3 5 min, 4 5 max,

5 5 variable)

[180], there are eight failure modes to be found in internally pressurized vessels, and they are: (i) excessive elastic deformation,

including elastic instability, (ii) excessive plastic deformation,

(iii) brittle fracture, (iv) stress rupture/creep deformation, (v) plastic instabilityincremental collapse, (vi) high strainlow cycle fatigue, (vii) stress corrosion, and (viii) corrosion fatigue.

The current section will review recent research effort related to

elastic/elasticplastic buckling, excessive plastic deformation (plastic

loads), and plastic instabilityincremental collapse (burst pressure).

pnum (MPa)

TS1

TS2

TE1

pexpt(MPa)

9.44(0)

7.10(0)

8.68(0)

8.10(0)

5.66(0)

8.68(0)

5.68(0)

3.68(0)

7.18(0)

9.40(0)

6.64(0)

9.64(0)

8.40(c)

5.20(c)

7.48(0)

8.40

4.28

7.24

1:71

R

1:13 0:0486 ryp=E

r=t2:34

r tr

(15)

numerical data generated by wide parametric studies.

The available literature suggests that experimental results on

externally pressurized closed toroidal shells are rare (see for

example Refs. [172,179]). Details about manufacturing, preexperiment measurements, and tests on three steel toroids subjected to external pressure are reported in Refs. [177,179]. Two

models, TS1 and TS2, were manufactured from mild steel by spinning two halves and then welding them around the inner and outer

equatorial perimeters (see Fig. 27). The third model, TE1, has

been assembled by welding four 90-deg stainless 316/316L steel

elbows (see Fig. 28). Prior to tests, shells were filled with oil and

Applied Mechanics Reviews

5.1 Buckling. Domed ends onto internally pressurized cylinders appear in much wider engineering applications than externally pressurized counterparts. Their safe and efficient design has

attracted a significantly larger amount of research effort since, on

one hand, the thinner heads are prone to buckling, and the transition region between bifurcation buckling and axisymmetric yielding is not well defined; however, it is of practical relevance, on

the other hand. In addition, studies to develop inelastic and limit

analyses have also been carried out. Previous work in this area

has been well documented and regularly reviewed. A good

source of relevant information can be found in Refs.

[2,7,20,22,27,181188].

An approximate expression for the limit pressure corresponding

to appreciable plastic deformations in internally pressurized torispheres can be found in Ref. [189]. Experimental verification of

plastic limit analysis for ten torispherical and for three toriconical

shells was discussed in Ref. [190]. Experimental work into the

failure of 12 torispherical ends subjected to internal pressure is

reported in Ref. [191]. All models were manufactured from aluminum alloy and some of them failed through asymmetric bifurcation buckling while the thicker models failed by plastic

deformation. Results of a parametric study into elastic buckling,

and first yielding, for torispherical shells were studied in Ref.

[181]. Comparison of test and theory for asymmetric elasticplastic bifurcation buckling of torispheres is available in Ref. [185].

JANUARY 2014, Vol. 66 / 010803-17

and ellipsoidal dished ends are compared with the predictions of

numerically computed values in Ref. [192]. Buckling tests on two

steel torispherical heads are reported in Ref. [186]. These models

were large diameter, approximately 4.8 m shells, and they were

assembled from a number of welded petals. A set of 16 buckling

tests on spun steel torispheres was reported in Ref. [193]. Diameter of these heads was 0.5 m and the ratio of the knuckle radius to

diameter varied from 4 to 10%. The effect of initial shape deviations from perfect geometry on the bifurcation buckling was also

discussed. The results of 190 experimental tests on internally pressurized torispherical heads were collated and analyzed in Refs.

[187,188]. Most of the analyzed torispheres failed by asymmetric

elastic or inelastic bifurcation buckling. In the paper, attention

was also paid to the plastic collapse and burst pressures. Approximate equations for elastic and elasticplastic buckling pressures

(torispherical and ellipsoidal heads) can be found in Ref. [20] together with the details about sources of past studies. They contain

information on more than 200 buckling experiments on internally

pressurized headsincluding buckling tests on large industrially

manufactured domes, e.g., Ref. [186]. The equations would allow

a quick estimate of failure pressure. It is worth noting here the

fact that computed bifurcation buckling can depend on the choice

of plasticity model, i.e., deformation or J2 flow theory. Discussion

of this topic with experimentation on small machined steel heads

is available in Ref. [183]. Buckling tests have confirmed the existence of asymmetric bifurcation as predicted by the deformation

theory while computations based on J2 flow theory concluded that

there should not be bifurcation buckling. The existing paradox

between J2 flow theory and deformation theory of plasticity manifests itself in a wider class of structural problems where buckling

is a possibility (see Refs [7,194,195]). The suggestion to use both

approaches, in order to establish the sensitivity of the predictions

to both models of plasticity, appears appropriate [196]. It is worth

noting here that the unique definition of buckling load can sometimes be very subjective; see for example Ref. [183]. One way

forward here was the adoption of the Southwell plot despite substantial plastic straining. In this way, the subjectivity could be

removed from experimentation (see Refs. [183,197,198]). Elastic

buckling can sometimes go unnoticed and, as a result, it can lead

to serious consequences. Reference [199] illustrates this for the

case of a rear pressure bulkhead in a wide body civilian aircraft.

Due to pressure differences between inside of the cabin and outside of the fuselage, the rear pressure bulkhead can undergo buckling when in the air (i.e., skin within a pocket of reinforcements

by stringers and rings). Upon landing affected skin pops back to

the initial shape. Investigations reported in Ref. [199] concluded

that multiple buckling of the skin within a single skin-pocket was

a cause of in-flight rupture of the rear pressure bulkhead. This led

to the cabin pressure loss and an emergency landing. An interesting picture of multiple pocket-type buckling of a skin in a wing of

flying glider can be seen on the opening page of Ref. [48] (n.b., a

very valuable and multifaceted internet resource on buckling of

shells). Spars and rings provide a load bearing structure for the

gliders wing but under flight conditions the skin can buckle

within a reinforced pocket, and in a number of pockets. While

there is no immediate loss of structural integrity, multiple in-out

buckles can potentially lead to a skins rupture/tearing.

Asymmetric bifurcation is not the only form of design limitation for internally pressurized heads. Under single incremental

loading, plastic load has been introduced as a measure of structural integrity [200] and this concept has been applied to a number

of pressure vessel geometries and piping components. The next

section discusses this concept for internally pressurized torispherical ends and for closed toroidal shells.

5.2 Plastic Loads. There is a continuing discussion aimed at

identification of the best failure criterion for torispherical

heads which do not buckle. The use of plastic collapse loads, as

010803-18 / Vol. 66, JANUARY 2014

Fig. 29 Comparison of computed plastic load pC1 with experimental values. Also, plot of experimental burst pressures. View

of burst models K1, K2, and K6, adapted from Ref. [201].

also Refs. [201203]). The above papers use a common approach

for evaluation of a plastic load, using a graphical relationship

between internal pressure and apex deflection. In Ref. [201], five

pairs of mild steel torispheres were used for experimental extraction of plastic loads. The load-deflection curves were used to

obtain plastic load, pC1 (twice-the-yield-point-deflection) and pC2

(twice-elastic-slope). All models had the same wall thickness and

the same mass, WT. The latter was related to the mass of a hemisphere, WH, having the same diameter. The ratio WT/WH 0.693

was assumed for all tested torispheres and this resulted in a range

of heads having different geometry. Figure 29 shows the comparison of experimental and computed values of pC1 (with pC2 being

only marginally higher and not plotted). Calculations have shown

that calculated plastic collapse pressures differ by no more than

12% from those obtained in experiments. In addition, single measurements of the apex deflection proved to be an effective way of

establishing the twice-the-end-of-proportionality plastic loads.

Incremental loading continued until burst, and most of tested

domes ruptured at the apex with a single long crack (as depicted

in Fig. 29). It is seen here that a substantial reserve of strength

beyond the collapse loads existed. The ratio of (pburst/pC1) varies

here from 1.93 to 2.81 (or from 1.67 to 2.81 if a premature leak is

taken into account). Reference [200] also points out that the evaluation of the plastic load should employ a more objective and justified by physics criterion, i.e., for pressure tests, the relevant

quantities would be pressure and change of internal volume. This

approach was adopted in Refs. [69,204208] in order to obtain

plastic loads for torispherical, ellipsoidal and toroidal models

(mild steel, stainless steel and AA6061-T1 aluminum alloy). Reference [204] studied plastic loads based on (i) load versus deflection and on (ii) a work criterion associated with volumetric

changes in internally pressurized steel torispheres. In both cases,

end of linearity was adopted as a reference point for calculation of

the plastic loads. Plastic loads based on the apex deflection were

found to be comparable to those calculated by using volumetric

changes. This was not true for the knuckle deformations. The corresponding plastic loads were consistently smaller than the apex

or volumetric ones. In addition, it was shown that apex deflections

cannot be used as indicators of the plastic loads for some shapes,

e.g., for prolate ellipsoidal heads. As part of the experimentation,

three machined torispherical models were tested under monotonically increasing pressure up to burst. The ratio of experimental to

numerical values of plastic loads was between 0.92 and 0.99. As

Transactions of the ASME

Fig. 30 History of plastic strains growth versus number of pressure cycles in steel

torisphere T8 (a). Also views of burst oblate ellipsoidal models: (b) mild steel, and

(c) aluminum (adapted from Ref. [206,207]).

beyond plastic loads. The ratio of the burst pressure to experimental plastic load varied from 1.9 to 2.3. Generally, a reasonable

comparison of the experimental and numerical results was

obtained. But if these domes were to operate in the post-yield

range where cyclic load could be present, the role of the plastic

load was less clear than the shakedown load. This aspect of pressure loading was explored in Ref. [206] for mild steel heads where

the concept of a first-cycle shakedown pressure was adopted to

compare the relative values of plastic and shakedown loads.

Experimentally studied geometries included torispheres (four

heads) and ellipsoidal shells (two prolate and two oblate models).

The sequence of loading consisted of the following steps: (i)

incremental loading to volumetric plastic load then unload, (ii) cycling loading until shakedown achieved then unload, and (iii)

incremental loading until burst. Torispherical and elliptical end

closures made from mild steel have not lost their serviceability

when pressurized to the level of plastic loads. Experimental measurements of strains at the most stressed point has always led to

shake down to purely elastic state at the plastic load, pV1. Experimental burst pressures were from 1.8 to 3.4 times the plastic load,

pV1. Figure 30 illustrates the accumulation of plastic strains for

torisphere T8 (Rs/D 1.0, r/D 0.10, D/t 25) for which experimental loads were as follows: plastic load, pV1 18.0 MPa, shakedown load, pshk 21.92, and burst pressure, pburst 60.69 MPa.

This particular head lost its integrity by a longitudinal crack passing through the apex (similar to seen in Fig. 29). View of oblate

ellipsoidal head, E1, after burst is also depicted in Fig. 30. This

study was followed by a search for optimal domes with piece wise

distribution of wall thickness subject to shakedown constraints

[209]. In a separate study, the problem of finding the minimum

mass of domed closures on internally pressurised cylinder was

sought [210]. This particular motivation came from light weight

on-board tanks to be used in natural gas vehicles. The plastic load

based on global/volumetric criterion was used and selective experimental benchmarking followed using eight mild steel heads. Plastic and shakedown loads for domes made from strain-hardening

material were studied in Ref. [207]. Results of numerical calculations were benchmarked experimentally using four torispherical

and one oblate ellipsoidal heads machined from AA6061-T1

Applied Mechanics Reviews

aluminum alloy. Shakedown was based here on kinematic strainhardening, and ellipsoidal model, EAL1, after the burst is depicted

in Fig. 30. It appears appropriate here to mention the availability

of 1904 seminal paper by M. T. Huber, which has been translated

into English in 2004 as Ref. [211]. This work has formed the basis

for the HuberMises yield criterion.

While the role of plastic loads for internally pressurized heads

is still being researched, it is the burst pressure which is of greater

value from a practical point of view as it gives an indication of the

margin of safety for a single incremental loading. This is an important quantity, especially, at a design stage or at an emergency

situation.

5.3 Burst Pressure. A number of studies which are relevant

to the issue of burst pressure are available in the literature, and a

brief summary can be found in Ref. [212]. A procedure for numerical calculation of pressure at tensile plastic instability for internally pressurized axisymmetric pressure vessels has been

developed in Refs. [213215]. The proposed pressure is to be an

upper bound to the burst pressure that could be achieved in real

vessels. While the failure mode caused by plastic instability has

been studied analytically and experimentally, it is excessive plastic deformation which is a more probable mode of failure than

bursting due to plastic instability (see Ref. [216]). A recent theoretical and experimental study into burst of internally pressurized

domes can be found in Ref. [212]. The burst pressure is based on

excessive plastic deformation rather than on plastic instability. It

is postulated to use the true plastic strain, eup , corresponding to the

ultimate tensile strength, UTS, for computing the magnitude of

burst pressure. One needs not only the magnitude of plastic strain

but also a place where this strain is to be attained. Based on the

above criterion for admissible magnitude of plastic strain, it is further postulated to define the burst pressure as follows: pburst is the

pressure at which the equivalent plastic strain, PEQQ, reaches the

ultimate plastic strain, eup , anywhere at the mid-surface of a structure. A series of calculations have been performed for mild steel

shallow spherical caps, tested previously for buckling, Ref. [123],

and for torispherical heads tested previously for plastic loads, Ref.

[201]. The latter were from mild steel. In addition, four

JANUARY 2014, Vol. 66 / 010803-19

torispheres were freshly machined from aluminum alloy AA6061T1 to complement the series of tests. Hence, burst tests were carried out on: six steel and four aluminum torispheres and six spherical caps. Computed burst pressures for steel spherical caps were

between 21.1 and 4.9% below experimental values. At the

same time, the errors between computed plastic instability pressures and the experiments were between 35.1 and 51.8% (overestimated experimental results). For steel torispheres the

respective ranges of errors were: [12.1%, 32.4%] and

[17.6%, 42.8%]. In aluminum torispheres the ranges were:

[0.4%, 14.0] and [12.7%, 20.8%]. It is seen here that the

magnitudes of computed plastic instability pressures were above

experimental values for all tested models. Derivation of plastic

instability load for internally pressurized stainless steel toroid,

followed by burst tests of two models, can be found in

Refs. [217,218]. Seventeen 45 liter carbon steel toroidal tanks

were burst-tested during qualifying procedure for the anticipated

LPG usage [219,220]. Water was the pressurization media. Tanks

burst when volume increased by about 11%, and the standard

deviation on average burst pressure of 8.56 MPa was about

0.220 MPa. The FE assessment of structural integrity was based

on monitoring the maximum deflections at the apex and at outer

equatorial plane. Other relevant work in this area can be found in

Refs. [221,222].

Closure/Conclusions

pressure vessel components have remained relevant to a wide

range of industries over the last decade or so. Skepticism about

the future role of experimentation into buckling, and raised two or

three decades ago, appears to move towards a two way fruitful

coexistence with computational mechanics. Nearly all tests quoted

in this paper had one sort or another theoretical/numerical part

mostly based on the FE approach. However, not all theoretical

predictions manifested themselves in close experimental outcomes, and part of the reason can be attributed to experimentation.

The known issues like material properties, boundary conditions,

loading mechanisms, and test repeatability have gained prominence in labs. Pretest measurements and online monitoring of tests

have seen a step change. The empirical knock-down factors are

being gradually reassessed. Buckling performance of epoxy-based

structural components, and corrosion affected members, is also

actively researched.

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Shells, ASME J. Pressure Vessel Technol., 131, p. 051203.

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Jan Bachut received his MS.c. in Physics in 1971 (Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland), Ph.D. in 1980,

and DS.c. in 1996. The latter two were in Mechanics and both from Cracow University of Technology

(CUT). For nearly a decade he worked at the Institute of Physics, CUT and then for more than 30 years he

taught and performed research at Mechanical Engineering, The University of Liverpool, UK. Currently he

holds the Chair in Mechanics at the Institute of Physics, CUT, and is Visiting Academic at the University of

Manchester Aerospace Research Institute, UK. He has published more than 150 papers in reviewed scientific

journals and proceedings and serves on Editorial Boards of Engineering Optimization and Technical Transactions journals. Recently he was co-chairman of Euromech Colloquium in Liverpool and CISM course in

Udineboth devoted to various aspects of structural optimization. He is a full member of the ECCS Technical Working Group 8.4 on Buckling of Shells, and has worked for Sub-Committee on Design Methods PVE/

5British Standards Institution. His research interests include buckling of shells, integrity of pressure vessels, and structural optimization of components aimed at on land, in the sea and in the air applications.

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