Imperfection-insensitive axially loaded cylindrical shells

Xin Ning, Sergio Pellegrino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


The high efficiency of monocoque cylindrical shells in carrying axial loads is curtailed by their extreme sensitivity to imperfections. For practical applications, this issue has been alleviated by introducing closely stiffened shells which, however, require expensive manufacturing. Here we present an alternative approach that provides a fundamentally different solution. We design symmetry-breaking wavy cylindrical shells that avoid imperfection sensitivity. Their cross-section is formulated by NURBS interpolation on control points whose positions are optimized by evolutionary algorithms. We have applied our approach to both isotropic and orthotropic shells and have also constructed optimized composite wavy shells and measured their imperfections and experimental buckling loads. Through these experiments we have confirmed that optimally designed wavy shells are imperfection-insensitive. We have studied the mass efficiency of these new shells and found them to be more efficient than even a perfect circular cylindrical shell and most stiffened cylindrical shells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
StatePublished - 2013
Event54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Apr 8 2013Apr 11 2013

Publication series

Name54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference


Other54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Building and Construction
  • Architecture


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