The quasi-static crumpling of thin-walled circular cylinders and frusta under axial compression

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Thin-walled circular cylinders, and frusta (truncated circular cones) of aluminium alloy were subjected to axial static loading. Their initial axial length and the outside diameter of the cylinders and frusta (the larger top end) were kept constant whilst their wall thickness was varied. The load-deformation or compression behaviour of the cylinder and frusta of various thicknesses and semi-apical angles were recorded and the modes of collapse were observed and studied. The main purpose of results for circular cylinders is to give a basis of comparison for the frusta. Relatively thick tubes fail by collapsing into circumferential axisymmetric rings and thin ones by folding progressively into diamond-shaped lobes after assuming an initially axisymmetric ring mode of deformation. In the latter case the initial axisymmetric rings developed into nonsymmetric diamond patterns (elliptic, triangular and square, etc.) as loading progressed. Also, initially non-symmetric diamond buckle patterns were observed to be characteristic modes of frustum collapse. Initial peak failure loads and mean post-buckling loads for the various modes of deformation were obtained experimentally. It is shown that buckling loads for both cylinders and frusta increase with increasing slenderness‡ ratio ( t D for cylinders and t D ̄ for frusta) following, broadly, a parabolic law. Empirical expressions for the post-buckling load required to effect crumpling have been obtained. © 1983.

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International Journal of Mechanical Sciences