Buckling of axially compressed CFRP cylinders with and without additional lateral load: Experimental and numerical investigation

Regina Khakimova, Saullo G.P. Castro, Dirk Wilckens, Klaus Rohwer, Richard Degenhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Thin-walled structures are widely used in aerospace, offshore, civil, marine and other engineering industries. Buckling of such thin-walled imperfection sensitive structures is a very important phenomenon to be considered during their design phase. Existing design guidelines, being the most known the NASA SP-8007 for cylinders dated from the late 1960's are currently used in the aerospace industry and employ conservative lower-bound knock-down factors. These empirically based lower-bound methods do not include important mechanical properties of laminated composite materials, such as the stacking sequence. New design approaches that allow taking full advantage of composite materials are therefore required. This study deals with buckling experiments of axially compressed, unstiffened carbon fiber–reinforced polymer (CFRP) cylinders with and without an additional lateral load. Two geometrically identical cylinders with the same layup were designed, manufactured and tested. Before testing, the thickness of the cylinders was measured with ultrasonic inspection and the geometry was measured utilizing a 3D scanning system based on photogrammetry. During testing, a digital image correlation system was employed to monitor deformations, strain gage readings and load-shortening data was taken. Modelling of shape mid-surface and thickness imperfections as well as fiber volume fraction correction are included into the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of the test structures, and the experimental results are compared against FEA results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
JournalThin-Walled Structures
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Buckling tests
  • Cylindrical shell
  • FEA
  • Imperfections
  • Lateral load
  • Thin-walled structure

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