Probability-based methodology for buckling investigation of sandwich composite shells with and without cut-outs

M Alfano, Chiara Bisagni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of the running EU project DESICOS (New Robust DESign Guideline for Imperfection Sensitive COmposite Launcher Structures) is to formulate an improved shell design methodology in order to meet the demand of aerospace industry for lighter structures. Within the project, this paper discusses the development of a probability-based methodology developed at Politecnico di Milano. It is based on the combination of the Stress-Strength Interference Method and the Latin Hypercube Method with the aim to predict the bucking response of three sandwich composite cylindrical shells, assuming a loading condition of pure compression. The three shells are made of the same material, but have different stacking sequence and geometric dimensions. One of them presents three circular cut-outs. Different types of input imperfections, treated as random variables, are taken into account independently and in combination: variability in longitudinal Young's modulus, ply misalignment, geometric imperfections and boundary imperfections. The methodology enables a first assessment of the structural reliability of the shells through the calculation of a probabilistic buckling factor for a specified level of probability. The factor depends highly on the reliability level, on the number of adopted samples and on the assumptions made in modeling the input imperfections. The main advantage of the developed procedure is the versatility as it can be applied to the buckling analysis of laminated composite shells and sandwich composite shells including different types of imperfections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for Computational Methods in Engineering Science & Mechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • buckling
  • cut-outs
  • probabilistic buckling factor
  • probabilistic methods
  • sandwich composite shell


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