The buckling of unstiffened truncated conical shells subjected to axial compression and/or to external pressure is discussed. This work is both experimental and theoretical/numerical. Results of tests on four laboratory scale cones and the associated numerical estimations of buckling loads are provided. The models were machined from mild steel and they had integral top and bottom flanges in them. The bottom and top diameters of the cones were about 200 mm and 100 mm, respectively. Semi-vertex angle was about 27°, whilst the nominal wall thickness was 3mm. The numerical results are based on the finite element analyses.

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