This paper analyzes the adequacy of shell models for predicting stresses and strains in thick-walled tubes subjected to detonation loads. Of particular interest are the large axial strains which are produced at the inner and outer surfaces of the tube due to bending along the tube axis. First, comparisons between simple shell theory and a static finite element model are used to show that the axial strain varies proportionally with wall thickness and inversely with the square of the axial wavelength. For small wavelengths, this comparison demonstrates nonlinear behavior and a breakdown of the shell model. Second, a dynamic finite element model is used to evaluate the performance of transient shell equations. This comparison is used to quantify the error of the shell model with increasing wall thickness and show that shell models can be inaccurate near the load front where the axial curvature is high. Finally, the results of these analyses are used to show that the large axial strains which are sometimes observed in experiments cannot be attributed to through-wall bending and appear to be caused instead by non-ideal conditions present in the experiments.

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