A theoretical investigation of the buckling behavior of imperfect isotropic shells with edge constraints and under axial compression was carried out. The nonlinear Donnell equations for imperfect isotropic shells have been reduced to an equivalent set of nonlinear ordinary differential equations. The resulting two-point boundary-value problem was solved numerically by the “shooting method.” The use of this method made it possible to investigate how the axial load level at the limit point is affected by the following factors: the rigorous enforcing of the experimental boundary conditions, the prebuckling growth caused by the edge constraint, the overall symmetry of the response pattern, and the orientation and shape of the axisymmetric and asymmetric imperfection components.

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