The stability of thin composite layered anisotropic cylindrical shells under axial compression is considered for the case of nonuniform boundary conditions. Such conditions are employed to model the situation where there is edge damage to the shell. The influence of weakening or a crack at an edge on the critical buckling load of a variety of single and multilayered shells is investigated. Results indicate that isotropic shells exhibit a rather sudden steep reduction in the critical buckling load for relatively small edge damage. However, some anisotropic composite shells may not be so sensitive and, in contrast, only a gradual reduction may be brought about by the edge damage. The degree of sensitivity to edge damage appears to be dependent, in some complex fashion, on the various geometric and physical shell parameters.

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