Control of uncertain imperfections by means of convex bounds on finite Fourier transforms is shown to be more direct and not as overly conservative as control based on uniform bounds, i.e., bounding maximum and minimum imperfections. With either method, conservatism in bounds on buckling response is reduced by filtering the imperfection measurements. Extraction of the needed filtered information by operating directly on the Fourier coefficients is straightforward and allows use of additional information on the variation of the coefficients with mode number. Use of this information in example multimode buckling problems gives a bound on maximum possible buckling response that is a factor of1.6 larger than the response at a reliability of 99.5 percent for hypothetical (but reasonably representative) probabilistic imperfections. The bounding response itself, of course, does not depend on any assumptions concerning the probabilistic distribution of imperfections. Two additional combined uniform and Fourier ellipsoid bound models further reduce this factor to 1.1 and 0.5, and require only a simple, unfiltered imperfection bound measurement during quality control inspection.

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