Thin-walled cylinders of various constructions are widely used in simple or complex structural configurations. The round cylinder is commonly found in tubing and piping, and in offshore platforms. Depending on their use, these cylinders are subjected (in service) to individual and combined application of external loads. In resisting these loads the system is subject to buckling, a failure mode which is closely associated with the establishment of its load-carrying capacity. Therefore, the system buckling and postbuckling behavior have been the subject of many researchers and investigators both analytical and experimental. The paper is a state-of-the-art survey of the general area of buckling and postbuckling of thin-walled, geometrically imperfect, cylinders of various constructions, when subjected to destabilizing loads. The survey includes discussion of imperfection sensitivity and of the effect of various defects on the critical conditions.

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