We examine submerged nonlinear tubular columns with slenderness ratios between 40 and 160 and ratios of diameter to thickness between 20 and 50. We demonstrate that the column’s Euler buckling load can be increased nearly 30 percent by a volume preserving taper of only a few degrees. We determine the effect of hydrostatic pressure and self-weight on such conical columns and offer some preliminary remarks on the role played by model imperfections.

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