This paper presents an analysis of the cross-sectional collapse of a cylinder of finite length loaded simultaneously by an axial tension (which may be zero) and external pressure. The calculation is based on Sanders’ nonlinear shell equations with plasticity introduced via the concept of effective stress from a uniaxial tension test. The finite cylinder is an appropriate model of oil well casing as it undergoes quality control testing in the steel mill where the edges of the cylinder are usually fixed in the case of nonzero axial load and free in the case of zero axial load. However, in field application, the length: diameter ratio of casing is such that the cylinder may be considered infinite. Guidelines contained herein permit prediction of the collapse resistance of field casing from the results of mill tests performed on short samples.

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