This paper presents a simplified method to analyze the buckling of thin structures like those of Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactors (LMFBR). The method is very similar to those used for the buckling of beams and columns with initial geometric imperfections, buckling in the plastic region. Special attention is paid to the strain hardening of material involved and to possible unstable post-buckling behavior. The analytical method uses elastic calculations and diagrams that account for various initial geometric defects. An application of the method is given. A comparison is made with an experimental investigation concerning a representative LMFBR component.

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