Small cylindrical pressure vessels are often constructed with a circular flat plate end closure. The end-plate undergoes large deformations under working loads. High local stresses develop at the junction between the cylinder and end-plate, causing yield under proof loading. The compressive circumferential stresses at the junction may lead to bifurcation into a nonsymmetric deformation mode. This study explores the geometrically nonlinear elastic-plastic behavior of plate-end pressure vessels. The form of the axisymmetric prebuckling path is investigated, showing the strongly stiffening nature of the response. Bifurcation of the closure into a nonsymmetric mode is then studied.

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