In this paper, the buckling strength of the lining shells inside the pressure vessel was investigated both theoretically and experimentally. First, the bifurcation buckling analysis of the lining shells was carried out with the aid of the newly developed computer program. In the analysis, the lining could be considered to be a shell subjected to external pressure and encased in a rigid cavity. The concepts of the matrix displacement approach to discrete element structural analysis were extended to predict the instability of shells of revolution encased in rigid cavity. The equilibrium solution for prebuckling was axisymmetric, but the perturbation-displacement field within each element was represented by Fourier circumferential components of the generalized displacements. Second, several experiments on the buckling of cylindrical shell under uniform external pressure were conducted. In the experiments, outward radial displacement of the shell specimen was constrained. The experimental results agreed with the analytical ones by the computer program. Furthermore, numerical calculations were conducted for several kinds of lining shells, whose results were compared with the analytical ones for unrestrained shells.

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