A study was carried out to evaluate the buckling of anisotropic cylindrical vessels subjected to external pressure. The cylinders were fabricated with filament-wound glass fiber in a vinyl-ester resin matrix and tested using a novel experimental procedure. Characteristic response of each specimen to strain and acoustic emission were compared to the onset of buckling. The measured onset of buckling lobe formation agreed with values predicted by classical calculation methods founded on Donnell kinematic relations and antisymmetric assumptions. Also, two ASME design criteria, Section X and RTP-1, for the design of thin-walled cylindrical vessels made from fiber-reinforced thermosetting plastic, subjected to external pressure were evaluated; RTP-1 was found to be too conservative, while Section X did not provide the professed design factor of 5.

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