The elastic instability of an internally-pressurized cylindrical tank with a torispherical head is investigated using a triangular, doubly curved, thin-shell finite element. The formulation of the finite element, which is based upon cubic displacement functions and a modified principle of potential energy, is first described. Then, the element is verified by comparing numerical results for the linear, stable analysis to alternative solutions for the same problem. The subsequent instability investigation includes the solution of the linearized problem of equilibrium bifurcation, that is, of the classical eigenvalue problem, and a general nonlinear analysis, based on tracing the nonlinear load-displacement path. The critical pressure, obtained with use of the general nonlinear analysis, agrees closely with an experimental result as well as with a numerical solution stemming from an axisymmetric formulation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.