Resolution of the Twentieth Century Conundrum in Elastic Stability
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There have been stability theories developed for beams, plates and shells ? the most significant elements in mechanical, aerospace, ocean and marine engineering. For beams and plates, the theoretical and experimental values of buckling loads are in close vicinity. However for thin shells, the experimental predictions do not conform with the theory, due to presence of small geometric imperfections that are deviations from the ideal shape.
This fact has been referred to in the literature as ? embarrassing? , ? paradoxical? and ? perplexing? . Indeed, the popular adage, ?In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is?, very much applies to thin shells whose experimental buckling loads may constitute a small fraction of the theoretical prediction based on classical linear theory; because in practice, engineers use knockdown factors that are not theoretically substantiated.
This book presents a uniform approach that tames this prima-donna-like and capricious behavior of structures that has been dubbed the ? imperfection sensitivity? ? thus resolving the conundrum that has occupied the best minds of elastic stability throughout the twentieth century.