Dynamic pulse buckling of infinite cylinders of radius to thickness ratios (a/h) ranging from 10 to 300 is investigated with the finite element code ADINA. Comparison is made to plastic flow pulse buckling theory and to elastic pulse buckling theory, which describe behaviour for thick shells of small a/h ratios and for thin shells of large a/h ratios, respectively. Buckling response to uniform initial velocities is studied by determining the growth of initial harmonic shape imperfections in the finite element models. The finite element results show that the predominant harmonic of response increases with a/h ratio and that, for thinner shells, it is dependent on the initial velocity value. These characteristics are consistent with theory. The results differ from theory in that the predominant harmonic numbers and amplitudes are in most cases much less than the theoretical predictions, and that the mode shape varies considerably during the response. The response of the midrange a/h ratio shells, which cover many practical cases, is not particularly well predicted by either plastic flow or elastic pulse buckling theory and a numerical approach such as a nonlinear finite element solution is required to investigate these cases. © 1991.
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