Numerical simulation of glass-reinforced plastic cylinders under axial compression

A. Spagnoli, A. Y. Elghazouli, M. K. Chryssanthopoulos

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The results of a numerical simulation study for the buckling behaviour of laminated composite cylinders are presented in this paper. The laminates are made from glass-reinforced plastic (GFRP) of type 'DF 1400' consisting of woven glass fibre roving within a polyester resin matrix. Two-ply cylinders with various laminate orientations, subjected to axial compression, are considered. The numerical simulations are compared to the results of a previous experimental investigation which is briefly described. The finite element model, used to carry out the numerical simulations, is presented and associated limitations are discussed. Linear eigenvalue analysis as well as geometrically non-linear simulations are undertaken using a general purpose finite element program. Detailed measurements of thickness variations and geometric imperfections, carried out within the experimental study, are directly introduced in the analysis. Several thickness representations are considered and their influence on the results is assessed. The correlation between numerical and experimental results is also discussed in terms of buckling strength, axial stiffness, buckling modes and surface strains. In addition to demonstrating the influence of various modelling idealisations on the results, this numerical study highlights the effect of the specific material and laminate construction detail on the buckling behaviour of composite cylinders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-374
Number of pages22
JournalMarine Structures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2001


  • Axial compression
  • Buckling
  • Composites
  • Cylindrical shells
  • FE analysis
  • GRP structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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