This Bulletin provides stability criteria for determining the structural adequacy against buckling of large diameter circular cylindrical members when subjected to axial load, bending, shear and external pressure acting independently or in combination. The cylinders may be unstiffened, longitudinally stiffened, ring stiffened or stiffened with both longitudinal and ring stiffeners. Research and development work leading to the preparation and issue of all three editions of this Bulletin is documented in References 1 through 16 and the Commentary.
The buckling capacities of the cylinders are based on linear bifurcation (classical) analyses reduced by capacity reduction factors which account for the effects of imperfections and nonlinearity in geometry and boundary conditions and by plasticity reduction factors which account for nonlinearity in material properties. The reduction factors were determined from tests conducted on fabricated steel cylinders. The plasticity reduction factors include the effects of residual stresses resulting from the fabrication process.
Fabricated cylinders are produced by butt-welding together cold or hot formed plate materials. Long fabricated cylinders are generally made by butt-welding together a series of short sections, commonly referred to as cans, with the longitudinal welds rotated between the cans. Long fabricated cylinders generally have D/t ratios less than 300 and are covered by AP RP 2A.