A new robust design for imperfection sensitive stiffened cylinders used in aerospace engineering

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A knock-down factor is commonly used to take into account the obvious decline of the buckling load in a cylindrical shell caused by the inevitable imperfections. In 1968, NASA guideline SP-8007 gave knock-down factors which rely on a lower-bound curve taken from experimental data. Recent research has indicated that the NASA knock-down factors are inclined to produce very conservative estimations for the buckling load of imperfect shells, due to the limitations of the computational power and the experimental skills available five decades ago. A novel knock-down factor is proposed composed of two parts for the metallic stiffened cylinders. A deterministic study is applied to achieve the first part of the knock-down factor considering the measured geometric imperfection, the other types of imperfections are considered in the second part using a stochastic analysis. A smeared model is used to achieve the implementation of the measured geometric imperfection for the stiffened cylinder. This new robust and less conservative design for the stiffened cylinders is validated by using test results