A 1/3 composite cylindrical shell with a central rectangular opening was axially compressed experimentally, and its critical buckling load and displacement, and strains were measured. A finite element model (FEM) of the shell with Hashin failure criteria was established to analyze its buckling and post-buckling behaviors by nonlinear Newton-Raphson method. The geometric imperfection sensitivity and the effect of side supported conditions of the shell were investigated. It was found that the Newton-Raphson method can be used to analyze the buckling and post-buckling behaviors of the shell. The shell is not sensitive to initial geometric imperfection. And the support design of the shell by side stiffeners is a good way to obtain the critical buckling load and simplify the experimental fixture.
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