The elastic-plastic buckling of 6061-T4 aluminum, circular cylindrical shells is examined experimentally and analytically. Groups of shells with radius-to-thickness ratios of 100, 200, and 300 were loaded with short-duration axisymmetric pressure pulses. A fast-discharge capacitor bank and current pulse shaping technique are utilized to provide a sine-squared pressure pulse with duration of about 5 μsec, a duration sufficiently short that loading can be considered impulsive. Average peak-to-peak permanent buckling deformations and wave numbers are compared with predictions from a Lagrangian, finite-difference computer code, and good agreement is obtained between measurements and predictions.

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