Shock initiated instabilities in underwater cylindrical structures

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An experimental investigation to understand the mechanisms of dynamic buckling instability in cylindrical structures due to underwater explosive loadings is conducted. In particular, the effects of initial hydrostatic pressure coupled with a dynamic pressure pulse on the stability of metallic cylindrical shells are evaluated. The experiments are conducted at varying initial hydrostatic pressures, below the critical buckling pressure, to estimate the threshold after which dynamic buckling will initiate. The transient underwater full-field deformations of the structures during shock wave loading are captured using high-speed stereo photography coupled with modified 3-D Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique. Experimental results show that increasing initial hydrostatic pressure decreases the natural vibration frequency of the structure indicating loss in structural stiffness. DIC measurements reveal that the initial structural excitations primarily consist of axisymmetric vibrations due to symmetrical shock wave loading in the experiments. Following their decay after a few longitudinal reverberations, the primary mode of vibration evolves which continues throughout later in time. At the initial hydrostatic pressures below the threshold value, these vibrations are stable in nature. The analytical solutions for the vibration frequency and the transient response of cylindrical shell are discussed in the article by accounting for both (1) the added mass effect of the surrounding water and (2) the effect of initial stress on the shell imposed by the hydrostatic pressure. The analytical solutions match reasonably well with the experimental vibration frequencies. Later, the transient response of a cylindrical shell subjected to a general underwater pressure wave loading is derived which leads to the analytical prediction of dynamic stability.

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Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids