Measuring the energy landscape: An experimental approach to the study of buckling in thin shells

Sagy Lachmann, Shmuel M. Rubinstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Recent research into the buckling load of thin shells has focused on local poking of the shell. In this approach, the shell is poked under load to extract its stability landscape, and a ridge tracking method is performed to estimate the buckling load of the shell. It is the current understanding that the stability landscape measures the local stability of the shell and, as a result, that the accuracy of ridge tracking greatly relies on the location of poking. Currently, there is no method that can predict where poking should be performed on an experimental system. Here, we examine the global response of thin shells to poking through the energy landscape. We present an experimental method for measuring the energy landscape of thin shells and demonstrate its application on a thin plate strip. We show that by analysing the dynamics of the shell in the energy landscape we can experimentally measure the buckling mode of the system, which gives the correct point of poking for accurate ridge tracking, and identify two kinds of buckling points. Finally, we propose how this approach can be applied to more complex systems such as thin cylinders. This article is part of the theme issue 'Probing and dynamics of shock sensitive shells'.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number20220027
JournalPhilosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences
Issue number2244
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • buckling
  • energy landscape
  • lateral probing
  • poking
  • ridge tracking
  • stability landscape


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