New research reports on buckling: When structures suddenly collapse

Model of the Titan submersible on deck. It is one example of a thin-walled structure. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Last summer, when the Titan submersible suffered a catastrophic implosion on its way to take passengers to see the Titanic shipwreck, it was a dramatic example of the failure of a thin-walled structure. Those structures, which may be in the shapes of spherical or cylindrical shells, can efficiently carry relatively large loads, but their slenderness makes them susceptible to buckling-induced collapse.

The submersible is not the only thin-walled structure you may interact with. Whenever you step into a car or …

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