This paper provides a comparison between test and analysis results for bursting of thin toroidal shells. Testing was done by pressurizing two toroidal shells until failure by bursting. An analytical criterion for bursting is developed based on good agreement between structural instability predicted by large strain-large displacement elastic-plastic finite element analysis and observed burst pressure obtained from test. The failures were characterized by loss of local stability of the membrane section of the shells consistent with the predictions from the finite element analysis. Good agreement between measured and predicted burst pressure suggests that incipient structural instability as calculated by an elastic-plastic finite element analysis is a reasonable way to calculate the bursting pressure of thin membrane structures.

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