FEA in abaqus tutorial: buckling and post-buckling analysis of thin cylindrical shell


This tutorial gives an overview of the process of buckling and post buckling analysis in abaqus. To demonstrate the process, I am using a cylindrical shell. This shell stands vertical and acts as column as shown in Figure 1(a) below. Please note here that all the dimensions used here are in SI units.

Load and boundary condition

The shell is loaded on the top and constrained at bottom. See Figure 1(b). I have used shell edge load which is load per unit circumference of the top shell edge. The bottom edge has been pinned.

Figure 1: (a) Dimensions of cylinder,  (b) load and boundary conditions

Buckling analysis

Buckling analysis is a linear perturbation type analysis. It gives us two things.

  1. buckle load or eigenvalue (critical load to cause buckling)
  2. buckle mode or eigen-mode corresponding to eigenvalue

So lets directly dive into the tutorial for buckling analysis. Please watch the videos below.

Buckling analysis video part 1

Buckling analysis video part 2

Part 2 video is available at link: https://www.patreon.com/posts/14824522

 Post-buckling analysis

Buckling analysis predicts the critical load beyond which the shell buckles or fails as column. It also predicts the buckling mode corresponding to the critical load. But as load go beyond the critical load the shell undergoes large deformation which only can be predicted by nonlinear analysis. That’s why post- buckling analysis is done. If deformed shape beyond critical load is not important then it can be skipped.

Post buckling analysis is done using static-Riks or dynamic explicit method. I will use the later one.

If you need a video tutorial on post buckle analysis, please contact.

Simulation files

I have provided simulation files for this tutorial. To download it please click here.

The instructions to use these files is given here.

It is very helpful because there may be things which may not be clear to you by just watching/following the video tutorials. So, you can download and play around with simulation files while watching/following tutorials.


For most of the problems in engineering it enough to perform buckling analysis. Post buckling analysis is very sensitive to the perturbation provided along with the eigen-mode.

The motive of this tutorial was to demonstrate the procedure of buckling and post buckling analysis in abaqus package. I hope it helpful for you. Please subscribe this blog using your email ID to remain updated.

Thank you very much.


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