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In this paper, the authors investigate a cylindrical shell reinforced by carbon nanotubes. The critical buckling load is calculated using analytical method when it is subjected to compressive axial load. The Mori-Tanaka method is firstly utilized to estimate the effective elastic modulus of composites having aligned oriented straight CNTs. The eigenvalues of the problem are obtained by means of an analytical approach based on the optimized Rayleigh-Ritz method. There is presented a study on the effects of CNTs volume fraction, thickness and aspect ratio of the shell, CNTs orientation angle, and the type of supports on the buckling load of cylindrical shells. Furthermore the effect of CNTs agglomeration is investigated when CNTs are dispersed none uniformly in the polymer matrix. It is shown that when the CNTs are arranged in 90 degrees direction, the highest critical buckling load appears. Also, the results are plotted for different longitudinal and circumferential mode numbers. There is a specific value for aspect ratio of the cylinder that minimizes the buckling load. The results reveal that for very low CNTs volume fractions, the volume fraction of inclusions has no important effect on the critical buckling load.
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