Experimental results are interpreted in the light of numerical analaysis, imperfection sensitivity and Design Codes. Two cases are discussed: spherical shells under uniform external pressure and partly filled spherical shells, supported on a continuous equatorial ring. The imperfection sensitivity associated with the first loading case leads to the selection of safety factors that depend on the actual shell stiffness. The second case, in which the load results in a biaxial tension-compression state of stress, is treated approximately in terms of a plate under biaxial load.

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