In the present study the dynamic stability of simply supported, circular cylindrical shells subjected to dynamic axial loads is analyzed. Geometric nonlinearities due to finite-amplitude shell motion are considered by using the Donnell’s nonlinear shallow-shell theory. The effect of structural damping is taken into account. A discretization method based on a series expansion involving a large number of linear modes, including axisymmetric and asymmetric modes, and on the Galerkin procedure is developed. Both driven and companion modes are included allowing for travelling-wave response of the shell. Axisymmetric modes are included because they are essential in simulating the inward deflection of the mean oscillation with respect to the equilibrium position. The shell is simply supported and presents a finite length. Boundary conditions are considered in the model, which includes also the contribution of the external axial loads acting at the shell edges. The effect of a contained liquid is also considered. The linear dynamic stability and nonlinear response are analysed by using continuation techniques.

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