Large amplitude (geometrically non-linear) vibrations of doubly curved shallow shells with rectangular boundary, simply supported at the four edges and subjected to harmonic excitation normal to the surface in the spectral neighbourhood of the fundamental mode are investigated. Two different non-linear strain-displacement relationships, from the Donnell’s and Novozhilov’s shell theories, are used to calculate the elastic strain energy. In-plane inertia and geometric imperfections are taken into account. The solution is obtained by Lagrangian approach. The non-linear equations of motion are studied by using (i) a code based on arclength continuation method that allows bifurcation analysis and (ii) direct time integration. Numerical results are compared to those available in the literature and convergence of the solution is shown. Interaction of modes having integer ratio among their natural frequencies, giving rise to internal resonances, is discussed. Shell stability under dynamic load is also investigated by using continuation method, bifurcation diagram from direct time integration and calculation of the Lyapunov exponents and Lyapunov dimension. Interesting phenomena such as (i) snap-through instability, (ii) subharmonic response, (iii) period doubling bifurcations and (iv) chaotic behavior have been observed.

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