The free and forced vibrations of a horizontal partially fluid-filled cylindrical shell with sloshing effect are studied based on the finite element method. The structure and inner fluid taking into account the sloshing effect of the free surface are simulated by the shell and acoustic elements respectively. The natural frequencies of sloshing fluid and shell structure are calculated simultaneously by the FEM. To verify the accuracy of the results, the shell’s natural frequencies are compared with published results. The effects of the structural parameters and fluid depth on the vibration of the coupled system are discussed. The natural frequencies of a sloshing fluid can be divided into low-frequency and high-frequency part, and the low-frequency part refers to the pressure fluctuation caused by the sloshing of the free surface, while the high-frequency part corresponds to the pressure fluctuation of the particles below the free surface. The thinner the shell thickness is, the lower the sloshing frequency of free surface and coupled modal frequency of the shell are. With the increase of the liquid depth, the natural sloshing frequency of the free surface increases slightly while the coupled modal frequency of the shell decreases. The impact of the free surface effect on the coupled vibration cannot be omitted when the shell’s natural frequencies are close to the sloshing frequencies.

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