A theoretical investigation is made of the axisymmetric snap-through buckling of a shallow conical shell subjected to an idealized impulse applied uniformly over the surface of the shell. The shell is assumed to behave as a single-degree-of-freedom system, and a study is made of the strain energy at maximum displacement: i.e., zero velocity. Under certain conditions this equilibrium position becomes unstable and the shell can snap through (or buckle). Nonlinear strain displacement equations are used and solutions are obtained for clamped and simply supported boundaries at the edge of the shell. Results for the cone are compared with similar results for a shallow spherical cap having the same rise as the cone. This comparison indicates that the spherical shell can resist a larger impulse than the conical shell before buckling.

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