The problem posed by the diffusion of load from an infinite edge-stiffener into a semi-infinite elastic sheet is reconsidered under two alternative refinements of the underlying stiffener model. First, the stiffener is regarded as an elastic strip of finite width, and the theory of generalized plane stress is applied rigorously to the sheet and stiffener alike. Next, Melan’s one-dimensional treatment of the stiffener is amended to account for its bending rigidity. The “exact” and the intermediate approximate solution thus obtained are compared to Melan’s results with particular attention to the relevant asymptotic behavior in the vicinity of the applied load and at large distances from the load. Comparative numerical results, showing the variation of the sheet stresses at the interface and the distribution of the axial stiffener force, are included.

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