The buckling and snap-through behavior of a steep prestressed arch (or shell) obtained by first buckling a thin elastic strut (or plate) into a deformed shape and then attaching it to its supports is studied by solving a set of nonlinear boundary-value problems on a digital computer. Finite displacements of the arch as produced by vertical concentrated load and uniform load are determined for several cases, including both symmetric and unsymmetric modes of buckling. Bifurcation points that give the snap-through load are located in each case. Comparisons are made with the behavior of conventional steep arches and between the theoretical results and experimental data obtained from model tests.

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