The contact problem for a thin elastic reinforcement bonded to an elastic plate is considered. The stiffening layer is treated as an elastic membrane and the base plate is assumed to be an elastic continuum. The bonding between the two materials is assumed to be either one of direct adhesion or through a thin adhesive layer which is treated as a shear spring. The solution for the simple case in which both the stiffener and the base plate are treated as membranes is also given. The contact stress is obtained for a series of numerical examples. In the direct adhesion case the contact stress becomes infinite at the stiffener ends with a typical square root singularity for the continuum model and behaving as a delta function for the membrane model. In the case of bonding through an adhesive layer the contact stress becomes finite and continuous along the entire contact area.

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