The potential energy formulation of von Karman plate theory and the Ritz method are utilized to obtain solutions for deformation and stress in a variable thickness annular plate with built-in edges. The plate is loaded by prescribing an axisymmetric offset of the edges; the external axial force is calculated by Castigliano’s theorem. Solutions are presented to illustrate the influence of the plate thickness profile on the surface stress distribution and to show the effect of large deflections on the surface and membrane stress distributions in a plate with hyperbolic taper. The computational procedure is competitive with other procedures, such as the finite-element method.

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