A set of first-order ordinary differential equations with initial conditions is derived for the exact, nonlinear, inextensional deformation of a loaded plate bounded by two straight edges and two curved ones. The analysis extends earlier approximate work of Mansfield and Kleeman, Ashwell, and Lin, Lin, and Mazelsky. For a plate clamped along one straight edge and subject to a force and couple along the other, there are 13 differential equations, but an independent set of 9 may be split off. In a subsequent paper, we consider alternate forms of these 9 equations for plates that twist as they deform. Their structure and solutions are compared to Mansfield’s approximate equations and particular attention is given to tip-loaded triangular plates.

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