Closed-form solutions are derived for the response of a spherical elastic shell, surrounded by a different elastic medium of infinite extent, and subjected to Heaviside or impulsive loading. The results are compared with earlier solutions in which the surrounding medium was a fluid. The importance of interfacial separation is also investigated by comparing the impulsive loading results with finite difference calculations in which it was possible for the shell to decouple from the surroundings when radial tensile stresses occurred at the shared boundary.

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