Large deflections of shallow and deep spherical shells under ring loads are studied. The axisymmetric problem is solved through a Newton-Raphson technique on discretized nonlinear shell equations. Comparison of computed load-deflection curves to experimental data from both thick and thin shells generally shows good agreement in peak loads and the type of instability. For a point load, the load increases monotonically with deflection; as the ring radius increases, transition-type (snap-through) and then local buckling occurs. In addition, the pre- and post-buckled mechanical behaviors of the shell are examined.

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