This paper concerns the loads and deflections of a “tented” plate. A concentrated load pushes the plate transversely away from a rigid surface. Bending rigidity, inplane tension, foundation stiffness, and weight all act to draw the plate back down to the surface. The deflected region of the tent is assumed to have an ellipsoidal shape, the extent of which is a variable of the problem. Interfacial pressure between the plate and surface is redistributed, after tenting, into a concentrated load at the “tent pole” and a line load along the contour separating contact and noncontact. The problem is analyzed using energy minimization, and approximate, closed-form expressions are obtained for tent dimensions and interfacial loads. Predictions for the tentpole force are compared to experiment and found to be in good agreement.

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