The symmetrically loaded moderately thick-walled shell of revolution can be treated by general finite elements, or for certain geometric conditions, by extended thin shell finite elements that have incorporated transverse shear deformation. In this work, we develop a higher order theory finite element model for symmetrically loaded shells of revolution which is useful for configurations which are out of the range of validity of the extended thin shell elements. Legendre polynomial series expansions are key features of the development and lead to nonlinear distributions of both stress and deformation in the thickness variable. Problems are solved to yield some initial data for comparison of the cost and accuracy of the higher order theory finite element model to other shell element models.

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