THE bending stresses in thin shells can often be neglected. If the loading on the shell is, for example, due to normal pressure or to gravity forces, the stresses due to strain in the middle surface of the shell usually outweigh in importance the stresses due to bending, which are small because the shell is taken as thin. The stresses can then be assumed uniform across the thickness of the shell, and, when calculated on this supposition, they are commonly known as membrane stresses. It is only in the neighbourhood of concentrated loads or restraints, such as rigid supporting rings, that significant bending stresses develop. But detailed analysis shows that these stresses rapidly die away, and beyond a short distance from the concentrated loading only strain in the middle surface need be considered.
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