The problem to be considered is that of determining the flexural stresses which result from temperature differences T between corresponding points on the upper and lower faces of circular plates (T = temperature at lower face minus temperature at upper face), when T is assumed to vary only with the distance from the center of the plate. This problem arises, for example, in the design of heated or cooled cylindrical processing tanks or vessels. In such cases, heat may be applied to the circular bottom of the vessel by a single concentric burner or heating element or by a ring of burners or elements, and the resulting temperature distribution will be approximately axisymmetric.

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