The frequency (or phase velocity) of axially symmetric free vibrations in an elastic, isotropic, circular cylinder of medium thickness is studied on the basis of the three-dimensional linear theory of elasticity and several different shell theories. To be in good agreement with the solution of the three-dimensional equations for short wave lengths, an approximate theory has to include the influence of rotatory inertia and transverse shear deformation, for example, in a manner similar to Mindlin’s plate theory. A shell theory of this (Timoshenko) type is deduced from the three-dimensional elasticity theory. From a comparison of phase velocities it appears that, to a good approximation, membrane and curvature effects on one hand, and on the other hand, flexural, rotatory-inertia, and shear-deformation effects are mutually exclusive in two ranges of wave lengths, separated by a “transition” wave length. Thus, in the full range of wave lengths, the associated lowest phase velocities may be determined on the basis of the membrane shell theory (for wave lengths larger than the transition wave length) and on the basis of Mindlin’s plate theory (for wave lengths smaller than the transition wave length).

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