The response of a thin circular cylindrical shell to resonant harmonic excitation is examined by a modal expansion approach. The nonlinear strain-displacement relations lead to a nonlinear boundary condition, as well as nonlinear equations of motion. The solution, which retains tangential inertia effects, is obtained by a perturbation technique that yields a consistent first approximation of the nonlinear response. The results are applicable for a wide range of parameters and to cases of excitation near any of the three lowest natural frequencies corresponding to given axial and circumferential wavelengths. For situations where shallow shell theory is valid, the results of previous studies, which were based upon such a theory, are in close agreement.

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