Boundary layers exist at the edges of thin plates undergoing large deformations because the interior of the plate must assume a developable shape. The developable shape is sometimes incompatible with the force and moment resultants prescribed at the plate’s boundary, in particular when the edge of the plate is stress free. A boundary layer solution is presented which describes the shape of a boundary layer in a plate undergoing large deflections. The boundary layer is a slight perturbation of the interior shape which allows the appropriate boundary conditions to be satisfied. Since developable shells are applicable to a plane, the boundary layer is also appropriate for arbitrary developable shells.

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