A review is made of the different approaches used for modeling multilayered composite shells. Discussion focuses on different approaches for developing two-dimensional shear deformation theories; classification of two-dimensional theories based on introducing plausible displacement, strain and/or stress assumptions in the thickness direction; first-order shear deformation theories based on linear displacement assumptions in the thickness coordinate; and efficient computational strategies for anisotropic composite shells. Extensive numerical results are presented showing the effects of variation in the lamination and geometric parameters of simply supported composite cylinders on the accuracy of the static and vibrational responses predicted by eight different modeling approaches (based on two-dimensional shear deformation theories). The standard of comparison is taken to be the exact three-dimensional elasticity solutions. The quantities compared include both the gross response characteristics (eg, vibration frequencies and strain energy components); and detailed, through-the-thickness distributions of displacements, stresses, and strain energy densities. Some of the future directions for research on the modeling of multilayered composite shells are outlined.

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