- A shear deformable finite element that accounts for large rotations is developed based on first-approximation shell theories. Numerical results are presented for linear and nonlinear bending of layered, anisotropic, composite shells. In the linear analyses, the present finite-element solutions are compared with the closed-form solutions and other solutions available in the literature. The agreement is found to be very good. Numerical results showing the effect of large deflections, orientation of layers, boundary conditions, and material orthotropy on deflections are presented.