Cylindrical shell filled with hot liquid is analyzed for buckling and vibration behavior using semi-analytical finite element method. A parametric study is conducted on a 316L stainless-steel cylinder filled with hot liquid. The temperature distribution in shell domain is obtained by using axisymmetric eight-node ring finite elements, capable of taking axial variation of temperature into account. Three-node ring elements are used for buckling and vibration analysis, formulated using semi-analytical finite element method. Thermal stress resultants and moment resultants in the shell are estimated and static buckling analysis is carried out to find the buckling temperature of the container for different levels of filling of liquid and for two different boundary conditions. Free vibration analysis carried out by considering initial stress effect and added mass effect due to hot liquid. Two different geometries are considered to study the effect of geometry on buckling temperature. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.