In this paper, an analytical solution for the elastic-plastic stress distribution in rotating variable thickness solid disks is presented. The analysis is based on Tresca's yield criterion, its associated flow rule and linear strain hardening material behavior. It is shown that depending on the shape of the disk profile, the radial stress in the central region may exceed the circumferential stress. The plastic zone which develops away from the axis of the disk consists of three annular regions governed by different mathematical forms of the yield criterion. The propagation of these plastic regions with increasing angular velocity is obtained together with the distributions of stresses and deformations in nondimensional forms. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.