An enhanced rotation-free three node triangular shell element (termed EBST) is presented. The element formulation is based on a quadratic interpolation of the geometry in terms of the six nodes of a patch of four triangles associated to each triangular element. This allows to compute an assumed constant curvature field and an assumed linear membrane strain field which improves the in-plane behaviour of the element. A simple and economic version of the element using a single integration point is presented. The implementation of the element into an explicit dynamic scheme is described. The efficiency and accuracy of the EBST element and the explicit dynamic scheme are demonstrated in many examples of application including the analysis of a cylindrical panel under impulse loading and sheet metal stamping problems.