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Stress Concentration

Ankush Sharma

In developing a machine it is impossible to avoid changes


in cross-section, holes, notches, shoulders etc. Some
examples are shown

Any such discontinuity in a member affects the stress


distribution in the neighbourhood and the discontinuity acts as
a stress raiser.

Consider a plate with a centrally


located hole and the plate is
subjected to uniform tensile load at
the ends.
Stress distribution at a section A-A
passing through the hole and another
section BB away from the hole are
shown in fig.
Stress distribution away from the hole
is uniform but at AA there is a sharp
rise in stress in the vicinity of the
hole.

Whenever a machine component changes the shape of its


cross-section, the simple stress distribution no longer holds
good and the neighbourhood of the discontinuity is different.
This irregularity in the stress distribution caused by abrupt
changes of form is called stress concentration.
Stress concentration is also, defined as the localization of high
stresses due to irregularities present in the component and
Theoretical or Form Stress Concentration Factor
abrupt changes in the cross section.

The value of Kt depends upon the material and geometry of


the part.

The cause of Stress concentration are:


i. Variation in properties of material: Internal cracks and
flaws, cavities in welds, air hole in steel components,
nonmetallic or foreign inclusions.
ii. Load application: contact between meshing teeth of the
gears, cam and follower, rail and wheel, crane hook and
chain
iii. Abrupt changes in section
iv. Discontinuities in the component: oil holes or oil
grooves, keyways and splines, screw threads.
v. Machining scratches: stamp marks or inspection marks

Stress Concentration due to Holes and


Notches
Consider a plate with transverse elliptical hole and subjected to a
tensile load as shown in Fig. 6.6 (a). We see from the stressdistribution that the stress at the point away from the hole is
practically uniform and the maximum stress will be induced at
the edge of the hole. The maximum stress is given by

and the theoretical stress concentration factor,

When a/b is large, the ellipse approaches a crack


transverse to the load and the value of Kt becomes
very large.

When
a/b
is
small,
the ellipse
approaches a longitudinal slit [as shown
in Fig. 6.6 (b)] and the increase in stress
is small.

When the hole is circular as shown


in Fig. 6.6 (c), then a/b = 1 and the
maximum stress is three times the
nominal value.

The stress concentration in the


notched

tension

member,

as

shown in Fig. 6.7, is influenced by


the depth a of the notch and
radius r at the bottom of the notch.

The

maximum

applies
notches

to
that

stress,

members
are

which
having

small

in

comparison with the width of the


plate, may be obtained by the
following equation,

Stress Concentration factors


Stress concentration factors may also be obtained using any
one of the following
experimental techniques:
1. Strain gage method
2. Photoelasticity method
3. Brittle coating technique
4. Grid method
For more accurate estimation numerical methods like Finite
element analysis
may be employed.

The Charts for stress concentration


factors for different geometric shapes
and conditions of loading were
originally developed b RE Peterson.

Methods of Reducing Stress Concentration


A

number

of

methods

are

available

to

reduce

stress

concentration in machine
parts. Some of them are as follows:
1. Provide a fillet radius so that the cross-section may change
gradually.
2. Sometimes an elliptical fillet is also used.
3. If a notch is unavoidable it is better to provide a number of
small notches
rather than a long one. This reduces the stress concentration
to a large extent.
4. If a projection is unavoidable from design considerations it
is preferable to