Stress Concentrations: How to Identify and Reduce Them in Your Designs
Written by
Sean Thomas

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On
March 22, 2017
In
Design

As products become increasingly complex, with downward pressure on overall pricing, this has led to an inevitable increase in the geometric complexity of mechanical components. While this has allowed components to perform multiple functions, it has led to complex load transfers and possible concentrations of stresses. A stress concentration is defined as a high localized stress, compared to the average stress of the body, and is typically found in a region that has an abrupt geometric change. 

Our latest Hardware Guide post will show you how to identify stress concentrations in your designs, and then show you how to reduce stress concentrations using real-world examples to illustrate the concept.

stress concentrations

We go over common issues to avoid for reducing stress concentrations, including:

  • Do not use sharp corners along a load path.
  • Do not make a large size transition between loaded features. The stiffness mismatch will drive the stress concentration much higher.
  • Don’t assume that the same size radius works for all features. Remember that the stress concentration is based on a ratio, not a magnitude.
  • Don’t place a stress concentration in a high cyclic load if you absolutely must use a sharp corner.

By reducing stress concentration in your designs, you should be able to achieve higher load ratings, reliability, and fatigue life. Check out our latest Hardware Guide post to learn more!

Written by
Sean Thomas
I'm a mechanical engineer with over 10 years experience in the defense & energy industries. My passion is in highly analytical and sketch to scale development.
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