This paper contains an approximate three-dimensional solution for the stress distribution around a circular cylindrical hole in an infinite plate of arbitrary thickness, which is otherwise in a uniform state of plane stress parallel to the bounding planes. The approach used rests on a modification of the Ritz method in the theory of elasticity. A knowledge of the triaxial characteristics of the ensuing stress concentration is held important in connection with modern views on failure. The results furthermore illuminate critically the significance of two-dimensional analysis in problems of the type under consideration.

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