A partial solution to the problem of the stress distribution on the boundary of a circular hole in a large plate during passage of a stress pulse of relatively long duration is presented. The solution was obtained experimentally by using a low-modulus model material in a combined photoelasticity and grid analysis. The long-duration stress pulse was applied by loading a small region on an edge of the plate with a falling weight. The hole was placed at a location in the plate where both dilatational and distortional waves would be felt. It was also located in such a way that a symmetric point was available for making free-field stress determinations. The results of the investigation indicate that a variable biaxial state of stress was produced in the free field. The study also indicates that the maximum compressive stress on the hole boundary can be computed with a fair degree of accuracy by applying the Kirsch solution for a hole in an infinite plate and considering the free-field biaxial stress conditions. The maximum tensile stresses on the hole boundary were always found to be smaller than the values predicted by the Kirsch formula.

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