The method of characteristics is used to obtain numerical solutions for the plane stress problem of propagation of unloading waves from a suddenly punched circular hole in an elastic sheet subjected to finite, isotropic, tensile, biaxial strain. It is shown that, for instantaneous punching of a sheet of Mooney-Rivlin material, a shock is formed initially. Also an expression is obtained for the time when a shock forms if there is a linear reduction with time, from the initial value to zero, of the nominal tensile stress at the hole boundary. Numerical results are presented for the Mooney-Rivlin material and these results are compared with those obtained from the linear theory of elasticity, significant differences being found for stretches greater than about 1.05.

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