Biaxial principal strains were measured at the roots of notches in aluminum specimens with a laser-based interferometric technique. Interference patterns from three tiny indentations spaced 150 or 200 micrometers apart in an orthogonal pattern were monitored with a microcomputer-controlled system. Elastoplastic strains up to one percent were measured in real time with a resolution of 25 microstrain. Procedures were developed for computing the two principal stresses from the incremental strain data using J2-flow theory. The validity of the computations was checked by computing the stresses in smooth tensile specimens. Anisotropy in the thin sheet material leads to errors in the computed lateral stresses (which should be zero), but the maximum deviation of the computed effective stress from the uniaxial stress is only five percent. Three kinds of double-notched specimens were prepared to vary the amount of constraint at the notch root. These were tested under monotonic tensile loading and the biaxial notch-root strains recorded. There is considerable variation among the strains once the elastic limit is passed. This is due primarily to the local inhomogeneity of plastic strain, since the gage length of the measurement is only a few times larger than the grain size of the material. Local biaxial stresses were computed from the measured strains for the three cases. The nature of the material’s stress-strain curve tends to smooth out the variations among tests, particularly when the effective stress is computed. It is discovered that the local stress predicted by the Neuber relation agrees very closely with the measured local effective stress.

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