2.2 Stress analysis of a plate with a hole

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This tutorial describes how to pre-process, run and post-process a case involving linear- elastic, steady-state stress analysis on a square plate with a circular hole at its centre. The plate dimensions are: side length 4 m and radius R = 0.5 m. It is loaded with a uniform traction of a = 10 kPa over its left and right faces as shown in Figure 2.16. Two symmetry planes can be identified for this geometry and therefore the solution domain need only cover a quarter of the geometry, shown by the shaded area in Figure 2.16.

The problem can be approximated as 2-dimensional since the load is applied in the plane of the plate. In a Cartesian coordinate system there are two possible assumptions to take in regard to the behaviour of the structure in the third dimension: (1) the plane stress condition, in which the stress components acting out of the 2D plane are assumed to be negligible; (2) the plane strain condition, in which the strain components out of the 2D plane are assumed negligible. The plane stress condition is appropriate for solids whose third dimension is thin as in this case; the plane strain condition is applicable for solids where the third dimension is thick.


An analytical solution exists for loading of an infinitely large, thin plate with a circular hole. The solution for the stress normal to the vertical plane of symmetry is Results from the simulation will be compared with this solution. At the end of the tutorial, the user can: investigate the sensitivity of the solution to mesh resolution and mesh grading; and, increase the size of the plate in comparison to the hole to try to estimate the error in comparing the analytical solution for an infinite plate to the solution of this problem of a finite plate.

Figure 2.16: Geometry of the plate with a hole.