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The three-dimensional stress concentration factor (SCF) at the edge of elliptical and circular holes in infinite plates under remote tension has been extensively investigated considering the variations of plate thickness, hole dimensions and material properties, such as the Poisson’s coefficient. This study employs three dimensional finite element modeling to numerically investigate the effect of plate width on the behavior of the SCF across the thickness of linear elastic isotropic plates with a through-the-thickness circular hole under remote tension. The problem is governed by two geometric non-dimensional parameters, i.e., the plate half-width to hole radius (<i>W</i>/<i>r</i>) and the plate thickness to hole radius (<i>B</i>/<i>r</i>) ratios. It is shown that for thin plates the value of the SCF is nearly constant throughout the thickness for any plate width. As the plate thickness increases, the point of maximum SCF shifts from the plate middle plane and approaches the free surface. When the ratio of plate half-width to hole radius (<i>W</i>/<i>r</i>) is greater than four, the maximum SCF was observed to approximate the theoretical value determined for infinite plates. When the plate width is reduced, the maximum SCF values significantly increase. A polynomial curve fitting was employed on the numerical results to generate empirical formulas for the maximum and surface SCFs as a function of <i>W</i>/<i>r</i> and <i>B</i>/<i>r</i>. These equations can be applied, with reasonable accuracy, to practical problems of structural strength and fatigue, for instance.

Many applications in engineering employ components with a circular hole. In the specific case of perforated plates under cyclical load, the effect of stress concentration can propagate cracks and compromise their structural integrity. The stress concentration near a geometric discontinuity in a plate is frequently described by the stress concentration factor (K), defined as the ratio of the actual stress acting on that region to the stress applied to the plate extremity.

Howland [

Based on the Theory of Linear Elasticity for plane strain or stress problems, Koiter [_{max}/σ_{av}) is in the limit equal to 2. Parks and Mendoza [_{max}/σ_{av} approaches 2. Wahl [_{max}/σ_{av} tends to 2 and it approaches 1 as the load is increased. Cook [^{−}^{2} to 10^{−6}. The results indicated that σ_{max}/σ_{av} decreases from 1.94 to 1 as the load intensity is increased. Pradhan [

Fatigue analysis methods for cracks and other forms of stress concentration are generally developed using bidimensional (2D) models. However, when these models are applied to certain types of problems where the geometry or material properties may lead to accentuated tri-dimensional (3D) stress concentrations the results can be inaccurate, as demonstrated by Bellett et al. [

The objective of this study is to evaluate the variation of the stress concentration factor through the thickness for isotropic plates, with through-the-thickness circular holes, subject to remote tensile stress and to investigate the effect of plate width on the results. A finite element model was elaborated with various widths and thicknesses to allow a comprehensive parametric evaluation of this variation.