Fast Minute: Understanding stress concentration

By June 23, 2022
Person holding black part

Stress concentrations are points in a part design that are prone to cracking, but you can reduce the potential for these types of failures with the right design choices. In our latest Fast Minute video, Senior Research and Development Engineer Tristan Antonsen discusses stress concentrations — and how to address them — when you’re making parts with any manufacturing process.


Stress concentrations can show up in any part, made with any manufacturing process. And if you don’t pay attention to them, your part will weaken and break prematurely.

A stress concentration is a point in the design where the stress rises much more quickly than in the surrounding areas.

So, take this part. This corner will cause a stress concentration to form. A little bit of pressure makes the stress increase dramatically, causing it to crack.

Stress concentrations happen around abrupt changes in geometry — especially sharp corners. So, if you need a sharp corner, use a fillet or a radius to distribute the stress more evenly.

You can see this part became much sturdier once we added fillets.

Holes and notches are also prone to stress concentrations. When you think you can’t avoid them, think about how you can account for them with the surrounding material.

If locations of possible stress concentrations aren’t obvious, running finite element simulations can help identify where they might appear.

If you have any questions, reach out to our team. We promise a stress-free experience.

Learn more about how to mitigate stress concentrations, or contact us if you need guidance on how to optimize your part designs.

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