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The formulas of this section are based on the following assumptions:

(1) The plate is flat, of uniform thickness, and of homogeneous

isotropic material; (2) the thickness is not more than about onequarter

of the least transverse dimension, and the maximum deflection

is not more than about one-half the thickness; (3) all forces—loads

and reactions—are normal to the plane of the plate; and (4) the plate is

nowhere stressed beyond the elastic limit. For convenience in discussion,

it will be assumed further that the plane of the plate is

horizontal.

Behavior. The plate deflects. The middle surface (halfway between top

and bottom surfaces) remains unstressed; at other points there are

biaxial stresses in the plane of the plate. Straight lines in the plate

that were originally vertical remain straight but become inclined;

therefore the intensity of either principal stress at points on any

such line is proportional to the distance from the middle surface,

and the maximum stresses occur at the outer surfaces of the plate.