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In continuum mechanics, a material is said to be under plane stress if the stress vector is zero across a particular surface. When that situation occurs over an entire element of a structure, as is often the case for thin plates, the stress analysis is considerably simplified, as the stress state can be represented by a tensor of dimension 2. A related notion, plane strain, is often applicable to very thick members.

### Mathematical definition

### Plane strain (strain matrix)

### Stress transformation in plane stress and plane strain