Enter the shear force, the first moment of area, a moment of inertia, and material thickness. The calculator will evaluate the shear stress acting on the material.

Shear Stress Formula

The following equation can be used to calculate the shear stress acting on a straight beam.

s = (V*Q/I*t)
  • Where s is the shear stress (N/m^2)
  • V is the total shear force (N*m)
  • Q is the first moment of area (m^3)
  • I is the moment of inertia (m^4)
  • t is the thickness of the material (m)

To calculate the shear stress, multiply the shear force by the first moment of area, then divide by the result of the moment of inertia times the thickness of the material.

Shear Stress Definition

Shear stress is stress seen in objects that is co-planar with the material cross-section. That is stress that is acting in the same direction as the cross-section. This stress is only one component of the total stress on an object under force.

Shear Stree Example

How to calculate shear stress?

  1. First, determine the total shear force.

    Measure the total shear force acting on the area.

  2. Next, determine the first moment of area.

    Calculate the first moment of the area that the force is acting on.

  3. Next, determine the moment of inertia.

    Calculate the moment of inertia of the object/surface.

  4. Next, determine the thickness.

    Measure the thickness of the material.

  5. Finally, calculate the shear stress.

    Using the formula above, calculate the shear stress.


What is a shear stress?

A shear stress is any stress that acts co-planar to a cross-sectional area that often causes the process of “shearing”.