A shear stress is denoted using symbol tau and is defined as a stress which is applied tangential or parallel or to a face of a material, as opposed to a normal stress which is applied in perpendicular direction.
The formula to calculate average shear stress is:
τ = F/A
τ = the shear stress
F = the force applied
A = the cross sectional area
Normal stress is the intensity of the net forces acting normal or perpendicular to an infinitely small area dA within an object per unit area. If the normal stress acting on dA pulls on it, then it is called as tensile stress, whereas if it pushes on the area, it is called compressive stress.
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