# Transverse Strain

Published: November 7, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

## What Does Transverse Strain Mean?

A transverse strain, also known as lateral strain, can be defined as the ratio of change in the width of a material to its original width. When a material experiences stress in the longitudinal direction, the material will in the direction in which the stress is acting, and will contract in the lateral or transverse direction.

## Trenchlesspedia Explains Transverse Strain

When tensile force P is applied to a material, it elongates in the axial direction and contracts in the transverse direction. The material experiences longitudinal strain in the axial direction and transverse strain in the lateral or transverse direction. Poisson's ratio can be derived by taking the ratio between the longitudinal strain and transverse strain.

The transverse or lateral strain (ε) can be given as the change in the lateral dimension or width of the material (ΔD) divided by its original width (D).

ε = ΔD / D

When the axial stress is positive, it produces a positive axial strain and a negative transverse strain. When the axial stress is negative, the axial strain is negative and the transverse strain is positive.