A method is described for determining the thermal stresses in plane systems with free boundaries. The method makes use of the analogy between the problems of the bending stresses in clamped plates and those of plane thermoelasticity. The analogy is illustrated for both simply and multiply connected regions. The method allows the simple solution of thermal stress problems for which the analogous plate bending problem has already been solved; and provides a means of easily visualizing the distribution and magnitude of thermal stresses in terms more familiar to many engineers.

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