This paper represents an analysis of the pressure distribution occurring in axially loaded cylindrical wafers with, and without, elastic radial constraints. The purpose of this report is to demonstrate the resulting stress patterns that occur in short compression specimens frequently used in determining material properties, and in the opposed-anvil, or Bridgman-type, high-pressure cells. The influence of radial constraints, material strain hardening, wafer diameter-to-height ratio, anvil or plate deflection, and the wafer-anvil interface friction on the resulting stress distributions have been examined. The integrated normal stress distribution across the specimen surface has been verified experimentally via numerous tests in which each of the subject parameters listed above was varied.

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