I need to determine the thickness of steel plate required to support 400 psf live load where the plate is to cover a 4'-1" diameter hole. The circular edge of the plate is continuously supported. My first impulse is that the simplest and most conservative approach is to analyze a one foot wide strip supported at two ends, loaded 400plf, spanning 4'-1", but results in a very exaggerated stress level and deflection. Anybody have any suggestions for a more realistic method for analysis?
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