The normal strains (e_{x'} and e_{y'}) and the shear strain (e_{x'y'}) vary smoothly with respect to the rotation angle q, in accordance with the transformation equations given above. There exist a couple of particular angles where the strains take on special values.
First, there exists an angle q_{p} where the shear strain e_{x'y'} vanishes. That angle is given by,
This angle defines the principal directions. The associated principal strains are given by,
The transformation to the principal directions with their principal strains can be illustrated as:
