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What is the difference between maximum and absolute shear stress in multi axial stress system?

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    $\begingroup$ would it be different if it was not multi axial? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 6:15

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I think the term is absolute maximum shear stress, meaning which one is the largest.

There are three planes of shear: one is the largest (the maximum of the maxima), the other two are not.

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    $\begingroup$ References would improve this answer $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 3:13
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given a tensor stress state you can find the shear on any arbitrary plane and direction. Maximum shear stress says we have found the plane with the maximum value. The maximum shear stress is always positive. (or zero for hydrostatic case) Note this is an invarient, you can report maximum shear without specifying a coordinate system.

absolute shear stress is probably the absolute value of the shear stress on a specified orientation which may or may not be the special orientation that gives the maximum. I say probably because the question hasn't given enough context, but I expect you are seeing something like abs(sxy) in a given coordinate system

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