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An article and a process are provided for reducing the shear stress on an interface of a structural member in intimate contact with a compressive load. The article is in the form of a wedge that is forcibly placed against the sidewall of one end or both ends of the structural member. The wedge may take the form of a ring that can be placed on the inside or outside surface of a hollow cylindrical structural member. The process of forcibly placing a wedge against the sidewall at one or both ends of the structural member produces a transverse compressive stress upon the sidewall. The transverse compressive stress upon the sidewall attenuates the tendency of said sidewall to deflect when the structural member is subjected to a compressive load. A reduction in the deflection of the sidewall reduces the shear stress generated proximal to the interface of the structural member in intimate contact with a compressive load and increases the structural member load bearing capacity.