Strength of Materials

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When speaking of the strength of materials one would be talking about the behavior of solid objects that are subject to stress or strain. The study of strength of materials refers to the various methods of testing the stresses and strains of materials to determine variables such as length, width, thickness, boundary constraints and change in geometric structure.

Technically speaking, the strength of a material is the material’s ability to withstand an applied load or force without failure. The stresses acting on the materials cause deformation or strain on the material in various ways.

By definition, Material strength refers to the point on the engineering stress–strain curve in which the material experiences deformations that cannot be completely reversed and as a result will have a permanent deflection.

Basic types of Stress:
  •  Tensile Stress: when the specimen suffers stretching or elongation.
  • Compressive Stress: when the specimen suffers from shortening.
  • Volumetric Stress: produces a change in the volume of the body without producing any distortion to the shape of the specimen.
  •  Shear Stress: stress resulting from the application of opposing forces parallel to a cross-sectional area of a body.
Basic types of Strain:
  • Linear Strain: the ratio of the change in length of the body due to the deformation to its original length in the direction of the force.
  • Lateral Strain: the ratio of the change in length (breadth of a rectangular bar or diameter of a circular bar) of the body due to the deformation to its original in the direction perpendicular to the force.
  • Volumetric Strain: the ratio of the change in volume of the body to the deformation to its original volume.
  • Shear Strain: the strain accompanying a shearing action or the application of apposing forces parallel to the specimen’s surface.

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