Stress is force applied on cross-sectional area

Stress is the ratio between applied force and cross-sectional area where the aplied force is acting - and can be expressed as

σ = F / A                           (1)


σ = stress (N/m2, Pa, psi)

F = applied force (N, lb)

A = cross-sectional area (m2, in2)

Example - Stress in Column

A 10000 N force is acting on a British Universal Column UB 152 x 89 x 16 with cross sectional area 20.3 cm2. The stress in the column can be calculated as

σ = (10000 N) / ((20.3 cm2) (0.0001 m2/cm2

   = 4926108 Pa

   = 4.9 MPa

The Yield strength - the amount of stress that a material can undergo before moving from elastic deformation into plastic deformation - is typical 250 MPa for steel.

Related Topics

  • Mechanics - Forces, acceleration, displacement, vectors, motion, momentum, energy of objects and more
  • Statics - Loads - force and torque, beams and columns

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