Concept

# Stress–strain analysis

Summary
Stress–strain analysis (or stress analysis) is an engineering discipline that uses many methods to determine the stresses and strains in materials and structures subjected to forces. In continuum mechanics, stress is a physical quantity that expresses the internal forces that neighboring particles of a continuous material exert on each other, while strain is the measure of the deformation of the material. In simple terms we can define stress as the force of resistance per unit area, offered by a body against deformation. Stress is the ratio of force over area (S =R/A, where S is the stress, R is the internal resisting force and A is the cross-sectional area). Strain is the ratio of change in length to the original length, when a given body is subjected to some external force (Strain= change in length÷the original length). Stress analysis is a primary task for civil, mechanical and aerospace engineers involved in the design of structures of all sizes, such as tunnels, bridges and dams, aircraft and rocket bodies, mechanical parts, and even plastic cutlery and staples. Stress analysis is also used in the maintenance of such structures, and to investigate the causes of structural failures. Typically, the starting point for stress analysis are a geometrical description of the structure, the properties of the materials used for its parts, how the parts are joined, and the maximum or typical forces that are expected to be applied to the structure. The output data is typically a quantitative description of how the applied forces spread throughout the structure, resulting in stresses, strains and the deflections of the entire structure and each component of that structure. The analysis may consider forces that vary with time, such as engine vibrations or the load of moving vehicles. In that case, the stresses and deformations will also be functions of time and space. In engineering, stress analysis is often a tool rather than a goal in itself; the ultimate goal being the design of structures and artifacts that can withstand a specified load, using the minimum amount of material or that satisfies some other optimality criterion.