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# CHAPTER 2

## STRESSES AND STRAINS IN STRUCTURAL

MATERIALS

2.1 Stress
Stress is defined as force per unit area (units: N/mm
2
). When a body is acted upon
by an external force or load, internal forces are set up within the body to resist it, and
the body is said to be in a state of stress. Thus stress is the resistance offered by the
body to deformation. The stress is said to be simple if it acts in one direction only, or
compound if one or more stresses act in different directions.
The following are the different types of stresses which may act on a structural
material;
(i) Direct stresses, i.e. compressive or tensile
(ii) Shear stress
(iii) Torsional stress
(iv) Bending stress.

In this chapter, only direct and shear stresses and their associated strains are to be
considered.

2.1.1 Direct stresses
These involve compressive or tensile stresses as explained below.
(i) Compressive stress

(ii) Tensile stress

P

Cross-sectional
Area, A
X X

Fig 2.1

Compressive stress exists between two parts of
a body when each pushes the other from it.
Thus the fibres of the member are subjected to
a thrust as shown in Fig 2.1.
Compressive stress = ( )
2
N/mm
A
P
Area
=

Cross-sectional
Area, A
X X

P
Fig 2.2

Tensile stress exists between two parts of a
member when each draws the other toward it.
Thus the fibres of the member are subjected to
a pull as shown in Fig 2.2.
Tensile stress = ( )
2
N/mm
A
P
Area
=
2
Shear stress

2.2 Strain
Strain is the measure of deformation due to external loading. In tension and
compression, this may be defined as the change in length per unit length, and is
dimensionless. The strain is termed tensile strain if the stress is tensile or compressive
strain when the stress is compressive.
When the strain is caused by shear stress, it is known as shear strain. It is obtained
by the ratio of distortion to original length i.e. x/l as shown in Fig 2.4.

Longitudinal strain:
For a member loaded as shown in Fig 2.5, of original length l, the body deforms
by an amount l due to external tensile load P. Tensile strain,
l
l
=
t
.

Transverse strain:

P P

Rivet
P
P

Cross-sectional
Area, A
Fig 2.3

Shear stress exists between two parts of a
body when the two parts exert equal but
opposite forces to each other laterally in a
direction tangential to their contact surface. A
riveted joint as shown in Fig 2.3 is a typical
example.
Average shear stress (shear stress is never
uniformly distributed) is given by,
Shear stress, ( )
2
N/mm
A
P
Area
= =
P x

l

P
Fig 2.4

l ll l

l ll l

p
Fig 2.5
3
When a bar is subjected to an axial tensile force, its length increases and its
transverse (or lateral) dimensions (either diameter or width and breadth) are
decreased. Thus, any direct stress produces a strain in its own direction, but an
opposite kind of strain on the cross-sectional dimensions. Transverse strain is defined
as the ratio of change in width to original width. Transverse strain is directly
proportional to longitudinal strain within the limit of proportionality. Thus,

m
1
constant
strain al Longitudin
strain Lateral
= = =
The constant or
m
1
is known as Poissons ratio and varies between
3
1
and
4
1

for most metals.

Volumetric strain:
When a body is subjected to stresses, changes in dimensions will occur. The
combined effect results in change in volume. The ratio change in volume per original
volume is termed volumetric strain, i.e.

v
v
=
v
, where v is the change in volume and v is the original volume.
A further discussion on volumetric strain is to be found under bulk modulus.

2.3 Hookes law
Hookes law sates that if a material is loaded within elastic limit, the stress is
proportional to strain.
Thus,
strain Stress
or ( )
Stress
constant taken as
strain
= = E
where =intensity of stress
= strain
But and P/A =
l
l
=

l
l
l l A
P

P/A
E = = (2.1)
The constant E is known as Youngs modulus of elasticity and is defined as the
intensity of stress which causes unit strain.

2.4 Tensile test on an elastic material
A material (such as mild steel) is said to be elastic if it returns to its original shape
upon the removal of the load causing deformation.
When mild steel (elastic material) is tested to destruction, the graph of stress versus
strain as shown in Fig 2.6 is obtained.

4

Definitions:
(i) Limit of proportionality: This is the stress at which a stress-strain diagram (Hookes
law) ceases to be a straight line. The material may remain elastic beyond this point.
(ii) Elastic limit: This is the maximum stress up to which the material can be stretched
without causing it to lose its property of perfect elasticity. The material does not
experience residual deformation after the removal of the load.
(iii) Yield point: This is the point at which there is an appreciable elongation (yielding)
of the material without corresponding increase of the load. After yielding, the
the specimen (necking) and eventual final rupture. For more ductile materials (i.e.
annealed low carbon steel), point C corresponds to high yield point and point D to
lower yield point in Fig 2.6.
(iv) Elastic range: This is the region of the stress-strain curve between the origin (O)
and the elastic limit (B).
(v) Plastic range: This is the region of the stress-strain curve between the elastic limit
(B) and the point of rupture (F).
(vi) Ultimate stress (or maximum stress): This is taken as the ratio of load to the
original cross-sectional area.
(vii) Permanent-set: This is the dimensional change which persists after the load is
removed, and is due to stressing the material beyond its elastic limit.
(viii) Permissible working stress and factor of safety: Permissible working stress (or
safe stress) is taken as equal to the maximum stress divided by a factor of safety.
However, if there is a definite yield point, it is taken as equal to yield point stress
divided by a factor of safety (F.O.S).

Stress () E
(N/mm
2
)
F

C

B D
Legend:
A A: Limit of proportionality
B: Elastic limit
C: Yield point (or upper yield point)
D: Lower yield stress (or lower yield point)
E: Ultimate stress
F: Rupture stress
O-A: Stress proportional to strain
(Hookes law obeyed)
O-B: Elastic range
B-F: Plastic range
O
Strain ()
Fig 2.6

5
Thus Permissible working stress
n

safety of factor
stress maximum
u
= =
Or Permissible working stress (Elastic design)
n

safety of factor
stress yield
y
= =
The factor of safety is a number which is divided by ultimate stress in order to
obtain a suitable working stress. The factor of safety varies between 2 and 3 depending
on the type of material considered.

Example 2.1: Table 1 shows the observations from a tensile test on a mild steel
specimen of 25mm diameter and 250mm gauge length. Neglecting the change in
cross-sectional area in the early part of the test, plot the load-extension graph and
determine: (a) the modulus of elasticity,(b) the yield stress, (c)the maximum stress, (d)
the percentage elongation, (e)the percentage area reduction, if the diameter at failure
was 19.8mm, and (f)the permissible working stress, assuming a factor of safety of 2 on
the yield stress.

Table 2.1
Load (kN) 50 100 163 170 200 228 247 252 230
Extension (mm) 0.09 0.19 0.35 0.75 1.10 1.50 2.50 3.50 5.20

Solution:
(a) Modulus of elasticity, E:
Cross-sectional area of bar
2 2
2
91 4 25
4 4
mm
d
= = =

Modulus of elasticity,
( )
( )
2
237.6kN/mm = = =
250 / 30 . 0
491 / 140
strain
stress
E
(b) Yield stress
Yield stress
2
332N/mm = =
491
163000

(c) Maximum stress
Maximum stress
2
N/mm 513
491
252000
= =
(d) Percentage elongation
Percentage elongation 100

=
length original
length original fracture at length

2.08% = = 100
250
20 . 5

(ix) Gauge length: This is the failure length
of the parallel portion of
the test pieces over which
extensions are measured,
as shown in Fig 2.7,
before testing.

A B

Gauge length, l

Fig 2.7
6

(d) Percentage area reduction
Percentage area reduction 100
rea

=
a original
fracture at area area original

37.3% =

= 100
491
8 . 19
4
491
2

(e) Permissible working stress
Permissible working stress
2
166N/mm = = =
2
332
F.O.S
stress yield

0 0
0.09 50
0.19 100
0.35 163
0.75 170
1.1 200
1.5 228
2.5 247
3.5 252
5.2 230

2.5 Tensile test on a non elastic material
This is adopted if a material does not exhibit a clearly defined elastic limit, or yield
point (i.e. non ferrous metals or brittle cast iron).
The material is tested to destruction and a curve OA plotted (Fig 2.9). A line offset
(OB) of an arbitrary amount (percentage permanent set of say 0.1% for aluminum) of
strain is then drawn parallel to the straight portion of the original stress-strain curve. The
intersection point (C) is taken as corresponding to the proof stress of the material. The
offset OB is taken as the permanent set of the material.
The off-set line (BC) cuts the stress-strain curve at C and gives a measure of the
proof-stress (0.1% proof stress), and is used in the determination of permissible working
stress.
Thus Permissible working stress
safety of factor
stress proof
=

Fig 2.8
7

The elastic limit may be taken in a similar manner by considering say 0.02% of
permanent set to give the 0.02% elastic limit. The yield stress may also be similarly
determined to give the yield stress.
Note: 0.01% permanent set length original
100
0.1
=
Equivalent strain 001 . 0
0.001
= =
l
l

Definition
Proof Stress:
This is the stress that causes a non-proportional or permanent extension equal to
defined percentage of gauge length. Alternatively, it can be expressed as the stress at
which the stress-strain diagram departs by a specified percentage of the gauge length
from the straight line of proportionality. If the specified percentage is 0.1% of gauge
length, the corresponding proof stress is designated as 0.1% proof stress.

Example 2.2: Anon-ferrous metal test specimen of gauge length 60mm, original
diameter 12mm tested in tension, gave the results in Table 2. The test specimen failed
at 68 kN, with an extension of 6.93mm and a minimum diameter at fracture of 8.0mm.
Plot a load-extension graph and determine: (a) the elastic modulus,(b) the 0.1% proof
stress, (c)the percentage elongation, (d) the percentage area reduction.

Table 2.2
Load (kN) 20 31 42 45 50 54 56 59
Extension (mm) 0.05 0.08 0.11 0.12 0.14 0.17 0.19 0.23

A
Stress
(N/mm
2
) 0.1% proof stress
C

O B Strain
0.1% permanent set

Fig 2.9

8
Solution:

(a) Modulus of elasticity, E:
Up to elastic limit,
( ) [ ]
( )
2
206.9kN/mm =

= =
60 / 10 . 0
12 / 39
2
4

strain
stress
E
(b) 0.1% proof stress
0.1% of original length 0.06mm = |

\
|
= 60
100
1 . 0
(corresponds to point A on the graph)
Line AB cuts the original curve at B.
0.1% proof stress
2
513N/mm =

=
2
4
3
12
10 58

(c) Percentage elongation
Percentage elongation 11.55% = = = 100
60
93 . 6
100

length original
length in change

(d) Percentage area reduction
Percentage area reduction 100
rea
rea
=
a original
a in change

100
12
8 12
2
4
2
4
2
4

55.75% =

= 100
113
50 113

2.6 Modulus of rigidity
Modulus of rigidity (or shearing modulus) is defined as the ratio of shear stress to
shear strain (within limit of proportionality).
Extension
mm
(kN)
0.05 20
0.08 31
0.11 42
0.12 45
0.14 50
0.17 54
0.19 56
0.23 59
Fig 2.10
9
Thus,

G = (2.2)
(ii) Shear stress:
Shear stress in a given direction only exists if there is a balancing shear stress of
equal intensity at right angles to it, or else the block will rotate. For the block shown in
Fig 2.11, equilibrium is maintained by having shear stress intensity on face AD and
BC and ' (equal to ) on face AB and CD. A body is said to be in a state of simple shear
if no other kind of stress acts on the body.

(ii) Shear strain:
Consider a block ABCD subjected to a state of simple shear as shown in Fig
2.11(a). The shear causes the body to distort as shown in Fig 2.11(b). Basing the
calculation on Fig 2.11(c) in which face AB is considered fixed, but the shearing strain
remaining the same.

Since is extremely small, DD may be assumed as an arc of radius AD, taking A
as centre.
/BC C C /AD D D = = (compare: DD= r) (i)
The elongation of the diagonal may be taken as almost equal to EC.

Linear strain on diagonal,
/AC " EC = (ii)
But cos 45
0
= /CC" " EC , or
0
5 4 cos CC" " E = C (Fig d)
'
D C

A B
'

Fig 2.11

/2 C' D'' C C'' C C''
D C D C D 45
0
E

45
0

/2 /2 E

A B A B' A B
/2

(a) (b) (c) (d)

Fig 2.11

D'
10
Also cos 45
0
= /AC CB , or
0
5 4 CB/cos AC = (Fig c)

0 2
0
0
45 cos
CC"
45 cos /
cos45 CC" " E
CB CB AC
C
= = =
But
2
1
2
1
45 cos
2
0 2
= |

\
|
=

2
1 CC"
=
CB

Also =
CB
CC"

2

=
By definition,
G

=

G

2
1
= (2.3)

2.7 Biaxial stresses and strains
Components such as plates and shells are often subject to a system of two mutually
perpendicular or biaxial stresses.
Consider the Figures 2.12(a) and (b) subject to stresses
x
and
y
. Each stress will
produce both longitudinal and lateral strain components.

Y
y

b

x

x

b
X X

2

L L

y

1

Y
(a)
2
(b)

Fig 2.12

11
Table 2.3 Shows the relationship of strain components to stresses:

Strain caused by

x

y

Strain in the direction of
x

E

x

E

y

Strain in the direction of
y

E

x

E

y

Total strain in the direction of
x,

E

y
x
x
=
Total strain in the direction of
y,

E

x
y
y
=
Change in area of Fig 2.12(a), b L b L L b A + =
Since b L is very small, it may e neglected.
The areal strain is therefore:

b
b
L
L
bL
b L L b
A
A
+ =
+
=
Hence,
y

x

A
+ = (2.4)
i.e. for small strains, areal strain is equal to the sum of the biaxial linear strains.
When
x=

y
,
y x
= , or
y
,
x
2
A
= .

2.8 Bulk modulus
When a body is subjected to three mutually perpendicular stresses of equal intensity,
the ratio of direct stress ( ) to the volumetric strain (
V
) is defined as the bulk modulus
(K) of the body.
Hence,

V

strain volumetric
stress direct
K = = (2.5)
Volumetric strain:
(i) Volumetric strain due to a single direct stress (
x
) acting along longitudinal axis
If
x
is a direct tensile stress acting on the member as shown in Fig 2.13,

Longitudinal strain,
E
x

=
x
(tensile)
Lateral strain,
x

y
= (compressive)

x

x

L L

Fig 2.13

d D
12
Circular bar of diameter, D:
Volume, L
4
D
V
2
=

D
D 2
L
dL
V
V
+ =
where
E

D
D
,
E

L
dL
x
y
x
x
= = = =
Volumetric strain,
E

2
E

V
V

x x
V
= =
Or Volumetric strain, ( ) 2 1
E

x
V
= (2.6)
Rectangular section of length L width b and thickness t:
Volume, t b L V =

t
t
b
b
L
L
V
V
+ + =
where
E

t
t
;
E

b
b
;
E

L
dL
x
z
x
y
x
x
= = = = = =
Volumetric strain,
E

V
V

x x x
V
= =
Or Volumetric strain, ( ) 2 1
E

x
V
= (2.7)
(ii) Volumetric strain due to longitudinal stress
x,
and transverse stresses
y,
and
z
.
Assuming
x
,
y
and
z

are all tensile stresses:
Longitudinal strain,

E

z
y
x
x
= (2.8)
Similarly,

E

z
y
x
y
+ = (2.9)
and
E

z
y
x
z
+ = (2.10)
The above equations are the general equations of Hookes law. If some of the
stresses are compressive, the algebraic signs would require to be changed appropriately.
For the given case, change in volume per unit volume is given by;

z y x V

V
V
+ + = =

|
|

\
|
|
|

\
|
|
|

\
|
+ + + + =
E
z

E
y

E
x

E
z

E
y

E
x

E
z

E
y

E
x

Or ( )
|
|

\
| + +
= =
E
z

2 1
V
V

V
(2.11)

13
2.9 Relationships between elastic constants
(a) Relationships between Bulk modulus (K), Youngs modulus of elasticity (E) and
Poissons ratio |

\
|
m
1
or :
Consider a cube of length of side L subjected to three mutually perpendicular
stresses of equal intensity , as shown in Fig 2.14.

Bulk modulus,
V

K =
where
K

V
V

V
= = (i)
Total linear strain of each side,

E

= ( )
z y x
= = =
( ) 2 1
E

L
dL
= = (ii)
But volume,
3
L V =
L 3L V
2
=
Or ( ) 2 1
E

3 3
L
L 3
L
L 3L
V
V
3
2
= = = =

(iii)
Equating (i) and (iii);
( ) 2 1
E

3
K

=
Or ( ) 2 1 3K E = (2.12)

(b) Relationships between Bulk modulus (K), and Rigidity modulus (G):
The linear strain of the diagonal AC (Fig 2.15) due to two mutually direct stresses is
given by,

|

\
|
=
E

-
E

## , (since is tensile longitudinally but compressive

transversely).
( ) 1
E

+ = (i)

y

x

y
z

z
x

Fig 2.14

B C

A D

Fig 2.15

14
In case of simple shear, the tensile and compressive stresses ( ) along the diagonal
planes are numerically equal to the shearing stresses , i.e. = .
Equation (i) becomes,
( ) 1
E

+ = (ii)
But it was also shown from article 2.6 that linear strain,
G

2
1
2
1
= = (iii)
Equating (ii) and (iii),
( ) 1
E

2
1
+ =
( ) 1 2G E + = (2.13)
(c) Relationships between Youngs modulus (E), Bulk modulus (K) and Rigidity
modulus
(G):
Equating Eqs. (2.12) and (2.13), expressed in terms of Youngs modulus:
( ) ( ) 1 2G 2 1 3K E + = =
Or 2G 2G 6K - 3K + =
Or ( ) 2G 6K 2G 6K 2G - 3K + = + =
Or
2G 6K
2G - 3K

+
=
From Eq. 2.13,
( )
( )
)
`

+
= |

\
|
+
+ +
= |

\
|
+

+ = + =
G K
K
G K
G K G K
G K
G K
3 2
9
2G
2 6
2 3 2 6
2G
2 6
2 3
1 2G 1 2G E

G 3K
9KG
E
+
= (2.14)

Worked examples
Example 2.3: A steel bar measuring 1m in length is 50mm square in section and is
subjected to an axial compressive load of 25kN. Determine the percentage change in
volume of the bar. Take E= 210 kN/mm
2
and G= 80 kN/mm
2
.

Solution:
Consider the bar when subjected to compressive stresses as shown in Fig 2.16.
Volume of bar= A
2
L

L
L
A
A
2
V
V
+ =
Or
L A
2
V
V
+ =

E

m
2

\
|
=

y
z 1m

x Fig 2.16

15
Or
V 2
1
V E m
| |
=
|
\
(reduction since is compressive)
Alternatively, the strains are as follows;
x:
E

=
x
; y:
E

+ =
y
; z:
E

+ =
z

|

\
|
= + + = + + = 1
m
2
E

mE

mE

z y x

Also
|

\
|
+ =
m
1
1 2G E , or 1.3125
10 80 2
10 210
2G
E
m
1
1
3
3
=

= =
|

\
|
+
0.3125 1 - 1.3125
m
1
= =
( )
5
3
2 3
10 1.7857 0.375
10 210
/50 10 25
0.3125 2 1
E

V
V

=

= =
Percentage reduction in volume,
0.0018% = = =

100 10 1.7857 100
V
V
5

Example 2.4: A flat steel panel is subjected to biaxial tensile stresses as shown in Fig
2.17. Determine the value of
y
at which the strain (y) in this direction will be zero,
and the corresponding increase in the 2m dimension. Take E= 210 kN/mm
2
and =0.3.

Solution
( ) ( )
y y
y
x
x
0.3 60
E
1
0.3 60
E
1
E

= = =
E

y
x
y
+ =
( ) ( )
y
3
y
18
10 210
1
60 3 . 0
E
1
0 +

= + =

2
y
18N/mm =
( )
4
3
x
10 6 . 2 18 0.3 60
10 210
1

=
But 0.52mm = = = =
4 3
x x
10 2.6 10 2 L L or
L
L

Example 2.5: A steel cube of 50mm side was subjected to a force of 6kN in tension,
10kN in compression and 5kN in tension along x, y and z directions respectively.
Determine the change in volume of the cube. Take E= 210 kN/mm
2
and =0.3.

y

x
=60N/mm
2

y

Fig 2.17

1
.
5
m

2.0m
16
Solution
Given;
(tensile) 6kN P
x
=
ve) (compressi 10kN P
y
=
(tensile) 5kN P
z
=
Area
2
2500mm 50 50 A = =
Volume
3
000mm 125 50 50 50 V = =
(tensile) 2.4N/mm
2500
10 6
A
P

2
3
x
x
=

= =
ve) (compressi N/mm 0 . 4
2500
10 0 1
A
P

2
3
y
y
=

= =
(tensile) 2.0N/mm
2500
10 5
A
P

2
3
z
z
=

= =
Let V=change in volume
Strains are as follows:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
5
3 3
z
y
x
x
10 2
10 210
0.6 1.2 2.4
10 210
2 0.3 4 0.3 2.4
E

+ +
=

+
= + =
( ) ( ) ( )
5
3 3
z
y
x
y
10 2.533
10 210
5.32
10 210
2 0.3 - 4 - 4 . 2 0.3
E

= =
( ) ( ) ( )
5
3 3
z
y
x
z
10 1.181
10 210
2.48
10 210
2 4 0.3 4 . 2 0.3
E

+ +
= + + =
z y x

V
V
+ + =
5 5 5 5
10 648 . 0 10 181 . 1 10 2.533 10 2
125000
V

= + =
3
0.81mm = =
5
10 0.648 125000 V
P
y

P
x

y z

P
z
x
Fig 2.18