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Stress in Physics

Stress in Physics

Stress is a physical quantity that defines the force per unit area applied to a material. Stress is a physics and engineering force per unit area within a material arising from externally applied forces. The amount of stress a material can withstand before breaking is called breaking stress or ultimate tensile stress. Tensile means that the material is under tension. The forces acting on the material are trying to stretch the body. When the elastic bodies regain their initial shape, this causes an internal restoring force. If we try to calculate this restoring force which acts per unit area of ​​the misshapen body then it will be called stress. When the forces acting on the body are trying to compress it is compression.

The formula below is used to calculate the stress:

Stress =force/ Cross-sectional area

σ= F/A


σ= Stress 

F= Force in Newton (N)

A= cross-sectional area in m²

Units of Stress= N/m² or Pascals (Pa)


There are different types of stress in physics but it is mainly classified into three forms:

  1. Normal stress
  2. Tangent stress or shear stress
  3. Hydraulic Tension

Simple Tense:
When a member is loaded by axial force then that stress is known as normal force. In other words, when the applied tension is perpendicular to the body. The tension will be normal as the length of the body’s volume changes. This symbol represents. The SI unit of normal stress is MPa.

The formula given below is used to calculate the normal stress:

Normal stress = Axial force / Cross-sectional area

    σ =P/A

Normal stress occurs when an object is placed under tension or compression.

Longitudinal stress:
When the length of a body changes its length from the normal stress applied it is known as longitudinal stress.

Longitudinal stress = deforming force / area of ​​cross section
Longitudinal stress = F/A
Longitudinal stress can be further classified and divided into two shorts. Tensile stress can be observed when a rod is stretched under Newton’s third law of motion. A stretched rubber band is a common example of tensile stress. The opposite of tension is compression when it will be acting on a rod that is pushed by an opposite or equal force across its ends. If you’ve ever squeezed a rubber ball in your hands, you were creating compressive stress.

Bulk Stress or Volume Stress:
Volume stress is the stress in which the volume of a body changes due to stress. Normal stress on the body causes a change in length or volume and tangential stress produces a change in the shape of the body which is called volume stress. A body under a force of pressure P, when immersed in a liquid, will encounter a force that is perpendicular to the surface of the body.

Bulk Tension = Force / Area = Pressure

shearing stress:
Shear stress is a force applied tangentially to the surface area of ​​a plane. When the force acting on the surface is parallel to it and the tension on the surface also forms a tangent. Such stress is known as shear stress.

Sharing Tension = Force / Surface Area = F / A

tensile stress:
The force per unit area is defined as the tensile stress. If tension is applied, the length of the body is increasing due to the force. According to the third law of motion, when a rod is stretched, tensile stress is observed. Rubber is a common example of tensile stress. This is the quantity associated with stretching. is denoted by.

Compression Tension:
When we apply a tangential force on the body, the shape and volume of the body change. When compressive tension is applied, the length of the body decreases. Compressive stress is the opposite of tensile stress. If you’ve ever squeezed a pet’s squeaky toy in your hand, you’re creating pressure on the body.

Tangent stress:
When we expressed as force per unit area which is normal stress and tangential stress respectively. When two equal and opposite deforming forces are applied parallel to the area of ​​cross-section of an object, there is a relative displacement between the opposite faces of the body, and the force developed per unit area due to the applied tangential force is equal to the reciprocating force. known as. is the tangent stress.

Hydraulic Tension:
Hydraulic tension is a measure of the internal force per unit area acting on the fluid. When a force is applied to a body by a fluid, hydraulic tension is the restoring force per unit area. Tension is not physically the same as pressure, as pressure is considered to be an external force per unit area, but in tension, it is an internal force per unit area. Hydraulic tension is defined in the same way as in the case of fluids.


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