StructX > Resources > Stress and Strain

Distortion and Response

When subjected to external forces materials respond accordingly and in a number of ways. It is important to understand how and to what magnitude structural components respond to such forces.

  • Stress is a measure of force distribution with in the material of a structure and is defined as force per unit area.
  • Strain is a relative measure of deformation in a material subjected to a load and is defined as the change in dimensions or shape compared to its initial unloaded form.
  • Deformation is the change or distortion of a material which can be either temporary (elastic) or permanent (plastic).