Properties of Metals
However, in mechanical design, the response of components to the two conditions can be so
different that it is better, and safer, to regard them as separate types.
As illustrated in Figure 1, the plane of a tensile or compressive stress lies perpendicular to the
axis of operation of the force from which it originates. The plane of a shear stress lies in the
plane of the force system from which it originates. It is essential to keep these differences
quite clear both in mind and mode of expression.
Figure 1 Types of Applied Stress
Tensile stress is that type of stress in which the two sections of material on either side
of a stress plane tend to pull apart or elongate as illustrated in Figure 1(a).
Compressive stress is the reverse of tensile stress. Adjacent parts of the material tend
to press against each other through a typical stress plane as illustrated in Figure 1(b).
Shear stress exists when two parts of a material tend to slide across each other in any
typical plane of shear upon application of force parallel to that plane as illustrated in