If a structural member is subjected to an axial pull the member is said to be in tension, and a tensile stress equal to the applied load divided by the cross-sectional area of the section will be present. Conversely, an axial thrust will produce a compressive load in the member. Stress is load per unit of area. Alteration in length will also take place, and the amount of extension or contraction divided by the original length will give the strain in the member. The relationship of stress divided by strain gives the value of Young’s modulus of elasticity for the material, provided that the relationship is considered while the material is within the elastic state.
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