Materials In Today's World

Examples of Materials Under Stress

A ski lift with three areas highlighted.
Ski lift.
Credit: P.M. Anderson

If we look at a picture of a ski lift, we can see several different types of stress. The cable, highlighted in the box labeled A, is subject to tensile stress. The driveshaft, highlighted in the box labeled B, is experiencing torsional stress. The support pillar, highlighted in box labeled C, is subject to compressional stress. In the two figures below, the boulder is applying a compressive stress on the rock that is supporting it and the metal struts of the bridge are experiencing compressive stress while supporting the upper structure of the bridge.

First image shows a bolder on top of a thinner pillar of rock. The 2nd image shows an arch bridge with vertical struts.
Compressive stress in boulders and bridge.
Credit: P.M. Anderson