# Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety

Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety

Every material has a certain capacity to carry load, but unsafe to load a material to full capacity — it would have no reserve strength. This is dangerous because:
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May experience a load greater than anticipated Material may be defective Construction may be faulty (fabrication / erection / workmanship, etc.) Other unforeseen situation (calculation errors, etc)

Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety
Remedy: Apply a Factor of Safety (F.S.) that provides a margin for error and uncertainty “Factor of ignorance” (i.e., not possible to know everything) Two general approaches employed in engineering design:

Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety
1. Based on yield stress (elastic material) or other predetermined strain amount (for an inelastic material—e.g. for concrete, the stress at a strain of 0.3% (0.003 in/in)).
In this case, the stress is reduced from the yield or other specified maximum to get the “allowable stress” and is known as the “Allowable Stress Design Method”. This is the earliest and most tradition design method, also least involved computationally.

Illustration: Barry Onouye and Kevin Kane: Statics and Strength of Materials for Architecture and Building Construction, second edition; Prentice-Hall, 2001

Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety

Fy = 36 ksi (250 MPa) FB = 24 ksi
(167 MPa)

For Structural Steel:
Allowable stress in bending = 2/3 Fy Fb = 2/3(36 ksi) = 24 ksi (= 167MPa) (Allowable bending stress)

Figure 5.22, p. 282

g. since generally know the material capacity more accurately than anticipated loads (e. Concrete led the way in the 1960s. Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety 2. More rational and exact approach. however is more laborious in calculation so is often not cost effective for engineering except larger scale projects. . steel is in transition and wood not far behind..Allowable Stress and Factor of Safety 2. use ultimate strength and apply multipliers to loads.4xDL + 1. Based on the ultimate strength of material (Known as the “Limit State Design Method)”: Instead of reducing the allowable stress. Also lighter members can be controlled by deflection. Can lead to material savings by reducing size of members. 1. Based on the ultimate strength of material (Known as the “Limit State Design Method)”: Known as “Load and Resistance Factor Design” (LRFD) for steel and wood Known as “Ultimate Strength Design” (UDS) for concrete (now the predominate method for this material since more accurately models stress behavior inside members) Trend of industry is toward Limit State Design.7xLL < Fult (for concrete design).