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Deformations of solids

GLOSSARY

Extension is the increase in length of the spring Elastic limit the greatest stress that can be applied to a material
without causing permanent deformation Stress force applied per unit cross-sectional area of the wire Strain fractional increase in the original length of the wire Elastic deformation a material is elastic if it returns to its original shape and size when the force is removed Plastic deformation a material is plastic if it does not return to its original shape and size when the force is removed; permanent Ultimate tensile stress value of the stress at which the material breaks; tells us about the strength of a material

A pair of forces is needed to change the shape of a spring. If the spring is being squashed or shortened, the forces are compressive. If the spring is being stretched, the forces are tensile. The thicker the wire, the greater the compression and tension forces along its edges.

By plotting a graph of force against extension, the stifness of a spring can be found. Gradient of this graph is the force constant of the spring. If the graph is a straight line then extension x is directly proportional to the force F : where k is the force constant of the spring. The SI unit for the force constant is Nm-1. A stiffer spring will have a large value for the spring constant.
A material obeys Hooke's law if the extension produced in it is proportional to the applied force (load). This is true as long as the leastic limit of a material is not exceeded.

After some point the graph will no longer be a straight line. The spring has become permanently deformed - it has reached its elastic limit.

Elastic potential energy or strain energy is the energy in a deformed solid. Types of force-extension graphs

Copper, pure iron and gold are ductile materials, which means that they can be drawn into wires. They are also malleable, which means that they can be reshaped by hammering and bending without breaking. When stretched beyond the point E on the graph they retain a new shape. Rubber does not follow Hookes law and it remains elastic until it breaks. When the stretching force is removed the rubber sample does not return to its original length by the same path (elastic hysteresis). The are between the two paths on the graph is the work done on the rubber that is not returned when the srteching force is removed. This work becomes the internal energy in the rubber and causes a rise in temperature. Glass and cast iron are brittle; it follows Hookes law until it snaps; they show elastic behavior up to the breaking point. Kevlar is tough; it can withstand shock and impact. Mild steel is durable; it can withstand repeated loading and unloading. Diamond is hard; it cannot be easily scratched.