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# Strain Energy Methods

## Work and Energy

F
F
dr
F
dx
Consider a solid object acted upon by force, F,
at a point, O, as shown in the figure.
Let the deformation at the the point be
infinitesimal and be represented by vector dr,
as shown.
The work done = F dr
x
z
y
For the general case:
W = F
x
dx
i.e., only the force in the direction of
the deformation does work.
Amount of Work done
Constant Force: If the Force is constant, the work is simply the
product of the force and the displacement, W = Fx
F
Displacement
x
Linear Force: If the force is proportional to the displacement, the
work is
F
Displacement
x
o o
x F W
2
1
=
F
o

x
o

Strain Energy
F
x
Consider a simple spring system, subjected to a Force
such that F is proportional to displacement x; F=kx.
Now determine the work done when F= F
o
, from before:

o o
x F W
2
1
=
This energy (work) is stored in the spring and is released
when the force is returned to zero
Strain Energy Density
y
x
a
a
a
Consider a cube of material acted upon
by a force, F
x,
creating stress o
x
=F
x
/a
2

causing an elastic displacement, o in the
x direction, and strain e
x
=o/a
y
x
a
F
x

o
o
x
F W
2
1
=
3 2
2
1
2
1
a e a e a U
x x x x
o o = =
Where U is called the Strain Energy, and u is
the Strain Energy Density.
x x x x
e a a e
V
U
u o o
2
1
/
2
1
3 3
= = =
Try it:
A cube of SAE1045 steel is subjected to a uniform uniaxial
stress as shown;
Determine the strain energy density in the cube when:
o
x

(a) the stress is 300 MPa; (b) the strain in the x-direction is 0.004
(a)
y
x
(a) For a linear elastic material
0.010 0.008 0.006 0.004 0.002 0.000
0
100
200
300
400
500
CONTINUED
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
M
P
a
)

Strain
u=1/2(300)(0.0015) N.mm/mm
3

=0.225 N.mm/mm
3

(b) Consider elastic-perfectly plastic
0.010 0.008 0.006 0.004 0.002 0.000
0
100
200
300
400
500
CONTINUED
S
t
r
e
s
s

(
M
P
a
)

Strain
u=1/2(350)(0.0018)
+350(0.0022)
=1.085 N.mm/mm
3

Shear Strain Energy
y
x
a
a
a
Consider a cube of material acted upon
by a shear stress,t
xy
causing an elastic
shear strain
xy

y
x
3
2
1
a U
y xy
t =
o =
xy
a
t
xy

xy xy xy xy
a a u t t
2
1
/
2
1
3 3
= =

xy
Total Strain Energy for a
Generalized State of Stress
( )
xz xz yz yz xy xy z z y y x x
u t t t c o c o c o + + + + + =
2
1
| |
| |
| |
zx zx
yz yz
xy xy
yy xx zz zz
xx zz yy yy
zz yy xx xx
E
E
E
E
E
E
o
v

o
v

o
v

o o v o c
o o v o c
o o v o c
) 1 ( 2
) 1 ( 2
) 1 ( 2
(
1
(
1
(
1
+
=
+
=
+
=
+ =
+ =
+ =
Strain Energy for axially loaded bar
AE
L F
F U
AE
FL
A
F
2 2
1
; ;
2
axial
= A =
= A = o
F= Axial Force (Newtons, N)
A = Cross-Sectional Area Perpendicular to F (mm
2
)
E = Youngs Modulus of Material, MPa
L = Original Length of Bar, mm

F
A
A
L
Comparison of Energy Stored in Straight
and Stepped bars
F
A
a

A
L
F
A
b

A
L/2
nA
L/2
AE
L F
U
2
2
=
|
.
|

\
|
+
=
+ =
n
n
AE
L F
nAE
L F
AE
L F
U
2
1
2
2
2 /
2
2 /
2
2 2
Note for n=2; case (b) has U= which is 3/4 of case (a)
AE
L F
2 4
3
2
(a) (b)