Types of Stress

By Aina Parasher|Updated : October 4th, 2022

In civil engineering, we deal with types of stress. In this, we generally calculate the load per unit area, and this measurement we call stress. But here, we have to study the types of stress because stress has different types of applications.

Here we get to know about what is stress and what type of stress exists. All different types of stress affect the structure differently; by their effect, we get the value of the design structure. This article explains the types of stress and all stress effects.

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What are the Types of Stress?

Stress is when any material is under load application; a resistance is developed per unit area. This is termed stress. We know that stress is classified by its application to nature. The types of stress are caused by deformation in a material; that deformation is termed a strain of the material. Both stress and strain as interrelated. The different types of stress are-

  • Direct stress - Tensile and Compressive stress
  • Shearing stress
  • Bearing stress
  • Bending Stress
  • Torsion stress

Direct Stress

When any object is directly applied under the load, its molecules resist that force by rearrangement. This rearrangement is developed in two forms: tensile or pulling or compressive or pushing. This is what we can say as tensile stress or compressive stress.

So among the different types of stress, direct stress is the primary one, and this immediate stress is classified as tensile stress when molecules lose their bond by stretching up by the applied load; in this way, material length is increased, but the cross-section area of material is reduced. At the same time, the other one is the opposite of tensile stress. In this, when pushing force is applied to any material, their bonds get overlapped, and restructuring of bonds reduces the material's length but the cross-section increases. This is known as compressive stress.

Shearing Stress

Shearing stress is a type of stress such that when any force is applied on the object's surface, it tries to deform the object in a parallel direction to the load, as a slipping or rubbing form. This deformation changes the internal angles of the molecular bond.

Shearing stress can be observed in daily life as blade motion during shaving hairs, the contact force between ground and slippers, water flowing over the floor or layer of water itself, or shearing stress in applying fluids by painting, etc.

Bearing Stress

The stress that develops between two body surfaces by their contact is known as bearing stress among the different types of stress. These two bodies are forced together by this equal load to develop equal pressure. This stress is also known as crushing stress, the stress between the pier and the ground surface, etc.

Bearing stress is also defined as applied force per unit area till that material can stand without failure or the material can hold the party without any significant deformation is known as bearing stress of the material.

Bending Stress

Among the different types of stress, bending stress is the stress developed by applying everyday stress, either static or dynamic, that will create resistance against the deformation per unit area; this is called bending stress. Either can be explained as when straight beams deflect so that deformation causes a curve into the shaft due to the developed stress known as bending stress.

Bending stress can be induced by normal tensile anxiety, compressive stress, shear stress, bearing stress, or torsional stress. When only a moment causes the bending stress in a beam, consider it a pure bending structure.

Torsional Stress

Among the different types of stress, torsional stress is the stress developed by the transverse load application. In other words, when a load is applied in the transverse direction, the upper and lower fiber of the material get compressive and tensile stress simultaneously, and the geometry of the material sample gets twisted.

Torsional stress application develops tensile or compressive stress in an equal or opposite direction. By this, a point is set between these stresses, known as the neutral zone. This neutral zone defines which type of material is very soft or tough.

Practice Questions for Type of Stress

Q1: What are two major classifications of stress?

Ans: Generally, stress can be classified into tensile and compressive stress. Tensile stress is the tensile force per unit area, and compressive stress is the compressive force per unit area.

Q2: What is the effect of shearing stress on a body?

Ans: Shearing stress acts tangentially on a cross-sectional area and tends to deform or rotate the body.

Q3: What is the effect of bending stress on a body?

Ans: Bending stress in a body generates due to the transverse load over it, and it will cause a bending moment across the whole beam span.

Q4: What is the difference between the axial type of stress and shearing stresses?

Ans: Axial stress in a body generates due to axial load, while shearing stress generates due to the effect of shearing load over the cross-section of a body.

Q5: What is the torsional type of stress?

Ans: Torsional stress in a body generates due to the external torque applied to the body. It will generate in the perpendicular direction of applied torque.

Q6: What is the difference between torsional stress and shear stress?

Ans: Torsional stress is also shear stress, but it induces due to the torsional load on the body, while shear stress is generated due to the tangential load applied to a section.

Important GATE Topics

Work Done By A ForceMotion Under Gravity
Dynamic ResistanceStatic Resistance
Ideal DiodeBettis Theorem
Work Done By A Constant ForceApplication Layer Protocols
Castigliano's TheoremPortal Frames


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FAQs on Types of Stress

  • Normal stress occurs due to load applying per unit area as compressive in nature or tensile in nature. According to normal stress, when member length increases but cross-section area decreases, it is termed tensile normal stress, while when member length decreases but cross-section area increases, it is termed as compressive normal stress.

  • Generally, in strength of the material, every metal has a desired strength against load. When a load like compressive, tensile, or bending is applied to a member, it possesses some resistance against that load. This resistance is at some limit, and this limit is called the yield point of that material, under this yield point the member can stand without failure. Hence the maximum load that material can withstand without any failure is known as maximum allowable stress.

  • Stress is a physical quantity that is developed by applying force to the per unit area of a cross-section of a member. This stress is termed a tensor quantity. Hence stress is not the vector quantity or scalar quantity, it's only a tensor quantity. Stress form a stress tensor matrix.

  • Stress tensor represents stress in different directions as load per unit area. As stress tensor matrix represents the load in the x direction with an interface of y-direction states as σxy like this stress is associated in two directions at a time by this stress is called as second-order tensor quantity.

  • Types of stress are listed in strength of material based on their nature. Stress is not the fundamental property of material hence it will depend on the nature of load also as load direction or intensity defines the different types of stress. These are -

    • Direct stress or normal stress - (i) Compressive stress and (ii) Tensile stress
    • Shear stress
    • Bending stress or moment stress
    • Crushing stress or bearing stress
    • Torsional stress

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