Types of Stress- What are the Types of Stress?

By Aina Parasher|Updated : August 7th, 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.

Table of Content

What are the Types of Stress?

Stress is stated as 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. The different types of stress are-

  • Direct stress - Tensile stress 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 rearrangement or compressive or pushing rearrangement. This is what we can say tensile stress or compressive stress.

So among the different types of stress, direct stress is the primary one, and this direct 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. While in the other one, it is completely opposite to tensile stress. In this when pushing force is applied to any, material, their bonds get overlapped, and restructuring of bonds reduces the length of material but the cross-section gets increased. 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, and it tries to deform the object in a parallel direction to the load, as slipping or rubbing form, and this deformation changes the internal angles of the molecular bond.

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

Bearing Stress

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

Bearing stress is also defined as applied force per unit area till that material can stand without failure or material can bear the force 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 that is developed by the application of normal stress, either static or dynamic, that will develop the 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 beam due to the developed stress known as bending stress.

Bending stress can be induced either by normal tensile stress, normal compressive stress, shear stress, bearing stress, or torsional stress. When only a moment causes the bending stress in a beam, consider it as 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 at the same time, 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 developed in between these stresses that is known as the neutral zone. This neutral zone defines which type of material it is as very soft or very hard.


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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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