Factor of Safety is the Ratio of

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Factor of Safety is defined as the ratio of ultimate to working stress. The ratio of the resisting force to the force that causes failure may also be used to determine the factor of safety. A greater factor of safety suggests the design is more conservative but comes at the expense of the economy. On the other side, a lower factor of safety raises the risk factor.

Factor of Safety

A constant condition to which a building must adhere or surpass and which may be enforced by law, regulation, specification, contract, or tradition. This is sometimes referred to as a design factor, design factor of safety, or mandated factor of safety.

In engineering, a factor of safety, often known as a safety factor, describes how much more robust a system is than is necessary for the intended load. Many systems are purposefully constructed substantially stronger than required for typical use to provide for emergency scenarios, unexpected loads, misuse, or deterioration.

Ratio of Factor of Safety

A component’s standards usually provide minimum factors of safety. However, selecting the actual safety factor is dependent on various parameters like

  • Type of material Ductility and Brittleness
  • Load Type Static vs Dynamic
  • Cyclic Load
  • Strength of stress concentration


Factor of Safety is the Ratio of

The ratio of ultimate stress to working stress is referred to as the factor of safety. The ratio of resistive force to failure-causing force is another way to describe the safety factor. The actual factor of safety must exceed the minimum factor of safety needed in the design.

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