Applications of elasticity
The mechanical properties of materials play a very vital role in everyday life. The elastic behavior is one such property which especially decides the structural design of the columns and beams of a building. As far as the structural engineering is concerned, the amount of stress that the design could withstand is a primary safety factor. A bridge has to be designed in such a way that it should have the capacity to withstand the load of the flowing traffic, the force of winds, and even its own weight. The elastic behavior or in other words the bending of beams is a major concern over the stability of the buildings or bridges. For an example, to reduce the bending of a beam for a given load, one should use the material with a higher Young’s modulus of elasticity (Y). It is obvious from Table 7.1 that the Young’s modulus of steel is greater than aluminium or copper. Iron comes next to steel. This is the reason why steel is mostly preferred in the design of heavy duty machines and iron rods in the construction of buildings.