Solid mechanics
Solid mechanics is the branch of mechanics
Mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment....

, physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, and mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 that concerns the behavior of solid
Solid is one of the three classical states of matter . It is characterized by structural rigidity and resistance to changes of shape or volume. Unlike a liquid, a solid object does not flow to take on the shape of its container, nor does it expand to fill the entire volume available to it like a...

 matter under external actions (e.g., external force
In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. In other words, a force is that which can cause an object with mass to change its velocity , i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform...

s, temperature changes, applied displacements, etc.). It is part of a broader study known as continuum mechanics
Continuum mechanics
Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the analysis of the kinematics and the mechanical behavior of materials modelled as a continuous mass rather than as discrete particles...

. One of the most common practical applications of solid mechanics is the Euler-Bernoulli beam equation
Euler-Bernoulli beam equation
Euler–Bernoulli beam theory is a simplification of the linear theory of elasticity which provides a means of calculating the load-carrying and deflection characteristics of beams. It covers the case for small deflections of a beam which is subjected to lateral loads only...

. Solid mechanics extensively uses tensor
Tensors are geometric objects that describe linear relations between vectors, scalars, and other tensors. Elementary examples include the dot product, the cross product, and linear maps. Vectors and scalars themselves are also tensors. A tensor can be represented as a multi-dimensional array of...

s to describe stresses, strains, and the relationship between them.

Relationship to continuum mechanics

As shown in the following table, solid mechanics inhabits a central place within continuum mechanics. The field of rheology
Rheology is the study of the flow of matter, primarily in the liquid state, but also as 'soft solids' or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force....

 presents an overlap between solid and fluid
Fluid mechanics
Fluid mechanics is the study of fluids and the forces on them. Fluid mechanics can be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; fluid kinematics, the study of fluids in motion; and fluid dynamics, the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion...


Response models

A material has a rest shape and its shape departs away from the rest shape due to stress. The amount of departure from rest shape is called deformation
Deformation (mechanics)
Deformation in continuum mechanics is the transformation of a body from a reference configuration to a current configuration. A configuration is a set containing the positions of all particles of the body...

, the proportion of deformation to original size is called strain. If the applied stress is sufficiently low (or the imposed strain is small enough), almost all solid materials behave in such a way that the strain is directly proportional to the stress; the coefficient of the proportion is called the modulus of elasticity or Young's modulus
Young's modulus
Young's modulus is a measure of the stiffness of an elastic material and is a quantity used to characterize materials. It is defined as the ratio of the uniaxial stress over the uniaxial strain in the range of stress in which Hooke's Law holds. In solid mechanics, the slope of the stress-strain...

. This region of deformation is known as the linearly elastic region.

It is most common for analysts in solid mechanics to use linear
In mathematics, a linear map or function f is a function which satisfies the following two properties:* Additivity : f = f + f...

 material models, due to ease of computation. However, real materials often exhibit non-linear behavior. As new materials are used and old ones are pushed to their limits, non-linear material models are becoming more common.

There are three models that describe how a solid responds to an applied stress:
  1. Elastically
    Elasticity (physics)
    In physics, elasticity is the physical property of a material that returns to its original shape after the stress that made it deform or distort is removed. The relative amount of deformation is called the strain....

     – When an applied stress is removed, the material returns to its undeformed state. Linearly elastic materials, those that deform proportionally to the applied load, can be described by the linear elasticity
    Linear elasticity
    Linear elasticity is the mathematical study of how solid objects deform and become internally stressed due to prescribed loading conditions. Linear elasticity models materials as continua. Linear elasticity is a simplification of the more general nonlinear theory of elasticity and is a branch of...

     equations such as Hooke's law
    Hooke's law
    In mechanics, and physics, Hooke's law of elasticity is an approximation that states that the extension of a spring is in direct proportion with the load applied to it. Many materials obey this law as long as the load does not exceed the material's elastic limit. Materials for which Hooke's law...

  2. Viscoelastically
    Viscoelasticity is the property of materials that exhibit both viscous and elastic characteristics when undergoing deformation. Viscous materials, like honey, resist shear flow and strain linearly with time when a stress is applied. Elastic materials strain instantaneously when stretched and just...

     – These are materials that behave elastically, but also have damping
    Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. There are several types of friction:...

    : when the stress is applied and removed, work has to be done against the damping effects and is converted in heat within the material resulting in a hysteresis loop in the stress–strain curve. This implies that the material response has time-dependence.
  3. Plastically
    Plasticity (physics)
    In physics and materials science, plasticity describes the deformation of a material undergoing non-reversible changes of shape in response to applied forces. For example, a solid piece of metal being bent or pounded into a new shape displays plasticity as permanent changes occur within the...

     – Materials that behave elastically generally do so when the applied stress is less than a yield value. When the stress is greater than the yield stress, the material behaves plastically and does not return to its previous state. That is, deformation that occurs after yield is permanent.

See also

  • Strength of materials
    Strength of materials
    In materials science, the strength of a material is its ability to withstand an applied stress without failure. The applied stress may be tensile, compressive, or shear. Strength of materials is a subject which deals with loads, deformations and the forces acting on a material. A load applied to a...

     - Specific definitions and the relationships between stress and strain.
  • Applied mechanics
    Applied mechanics
    Applied mechanics is a branch of the physical sciences and the practical application of mechanics. Applied mechanics examines the response of bodies or systems of bodies to external forces...

  • Viscosity
    Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

  • Thermoplasticity
  • Materials science
    Materials science
    Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates...

  • Chord modulus
    Chord modulus
    In solid mechanics, the chord modulus is the slope of the chord drawn between any two specified points on the stress-strain curve.-Sources:*ASTM E 111 - 04, "Standard Test Methods of Compression Testing of Metallic Materials at Room Temperature," ASTM International...

  • Continuum mechanics
    Continuum mechanics
    Continuum mechanics is a branch of mechanics that deals with the analysis of the kinematics and the mechanical behavior of materials modelled as a continuous mass rather than as discrete particles...

  • Movable cellular automaton
    Movable cellular automaton
    The Movable cellular automaton method is a method in computational solid mechanics based on the discrete concept. It provides advantages both of classical cellular automaton and discrete element methods. Important advantage of the МСА method is a possibility of direct simulation of materials...

  • Fracture mechanics
    Fracture mechanics
    Fracture mechanics is the field of mechanics concerned with the study of the propagation of cracks in materials. It uses methods of analytical solid mechanics to calculate the driving force on a crack and those of experimental solid mechanics to characterize the material's resistance to fracture.In...

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