Definitions - Structural Strength and Stability

These are the current definitions that you should be studying.  Updated May 19th.

 

This list is now complete.

 

Force A push or pull that could cause motion.  Measured in Newtons (N)
Mass Structure A structure that is made by the piling up of materials.
Frame Structure A type of structure in which a skeleton of materials supports the weight of the other parts.
Shell Structure A type of structure that obtains its strength from a thin, carefully shaped outer layer of material that requires no internal frame.
Manufactured Structure An object or a structure that is made by humans.
Natural Structure An object or structure that is not made by humans.
Column A vertical support.
Beam A horizontal support.
Laminate A material made by pressing or gluing layers of materials together.
Corrugated A layered material in which the middle is folded into a series of triangles to provide extra strength.
Properties The characteristics of materials.
Composite Material A material made up of different materials, with different properties, to fulfil a specific purpose.
Mobile Joint A joint that is designed to allow movement.
Rigid Joint A joint designed to hold an object in place.
Adhesive A sticky substance that is used to hold objects or materials together.
Mass The amount of matter in a substance.
Weight The force of gravity exerted on a mass.
Structural Efficiency The mass a structure can hold divided by the mass of the structure.
Load A force or weight on an object or structure.
Live Load The force or forces that act in or on a structure but are not part of the structure.
Dead Load The weight of a structure upon itself.
External Force The forces applied on a structure.
Internal Force The forces present inside the materials of the structure.
Tension Force A force that pulls on a material and stretches it apart.
Tensile Strength A measure of the largest tension force that a material can withstand before changing shape or breaking apart.
Compression Force A force that compacts or squeezes a material.
Compressive Strength A measure of the largest compression force that a material can withstand before changing shape or breaking apart.
Torsion Force A force that acts on a material by twisting its ends in opposite directions.
Torsion Strength A measure of the largest torsion force that a material can withstand and still be able to return to its original shape.
Shear Force A force that bends or tears a material by pushing parts in opposite directions.
Shear Strength A measure of the largest shear force that a material can withstand before tearing apart.
Snap The failure of a material when it elongates under tensile force.
Buckle The failure of a material when it folds under compressive force.
Twist The failure of a material when it changes shape under torsion forces.
Fatigue A weakening of a material due to cycling stress, resulting in small cracks.
Stability The level of a structures ability to maintain its shape and position.
Centre of Gravity The point at which all of the gravitational force of an object may be considered to act.
Thrust Line The line that runs downward from an object's centre of gravity, through which force is transferred.
Aesthetics The properties of an object that make it pleasing to the senses.
Ergonomics Design Factors intended to maximize productivity by minimizing fatigue and discomfort of the user.
Criteria / Specifications A set of standards or expectations for a design.