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Strength of Materials STL3B0S

Assignment 4

Sousa 208220127

Theories of Failure

Failure is generally perceived to be fracture or complete separation of a member. However,

failure may also occur due to excessive deformation (elastic or inelastic) or a variety of other

During the latter part of the 19th century and continuing up to the present, a number of basic
failure theories were proposed and tested on a few materials. Most of the theories were based on
the assumption that failure occurs when some physical variable such as stress, strain, or energy
reaches a limiting value! That result with some difference and similarities between them.

1: Differences and similarities of the theories of failure:


The theory of failure due to the maximum normal stress (by Rankine) states that a brittle material
will fail when the maximum principal stress exceeds some value, independent of whether other
components of the stress tensor are present. Experiments in uniaxial tension and torsion have
corroborated this assumption.

Guest-Tresca (Maximum shear stress theory)

This theory states that the failure can be assumed to occur when the maximum shear stress in the
complex stress system is equal to the value of maximum shear stress in simple tension.


The theory is based on a limiting energy of distortion, i.e. energy associated with shear strains.
Strain energy can be separated into energy associated with volume change and energy associated
with distortion of the body. The maximum distortion energy failure theory assumes failure by
yielding in a more complicated loading situation occur when the distortion energy in material
reaches the same value as in a tension test at yield. This theory provides best agreement between
experiment and theory and, along the Tresca theory, is widely used today.

 Out of those theories, only the maximum normal stress theory predicts failure for brittle
materials. The rest of the two theories are applicable for ductile materials. Out of these,
the distortion energy theory provides most accurate results in majority of the stress

 The strain energy theory needs the value of Poisson’s ratio of the part material, which is
often not readily available. The maximum shear stress theory is conservative.

 For simple unidirectional normal stresses all theories are equivalent, which means all
theories will give the same result.

What is the factor of safety according to the principal shear stress theory?

(ii) What is the factor of safety according to the von Mises-Hencky theory?

Equivalent bending moment and equivalent torque

In some applications the shaft are simultaneously subjected to bending moment M and Torque T.
The Bending moment comes on the shaft due to gravity or Inertia loads. So the stresses are set up
due to bending moment and Torque. For design purposes it is necessary to find the principal
stresses, maximum shear stress, which ever is used as a criterion of failure.

So equivalent bending moment is a bending moment which, acting alone, and produce in a
circular shaft a normal stress of the same magnitude as the maximum normal stress produced by
a given bending moment and a given twisting moment acting simultaneously. Let Me be the
equivalent bending moment, then due to bending
Equivalent Torque:

At we here already proved that σ 1 and σ 2 for the combined bending and twisting case are
expressed by the relations:

where is defined as the equivalent torque, which acting alone would produce the same
maximum shear stress as produced by the pure torsion