Tension, Compression and Bending

To investigate the concept of Tension, Compression and Bending.

Definition and Theory
Applied forces are forces, such as a push or a pull, that act on the outside of an object. The ability for an object to resist these externally applied forces and remain static (not moving or breaking) is the result of an objects internal structure to resist these forces and in some cases external anchoring to a larger body. Three basic types of internal forces or stresses that keep a structure static are compression, tension and bending. Large structures such as towers, cranes and bridges are composed of many small internal structural members. These small internal structural members are primarily designed to translate loads into compression and tension and try to avoid bending. This is because bending generally uses more material (costing more) than tension or compression for a similar load and length.


Laboratory Worksheet