Shear Force

Definition - What does Shear Force mean?

Shear force is the force acting on a substance in a direction perpendicular to the extension of the substance, acting in a direction to a planar cross section of a body.

Shear force is the summation of the effect of shear stress over a surface, and often results in shear strain. Bending moment and shear force calculations are essential while designing any structural members.

Shear force is also known as shearing force.

Corrosionpedia explains Shear Force

Shear force is an internal force in any material which is usually caused by any external force acting perpendicular to the material, or a force which has a component acting tangent to the material. Shearing forces are unaligned forces pushing one part of a body in one direction, and another part of the body in the opposite direction. When the forces are aligned into each other, they are called compression forces.

For example, a force of 10 newtons (N) is exerted at the edge of a beam. This is an external force. Since the beam is a rigid structure, the force is internally transferred all along the beam. This internal force is known as shear force. The shear force between one end and the other is usually plotted on a shear force diagram. Compared to tensile and compressive stress and strain, shear forces act over an area which is in line with the forces.

Shear force and moment diagrams are analytical tools used in conjunction with structural analysis to help perform structural design by determining the value of shear force and bending moment at a given point of an element.

Using these diagrams, the type and size of a member of a given material can be easily determined. Transverse loading also induces shear forces that cause shear deformation of the material and increase the transverse deflection of the member.

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