Bending Force

Definition - What does Bending Force mean?

A bending force is a force that is applied to a length of material. The bending force is applied to a point, area or volume that is some distance from a fixed portion of the component or structure to which the force is being applied. An excessive bending force can cause material failure, especially for materials that have corroded.

Corrosionpedia explains Bending Force

A bending force is a load that is applied to a portion of material a certain length from a fixed position. Therefore, the units used to quantify a bending force are typically a unit of length multiplied by a unit of load. Common units used to measure a bending force include pound-foot or newton-meter.

Bending forces are applied in many everyday situations. The bending force from leaning back in a chair applies a bending stress to the portion of the chair where the backrest is fixed to the seat. Someone who is climbing a ladder leaning up against a fixed object is applying a bending force not only to the fixed ends of the ladder, but also to the individual fixed ends of each rung of the ladder.

There are also many industrial situations where a bending force may exist. A pipeline being lowered into or taken out of the ground can undergo very large bending forces. If the pipeline has corroded since it was installed, then failure can occur when it is being removed because of fracturing due to bending forces that cause stresses in the weakened, corroded area. Another common instance of a bending force is a wrench turning a bolt. If the bolt is corroded, too strong a bending force applied by the wrench can create a failure due to torsion at the bolt.

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