Compressive Stress

Published: | Updated: October 17, 2019

Definition - What does Compressive Stress mean?

Compressive stress is a force that causes a material to deform to occupy a smaller volume. When a material is experiencing a compressive stress, it is said to be under compression. A high amount of compressive stress, such as tensile stress, leads to failure due to tension. A compressive stress causes a material to compress or shorten.

Corrosionpedia explains Compressive Stress

Compressive stress compresses a material by either crushing it or deforming it and ultimately causing it to fail during operation.

There are two types of materials that exist: ductile and brittle. Once solidified, concrete is a brittle material, and when such materials are subjected to compressive stress, they just fracture because the stored energy in the material is suddenly released. Conversely, ductile materials will be squeezed into a smaller volume or will experience a slow distortion, but there will be no single point of failure.

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