Compressive Strain

Published: | Updated: November 6, 2019

Definition - What does Compressive Strain mean?

Compressive strain in an elastic material is defined as the deformation in a solid due to the application of compressive stress. In other words, compressive strain is produced when a body decreases in length when equal and opposite forces try to compress (or squeeze) it. This parameter is mathematically expressed as the ratio of the object's change in length to its original length.

The formula for compressive strain is:

e = ΔL / L


e = compressive strain

ΔL = change in length

L = original length

Compressive strain may also be known as negative strain.

Corrosionpedia explains Compressive Strain

Unlike its closely related counterpart, stress, strain does not possess any units of measurement. Rather, it is a dimensionless property that expresses the relationship between an object's change in length to its original length.

For example, an object that decreases in length by 10% due to a compressive force will have a compressive strain value of 0.1. If the applied force or stress is small, then the object will exhibit a small amount of strain.

Compressive stresses and strains are often measured using compressive strength tests.

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