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Mechanics of Solids and Materials by Vlado Lubarda, Robert Asaro

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5 Kinetics of Continuum

5.1 Traction Vector and Stress Tensor

There are two general types of forces we consider in the mechanics of solid bodies, viz., applied surface traction and body forces. Examples of body forces include, inter alia, gravitational forces (self-weight), electrostatic forces (in the case of charged bodies in electric fields), and magnetic forces. Body forces are usually described as a density of force and thus have units of newtons per cubic meter [N/m3]. Surface traction has, as expected, units of newtons per square meter [N/m2]. We then describe a body force density as b, so that the total body force acting on a volume element δv is bδv. Surface traction must be described in terms of the vector force involved and with respect ...

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