Chapter 1 Fundamentals

1.1 Force

In its simplest sense a force is a push or pull exerted by one object on another. In a member in a static structure, a push causes compression and a pull causes tension. Members subject to compressive and tensile forces have special names. A member of a structure that is in compression is known as a strut and a member in tension is called a tie.

Only rigid members of a structure have the capacity to act as both a strut and a tie. Flexible members, such as ropes, wires or chains, can only act as ties.

Force cannot exist without opposition, as you will know from your previous study of Newton’s laws. An applied ...

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