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What is Elasticity?-Definition, Types, And Applications

August 19, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

Elasticity is the property of a material to return to its original shape after being stretched or compressed. Elastic materials have the ability to stretch without breaking and then return to their original shape. In contrast, non-elastic materials do not return to their original shape and break under strain.

What is Elasticity?

When the forces causing the deformation are removed, the elasticity of the material body can return to its original shape and size. The ability to respond elastically is said to be possessed by a body with this ability. Most solid materials exhibit elastic behavior, but there is a limit to the magnitude of the force and the accompanying strain within which elastic recovery can be achieved for any given material.

The elastic limit is the maximum stress or force per unit area within a solid material that can arise before the beginning of permanent deformation. It is possible for a material to yield or flow because of stress beyond the elastic limit.

The end of elastic behavior and the beginning of plastic behavior is marked by the elastic limit for such materials. Most brittle materials don’t have any plastic deformation because of the stresses that go beyond the elastic limit.

Types of Elasticity

There are two types of elasticity

  • Linear elasticity
  • Finite elasticity

Linear Elasticity

Linear elasticity is a mathematical model of how solid objects become internally stressed due to prescribed loading conditions. It’s a simplification of the more general theory of elasticity and a branch of continuum mechanics.

The fundamental assumptions of linear elasticity are that there are infinitesimal strains and linear relationships between components of stress and strain. For stress states that do not produce yielding, linear elasticity is only valid.

It is reasonable for these assumptions to be used in engineering materials and engineering design scenarios. In the structural analysis and engineering design, linear elasticity is used often with the aid of finite element analysis.

Finite Elasticity

A number of models have been used to describe the elastic behavior of objects that undergo finite deformations. finite strain theory uses the F as the primary deformation measure.

\ {\boldsymbol {\sigma }}={\mathcal {G}}({\boldsymbol {F}})

Elasticity Applications

In the design and analysis of structures such as beams, plates, and shells, linear elasticity is used frequently. The basis of many of the fracture mechanics can be found in this theory. Hyperelasticity can be used to determine the response of biological materials such as soft tissues and cell membranes.

Factors affecting elasticity

The presence of cracks affects the Young and the shear moduli to the planes of the cracks, which decrease when the density of the cracks increases.

The elasticity of materials can be affected by factors such as the equilibrium distance between molecules and the amount of free energy in the material.

The bulk modulus of a material is dependent on a number of factors, including the form of its lattice, its behavior under expansion, as well as the vibrating of the molecule, all of which are dependent on temperature.